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 KeiichiSato, featuring original character designs by Masakazu Katsura, and animated by famed studio Sunrise, Tiger And Bunnypremiered in April 2011 in Japan, and is simulcast in North America by VizMedia), 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) will be a sequel released in 2014.This series has a character sheet. All character tropes should go there instead. Also has a Recap page.
Kotetsu/Wild Tiger is a Hot Dad in canon and therefore he really hates the mere idea of children being in any kind of danger. Worse still, in the second episode his daughter Kaede ends up in danger, and Tiger is not quite quick enough to rescue her. Fortunately, Barnaby saves her life in the nick of time.
Episode 15 brings a new Adult Fear for Kotetsu. Namely, the possibility of having a rare, progressive condition that will force him to give up what he loves most.
Ivan is a teenager, but he still has to face the fear of not having been able to help his friend when he needed him the most. Now said friend, Edward, is a supervillain.
Barnaby has to face a huge Adult Fear: his parents' real murderer was... Maverick, his former Parental Substitute. So during a good part of his life, he has been raised by the guy who killed his mom and dad, and a good part of his whole identity is based onlies.
The moment where Maverick pats Kaede's head. The simple idea of what he could do to her gave the fanbase itself a major freak out.
Speaking of Maverick, the idea of all your friends and colleagues suddenly forgetting who you are and then trying to terminate you for a crime you didn't commit can be gutwrenching to imagine. It's one of the many reasons that Maverick is pretty much pure evil.
Alternate Calendar: The year is 1978 N.C. NEXT have been appearing for 45 years, making their first appearance in 1933 NC... a possible Shout-Out to the beginning of the Golden Age of comicbooks.
All There in the Manual: There's a lot of background info on the series that's given out in the various books, magazines and drama CDs. Most of it is fun trivia; the heroes' schedules and favorite foods, how Kotetsu met Tomoe and Antonio, how the point system used by HeroTV works, details on the areas in and around Sternbild, etc.
All There in the Script: Several, including many of the main cast names (for example, did you notice no one ever calls Sky High by his real name: Keith Goodman!)
Always Someone Better: Sky High (who overshadows Wild Tiger so much that criminals want to be arrested by him instead of Tiger) and Barnaby (has the same powers as Tiger, but is younger, better-looking, seen as more competent, and better regarded by the corporate sponsors) serve as this to Kotetsu.
Anime Theme Song: Played with in the first episode. Karina/Blue Rose is shown singing an ending song titled "Go NEXT".
Animesque: Inverted. The show aims to have a Western comic book feeling.
Arc Words: The silly nickname Kotetsu gave Barnaby in episode 2.
Armour-Piercing Slap: Kotetsu gives one to Barnaby in episode 19 after being stung by his partner's rather insensitive reaction to the news of his retirement. And again in episode 23 (this time to make him remember the previous occasion). Predictably, it doesn't really have the desired effect in either case.
Ascetic Aesthetic: Barnaby's apartment. Sweet mercy, Barnaby's apartment. The place is starkly designed, echoingly huge, and almost completely devoid of furniture and decorations, to the point where he seems to use a single ergonomic chair for all his sitting and sleeping needs.
Asshole Victim: The first three were the bank robbers from Episode 1, who were murdered in episode 6. They were in their jail cell talking about how they should have stayed as kidnappers instead, reminiscing on one time they ransomed a child and then killed both the kid and the parents after they get the money. They were killed in their cell by immolation, one of them was using the toilet in the cell at the time.
Maverick is something of a subversion - by the time Lunatic gets round to killing him, he's wiped his own mind, leaving himself as a barely-sentient Empty Shell with no traces of his former personality.
As a general rule of thumb, people targeted by Lunatic tend to completely deserve it.
As You Know: The series opens with one directly to the audience — the Hero TV audience, that is.
Bad Powers, Bad People: Invoked when one NEXT child deals with enough taunting to believe his powers are just too "creepy" for superheroics. Thus, if you can't become a superhero...
It's then subverted when Wild Tiger convinces him to use his powers for good and save the building and everyone in it.
Badly Battered Babysitter: The main plot of Episode 9, where Tiger is charged with babysitting the mayor's son, Sam. However, Pao-Lin ends up being the main babysitter and winds up kidnapped along with the kid by a female group of NEXT criminals.
Banana Peel: Used as a Chekhov's Gag in Episode 14 to help Tiger, Barnaby and Blue Rose detect the presence of the criminal.
BFG: The android H-01, a fake Wild Tiger, is equipped with a powerful one. After Wild Tiger and Barnaby disarmed H-01 of it, the gun was used by Barnaby to finish H-01 off while Wild Tiger held H-01.
Big Damn Heroes: In episode 13, Kotetsu rushes out of the ICU to help Barnaby win the battle against Jake.
Lunatic of all people pulls one in episode 21 to save Kotetsu from being captured by his former allies.
In episode 24 Kaede saves the heroes (minus Kotetsu and Barnaby) when Rotwang is about to kill them all.
Three in episode 25: Doc Saito activating the androids' safety mode just before they're about to kill the heroes, Agnes broadcasting Maverick's Engineered Public Confession to the entire city, and Kotetsu revealing himself to be Not Quite Dead just in time to save Kaede.
Bilingual Bonus: The name of the city, Sternbild, is German for "constellation".
The heavy use of Surprisingly Good Englishnote It should be mentioned that they had the American Viz Media studio do all the text on screen for them. actually becomes this for native Japanese viewers; although only the most important lines are translated into Japanese, the English text contains a lot of interesting things such as background on the heroes, or more plot-relevant facts like Kotetsu's diary which documents his gradual power loss and Barnaby's parents being robot engineers many episodes before the fact is explicitly brought up in the plot. Even small simple things like criminal profiles and the writing in help yourself books are in full English and not just random letters or scribbles.
Birthday Episode: Early in their partnership, Kotetsu finds out Barnaby's birthday is coming up a plans a surprise party involving a fake mugging. It ends up being a disaster and gets hijacked by an actual criminal chase, but this leads to the first real "power of teamwork" moment for the pair.
Biting-the-Hand Humor: The show is an Affectionate Parody of superhero stories where the calling has become a soulless corporate career in which glitzy advertising takes priority over saving lives. They then brought in a mind-bending amount of Product Placement from real-world companies. Do the maths.
Bishie Sparkle: Nathan teaches Keith how to generate them in order to impress a girl he likes.
Blatant Lies: In episode 11 when Barnaby storms out after hearing that Ouroboros have demanded the release of Jake Martinez, Kotetsu claims it's because he told Barnaby the story of how he got his code name. Karina falls for it, Nathan expresses surprise that she did.
In episode 14 Barnaby and Tiger appear on a talk show together, and their blatant lying is immediately lampshaded with a cut to the other heroes back at base commenting on it.
Tiger: We've always been good partners, right Bunny? Barnaby: Yes, we were like this from the very beginning!
Blessed with Suck: All the NEXT students Tiger mentors in Episode 8 have varied powers such as hair manipulation, neck stretching, leg stretching and sweating a lot.
"Blind Idiot" Translation: A couple of the episodes subbed by Hulu suffer from this. One was hastily typed and full of misspellings and missed spaces, and two more go so far as to leave half of the dialogue completely untranslated. Fortunately, some of these instances were corrected after a while but not some of the mistranslations which lead the fandom to believe that Barnaby took on the name of his deceased father after his parent's murder (when Barnaby was his birth name) and that Pao-lin wanted a boy to notice her when it was just people in general. It doesn't help that some of these mistranslations have been included in the dub, such as the above spoiler.
Boogie Knights: While not a straight example, you get the idea that the CGI animators were getting a kick out of putting armored Tiger in as many odd poses as they could come up with.
Bullying a Dragon: The kid with in the second episode was the target of this treatment. Kotetsu apparently got similar treatment in his youth.
But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Jake Martinez has no idea what Barnaby is talking about when he asks why Jake murdered his parents, and mocks him for expecting him to keep track. The trope is then subverted when it's revealed in episode 18 that Barnaby's memory is faulty and Jake wasn't the murderer.
Call Back: The bar scene in episode 16 plays clips from the beginning of the first episode on the tv.
Catchphrase Interruptus: Blue Rose in Episodes 4 and 5. The former from when the suspect shot at her and the latter when Fire Emblem drove up and talked to her after she captured the second suspect. The second time it was lampshaded as she berated Fire Emblem not letting her finish.
The Cavalry: Agnes and the HeroTV crew, turning the tables on Maverick in the finale.
Chekhov's Gun: Played straight in episode 5 with the diamond necklace.
Subverted in episode 23, where Kotetsu slaps Barnaby in a bid to jog his memory of their quarrel from ep.19. The attempt fails dismally, serving only to aggravate an already angered Barnaby.
Although episode 23 plays it straight as well. Barnaby's memory returns when Kotetsu calls him 'Bunny' a nickname originally bestowed by Kotetsu that Barnaby hates. Complete with flashback to episode 2 where Kotetsu first used it.
Cliff Hanger: Episodes 11, 12, and pretty much every episode from 19 to 24.
Clothing Damage: Saitou, Apollon's tech head, demonstrates Kotetsu's old suit's potential for this quite graphically in order to show the superiority of his own design. Then puts Kotetsu himself through a demonstration in episode 6, which proves Saito's new suit is far more durable.
The Apollon Wild Tiger suit was damaged quite a few times: Jake cracked the visor on the helmet (ep. 12), Barnaby broke the "Good Luck Mode" arm (ep. 23), and H-01's gun destroyed most of the frony of the suit (ep. 24).
Code Name: All heroes have one except for Barnaby, who doesn't hide his true identity. Kotetsu derived his Code Name "Wild Tiger" from his real name (The "ko" in Kotetsu is written with the kanji for "tiger").
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Most NEXT glow with a blue aura when they use their powers. Some, like Jake Martinez and Kriem, glow red/orange — though why this is was never clarified.
The two protagonists' signature colours are green for Kotetsu and red/pink for Barnaby. This is arguably a case of the trope, since the two are complimentary to each other on the colour wheel and could have been meant to symbolize their potential for a successful partnership.
Color-Coded Secret Identity: Pretty much every costumed NEXT in the show has this to a greater or lesser extent. The only one who doesn't count is Barnaby, and that's because his identity isn't secret.
Contrived Coincidence: Tiger and Barnaby have the exact same superpower. This was a conscious choice in order to highlight the differences between them; originally their abilities were going to be memory manipulation and teleportation respectively. However, no other NEXT ability is shown to repeat in the series, making theirs even more glaring.
In episode 12 when Jake selects Wild Tiger's card, he remarks that he will not last a second and decides to pick the next opponent as well. He ends up drawing Barnaby's card. He lampshades this by pointing out how he picked them together and saying "they really are a team".
In an overlap with Rule of Funny, there are the many, many convenient distractions that keep Kotetsu from drinking the drugged coffee in Episode 20.
In episode 19 Kriem reveals that Jake could not have murdered Barnaby's parents, as the night they were murdered Jake kidnapped her and she was with him the entire time.
Cool Bike: Kotetsu and Barnaby have matching ones. Blue Rose is seen sitting on one in Episodes 1 and 4 but doesn't actually use it until Episode 7.
Cool Sidecar: Kotetsu's bike turns into one and connects to Barnaby's.
Cool Car: Fire Emblem has two; a red Dragster/Joel Shumacher era Batmobile look-alike that he uses when he's working and a Ferrari Testarossa as his private car.
Agnes drives a new model blue Porsche, possibly a Boxster.
Barnaby is seen driving a red Honda NSX in episode 15.
There appears to be a few modern Ford Mustangs being driven by Sternbild's civilians.
In episode 25, the car that Tiger almost falls on and is subsequently destroyed when Barnaby saves him looks like the version of the Chevrolet Camaro from 2009 onward.
Crying Wolf: After Kotetsu's Scary Surprise Party that involved a staged robbery, Barnaby is not inclined to believe Kotetsu when he really is in trouble. But he still ends up going out to help him.
Also occurs in the episode 14, when Kotetsu's power runs out thirty seconds early. Remembering what happened in episode 2, Barnaby just assumes that Kotetsu faked it to give Antonio a chance to catch the criminal.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Jake vs Sky High, Rock Bison and Wild Tiger. ESPECIALLY Rock Bison, who apparently only had time to charge Jake before the show suddenly cuts to his Crucified Hero Shot, with a comment that he went down even faster than Sky High.
And though it doesn't actually happen on-screen, Rotwang gloats that the battle between the H-01 android and all the heroes (minus the two protagonists) in ep. 22 went like this.
Cute but Cacophonic: The Mayor's baby son Sam at one point cries loud enough for a ceiling tile to fall on Fire Emblem's head. (But the kid is a Telekinetic NEXT, after all...)
Darker and Edgier: After episode 15 the second half of the series just keeps progressively getting darker. It takes a short break in episode 17 (which is only light-hearted in comparison) and then goes straight back. Episode 20 could be considered a turning point which demonstrates just how far it's gone in this direction; an innocent gets killed, while another becomes an Unperson and is framed for the former's death. But things lighten up again in episode 25, and the series ends on its usual positive, upbeat note.
Dating Catwoman: Keith becomes smitten with a quiet women he meets in the park, unaware that she's a malfunctioning android that goes berserk in the presence of heroes.
The Dead Have Names: The criminals from Episode 1 are named after they were killed in Episode 6. Their names were Tony Smith, Jack Brown, and Bob Johnson.
Decon-Recon Switch: Zig-zagged. Corporatism has successfully turned the spectacle of super-heroics into a business, grading heroes on their performance and thus making them in general more concerned with their sponsors rather than doing anything heroic. Anyone lagging behind has to adapt to the new model or be cast away. It is also implied that it behooves heroes to keep a secret identity and not let their families know of their activities, which also puts a strain on their personal lives. However, the heroic idealism itself is not made fun of, which counts as reconstruction.
The label fully applies by the end of the series; Maverick fabricated the entire conflict surrounding superheroes and Ouroboros to get ratings, and justified it as saying it reduced hate against NEXT (which to be fair is by and large true). However Ouroboros has since spiraled out of control and is more or less impossible to destroy, so superheroes are here to stay for the duration; and by series end none of the heroes seem to care that much about appeasing their sponsors and focus more on saving people, thus making both deconstruction and reconstruction tropes valid.
Determinator: One of the robbers basically spends half the episode evading the many heroes that show up. And he is a completely normal guy. This is, of course, purely to show off all the main heroes...
Development Gag: The "Black Suit Wild Tiger" from episode 21 has glowing square dots on the waist, the shoulders are colored-in, and a lack of a chest insignia like the Wild Tiger suit from the pilot. Additionally, the green vest, white shirt ensemble that Kotetsu wears in one of the show's flashbacks is a call back to Katsura's concept art for his character design.◊
Died in Your Arms Tonight: The end of episode 24 seemed to be leading to a classic example, but this was subverted as of episode 25.
Disturbed Doves: In the first ending theme a flock of white doves take flight in the skies above Sternbild City.
Documentary Episode: In-universe the people of HERO TV tried to do this in Episode 3 following Wild Tiger and Barnaby. It got somewhat derailed with the bomb threat.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Wild Tiger, a super hero who's been around for ten years - and has seen better days -, has suffered a decline in his performance at work. People also no longer warm up to his old-school brand of super-heroics, leaving him a sort of pariah among his peers. As a result, his sponsor company employing him goes belly up and pawns him off to the greater corporate sponsor where he must follow a set of rules or be left unemployed - one of them working alongside a younger, more marketable companion, which will presumably remind him even more of his own inadequacy. Any similarity with today's weak job markets cannot be a coincidence.
People have been having a lot of fun photoshopping this scene◊ from Episode 19 (contains spoilers).
From that same episode: Maverick drugging Barnaby and then showing himself as a total bastard in front of a semi-paralyzed and emotionally broken Barnaby. Date rape comparisons, anyone?
To make it worse, the next episode has a disoriented Barnaby waking up in bed in above druggist's mansion while he cooks food for him. Bonus points for memory loss.
NARROWLY averted by Kotetsu himself. He apparently took a fatal hit to the chest in Episode 24 after failing to avoid the shot Barnaby fired at the H-01 he was restraining - only to come back to his senses in the next episode and save Kaede from Maverick.
But Kotetsu has lost most of his powers by the end of the anime.
Dumbass Has a Point: In episode 4, Barnaby is shocked that he and Kotetsu actually agree on something, specifically that they didn't become heroes because they wanted praise or appreciation.
Dynamic Exit: In episode 20 Wild Tiger saves a little boy from a mall that was on fire after a terrorist bombing by smashing through a wall from the inside
Earn Your Happy Ending: Kotetsu is alive and well; with his powers, though weakened, still intact; and he and Barnaby both retire from their duties, though they come back next year.
Elephant in the Living Room: Maverick's most obvious facial feature is a large bump between his eyebrows. No one mentions this, ever. Kaede even describes him as an old man with glasses and a necktie, which isn't exactly a narrow demographic. However, Kotetsu instantly recognizes him.
Epic Fail: In the first episode, Rock Bison's attempt to capture the bank robbers flounders when his horns get stuck in the armored car, letting the crooks get away while he yells for them to come back.
Eureka Moment: In Episode 6, Saito's mention of getting trapped in a broken elevator jogs Kotetsu's memory just enough for him to recall just why the man that tried to kill him and Fire Emblem seemed so familiar: he was the elevator maintenance man who planted the bomb in Episode 3.
Evil Costume Switch: In episodes 21-23. Though it's more like antagonism than 'evil' when we see that both the fake Wild Tiger and Barnaby are sporting black versions of their suits.
Explosive Leash: The heroes who were defeated and captured were forced to wear them by Rotwang.
Expy: The Big O, another one of Sato's works, features R. Dorothy Wayneright, who looks extremely similar to Episode 15's Cis ( and behaves in a similar manner, being an android as well). Not to mention the fact Cis is voiced by Mrs. Akiko Yajima aka Dorothy.
Eye Color Change: The eyes of NEXT typically change to a bright, glowing blue when they activate their abilities. This isn't the case for all of them, however — NEXT with passive abilities don't have an eye color change, the eyes of the two NEXT in Ouroboros glow orange-yellow, and Kotetsu's eyes also turn orange when his power begins to fluctuate in episode 14 (although in subsequent episodes he retains the standard blue glow).
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 HeroTV cast and crew
False Flag Operation: In its early days HeroTV 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.
Fandom Nod: Each On the Next segment starts with either Kotetsu or Barnaby disclosing an entirely random fact about themselves ("Hi! I'm Kotetsu, the member of Tiger & Bunny who ends up falling for idols he sees in his dreams! / "Hi! This is Barnaby, the member of Tiger & Bunny who owns five pairs of the same glasses!).
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.
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.
For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Inverted in #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 the 3rd episode, 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.
In 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 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.
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 Oroboros 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/HeroTV fan as she was. She even helped him pick out his code name.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 3 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 3 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: "My name is not Bunny! It's Barnaby!"
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.
Mind Rape: In the second half of Tiger & Bunny, 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.
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).
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. I kept telling him that we're a team - but in the end, I didn't have faith in 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.
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.
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, fancreatedMMDs 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
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 & 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.
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.
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: Did you actually believe what I said about the necklace? I would never take it.
Kotetsu: I'm giving you the criminal so that you can get points for the arrest. It's points you want, isn't it?
Running Gag: Kotetsu being unable to properly pronounce any of the titles during episode previews.
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.
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 — (HeroTV being in league with Ouroboros for instance) — that criticize superhero tropes.
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.
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 HeroTV heroes, at least half of them note Kotetsu grew up in Oriental Town, Ivan is Russian who apparently immigrated to Sternbild at a young age, Antonio is identified as being from "The West Coast", and Pao-Lin is from China (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 Before the show was aired Viz Media was handed the original text and was told to accurately translate into grammatically correct English.
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 HeroTV 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.
Kotetsu: Anyways, we heroes should be fighting bad guys who carry machine guns and are like, "Badadadadadadada—" BOOM! Kotetsu: Eh?
And in episode 10:
Barnaby:Jake Martinez's sentence is 250 years. I can interrogate him after all this is over.
Two minutes later, Ouroboros is announcing that they're taking the entire city of Sternbild hostage to ensure Jake's release.
Tender Tears: Both Kotetsu and Barnaby cry these at the end of episode 24.
The Movie: or even two, 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.