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.