29 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Tiger and Bunny episode 1

The cynicism! It’s overwhelming!

I’m starting to lose my touch at season previewing it seems. I had this penned down as potential eye-candy but perhaps lacking in the writing department. What we got was the total opposite. Lots of rather annoying CGI but an incredibly clever little show. The set up is pretty similar to the Pixar movie ‘The Incredibles’. Superheroes are something everybody knows about, but they have to make a living of f their superhero abilities. So it’s turned into a TV show where their costumes have their sponsors logos tattooed all across them like a Formula 1 racing car. It’s brilliantly cynical without appearing high-brow by doing so. It’s very clever in the way it’s all presented. Never heavy handed in its approach and strangely believable. If there were super heroes, sponsors on their costumes would have to be the way they made money, wouldn’t it.

Tiger and Bunny is also very westernised. Now that might sound worrying given the latest super hero westernised anime we’ve seen have been Heroman along with those atrocious Marvel X Madhouse productions. Don’t worry, this is not in the same league as them at all. Remember, Cowboy Bebop is also a westernised piece. Not that Tiger and Bunny is quite at that level or anything, but it works really well. The highlight, apart from the aforementioned cynicism that stings like something from Otomo (guy who did Akira and Roujin Z), there’s also how likeable the main character is. He’s a middle aged man a bit down on his luck. I loved how the guy has his work buddy and chats away to him while he’s wearing his massive bull-horned headgear.

I’d also like to talk about the product placement in Tiger and Bunny. First of all, I’ve never gotten why people bitch about product placement in the first place. If Ryougi Shiki is going to eat ice-cream, why does it matter if the ice-cream has the Haagen-Dazs logo on it? She’s still be eating ice-cream whether the logo is on it or not. The ice-cream will always be part of the story, it hasn’t been parachuted in solely as advertisement. If it didn’t have a Haagen-Dazs logo on it, it would either be blank or have a fake brand name on anyway. It simply does not make a difference. I think people get angry at product placement simply because they hate seeing other people make money in a ‘stick it to the man’ sort of way. Tiger and Bunny incorporates product placement into the actual story itself by having the super heroes make their money off these product placements in-story. If it wasn’t Pepsi on her hat, it would instead be Bepsi.

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  1. Posted April 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    So this show a satire about product placement, but indulges in the practice itself?

    • Scamp
      Posted April 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      I propose a deal—in exchange for this power, you must agree to put our product in your show. Accept this contract, and you accept its conditions. While living in the world of humans, you will live unlike any other: a different providence, a different time, a different life. The Power of the Superhero will condemn you to a life of solitude. And Advertising. Are you prepared for this?

      /geass nerd

      • Jared
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        So make a contract with me, and become a Magical Girl! /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

      • mcm38
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        o.O Nice, how’d you make that almost exact replica of a face. And no don’t put the free bid in a cage by contracting him.

    • Posted April 4, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Rather than say satire about product placement that also indulges in it, I would say that the actual product placement highlights the critique of product placement. To me, seeing fake logos just wouldn’t have the same impact as seeing something as familiar as a Pepsi logo.

      Anyways, I actually liked the CG. I think it works well in this context. That is mecha-battle suits.

  2. Posted April 4, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    I can already hear the shippers coming.

  3. mcm38
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad you’re not bound by a contract, Scamp, with some annoying sponsors.

    Steins Gate. Seems interesting, I did vote on Deadman Wonderland on the poll, but I now wish I would have voted for Steins Gate. It’s an anime you can probably write much about.

  4. luffyluffy
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Pleeeeeeease blog this!

    Please ;3;

    I fucking loved this episode, and I fucking loved Wild Tiger and I fucking loved everything about it, even the way how everything is outlined in red.

    That’s why I didn’t vote for C, because I know you’d blog that anyway.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted April 4, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      haha, you had the piss poor subtitles. If you went to the Viz website, you got bigger ones :D

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        Commie subs have also brought out their translation which are much better.

      • Scamp
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        Goes to Viz

        You live in the wrong country

        Leaves Viz

        Downloads Commie

        (although there’s been a new streaming site set up called Anime on Demand I might subscribe to because it has Tiger and Bunny, but I’m gonna wait a bit to see how that site turns out)

      • luffyluffy
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        Haha, you live in the wrong country

  5. fathomlessblue
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    This was a fantastic first ep, definitely has an ‘Incredibles’, via ‘Watchmen’ interpretation of the superhero genre. I have a strong feeling I’m gonna be pleasently surprised (and inundated) by the amount of great shows this season.

    For me product placement only becomes a problem if it becomes distracting to the overall story. If the advertising isn’t too instrusive, such as the Pizza Huts in Railgun, then I have no issue. The p.p. here was pretty in your face, but at the same time it needed to be to get the point across that superheroes are part of a business empire. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better example of products being incorporated into a show.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 4, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      What anime is there with product placement that detracts from the show? Even that Gainax Subaru ad didn’t detract from the show (even though it was still boring as fuck)

      • luffyluffy
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

        Every time I see the Subaru logo, I remember that thing. I think I’m going to buy a Subaru now.

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted April 5, 2011 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        I was thinking more along the lines of tv shows in general. To be honest I don’t think I’ve ever seen an anime where the p.p has bugged me… yet; I’m sure the day will come all too soon!

  6. Posted April 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    I also want you to blog this. This episode was really fun. And I want you to blog a potential slashy anime. Hurray!

    • luffyluffy
      Posted April 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Please Scamp please?



      • Posted April 4, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Permalink


      • luffyluffy
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Permalink


    • Scamp
      Posted April 4, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      It’s on my potential list, but so is half the shows that have had their first episode air. This is shaping up to be a seriously epic season and Tiger and Bunny already has to compete with Nichijou and Steins;Gate (and heck, even Fireball Charming) for my blogging attention thus far.

      I can tell you I’m not going to blog Hanasaku. There’s plenty of other stuff I’m more interested in writing about than that

      • mcm38
        Posted April 4, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

        Hurray, Steins Gate passed! And you two should have learned by now Scamp is not someone to get moved by begging. He’ll only blogg what he wants to blogg.

      • Posted April 5, 2011 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        But everyone will blog Steins;Gate!

  7. Posted April 5, 2011 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    IIRC, the Kara no Kyoukai novels specifically mentioned Haagen Daaz as the ice cream brand Shiki ate. I could be misremembering, though; been a while since I read them.

    The way you write it, the premise for this show seems more Mystery Men than Incredibles…

  8. Posted April 5, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Pepsi robot! Whaaat?!

    I haven’t seen this and probably don’t plan on it either not to impressed with the designs, maybe I will check out the first episode and decide from that.

  9. Posted April 11, 2011 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Although it wasnt what I expected at all Im still a bit skeptical about it. Currently just a mash-up of HEROMAN & Karas with albeit a much better story.

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