Saturday, 3 September 2011

Tiger & Bunny - Episode 23

Although his other NEXT comrades (and plenty of other people) have been freed from the clutches of Maverick's mind-altering powers, there's still no sign of Barnaby regaining his memory of Kotetsu as the pair of them continue to face off against one another.

Whether it's a slap in the face or appealing to his memories of the time they've spent together, the mixture of Maverick's power and Barnaby's anger makes it impossible for Kotetsu to get through to his partner in crime-fighting, leaving him to tough it out on account of his strength alone.  Needless to say, this isn't exactly easy going, and once Kotetsu is out of options it seems as though he's done for as Barnaby shapes up to finish him off... or is he?

Rather cheaply, it's a single word that brings Barnaby around and allows him to regain his memories of Kotetsu - the nickname "Bunny".  So, after some momentary confusion Tiger and Bunny are partners once again, and not a moment too soon, as a call from their new nemesis reveals that things are only going to get more difficult from here.  With the rest of the heroes captured by the Wild Tiger imposter along with Kaede, Kotetsu and Barnaby have little choice but to follow Maverick's instructions - instructions which lead them right into the midst of his lair, and a face off against what Maverick believes will be the future of heroes - the android who defeated their colleagues, while those heroes themselves have a test of their own strength and wills to face up to.

I have to admit, I cringed during this episode at the clunky way in which Barnaby was brought around and had his memories restored (if it was that easy, the whole thing could have been settled in five seconds flat), and there some other rather contrived plot points coming together here to boot if we're being picky.  Thankfully, all of this leads us to a tasty and frankly tantalising scenario that broadly allows me to forgive any such shortcuts, as we can now look forward to  a hefty slice of android-battling action offset against a little slither of psychological drama of which something like Saw would be proud.  It's this ability to create these grandstand moments that make Tiger & Bunny what it is, and (coupled with its strong, lovable characters) it's why we tune in every week - thanks to that, we can ignore the occasional eyebrow-raising moment here and there, right?

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