In the fictional metropolitan city of Sternbild, superpowered humans known as "NEXT" have been appearing for the last forty-five years. Some of these "NEXT" have chosen to use their powers to become Corporate Sponsored Superheroes
, fighting crime and saving lives while sporting logos on their suits
and raising the profiles
of their sponsors.
Documenting all of this is the mega popular Reality TV
show "HERO TV", which awards "Hero Points" for heroic deeds such as apprehending criminals and saving civilians, with the coveted title of "King of Heroes" going to the crimefighter with the most points at the end of the season.
One such hero is Kotetsu T. Kaburagi (a.k.a "Wild Tiger"), a veteran superhero who relies on his gut instincts and years of experience to fight crime. Though obligated to work for the best interests of his sponsors, Kotetsu follows his own code of honour, putting his heroic responsibilities over showmanship and saving people regardless of collateral damage to public property, earning him the (begrudging) nickname of "Crusher for Justice
Due to his lack of popularity, Kotetsu is forced to team up with Barnaby Brooks Jr., a rookie hero who has the exact same power as him, and whose cynical and modern approach to crimefighting clashes horribly with Kotetsu's old-school sensibilities
Directed by Keiichi Sato
, featuring original character designs by Masakazu Katsura
, and animated by famed studio Sunrise
, Tiger And Bunny premiered in April 2011 in Japan
, and is simulcast in North America by Viz Media
), in France by KZPlay
, in the UK by Anime on Demand
, and in Australia by Siren Visual on ANN
The English dub premiered on October 2nd, 2012, on Neon Alley
. Technically, as "All's Well That Ends Well" was the first episode of any show to run all the way through without major technical difficulties, it was the premiere piece for the whole Neon Alley channel.Two movies have been announced.
The first (Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning
) is a partial Compilation Movie
of the first two episodes with added new content and a new villain, while the next one (Tiger & Bunny: The Rising
) is a sequel
released on February 8, 2014, with special screenings in North America on certain dates in select locations.
This series has a character sheet
. All character tropes should go there instead. Also has a Recap
Tiger And Bunny contains examples of:
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- Fake Memories: Maverick's NEXT power creates these. In the past he's used them on Barnaby, but as of Episode 20, he's also used them on the Hero TV cast and crew.
- Falling into His Arms: How Barnaby usually saves Kotetsu.
- False Flag Operation: In its early days Hero TV suffered from low ratings due to anti-NEXT prejudice. Albert Maverick made a deal with the Ouroboros crime syndicate to create flashier crimes and disasters for Heroes to foil.
- Fantastic Racism: To a degree. NEXT who are idolized as heroes don't get it as bad — but there are plenty of people who are prejudiced against them, as seen in Episode 2.
- Later on we're introduced to Jake Martinez, who's basically a NEXT supremacist.
- Episode 18 reveals that Kriem, Jake's girlfriend and fellow supremacist, was painfully on the receiving end of that prejudice against them as a kid, which resulted in her becoming who she is.
- There are indications that Hero TV in part was created to fight the prejudice and it worked, based on how much more accepted the NEXT have become.
- Rotwang from Episodes 15, 23 and 24 is a rabid anti-NEXT.
- Fast Forward To Reunion: Kotetsu and Barnaby, a year later.
- Feud Episode: Episodes 12 & 19.
- Fictional Currency: Stern Dollars.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: The mecha in Episode 6 had one that shoots blue flames as it's left arm.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: The Girls' Team follows this dynamic. Fire for Fire Emblem, Ice for Blue Rose, and Lightning for Dragon Kid.
- First Name Basis: Barnaby finally starts calling Kotetsu by his name at the end of the thirteenth episode.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Kotetsu (foolish) and Muramasa (responsible).
- Foreshadowing: During the bomb scare in Episode 3, Mary briefly hypothesizes that it might have been made up as a desperate publicity grab. Then Episode 19 rolls along, and it's revealed that Maverick has been collaborating with Ouroboros to make eye-catching, ratings-drawing crimes for heroes to thwart — like that big bomb scare.
- Forgotten Birthday: Zig-Zagged in Episode 5. Kotetsu remembers one of Barnaby's fans saying it's his birthday the next day, so he plans a surprise birthday party/staged robbery with several other heroes. However, thanks to an actual robbery occurring at the same time things go amusingly awry.
- For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Inverted in Episode 3. Kotetsu and Barnaby get filmed 24/7 as part of a reality show gimmick, and while Barnaby's open identity isn't an issue, Kotetsu just adds a mask to his civilian getup to remain as Wild Tiger. It works, too.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- In Episode 3, Barnaby's computer has a folder entitled "Ouroboros" which contains the news clipping of his parents' death. The news clipping itself states that his parents were in fact famed robot engineers.
- At the end of Episode 5 when a presumable bad guy throws away a newspaper that contains references to earlier episodes.
- Also in Episode 10, we see that Mr. Legend was the one who captured the person who killed Barnaby's parents.
- Look very carefully- Yuri's research on Kotetsu and Barnaby in the end of Episode 8 reveals, among other things, when Kotetsu made his debut and that he used to be a lot more successful. All of this is in Surprisingly Good English.
- Though only partially visible, Samantha's photo album◊ in Episode 20 contains a picture of Barnaby from his swimwear photoshoot. In his Speedos.
- As Kotetsu leaves the bar after talking to Ben in Episode 16, on the big screen behind them you see the the scene where Kotetsu's powers run out in Episode 1 which relates to their discussion of Kotetsu's powers going on the decline.
- A magazine shot in Episode 21 indicates that someone managed to get Lunatic to sit down for an interview◊.
- A close look at the foreground at the end of Episode 2 shows that Kotetsu is a Bob Marley fan◊.
- Maverick's profile on Barnaby◊ from Episode 23 raises the question of exactly how messed up Barnaby's memories really are, and how big a bastard Maverick really is.
- Masayuki Ozaki confirms that the animators have a tendency to sneak in various real-world items for their own amusement (whereas Ozaki himself is responsible for some minor characters' suspicious resemblance to real-life actors). The most infamous of these is Kotetsu's cologne, the discovery of which triggered a major spike of its sales.
- A short shot in the eleventh episode hints at one of the major reveals in the second half of the series: Jake doesn't have an Ouroboros tattoo on his hand, meaning he can't be the killer Barnaby remembers.
- Friendly Local Chinatown: Outside the city, granted, but Kotetsu's family live in a small town that's ethnically based on rural Japanese villages.
- Friendly Rival: Despite the competitive nature of the show and the fact that the heroes acknowledge that they're indeed rivals, they remain friendly to each other and are willing to collaborate if the situation calls for it. Or when they want to throw a surprise birthday party for someone...
- Made all the more obvious with the bomb dilemma in Episode 24.
- Friendship Moment: It takes quite a long time, but Tiger and Barnaby end Episode 13 on First Name Basis, with Tiger believing that Barnaby would trust him enough to take his advice without thinking too much.
- From Bad to Worse: Episode 20 onwards. Because it wasn't enough that Kotetsu's powers are fading, Kaede is mad at him again, his partner's having a breakdown and hates him too...then nobody remembers who he is and he's being accused of murdering Barnaby's old housekeeper.
- As of Episode 23, a Zig-Zagging Trope. Kotetsu's powers kinda work, his daughter comes running to rescue him, Barnaby is doing a little better and...the other heroes have been given a Distress Ball by Maverick.
- Fun with Acronyms: NEXT is short for Noted Entities with eXtraordinary Talents.
- Gatling Good: The mecha in Episode 6 has two, a large one as the right arm and a smaller one on the right shoulder. The mecha used by the Ouroboros in Episode 10 also have them, which Kotetsu manages to take advantage of.
- Geeky Turn-On: In the Drama CD, Tomoe starts hitting it off with Kotetsu when she realizes that he was just as much of a superhero/Hero TV fan as she was. She even helped him pick out his code name.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Subverted. The Armour-Piercing Slap Kotetsu gives Barnaby during the latter's angry tirade in Episode 19 does not produce positive results.
- Goo Goo Godlike: The Mayor's son, Sam, is a perfect example of why powerful psychic abilities shouldn't be given to a baby. But he is pretty good at defending himself when it really matters...
- Gory Discretion Shot: The murder of The Ladykiller in Episode 16 and, more tragically, the murder of Samantha in Episode 20.
- Gratuitous English: By and large the series is known for its Surprisingly Good English, but the episode names can be an example; they're actually English-language proverbs. In the preview for Ep. 5, Kotetsu lampshades this by complaining that he doesn't understand the title of the next episode. Most of the time he can't read them at all — even though he's supposed to speak English just fine.
- In the dubbed version this is tweaked to him just not being able to deliver the titles as eloquently as they are originally, which arguably works for his character.
- Episode 8 prominently features the phrase "Let's believe HEROES".
- Episode 20 has a picture of Barnaby in Samantha's scrapbook with "Conglaturations" written on it.
- Have You Told Anyone Else?: Maverick to Barnaby in Episode 19. The answer was "yes" — and though this made matters much worse for Kotetsu, it did help Barnaby on the long run.
- He Knows Too Much: It's eventually revealed that Maverick killed Barnaby Brooks Sr. and his wife Emily because they discovered his allegiance to Ouroboros.
- As of Episode 20 Maverick is out to eliminate Kotetsu.
- In Episode 23 after Barnaby regains his memories, Maverick decides to get rid of him as well.
- Hero Academy/Superhero School: Ivan and Barnaby are graduates of the same one.
- Heroes Fight Barehanded: The titular characters. Given that the show is about American-style superheroes, this makes sense.
- Heroic BSOD: Karina has a comedic one after discovering Kotetsu was married and has a kid.
Hey, Blue Rose, help us out! Karina:
Daughter... Wife... Haha. Hahaha... *eye twitch
It's no good. She's cracking up!
- In a less comedic version: Barnaby does not take the revelation that Jake didn't kill his parents very well.
- Heroic RROD: There's rare cases of NEXT gaining a sudden boost in their abilities before they gradually fade away. Ben Jackson's afraid that this might be happening to Kotetsu.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted by Kotetsu in Episode 25, owing to Barnaby (and everyone else) forgetting to check his pulse before declaring him dead.
- Hero Insurance: Averted. The sponsors are billed for the destruction their heroes cause, explaining why Kotetsu starts out as one of the lowest-budget supers.
- Hero's First Rescue: A variation in Episode 4, as the burning oil-drilling site rescue didn't inspire Blue Rose into superheroics so much as it convinced her not to give it up.
- He's Dead, Jim: Subverted. Kotetsu's a little annoyed that the other heroes didn't bother to look for signs of life before deciding to mourn him.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: It takes an unusually long time considering the length of the anime, but they do get there eventually.
- High School Sweethearts: Kotetsu met Tomoe in high school.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Jake is ultimately defeated when he attacks Tiger while hanging from a rope, damaging Kriem's helicopter in the process... which lands on him and kills him.
- Hour of Power: Kotetsu and Barnaby's shared superpower, called Hundred Power, is to increase their physical capabilities by a hundredfold for a maximum of five minutes - they need to wait an hour before they can use it again.
- Humongous Mecha: Kotetsu gets attacked by a heavily-armed mecha of unknown origin in Episode 6. It may have something to do with Ouroboros.
- The army of Mecha that show up in Episode 10 are definitely the property of Ouroboros.
- I Can Still Fight: Kotetsu gets out of his hospital bed and insists on helping the other heroes deal with the mechas positioned around the city columns. Blue Rose has to talk him out of of it, and he goes off to help Barnaby instead.
- Iconic Outfit: Fans have taken a liking to the "crapsuit" from the first episode, especially once Kotetsu broke it back out in Episode 21.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All episode titles are English proverbs.
- I Have the High Ground: Lunatic makes a habit of this.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: In Episode 21 and the earlier part of Episode 22, it's Kotetsu vs. all the heroes thanks to Maverick's mental manipulations.
- In tail end of Episode 22 and the first half of 23, it's Kotetsu vs. Barnaby.
- Image Song: Kotetsu/Barnaby have two each and two duets together. Blue Rose has two of her own and the rest of the heroes (minus Fire Emblem) have their own character songs. There is also one for Lunatic and a duet with Ben and Saito.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Provided the targeting systems for the Ouroboros mechas.
- Improbable Weapon User: One of the criminals from Episode 7 wields a medieval broadsword. Since it was a staged show, though, he probably had no idea how to use it.
- Indirect Kiss: Invoked in Episode 14 when the backstage thief who crossdresses as Blue Rose considers using her lipstick.
- Insane Troll Logic: Once the backstage thief finds out how bad the security is, he had no choice but to start sneaking in and stealing stuff.
- Intangible Man: Lunatic. Unsure if this was intentional, or a case of QUALITY, but in Episode 16 Lunatic just vanishes through an overpass in a burst of blue/green flame. In that same episode he phases through a wall to enter a strip club to administer his "justice" to the Lady Killer. The wall sustained no damage.
- The Internet Is for Porn: When Barnaby hides something on his monitor from the camera that follows him around, the director of Hero TV thinks he's hiding his online Porn Stash. He even asks for recommendations, much to Barnaby's amusement.
- Invisible Jerkass: The backstage thief.
- Irony: In the New Type Ace manga, Barnaby's inner thoughts describe Kotetsu as having faulty memory. Ironic in that it's Barnaby who suffers from having extensive editing done to his memory.
- ISO-Standard Urban Groceries: Keith's groceries in Episode 15 had not one, but two protruding baguettes, and the greens of some carrots. There's an apple in there that he gives away as well, but it's not visible.
- I Surrender, Suckers: The Lady Killer tries one on Lunatic, with predictable results.
- Jet Pack: The villains in Episode 5 have them.
- Just Between You and Me: Maverick is very quick to explain his plans, his murder of Barnaby's parents, and how Ouroboros fits into everything when confronted by Barnaby...in order to keep him busy until the drugs he put in his drink kick in. Then comes the memory wipe.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Maverick's power as a NEXT, as well as replacing memories.
- Laser-Guided Karma: How Kotetsu discovers the fundamental unwiseness of littering with a Banana Peel.
- Last Episode New Character: In-series example — Barnaby decides to make his Hero TV debut on the last episode of the season in order to make a strong impression.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Doesn't the mayor look like a certain recent president?
- Layered Metropolis: Sternbild City (Which is definitely not Manhattan. At all.) is divided into 5 levels, counting the ground. It's also a decidedly non-grimdark example in that while it has several characteristics that would be required of a Cyperpunk example, such as having corrupt officials, Mega Corp. running rampant, and advanced technology, it is an idealistic show. So Sternbild's slight Bizarrchitecture is played for awesome.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After Barnaby first shows up, Agnes demands that they cut to commercial. Cue the real commercial break, which features Blue Rose. Expect to be confused.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: The villain of Episode 15 is an android driven to attack heroes due to electrical damage.
- Limited Wardrobe: Pretty much all the recurring characters (even Blue Rose) has one of these.
- Magic Countdown: Kotetsu and Barnaby's Apollon Media hero suits make this in the last 5 seconds of their power duration.
- Malevolent Masked Men: The bad guys in Episodes 1 and 4. Also in Kotetsu's flashback when he met Mr. Legend.
- The carjacker in Episode 4 had an open mouth long-eared pig mask.
- In Episode 5 Karina, Antonio, Nathan, and Keith as the boss, pretended to be burglars to surprise Barnaby for his birthday. The former three had black ski masks while the latter was In the Hood with Sunglasses at Night.
- Averted for Pauly's butler-looking henchmen.
- Man Hug: Kotetsu gives one to Saito upon discovering that he remembers him. Saito is understandably confused.
- Manly Tears: Episode 17 shows Kotetsu weeping on three separate occasions, and only twice but for much longer in Ep. 23.
- And in Episode 19 Barnaby cries a lot.
- Marionette Master: Tony, the NEXT kid in Episode 2. He was controlling the Steel Hammer and Helperidese Finance's Lion statues from Episodes 1 and 2.
- Kriem, the Ouroboros NEXT from Episodes 10-13, controls an army of Mad Bear toys by connecting a strand of her hair to each one.
- Meaningful Echo: "I want to save people in trouble. Isn't that enough of a reason?"
- In Episode 23: "The name is Barnaby, not Bunny!"
- Merchandise-Driven: Double subverted and played straight. Many of the heroes' costumes advertise companies that don't sell products related to the show at all. Sunrise did churn out a mountain of merchandise for the show after it became a hit, but none of it is aggressively advertised within the the show. Played straight in that some costumes advertise Bandai and its related branches, which release merchandise like the Figuart line.
- The Men in Black: Maverick has several on his payroll.
- Mind over Matter: Wielded by Sam, the mayor's infant son.
- Mind Rape: In the second half of the series, Barnaby Brooks Jr. suffers this twice at the hands of his Parental Substitute, Albert Maverick, who has the power of creating Fake Memories; though it's hinted that it has happened quite a few times prior to the beginning of the series as well. Later, Maverick mindrapes the other heroes via first erasing their memories of Kotetsu, then making them believe he's a murderer.
- Minor Injury Overreaction: Jake is absolutely furious when Wild Tiger of all heroes manages to land a hit on him — while powered down, no less. In retaliation, he beats down Tiger so badly that he has to be rushed to the ICU immediately.
- Mini-Mecha: What a criminal piloted in Episode 6.
- Mission Control: Agnes and the Hero TV crew serve as this for the heroes of Sternbild.
- Monochrome Casting: Deliberately and carefully averted, according to Ozaki.
- Monster Protection Racket: Maverick is collaborating with Ouroboros on one of these.
- Most Common Superpower: Blue Rose, and damn if her company isn't going to make sure everyone knows it.
- Subverted, as apparently they're fake and she uses padding to make them seem larger than they actually are.
- Mr. Fanservice: Let's see. You have Kotetsu (Adorkable), Barnaby (Megane Bishōnen), Keith (Nice Guy), Yuri (Pretty Boy), Ivan (Shrinking Violet), Antonio (Rated M for Manly), and even Nathan (Wholesome Crossdresser, if you're into that). Oh, yes - this show aims to please.
- Multinational Team: While competitors rather than a proper team, the Hero TV superheroes run the gamut of Japanese (Kotetsu/Wild Tiger), Hispanic of possible Mexican descent (Antonio/Rock Bison), Russian (Ivan/Origami Cyclone), Chinese (Pao-Lin/Dragon Kid), and ridiculously American (Keith/Sky High).
- Multiple Demographic Appeal: When Viz announced that their target market for this show were 14-25 year old males fangirls laughed at them with derision. Then Kotetsu's seiyuu, Hiroaki Hirata, revealed that his character was intended to appeal to 40-year-old men.
- According to the producers the show was specifically designed to be enjoyed by working adults who may still read manga but don't watch anime anymore for various reasons, and may be interested in foreign (mostly American) TV series.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Kotetsu, after breaking the trust Barnaby had in him by not offering him the same courtesy during an important mission.
Kotetsu: You're right about that. I kept trying to convince him we were a team - but in the end, I was the one who didn't trust him.
- My Suit Is Also Super: In the second episode the maker of Wild Tiger's new suit showed Kotetsu side by side comparison tests of both the new and old. The new one was shown to be fireproof, chainsaw-proof, and can expand better than the old one.
- Name and Name: The title of the show.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Good Luck Mode, Wild Tiger gets a Power Fist and Barnaby gets an Armed Leg. Subverted, as it does absolutely nothing to enhance their powers. Doc Saito just put it in the suits because he thought it looked cool.
- Next Tier Power-Up: Subverted and parodied. The "Good Luck Mode" Kotetsu and Barnaby receive in Episode 5 gives an auto-mod to their suits that lasts for three seconds. However, as Doc Saito informs them after they seemingly put it to use, it doesn't do anything except make them look cooler.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When meeting Kaede for the first time, Sky High good-naturedly puts his hand on her shoulder. In doing so he ends up transferring his NEXT power to her, making her lose the memory-manipulation ability she got from Maverick — meaning Barnaby's true memories couldn't be restored. Justified, since no-one knew about this little setback until then.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: When Mr. Maverick and Kaede meet, he pats her on the head—unwittingly transferring his power to her.
- No Communities Were Harmed: Sternbild looks an awful lot like New York, even having similar statues. Word of God says it was in fact based on Manhattan.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Jake to Tiger. It was so bad that Agnes of all people wanted to stop it from airing.
- Kotetsu and Barnaby were well on their way to getting one courtesy of Cis in Episode 15 - at least before Sky High showed up to save the day.
- No, You: In the English dub:
Sky High: YOU don't try anything funny or else!
- The Nose Knows: The main powers of the criminal group featured in Episode 9. Mary can smell money, Lily can smell lies, and Elly can smell danger.
- Not So Different: Most episodes show us that Kotetsu and Barnaby aren't really all that different. Kotetsu even remarks on this during Hero TV's documentary on Barnaby at the end of Episode 3 — but whether or not that was one of Agnes' ideas or his own opinion is left open to interpretation.
- OC Stand In: Fake Wild Tiger/HN-01 despite only appearing in a few episodes, has inspired the fandom to create a more humanized version called Ebitetsu. Sporting Palette Swap versions of Kotetsu's outfit and his hat pulled down to obscure his eyes he appears in truckloads of fanart, fancreated MMDs and even doujinshi.
- Odd Couple: Kotetsu is laid-back, friendly and emotional, and takes his job of protecting citizens very seriously. Barnaby is somewhat uptight (he relentlessly uses Keigo with Kotetsu), reserved, and has little enthusiasm towards the idea of fighting evil.
- Official Cosplay Gear: So far, Kotetsu's hat and wristwatch, Barnaby's jacket and belt, and even shirts that resemble the duo's power suits have been sold.
- Off Model: Towards the middle of the series the art becomes less polished (just take a look at Barnaby in Episode 8◊ and Eps. 11-14); but from Episode 15 onwards things seem to go back to normal, and the last few episodes are particularly well-drawn and animated.
- Most of the art/animation problems were fixed in the BD/DVD versions.
- Offscreen Inertia: Episode 15 uses this one, ending with Keith still patiently waiting to meet the girl he fell for, unaware that she was the robot he'd destroyed the night before.
- Oh, Crap: The end of Episode 11 when Jake Martinez makes it apparent that he knows he's talking to a disguised Origami Cyclone.
- The end of Episodes 12, 19, 20, and 24.
- Older Than They Look: Kriem barely looks a day over twenty-three, but was around fourteen or fifteen twenty years ago when Jake kidnapped her. She's probably Kotetsu's age, if not older.
- On the Next: But of course. They're narrated alternately by Kotetsu and Barnaby, and also contain tidbits of info about our two heroes' personal quirks.
- One-Woman Wail: The ominous operatic theme that plays during Barnaby's flashbacks to his parents' murder.
- Ouroboros: The show's version of the symbol is a snake with a Spade-shaped eye and a blade passing through its body. This is the tattoo mark found on people belonging to the secret organization of the same name. The Ouroboros was removed from the Stern Dollar for the DVD/BD release. It was supposed to be a very common image (the meaning and origins of which most people are unaware) — much like the US Dollar's Eye of Providence.
- Parents as People: Kotetsu is a single father who loves his daughter dearly but due to his job, he can't spend as much time as he wants with her. Because he loves her and wants to have a better relationship with her, he's prone to making well-meaning but rash promises which he often turns out to be unable to keep.
- Poor Communication Kills: Kotetsu's unwillingness to admit that his powers are declining causes a lot of easily avoidable misunderstandings.
- Post-Victory Collapse: Kotetsu makes a point of casually getting dressed and waltzing out of his hospital room after (partially) healing his wounds with his Hundred Power. The moment he's out of sight of the other heroes, he nearly collapses in pain.
- Powered Armor
- Power Copying: Kaede.
- Powers Do the Fighting: One of the villains Jake Martinez has an extremely versatile power of creating barriers, which allows him to be unfazed by even the most powerful attacks, and can be used just as powerfully offensively. Because of these abilities, he never has to put any effort into fighting, which means that he can't handle it when he receives even the slightest injury.
- Power Glows: When the heroes activate their powers. Their eyes also glow blue, regardless of their original color.
- Also parts of Kotetsu and Barnaby's suits glow when their powers are active.
- Power of Trust: A frequently recurring theme.
- Product Placement: Played straight and lampshaded, with real-life sponsors such as Pepsi, UStream, Bandai or SoftBank.
Jackson: You do understand who made you a hero, don't ya pal?
Kotetsu: By sponsors, sir!
Jackson: Good answer!
- The Promise: Tomoe's last request to Kotetsu was for him to continue his work as a hero after her death.
- Punch Clock Hero: Surprisingly averted. Despite their positions as corporate employees, all of the heroes are in the business because they genuinely want to help people.
- Puzzle Boss: Jake Martinez, definitely.
- Randomly Gifted: Heredity seems to have little or nothing to do with being a NEXT.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Both Wild Tiger and Barnaby fought this way against the villain of Episode 5. Tiger with his fists and Barnaby with his legs.
- Reactive Continuous Scream: Occurs between Kotetsu and a pig-masked carjacker in Episode 4.
- Reality Ensues: As Maverick discovers, it's not that easy to successfully Unperson someone and even more difficult to actually make it stick. The attempt to do so to Kotetsu fails on multiple levels due to not accounting for family, friends, and professional connections, let alone Lunatic having done enough previous research to immediately smell a rat.
- Reality Show: Hero TV!
- Recurring Extra: A girl with a scarf and a fox-backpack who appears in several episodes◊, sometimes dubbed "Scarf-tan" by fans. She was even added to a scene in the Blu-ray release.
- She has speaking lines in Episodes 7, 10 and 22.
- Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Not the characters, but their sponsors. The companies which act as the heroes' primary affiliates are named after figures of Greek mythology and legend. (Apollon Media, Poseidon Line, Kronos Foods, Titan Industry, Helios Energy, Odysseus Communication, Helperides Finance.)
- One could argue that Lunatic's "sponsor" is Thanatos, as he has stated that he only obeys his word.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kotetsu is the red, Barnaby the blue, though their color-coding does not match their roles.
- Remember That You Trust Me: There's a lot of back-and-forth of this nature between Kotetsu and Barnaby.
- Rhetorical Request Blunder: Played with. When Kotetsu keeps bugging Barnaby about what he wants for his birthday, Barnaby points to an incredibly valuable diamond necklace just to shut him up. Said necklace somehow winds up on a crook Kotetsu hands off to him as a "present".
Barnaby: You honestly believed me when I said I wanted that diamond. I can't accept stolen property.
Kotetsu: Not that. What I meant was I'll give you the arrest. After all I know how much you love points.
- Running Gag: Kotetsu being unable to properly pronounce any of the titles during episode previews.
- Saying Too Much/I Never Told You My Name: Kotetsu figures out Jake Martinez's second power due to these two factors. Averted by the former in Episode 13 when he gives Barnaby some false information as part of a Batman Gambit to finish Jake off.
- Scary Surprise Party: Tiger and the other heroes try to pull a variation of this for Barnaby's birthday. Needless to say it doesn't quite go as planned.
- The Scream: Wild Tiger did this when most of the criminals died in Episode 7.
- Secret Identity: All the heroes, except for Barnaby.
- Sensual Spandex: Underneath the armour, Kotetsu, Barnaby, Keith, and Ivan wear form-fitting body suits. Not that we're complaining.
- Serial Killer: Benoit Depardieu.
- Serious Business: Kotetsu and Antonio have a boxing match in Drama CD 6. Why? Because Kotetsu supposedly ate Antonio's pudding.
- And Sky High working so hard to memorize his lines for Barnaby's birthday surprise.
- Scenery Porn: The night view of Sternbild City is beautiful and the creators won't let you forget it.
- Sequel Hook: The Ouroboros symbol appearing on a Stern dollar in the epilogue of Ep. 25 is the major one.
- Both protagonists coming out of their 10-Minute Retirement and joining the Second League Heroes counts too.
- Sexy Secretary: Fire Emblem (of all people) has one.
- Ship Sinking: The creators' statement that Karina's crush on Kotetsu was meant to be portrayed as unreasonable should, in theory, have sunk said ship. Not that it actually did anything to deter fans of the pairing, of course.
- Shirtless Scene:
- Episode 3 - Barnaby doesn't bother dressing himself after a shower
- Episode 9 - Kotetsu takes of his shirt for an injury and just kind of forgets to put it back on.
- Episode 13 - Kotetsu spends almost half the episode wearing nothing but boxers and bandages.
- Episode 15 - Lloyds decides to sign Barnaby up for another modeling shoot. For speedos.
- Episode 16 - Yuri gets a Shower Scene and apparently doesn't know how to button his shirt.
- Episode 24 and 25 - Kotetsu gets his armor and about half of his undersuit obliterated. He appears to neither notice nor care in the least that he's exposed from collar to pelvis.
- Heroes swinging from buildings. Which makes a lot more sense what with Sternbild's unique architecture.
- Tiger's armor (and Barnaby to a lesser extent) take some design cues from Iron Man.
- A few possible ones to Batman:
- Karina Lyle (Blue Rose) sounds dangerously close to Selina Kyle (A.K.A. Catwoman).
- The magazine that Kotetsu is reading at the beginning of Episode 18 includes a picture of a PaletteSwapped version of Catwoman.
- All of the clown-like imagery used by Ouroboros appears to be one to The Joker. A random Mook who takes a girl hostage with a gun looks like him as well.
- The relationship between Jake and Kriem is reminiscent of the relationship between The Joker and Harley Quinn, right down to Kriem's red-and-black outfit with a playing card theme.
- The bank in Kotetsu's flashback in Episode 2 is similar to the one at the beginning of The Dark Knight.
- The comparison between Tiger's old and new armor is akin to a similar scene in The Incredibles.
- Pao-Lin's clothes when she's out of costume (as seen in the intro and Episode 9) look rather like those of another short-haired blonde martial arts expert. The shoutout goes even earlier than that, to another very famous Chinese martial artist...
- Episode 15 is a shout-out to Fritz Lang's Metropolis; the scientist is named Rotwang and there are homages to the android transformation effects.
- The robot that Barnaby's parents are seen working on in this episode looks like Robby the Robot.
- Sternbild's Phone Company logo is the old DC Comics logo with the letters SB instead of DC.
- Rock Bison's eyepiece is the same shape as MagiGreen's.
- H-01's eye visor is very similar to Kamen Rider Tiger's, appropriately enough.
- Barnaby's backstory mirrors that of the 1989 Batman movie.
- Show Within a Show: Hero TV.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: In Episode 23 when Dr. Rotwang tells the captured heroes his androids will take the place of NEXTs as the people's heroes they give him one collectively.
- Sigil Spam: To be expected, given the premise.
- Skyscraper City: Sternbild is so tall it has been divided into levels.
- Skyward Scream: Kotetsu in Episode 7 when he and Rock Bison realise the criminal he's giving CPR to can't be revived.
- Slave to PR: Pretty much all the heroes who appear on Hero TV are subject to this, though some play it up more than others.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: It's difficult to pinpoint where exactly the series lies on the scale. On one hand, the series celebrates idealistic old-fashioned heroism through Kotetsu. Though it does acknowledge the cynical side through character like Lunatic as well as a number of revelations — (Hero TV being in league with Ouroboros for instance) — that criticize superhero tropes.
- Sliding Scale of Living Toys: The Mad Bears are Level 4.
- Spot the Imposter: Episode 8 has a villain version; when Lunatic comes for Edward, Ivan takes Edward's form in an attempt to draw Lunatic's fire. Lunatic, however, judges that he's too brave to be a "sinner," and ignores him for the real Edward.
- Spiritual Successor: To The Big O - similar western themes, Scenery Porn, basically does with entire western superhero concept what Big O does with Batman.
- Split-Screen Reaction: Kotetsu and Barnaby get one in Episode 12 when Jake picks out their cards one after the other.
- They have another one when they are nearly crushed by a stone statue in Episode 2.
- The Stinger: Most of the episodes have them. They either allude to things that happened or leads to something in future episodes.
- Stripperiffic: Blue Rose's costume. Lampshaded a bit in the first episode, where it's shown that her costume is more useful for attracting the Male Gaze than it is for blocking bullets. The group of female NEXT criminals in Episode 9 definitely count as well.
- In one of the manga anthology stories, Nathan decides that Kotetsu could use a change of wardrobe. The results are... special◊.
- Sucking-In Lines: The android guns in the final episode suddenly need to charge up...you know, just for dramatic effect.
- Superheroes Wear Capes: One of them, anyway (Fire Emblem). Tiger also used to wear one, before he was transferred to Apollon Media and got a new, modern suit.
- Superpower Lottery: Jake Martinez double-dipped and got two winning tickets, having both the power to project force-fields and Telepathy.
- Kaede can mimic the powers of other NEXT.
- Subverted when Tiger, Barnaby and Origami Cyclone visit a Hero Academy for NEXT; it's made very apparent that most NEXT abilities are fairly useless. So naturally, out of the few thousand NEXT only a very small percentage become heroes (or villains, for that matter).
- It's also worth noting that amongst the eight Hero TV heroes, at least half of them note (and possibly as many as all eight) aren't originally from Sternbild.
- Super Registration Act: Is shown to be in full effect. It doesn't really cause problems for anyone, since Sternbild uses the "too reasonable to ever actually show up in comics" version H of the law.
- Surprisingly Good English: Most of the show's written text is in clear, comprehensible, and grammatically-correct English, in keeping with the rather Western superhero theme.note
- Taking the Bullet: Kotetsu takes one of Lunatic's firebolts for Barnaby in Episode 8. It doesn't kill him (he was powered up at the time), but it does require a visit to the hospital in an ambulance.
- Tautological Templar: Lunatic, in that he honestly thinks that to achieve true justice, all criminals — and those who shield and/or support them — must die. This clashes with Sternbild's laws, which frown on the concept of capital punishment.
- Technician Versus Performer: The fundamental divide between Barnaby and Kotetsu. It's subverted in-universe because the Technician is the one who's more popular with Hero TV fans; but among the real-world T&B fandom the trope works in its typical fashion - with the Performer being the more popular of the two.
- Technicolor Fire: Fire Emblem has red-orange-yellow flames. Lunatic, meanwhile, has green-blue flames.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Kotetsu and Barnaby, though only in Episodes 1-8. From Ep. 9 onwards they get along remarkably better, and by Ep. 14 they're perfectly willing partners.
- Tempting Fate: When Barnaby and Kotetsu are sent to deal with an auto theft, Kotetsu wonders why they're being called in when this is something the police should easily be able to handle. He gets his answer mid-dialogue:
Kotetsu: Us heroes should be fighting real bad guys, ya know. Like guys with machine guns, "Badadadadadadada—"
- Tender Tears: Both Kotetsu and Barnaby cry these at the end of Episode 24.
- The Movie: Two movies, first "Tiger and Bunny: The Beginning" premiered in September '12 and it's purpose was to introduce new masses into the franchise with a partial recap of the first two episodes and a complete new story in the second half which chronologically takes place before episode three. "Tiger and Bunny: The Rising", scheduled for February 2014 is an entirely new animated project and a sequel to the TV series.
- They Fight Crime: Pretty much the whole point of the series.
- Those Two Girls: Karina's high school friends, Emily and Jane.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: The main conflict between Lunatic and the heroes.
- Time Bomb: Used in Episode 3 as the major threat.
- Time Skip: Ten months between Episodes 13 and 14.
- And a whole year in Episode 25.
- Title Drop: At the end of the countdown of Good Luck Mode and when they simultaneously hit the villain.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The show's two female superheroes, Dragon Kid (Tomboy) and Blue Rose (Girly Girl).
- Too Dumb to Live: Lady Killer for not knowing Lunatic doesn't take prisoners.
- Transformation Sequence: In Episode 5 both Wild Tiger and Barnaby have a mechanical sequence in the Base on Wheels.
- Translation Convention: Since the series does take place in a futuristic Manhattan, most of the characters are assumed to be speaking English instead of Japanese. This is supported by the fact that all of the text/signs/writing is written in English, despite Kotetsu's comical inability to understand or pronounce the episode titles.
- Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Lunatic's power manifested when he tried to stop his father from beating his mother.
- Tron Lines: Light up on Kotetsu and Barnaby's suits whenever they tap into their powers.
- True Companions: The heroes are starting to become this. Outright stated by Kotetsu in Episode 21, and proven by them in Episode 24.
- Twenty Minutes In The Future: Inverted, the series takes place in an Alternate Universe of the 70s but with futuristic technology and architecture.
- Unwinnable Training Simulation: The opening scene of Episode 3 is a textbook example, which ends with Kotetsu carelessly removing his headplate to more effectively rag on Barnaby, only to get headshotted by a (virtual) sniper for his efforts.
- Vague Age: With the exception of Barnaby (23-26), Kaede (9-11), Pao-Lin (13-15), Ivan (18-20) and Karina (16-18), nobody in the series has a set age.
- Vengeance Feels Empty: Subverted when Barnaby takes revenge on Jake for killing his parents. Instead of feeling empty, he now feels free to live life for himself. Double Subverted when it turns out that Jake wasn't responsible. Barnaby has a Heroic BSOD when he finds out.
- Villainous Breakdown: In Episode 12, Jake Martinez does not take it well at all when Kotetsu, the Hero he spent the entire fight mocking as a loser, actually scores a hit (by accident) on him. Unfortunately, Kotetsu is the one who suffers for it.
- Virtual Training Simulation: Hero TV provides one for the superheroes.
- Visual Pun: In Episode 1 when Kotetsu and Antonio are on the phone to each other we see that Kotetsu's name has a picture of a tiger under it on Antonio's phone and Antonio's name has a Bison under it on Kotetsu's.
- Wham Episode:
- While previous episodes had some foreshadowing, Episode 10 was when the Ourobouros finally revealed themselves to the general public...and what a revelation it was!
- Aaaaaand Episode 12 : "Deep lacerations all over his body! His pulse is dropping -- Stop the bleeding right away! Prepare for a blood transfusion!"
- Episode 15: After everything looks to finally turn good for Barnaby and Kotetsu it's revealed that Kotetsu is losing his powers.
- Episode 16 is pretty much a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of revelations and whamness.
- Episode 19, in which we learn of all kinds of corruption and lies.
- Episode 20 has Kotetsu erased from his friends's memories and declared a murderer.
- The end of Episode 24, in which it looks like we have our first major death of the series...
- Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: The Ouroboros criminal organisation is curiously well-armed — having helicopters, high-tech firearms, and even a good number of Mini-Mecha in its arsenal. This is because Apollon Media's been funding them — you can't have a superhero show without properly threatening villains, after all.
- The Stinger in the final episode suggests something far more sinister. If you get the Stern dollar wet, the Ouroboros symbol is revealed.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Not every NEXT gets cool powers. Exemplified when Tiger's students are showing off their powers to him. Some powers include: stretching your skin, excessive sweating on a whim, neck-stretching, the ability to cut off your hair instantaneously...Yeah, some people get a pretty shit end of a stick, to say the least.
- Origami views his power this way though this was disproven in Episodes 11 and 12.
- What the Hell, Hero?: While they are prone to chewing each other out at the best of times, Kotetsu utterly tears into Barnaby over his callous indifference towards the death of three criminals.
Kotetsu: Three men die, doesn't matter who they are. I thought it was our job to save people's lives That's what a hero does!
- In the twelfth episode, Barnaby returns the favor after Kotetsu interferes with Barnaby's scouting of Jake's hideout because he thought Barnaby might lose it and try to kill their target.
Barnaby: I needed you to trust me and you couldn't! I was actually starting to believe I could rely on you as a partner, but I can't put my trust in a partner who doesn't trust me.
- Karina also chews him out when she hears of what he did.
Karina: Are you a total moron?! Jake escaped because you defied Barnaby's request and got in his way. That's not how you treat a teammate!
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: Superheroes have a busy schedule, and Kaede is far from pleased. But their relationship improves greatly once she learns his secret.
- Where The Hell Is Sternbild?: Sternbild is practically a brightly lit New York City set Twenty Minutes into the Future; the money looks almost exactly like US currency, except with "Sternbild" printed on them (and bearing the Ouroboros symbol), suggesting that it's a Land of One City.
- Wingding Eyes: One of the robbers in the opening sequence of the series uses a realistic take on this look with dollar signs on the lenses of his sunglasses.
- Worthy Opponent: It seems like Lunatic views Kotetsu as one. He promises to watch out for him in the future. He even does some research into Tiger's background at the end of Episode 8.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: The serial killer who beats on women and is targeted by Lunatic for it thinks his attacker is a hero and has to let him live if he surrenders. Maybe if he actually watched Hero TV...
- X-Ray Sparks: A side effect of Dragon Kid's powers against a criminal with a clown makeup at the beginning of Episode 9.
- You Didn't Ask: Just about everyone who isn't Antonio is amazed to discover Kotetsu has a preteen daughter (especially Karina). He just kinda forgot that he never actually told anyone.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair:
- Surprisingly averted, except maybe Pao-Lin, whose natural hair has a greenish tint.
- And Nathan, since we don't know whether he dyes his hair or not...
- The Rising's flashbacks to his younger days show that his hair is naturally brown.
- Blue Rose literally has blue hair in her hero costume (even though it's a wig; she's a blonde in real life).
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Dr. Rotwang.
- Your Costume Needs Work:
- When Kotetsu tries to enter Apollon Media after he's been unpersoned, the security guard assumes he's just a Wild Tiger cosplayer, since look-alikes trying to get into the premises aren't an uncommon phenomenon.
- In Episode 22 when Kotetsu confronts the other heroes on the roof of the Apollon Media building Rock Bison says he's wearing a cheap imitation suit.