Voiced by:Hiroaki Hirata (JP), Wally Wingert (EN) Power: Hundred Power (increases physical abilities one-hundredfold for five minutes) Affiliation: TopMag (former) / Apollon Media (current) Suit Advertisements: S.H. Figurarts (Japanese toy line) / Softbank (Japanese media company) / FamilyMart (Japanese convenience store franchise) [in the first movie]
The primary protagonist and a veteran NEXT past his prime, whose total disregard for property damage when fighting earned him the nickname "Crusher for Justice". Currently he is the least popular hero in Sternbild City and his old company, TopMag has been taken over by Apollon Media, which is now forcing him to become Barnaby's partner against his will. He has a daughter, Kaede, who, like most people in the city, is unaware of his secret identity. He possesses the power to increase his physical abilities hundredfold for 5 minutes.
Action Dad: His relationship with his daughter is bad, but in Episode 17 he goes out to search for her himself and rescues her from a collapsing shrine.
A poor relationship with his daughter due to his job.
Also, he gets another one in the second half of the show: the possibility of having a rare, progressive condition that will force him to give up doing what he loves.
In Episode 17, Kotetsu has trouble getting on Kaede's good side. Their last interaction before Kaede goes to school that day was her saying, "I hate you, dad!" Later, she gets trapped in a temple during a severe rainstorm. Her cellular phone is out of calling range; no contact can be made and nobody has seen her since she left school, prompting Kotetsu and his brother to frantically comb the small town to find her. If not for Kotetsu's powers and a little luck, there is a good chance he would have lost his girl for good, since the temple was caught in a small mudslide.
Badass Beard: And a pretty stylish one at that! Kaede thinks it's stupid, though.
Badass Normal: Even without using his Hundred Power, the combination of being in physical shape good enough to make professional athletes look lethargic, years of crimefighting experience, and very efficient wires that allow him to Building Swing means Kotetsu is pretty badass in his normal state. At the end of the series he's mostly this, as his power has dwindled to only a minute an hour.
Berserk Button: Show some disregard for human life — be it murder or speaking ill of the dead — and he'll make you pay dearly.
As of The Rising, people understating everything Barnaby's been through and continues to have to cope with every day, in order to justify killing in revenge - "Isn't he a lot happier ever since the man who killed his family died?" - seems to be another way to piss Kotetsu off. He got mad enough to punch a hole in a concrete wall.
Big Brother Mentor: Plays this role where Karina, Ivan, Pao-Lin and (eventually) Barnaby are concerned.
Break Out the Museum Piece: In Episode 21, he receives his original costume from Ben and wears it when he calls out the heroes at the end.
Broken Pedestal: When he discovers that Mr. Legend started to lose his powers at the end of his career, and that HeroTV started to fix arrests so that he would continue to earn publicity. However, he still doesn't know the depths to which his role model fell...
Butt Monkey: He gets very little respect in-universe. Kids kick him and reject his card, he doesn't get credit for supporting Barnaby, and he tends to get flung into walls and other hard surfaces a lot.
Cannot Spit It Out: That he's losing his powers, and plans to retire from being a superhero. He does come close a couple of times, but gets interrupted by Barnaby both times. Similarly, revealing his identity to his daughter would probably have improved their relationship significantly. This is one of his major flaws.
The Cape: Aspires to be this, albeit with questionable success.
Chest Insignia: On his original costume it was his original company's name, TopMag, and although not on his chest but on his mask, a W with a T in it. He also has a small tiger insignia on his belt buckle on his original costume; his current suit has the same small tiger insignia on the chest.
Antonio: I just want to know one thing — Why did you hide that you were a NEXT? You could have used those powers against me. Kotetsu: Because I only want to use my powers to save people.
The Confidant: Eventually becomes the only person Barnaby seems to be comfortable with, or even capable of, confiding in. The three younger heroes, Pao-Lin, Ivan and Karina also seem to be more open with him than with the other heroes. Ironically though, Kotetsu himself appears to have issues with confiding in others.
Determinator: Kotetsu won't stop until justice is served. Highlighted in Episode 13 when he uses his "Hundred Power" to heal superficial wounds but the internal injuries are still pretty bad. He still fights through the pain to help Barnaby against Jake. Another example comes in the epilogue, where he comes out of retirement despite his Hundred Power dwindling down to 60 seconds, saying he plans to keep being a hero even if he loses it completely because he's there to help people.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Pre-Time Skip, at least. This becomes glaringly obvious in Episode 13, when all the citizens of Sternbild (including the other heroes, who knew full well the role Kotetsu played in their victory) praise Barnaby for saving the day... ignoring Kotetsu completely. Lampshaded when Barnaby notices Kotetsu's expression and teases him for wanting praise.
Post-Time Skip he's risen to fourth-place in the Hero Rankings, gets treated nicer by Alexander, and is even getting along with Barnaby.
Doting Parent: To Kaede, doubling as Parents as People. He loves talking to her on the phone and tries to make up for his absence with presents, but she'd rather have him keep his promises.
He's Got Legs: As has been pointed out in magazines◊note The caption in English: "Stylish, long and slim, his legs don't resemble those of an 'old man' very much.", his legs are pretty darn long. How much so? They're about three inches longer than Barnaby's, despite Kotetsu being two inches shorter.
As of Episode 14, his powers have been going on the fritz. Ben says they're likely disappearing. In Episode 16, his journal reveals the rapid decline of his power's duration at a rate of 2-5 seconds per use.
And by the end of the series, it's down to a minute.
Humble Hero: While he complains every so often about the distinct lack of attention given to him as a hero compared to the others, at his core he's very much an example. He's not going to ever let unpopularity stop him from helping others.
"I’m a hero because I want to save people. Isn’t that enough? It really doesn’t matter if anyone acknowledges me or not."
I Am Not Left-Handed: In their high school days Kotetsu fought Antonio to a standstill without using his powers. It's not until Tomoe was in danger when he activated it. Needless to say, Antonio was rather shocked.
Idiot Hero: Most people, public and colleagues both, see him as this because of his impulsive behavior and goofy attitude.
Ineffectual Loner: He's not a loner because he hates other people; he's a loner because he is almost totally incapable of cooperation unless forced into it. If someone says "go right" he will go left, damn the circumstances and damn the consequences. The consequences have a tendency of damning him right back, hence why he's considered an unpopular, ineffective fool despite having the strongest sense of justice of all the heroes.
Informed Flaw: Good Luck Mode is supposed to not actually increase his power, based on its later usages however, that may not be the case.
The Klutz: Only Kotetsu could accidentally kick a pen into a highway right in front of a passing car while trying to pick it up.
The Last DJ: A staunch proponent of good old-fashioned super-heroics in an age of ad-funded glitz.
The manga oneshot shows that he actively encourages his reputation as an incompetent fool on occasion (i.e., telling everyone he was late to work because of a hangover when he was actually rushing a woman to the hospital). It's explained that he does it keep people from bothering with him (and thus not worry about him).
Oblivious to Love: Completely — at least when it comes to Karina. And not just her, Word of God is he's like this with everyone attracted to him — even his own seiyuu isn't sure how he managed to reproduce.
Karina: Um, Tiger... I'm uh... I'll treasure this forever, all right! [Karina runs off, blushing to the roots of her hair] Kotetsu: ...That was weird.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's energetic, enthusiastic and hammy, compared to Barnaby's The StoicDeadpan Snarker thing. When it comes to Oroborous they switch roles, as Barnaby is much more invested in taking them down and loses his cool.
Retirony: Narrowly averted. Turns out that blast from H-01's gun only broke his armor. It was still pretty close ... and believable enough that everyone fell for it.
Sarcasm Mode: Slips into this every so often, particularly in the English dub:
Team Mom: With debatable levels of success. He even tries to makes sure that Barnaby eats properly, much to the latter's annoyance.
Though he was more successful when Ivan blamed himself for his friend Edward's descent into villainy.
Tears of Joy: Cries them in Episode 23 when Barnaby finally remembers him.
10-Minute Retirement: Leaves the Hero business after the fight with Maverick, only to come out of retirement later because Kaede told him to find something to do besides sit around the house all day.
They're Called Personal Issues For A Reason: Once he learns of Barnaby's past, he makes a point about not prying into the whys and wherefores. This is not due to coldness, but because he knows (possibly from personal experience) that some things are best left as someone's own cross to carry.
There Was a Door: Kotetsu takes the most direct route when someone's life is at stake, walls be damned.
Throw the Dog a Bone: There are times when he does get recognition — the students at the Hero Academy, for instance, worship the ground he walks on.
Trademark Favorite Food: Mayonnaise... on everything. According to Anju, a disproportionate number of his meals consist of fried rice. He likes it enough that he's never bothered to learn how to cook anything else.
Unperson: Finds himself as one in Episode 20, thanks to the villain being able to erase memories.
Vague Age: Any questions about Kotetsu's actual age are met with vague or contradictory answers by the staff and creators. The only confirmed, consistent information is that he's somewhere in his thirties.
Warrior Therapist: When the show started, three heroes among the eight didn't believe much in themselves and/or in heroism as a value. Kotetsu made sure it didn't continue. The final episode shows how his actions and words changed them: before, they were working separately, except when Hero TV asked them to work together; at the end, they willingly cooperate to catch criminals, barely thinking of fame, ranks and points.
Barnaby: There's one man I feel I can never compare to, and my only wish is to become someone worthy of his trust.
Interestingly, he's both the "Father" in the straight example to Barnaby and the "Son" example to his own daughter in an inversion - one of his main wishes is that his daughter thinks he is cool. She eventually does.
Yank the Dog's Chain: He finally starts getting some respect from his partner, climbs up in the rankings and the population doesn't consider him a joke anymore, then he starts losing his powers.
Barnaby Brooks, Jr.
Voiced by:Masakazu Morita (JP), Yuri Lowenthal (EN) Power: Hundred Power (increases physical abilities one-hundredfold for five minutes) Affiliation: Apollon Media Suit Advertisements: Bandai / Crusade (Bandai's trading card game) / Amazon.co.jp [from Episode 6 onwards]
The other main character. A rookie hero who does not feel the need to conceal his identity, he is the newest addition to the Hero TV team. Has the same superpower as Wild Tiger and is employed by Apollon Media, which partnered the two of them for the new season in the hope that the "first superhero team" would attract more viewers. A cold, introverted, asocial young man, he has completely different views on being a superhero — the major cause of his frequent disagreements with Kotetsu in earlier episodes.
Aloof Ally: The only apparent reason he joined HeroTV is for employment. Even after his true motives are revealed, it still wasn't heroic instinct that led him to the job.
Animal Motif: According to Kotetsu, he's a "bunny". Saito even puts a little bunny emblem on his super-suit, to Barnaby's chagrin. His lack of typical 'bunny-like' behaviour is hilariously lampshaded in Episode 3 following their unorthodox success with the bomb.
Barnaby: I'm still not looking for a partner. And if I were, it wouldn't be you. Kotetsu: Ya know for a bunny, you're not so cute.
Anime Hair: Those elaborate curls would be impossible in real life without a perm — but Barnaby has had them practically since birth, and his mother's hairstyle is much the same. It is, however, mentioned that he pays regular visits to the hair-dresser's.
Barnaby: Then evacuate. I'll handle this by myself. Kotetsu: Idiot! I'm not so cold-hearted that I'd leave my partner behind and escape on my own. [Barnaby gives Kotetsu a sideways glance] Kotetsu: What!? Barnaby: As always, you're so old-fashioned.
Berserk Button: Becomes uncharacteristically emotional and violent when Ouroboros comes into the picture.
Best Served Cold: Elaborated upon by Maverick in episode 11 while explaining Barnaby's past to the general public.
Bishōnen: It's hugely played up in the series with his photo-shoots and many shirtless scenes.
Blind Without 'Em: He doesn't wear glasses on the job, but it's explained that his hundred power and hero suit both help augment his vision.
Break the Cutie: The entirety of his backstory hinges on this, resulting in...
Bridal Carry: Seems to be his preferred method of rescue — Episodes 1, 10 and 25: Kotetsu. Episode 2: Kaede. Episode 4: Blue Rose. Episode 9: Agnes. He even hangs a lampshade during the instance in Ep. 10, and almost drops the name of the trope (by using the phrase "princess carry" which was translated literally from Japanese where it has the exact same connotations as "bridal carry").
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Har har. But for a guy who professes no interest in heroics and won't socialize with his co-workers, he is incredibly effective at his job.
The Charmer: Has no issues with the fangirls he attracts.
Kotetsu: Don't you get tired of doing that? Barnaby: Not really. It's part of our job.
Celibate Hero: He might be The Charmer in public, but there are no women in his private life.
Chest Insignia: In Episode 5 he gets a small bunny-shaped one on the left side of his suit.
Collateral Damage: Suffers from this quite a bit in the latter half of the series. Samantha's death and his subsequent capture and Mind Rape at Maverick's hands are more catalysts for Kotetsu to become involved with the Big Bad than anything else.
Does Not Like Spam: Picks the pickles out of everything. Kotetsu nags him for skipping out on the vinegar.
Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Subverted. Despite his Kuudere Ice King persona, Stoic Facade, and clearly stated lack of enthusiasm in letting others get involved in his life (and vice versa), he reacts surprisingly positively to Kotetsu's concern over his past.
Embarrassing Nickname: "Bunny". By Episode 5 he seems to have given up on complaining about it, but he absolutely will NOT stand for being called "lil' Bunny".
His attitude at the end of Episode 13 and for the entirety of Eps. 14 -16 seem to point to him having undergone this and, by consequence, Motive Decay — but from Ep. 18 onwards it becomes obvious that this is not the case.
The Rising brings up the trope and ultimately subverts it; several characters seem to think that Barnaby's just fine ever since the man who killed his parents died and try use this to justify killing in revenge, but Kotetsu rather angrily points out that they have no idea what he's been through and that he still deals with his past every single day, and Barnaby himself says that he wouldn't be so okay if he didn't have Kotetsu's unyielding support. He hasn't been magically un-trauma'd, he just has actual help with coping.
Extremity Extremist: His fighting style seems to focus mainly around kicking, though he will occasionally throw a punch or two.
Facepalm: Can't help but do this in Episode 5 following Kotetsu's attempt to retrieve a pen for one of his fans.
Fake Memories: Maverick tweaked his memories quite a bit in order to give himself an alibi, among other things. Word of God reveals that his memory has been edited beyond the extent shown in canon.
Fatal Flaw: His single-minded obsession with revenge has completely isolated him from the world, ridding him of the friendly, cheerful personality he had as a child and constantly hindering his usually calm and calculative behaviour.
Friendless Background: For 20 years he has completely rejected the idea of having an actual personal life or any relationships, choosing instead to devote himself to revenge. Word Of God says that Kotetsu is quite literally the first human being he's made a significant connection with since the age of four.
Frozen Face: According to Word Of God: "Barnaby's current ability to fake friendly looks and behaviour is the result of much work — as a teenager he was practically expressionless".
Glass Cannon: To a degree due to his light armour, which is supposed to suit his fighting style.
Glory Hound: Pretty much everyone (both in-universe and out) considered him to be one for the first few episodes. But later events subvert this completely. Barnaby has no aversion to publicity or the fans, but he doesn't care about them one bit. Superheroics is simply "just a job" in his eyes.
Good Is Not Nice: He's polite to everyone other than Kotetsu and is very obliging to his in-series fans...but proves that 'polite', 'nice' and 'good' don't necessarily have to co-exist.
Grave Marking Scene: Subverted. After visiting his parents' grave in Episode 25, he apologizes for not having come to see them in a while.
Heroic Blue Screen of Death: Experiences one after discovering that Jake wasn't his parents' killer. Realizing that he's back to square one and is now unable to trust his own memories, he begins to doubt his functionality as a hero. This leads to...
Hidden Depths: Most people tend to dislike him at first — a Glory Hounding, Jerkass Ice King and in-universe Chick Magnet who exists simply to upstage, annoy and insult Kotetsu...that's his role, right? But then we find out that he's not a Glory Hound, the Jerkassery is simply a facade to hide his true personality; he's a more a Broken Ace than an actual Ace, is definitely not in the superhero scene for the women, and is actually an Ice and Sugar King who eventually begins Defrosting in earnest.
If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Experiences a classic example of this towards the end of Episode 13, when he was on the verge of killing Jake. But due to Kotetsu's influence he chooses the typical option, which results in...
I Miss Mum: One of those rare occasions where someone says this about both their parents. "I miss you...Mum, Dad!" (Episode 25)
Ineffectual Loner: A little anomalous in that he isn't an Anti-Hero but is still very much an example of this trope. He eventually opens up a little, but only to Kotetsu. As far as anyone else is concerned, he is still this even by series end.
Intelligence Equals Isolation: Implied to have happened to him while at the Hero Academy; since Kotetsu is the first and only friend he's managed to make during the past 20 years, he obviously had no-one close to him during his school-going days.
Informed Flaw: Like Kotetsu, Good Luck Mode appears to increase his attack power when it was specifically stated it shouldn't. In fact, he even overpowered Wild Tiger's own Good Luck Mode arm in Episode 23.
In-Series Nickname: Although Kotetsu is the only person who actually refers to him by the abovementioned moniker, hilariously enough the * It's Personal: His vendetta against Ouroboros and its affiliates.
I Was Just Passing Through: Tends to fall into this when it involves Kotetsu; following him into a collapsing offshore drilling rig because he "wanted to score more hero points", responding to Kotetsu's call for help and claiming that he was there for entirely unrelated (and unspecified) reasons, etc.
I Work Alone: For the first 8 episodes he steadfastly stands by this, but towards the end of the series...
Japanese Pronouns: Uses boku when addressing himself in front of others and ore during monologues or when speaking without keigo.
Jerkass Façade: In the earlier episodes, though it later vanishes almost completely.
Made of Iron: Half an hour of intense beat-up served to him by Jake made him merely falter on his legs. That was without his powers.
Memento Macguffin: The sash Kotetsu was wearing in Episode 8 is still with him as of Ep.12. Word Of God states that he keeps it in his company locker as a good-luck charm.
Men Can't Keep House: Completely averts this and takes it to the other extreme. Not only is his apartment meticulously clean and litter-free, but he barely even has any furniture in it.
Minored In Ass Kicking: Since he was the top of his class at the Hero Academy, he technically majored in it. But it's noted that he's also very competent academically.
Mood-Swinger: As he starts to open up (and his backstory is revealed) he keeps on swinging between troubled, angry, and vulnerable.
Mr. Fanservice: As far as Apollon Media and HeroTV are concerned, youth and handsomeness are his major selling points.
Mundane Luxury: Becoming "someone who's worthy of Kotetsu's trust" and being a good partner to him is pretty much all Barnaby wants by series end.
My Greatest Second Chance: To avenge his parents by having Maverick (and Ouroboros) brought to justice — though technically speaking, he ultimately fails.
Mysterious Past: Word Of God confirms that most of his current memories are a product of Maverick's psychological manipulations. So even Barnaby himself probably doesn't know exactly what his life was like before the series.
Nobody Touches the Hair: His reaction to being hugged by Kotetsu in Episode 23...though it was more out of embarrassment than anything.
No Sense of Humor: Hanging around Kotetsu all day and not so much as cracking a smile once is a skill only Barnaby has mastered.
Not Bad: His reaction to Kotetsu's locating the bomb in Episode 3, to the latter's annoyance and indignation.
Barnaby:How did you know the bomb was here? Kotetsu: You saw that repairman too, right? He looked too clean to have been oiling the cables. Plus this building is brand-new; how could something be malfunctioning already? Barnaby: I see. That's not bad, for someone like you. Kotetsu: What's with the condescending tone!?
Not So Stoic: Played very straight and provides much of the drama in the series.
Any mention of Ouroboros, his parents' murderer, or his parents themselves, makes him very unstable emotionally. In Episode 19 we see him crying on several different occasions due to these very reasons. He weeps openly when he learns about his maid's death in episode 20 as well.
And Kotetsu's supposed impending death in Episode 24 leads to his stoic facade completely breaking down for a few minutes preceding the closing credits.
Orphan's Ordeal: Everything related to his personality and behaviour basically hinges on this.
Pastimes Prove Personality: His one and only hobby is listening to opera, which is often associated with an affluent family background, 'snobbish' personality and being 'intellectual'.
The Pawn/Tykebomb: Maverick raised him with the express purpose of making him become a superhero.
Pet the Dog: When he saves Kaede in Episode 2 (even though there are no witnesses other than Kotetsu and no cameras pointed at him), it's the first indicator that he may be indifferent, but he's not heartless.
Powered Armour: His Apollon Media suit ensures that even without tapping into his powers, he's still quite strong and durable.
Punch Clock Hero: Of all the heroes, he's the one who explicitly regards superheroics as a job.
Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Averted. Some fans (and even his own seiyuu) tend to assume this because Barnaby never wears glasses when fighting; but comments from the staff and info from the Hero Gossip Book indicate that while his eyesight is poor, glasses aren't necessary when in superhero suit because the helmet compensates for any vision problems.
Revenge: The primary motivation behind everything he's done since his parents' deaths.
Revenge Before Reason: Subverts this (episodes 11-13), plays it straight (Eps. 21-23), and then averts it (Eps. 24-25).
Rookie Red Ranger: A subversion, since he joined the HeroTV superheroes for entirely personal reasons that had nothing to do with helping people. Post-timeskip he becomes much more enthusiastic about his job (if only because of his wish to be a better partner to Kotetsu).
Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: He's been focused on becoming a superhero for four-fifths of his life, and as a result has developed a very odd personality; he knows exactly how to behave in public in order to inspire awe and boost popularity, but flounders badly when it comes to personal relationships. Throw in the "absolute trust or complete mistrust, nothing in-between" bit and you've got a guy with a very weird form of No Social Skills.
School Idol: According to Episode 8, he was one during his days at Hero Academy.
Principle Massini:I don't if you realized it but the whole school looked up to you! You even had a fan club, that never happened before! They all wore glasses in the same style as yours. Barnaby: Stop, please. You're embarrassing me.
Single Issue Psychology: Subverted. It's heavily implied that his current asocial tendencies and unusual personality is the product of not one but two factors; while witnessing his parents' murder is the more overtly stated and obvious one, Maverick's toying around with his mind apparently affected him quite a bit.
Smart People Build Robots: Word Of God has it that he would've gone on to become a robotics engineer had his parents not been killed.
Skilled, but Naive: His inexperience is sometimes rather obvious, despite him being very skilled in the technical aspects of combat.
Slave to PR: Is pretty enthusiastic about maintaining his public image.
The One That Got Away: According to the character questionnaire A 100 Questions, his first and only crush was on a girl he met at the Hero Academy; but he was convinced that his feelings were unrequited and never attempted to pursue a relationship with her.
There Are No Therapists: He shows several signs (frequent nightmares and faulty recollections of his parents' murder scene, extreme social withdrawal, emotional irregularity, blunted affect note See the "Frozen Face" entry, above etc.) that suggest he's suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. But apparently no-one ever bothered to help the poor guy overcome his problems. Somewhat justified considering what his trusted mentor and guardianturned out to be like, but still...
This Is Unforgivable: Says it several times; in Episode 20 when he learns of Samantha's murder, in Ep. 23 after Maverick informs them of his kidnapping the other heroes and Kaede, and again in Ep. 25 upon believing that Kotetsu is dead.
Tranquil Fury: For a majority of the time when he was fighting Jake.
Trauma-Induced Amnesia: For twenty years, he was incapable of recalling the face of his parents' killer. Later on, it's revealed that his memories were in fact altered to hide the murderer's true identity, thus counting as a subversion.
Was It Really Worth It?: Averted regarding his revenge against Jake. Rather than feeling lost or despondent without his motivation since childhood, he finally feels free to enjoy life and find meaning in being a hero for its own sake.
Episode 18 proves that it might not be a good idea to base your happiness on exacting revenge after all; because everything might just go tumbling back when you realize you've actually failed at it. He ponders the same question halfway through Episode 25.
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He's not very fond of fire due to the circumstances of his parents' death. In Episode 9 he has a panic attack seeing Kotetsu playing with a taser in a burning building.
Windows to the Soul: Green Eyes to go with his in-series potrayal as being 'exotic' and 'seductive' — it also counts as a subversion since you learn that neither is actually true once you see past his public face.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Because she sees heroism as a way to an idol career, she's unfriendly and competitive with the other heroes. After Episode 4, she realizes that she likes saving people more than she thought and she starts being more amicable.
Eating the Eye Candy: Admits to her herself that she's been having quite a bit of trouble keeping her eyes off Kotetsu.
Faux Action Girl —> Action Girl: She's a conflicted teen trying to live up to her public image as a domineering badass despite poor combat abilities, a ridiculously impractical costume, and serious misgivings about her job. She still gets stuff done because she genuinely wants to save people, but it's telling that one of her named, publicized special moves, the 'Cutie Escape', involves ducking and running from whatever criminal menace is trying to reduce her to a smear on the pavement this week. She becomes a more genuine Action Girl later, though.
Her motif is derived from her Product Placement. Suntory (the company that developed Pepsi NEX) also helped develop the first genetically engineered blue rose.
Freeze Ray: A variant. Ice manipulation is her natural power as a NEXT, but she uses a pair of water guns to focus and direct them (though Blue Rose needs to reload her water guns from time to time – she uses special clips she hides in her suit).
Glass Cannon: She has rather powerful NEXT abilities, but when your sponsors make you wear that kind of suit into combat, you understandably shrink at the sight of guns. In fact everyone else except the rest of the "girls team" (Fire Emblem and Dragon Kid) wear armoured costumes... and those two can either vaporise or dodge bullets, respectively.
Nice Hat: She wears one both in and out of her superhero costume.
Not Quite Flight: Can use her ice to launch herself from the ground, as seen in Episode 2. Can also can make "ice slides" like Iceman, as seen in Episode 7. She also propels herself up while freezing the water shot from her guns.
Romancing The Widower: The latter half of Episode 25 shows that she's decided to do this despite her initial qualms. She even provided the new picture for the main trope page!
Romanticized Abuser: Deconstructed — despite this being one of her marketing points, poor Karina's a little unnerved when she reads some fan comments in the Drama CD that see her as this:
Karina: It's weird, but I seem to mess up on everything I do lately. I don't have any motivation any more. So please verbally abuse me!' All right let's... wait, verbally abuse you? Ah, um... thank you for your comment, let's move along.
Criminal: Who are you guys!? Tiger: You mean us? We're— Blue Rose: We're the heroes of this town! [steps on the criminals face] My name is Blue Rose. We keep the peace in Sternbild at all times! Tiger: ...What she said.
Stripperiffic: Another reason why she dislikes frontline superheroing — costumes designed to maximize sex appeal aren't all that great for withstanding bullets.
Threshold Guardians: Episode 4 is A Day in the Limelight episode about Blue Rose making a decision about quitting her job as a superhero, with various people urging her in both directions. Near the end of the episode, she gets a call from the bar she's been moonlighting at as a singer, and an alert that there's an emergency at the exact same time. She chooses the bar, but seeing her hero friends put their lives at risk on the news brings her back just in time for a Big Damn Heroes moment.
Took a Level in Badass: Becomes a much more competent and confident crimefighter over the course of the series.
Triple Shifter: High school student, superhero, and part-time lounge singer.
Blue Rose: Did you have a fight with Barnaby or something? Kotetsu: No, nothing like that. Are you worried about him? Blue Rose: What?! Of course not! [kicks him roughly in the Achilles tendon with the heel of her boot, shoves him off-stage and whispers to herself] Who do you think I'm doing all this for?
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: According to the movie, in costume she uses her power to freeze her natural hair into the fancy hairstyle she wears as Blue Rose.
Zettai Ryouiki: Grade A in her civilian clothes. Her Blue Rose costume uses really long boots to achieve a similar effect.
Overshadowed by Awesome: His ability is one of the broadest of the main heroes, and is the only one that is constantly active. And while it seems like his abilities are fantastic, he's treated as a Butt Monkey mostly because Kotetsu and Barnaby have much more potent versions of his abilities, even if they're limited.
Super Strength: Tiger and Barnaby are stronger when charged up, but he's still able to lift an armored car over his head. Might not be an explicit power of his, though - see the Powered Armour entry above.
Voiced by:Mariya Ise (JP), Laura Bailey (EN) Power:Fulgurkinesis Affiliation: Odysseus Communication Suit Advertisements: Calbee (Japanese food company) / DMM (Japanese website) / DAM [in the first movie]
A young Kung Fu fighter armed with a staff and able to produce lightning. Tomboyish by nature, she has a good heart and is often willing to help someone out if need be. She has a vaguely Chinese-styled uniform.
Action Girl: A somewhat more reliable one than Blue Rose.
Ambiguously Gay: Although there are no hints of it in the actual series, it's strongly implied in one of the Drama CDs that she has a crush on Karina/Blue Rose.
Voiced by:Go Inoue (JP), Patrick Seitz (EN) Power:Aerokinesis Affiliation: Poseidon Line Suit Advertisements: Tamashii Nations (Bandai's subsidiary figure company) / Ustream (American streaming website) / Movix / T-Joy [the latter two in the first movie]
One of the most popular heroes in Sternbild and winner of at least two "King of Heroes" titles. As a result, he always attempts to be the ultimate role model to other heroes, to the point of always seeming to be "in character". He is able to fly with a rocket backpack and has the power to control the wind.
The Ace: A handsome All American Face (whether or not Sternbild is anywhere near America) and current "King of Heroes". He avoids this trope's more insufferable traits, however, and comes across as a Nice Guy and even a bit of a ditz.
Blow You Away: Enough control for harmless yet painful wind blasts, deadly Razor Wind or even an explosion of supercompressed oxygen.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: According to Agnes, his goofiness and non-sequiturs are part of his charm.
Catch Phrase: "Arigatou! Soshite, arigatou!" ("Thanks! And thanks again!") Kotetsu and Agnes comment on how Camp it is directly in front of him. He also uses his code name as one in various situations.
He also uses "Today my maximum wind speed is off the charts!" in big confrontations.
Chaste Hero: Becomes incredibly nervous trying something as simple as holding a girl's hand.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In Episode 22, Kaede would've had a chance to restore Barnaby's memories if Sky High hadn't patted her shoulder, inadvertently giving her his powers in place of Maverick's memory manipulation powers. To his defense, not even she was aware of how her powers worked at the time.
Razor Wind: Uses this against the Teddy Bear piloted mechas in Episode 10.
Second Place Is for Losers: This fact brings some criticism from people in the streets and his boss, but it is his need to be a role model that made him lose confidence in his abilities as a superhero.
Stuff Blowing Up: One of his most powerful attacks involves firing balls of hyper-compressed oxygen at the enemy, with predictable results.
"Why, you ask? It's because this place has the most delicious lemonade in the city!"
Workaholic: He does patrolling all night even when there's no crime to speak off. No wonder he has so many points.
Nathan Seymore (Fire Emblem)
Voiced by:Kenjiro Tsuda (JP), John Eric Bentley (EN) Power: Pyrokinesis Affiliation: Helios Energy Suit Advertisements: FMV (Fujitsu's PC brand) / Animate (Japanese anime/game/manga retailer) [since Episode 14] / Domino's Pizza [in the first movie]
An effeminate warrior with control over fire who often casually hits on the male heroes. Along with having a really outrageous appearance, Nathan is also shown to be very intelligent and observant. Nathan's company, Helios Energy, is self-owned, which also serves as Nathan's affiliate as a superhero.Though as noted below, he considers himself "gender-free", this article references him as male for the sake of convenience.
Agent Peacock: Both Nathan's hero costume and civvies are impossible to overlook.
All of the Other Reindeer: It is revealed in the Rising that during most of Nathan's early life, his sexuality and self-identity caused a lot of alienation from others, including Nathan's parents.
Force Field: Can create one with NEXT fire abilities powerful enough to vaporise bullets upon contact.
Gayngst: The Rising gives some insight into some of the homophobia Nathan had to endure when younger. Surprising considering Japan's usual relegation of such Camp Gay-esque characters to Butt Monkey status outside of Yaoi Genre works.
Heroic BSOD: Suffers this for quite some time in The Rising due to being forced to confront old traumas by Johnny Wong.
Hidden Depths: Besides being a sympathetic Team Mom, in Episode 7 Nathan is shown to be a good thinker and one who's not beyond having serious moments. It's also hinted in the show (and later confirmed by Word of God) that the Always Camp tendencies are at least partially affected. Also, while he's far from the best Hero according to the rankings, Nathan is still the most successful person on the team outside of HeroTV, being the CEO of several successful businesses.
Overshadowed by Awesome: Lunatic has the same powers as Nathan does, but Lunatic's powers are considerably more versatile. Nathan is also one of the lower-ranking NEXT in the HeroTV lists, which might have something to do with the fact that "shoot fire from your hands" is a power that's rather short on harmless (or at least non-lethal) uses for a job that's strictly Thou Shalt Not Kill. During the test in Episode 6, Kotetsu comments that - needing to prove his innocence - Nathan is being a lot more aggressive than usual with these NEXT powers, to the point that the building is at risk of collapse.
Even applies in-universe as public surveys done by the Hero TV people show an increased interest in Lunatic over the heroes.
Team Mom: Happy to lend a sympathetic ear to other heroes' problems.
Transsexual: Nathan was born biologically male, uses female Japanese Pronouns (though this is not an uncommon practice among non-trans homosexuals as well), and self-describes as "one of the girls". Word of God states that Nathan considers himself to be "gender-free". Also, in the 6th Drama CD Nathan files a request to Yuri Petrov for a gender-neutral locker room.
Triple Shifter: Superhero and CEO that runs additional side businesses as a hobby.
Twofer Token Minority: Black (even more of a minority in Japan than America) transgender person of some flavor or other.
Voiced by:Nobuhiko Okamoto (JP), Michael Sinterniklaas (EN) Power:Shapeshifting Affiliation: Hesperides Finance Suit Advertisements: .ANIME (Anime goods website) / Livedoor (Japanese blogging service) / NamuChara Ouendan (of Namco) / Takasu Clinic (An actual beauty clinic) [the latter three are since Episode 14] / Bandai Visual Club / MiniMini [the latter two in the first movie]
A Japanophile in a vaguely ninja-themed costume who engages himself more in advertising than in actual crime-fighting.
Bishōnen: Katsura was explicitly told by one of his producers to draw a "hot guy who looks like a lead character". Said character was Ivan.
Fuuma Shuriken: In costume has one in his back, but seems to be purely aesthetic. Though as it turns out when he uses it to escape Rotwang's cell in Episode 24 and to fight in Episode 25, it's actually an Absurdly Sharp Blade.
Glory Hound: Takes this to its logical (though fairly harmless) extreme. He's always in the thick of the action, but never for one moment longer than is necessary for the media to recognise his presence. As a result, his catalogue of actual heroic deeds is near-vanishingly small (HeroTV even calls him "Hidden Hero"). Episode 8 reveals that it's due to his lack of confidence in his abilities to accomplish anything, at least not until Kotetsu inspires him to make the effort.
Heroic Self-Deprecation: He thinks his power is worthless for saving people and hates himself for the incident with Edward.
I Will Wait for You: Vows to wait for Edward to consummate his prison time and fix their broken friendship.
It's All My Fault: Back when he was still in training, Ivan hesitated to help Edward stop a hostage situation, which led to the latter accidentally killing the hostage and destroying any chance of a superhero career before it even started.
Keigo: As Origami Cyclone he speaks like a stereotypical samurai complete with the appropriate Japanese Pronouns and sentence enders, de gozaru.
Let's Get Dangerous: In the finale. Notably, he stopped Maverick from escaping while everyone else was busy with Kotetsu not being dead.
Master of Disguise: Thanks to his powers, he's got a bit of a head start on other examples of the trope.
Stealth Hi/Bye: Uses his hero status almost exclusively for photobombing purposes initially.
Took a Level in Badass: While he wasn't able to earn enough points at the end of the HeroTV season to dig himself out of last place, it's implied that he's continued to be more confident and active in his superhero work after Episode 8. Compare him simply popping up in the background in the beginning of the series to his parts in the final battle.
Threshold Guardians: In Episode 8, the return of a vengeful former friend forces Ivan to confront his feelings of inadequacy as a Hero which his theatrics hide. After a pep talk from Kotetsu, he manages to put his powers to good use and resolves to be a real Hero.
Power:Gravity Control Affiliation: Apollon Media Suit Advertisements: BANPRESTO / DARTSLIVE / TANITAA rookie hero from outside of Sternbild that has come to the city to take up a lucrative contract with Hero TV's new management in The Rising. He's paired up with Barnaby to help promote the latter's return to the First League hero set and to act as a replacement for the retiring Kotetsu. Despite his massive ego and penchant for overblown bravado, he proves to be an exceptionally competent and driven crime fighter.
Animal Motifs: Griffins, complimenting the mascot of Apollo Media.
Ascended Extra: A younger version of him can be seen on a billboard advertising "Gravity" before his proper appearance in the Rising.
But Now I Must Go: He leaves Sternbild City at the end of the Rising. Partially due to getting better offers elsewhere, and also because he doesn't want to break up the partnership between Kotetsu and Barnaby.
Palette Swap: His mask is basically a golden version of Wild Tiger's minus the mohawk and with wings attached. This is hardly surprising, given that Saito also designed his suit. His hairstyle is also a blonde and neater version of Kotetsu's.
Punny Name: Ryan is a homonym for Lion, which his suit and icon heavily resemble.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A cat themed superhero working for Apollon media with a similar set of armor to Wild Tiger's, who he is replacing. Ryan himself doesn't really liked being compared to his predecessor and would rather people judge him by his own merits.
Cool Old Guy: He was a superhero even when he got over the hill, even if it some of it was faked.
Domestic Abuser: Mr. Legend fell hard when he lost his powers, and combined with his drinking, he started hitting his wife. He also hit his son when he tried to stop Legend. That didn't work out so well for him.
Fake Ultimate Hero: Once he started to lose his powers, some of his arrests were staged by HeroTV and in consequence his mythical record wasn't really such.
Fallen Hero: From the first and the best to an alcoholic domestic abuser.
Immune to Bullets: He walks right through a hail of bullets to take down the guy firing them.
Old Superhero: An unusual variation — rather than being a young, athletic hero who since retired and let himself go, Mr. Legend performed many of his heroics whilst an overweight middle-aged man... and was no less effective for it. Well, until his powers started fading, at which point his heroics were staged.
A mysterious NEXT who manipulates blue flames. Since he has a peculiar idea of justice, making killers atone for their deeds with their lives, he is not compatible with the other heroes. His secret identity is Yuri Petrov, a Sternbild judge and son of Mr. Legend.
Abusive Parents: While Mr. Legend was a nice enough parent while he was a hero, he slowly descended into this and alcoholism once he was Brought Down to Normal... Also, Lunatic/Yuri seems to hallucinate from time to time that his father's spirit is reprimanding him.
Freudian Excuse: His father, Mr. Legend, turned to drinking and abuse once his powers started to fade away but was being forced to keep up on public appearances. Once confronted with the truth, he turns on Yuri, blaming him. The reaction actually isn't that off, since many real-life abuse victims actually do try and explain or cover for their abusers. This may not excuse his actions, but he's got one messed-up family.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a massive burn across his face that he routinely covers with make-up. It's the result of his father attempting a Face Palm of Doom on him after Yuri set his hand on fire.
Intangible Man: 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.
Kick the Dog: Going after Edward, one of the show's more sympathetic criminals, served as a timely reminder that he is, in fact, a villain.
Kick Them While They Are Down: He's got a bad habit of going after criminals even after they've been arrested, imprisoned, or otherwise neutralised, such as the prisoners he fried in Episode Six and Albert Maverick after he wiped his own mind.
Knight of Cerebus: The first villain in the show who's treated entirely seriously, and responsible for the first on-screen deaths as well.
Knight Templar: He kills criminals that have slipped through the law's fingers.
Lightning Bruiser: His flames are hotter than Fire Emblem's and he can use them to rapidly propel himself through the air. He's also resilient enough to take a direct hit from Kotetsu (while the latter's Hundred Power was activated) without flinching.
No Arc in Archery: He can hit someone with his crossbow from halfway across the city. While standing on top of a skyscraper. When his target was in a parking structure. Probably justified by him being able to control the trajectory, meaning the crossbow is just for style.
Villainous Rescue: He saved Kotetsu from the other heroes when they had been brainwashed by a villain (long story).
Villain with Good Publicity: After years of exclusively being served idealistic, squeaky-clean heroes, fans love him. Though with the popularity boost the regular heroes get after defeating Ouroboros's attack, his success is short-lived.
Fantastic Racism: Revealed in Episode 23 and likely an inspiration for his work.
Mad Scientist: He's nuttier than a bag full of almonds and builds robots to fight the heroes.
Psychopathic Manchild: He uses such juvenile names as "creepy" and "freaky" to describe NEXT in the dub. In the original he refers to them as "bakemono" or monsters, which is a rather exorbitant word and often associated with mythology.
Sadistic Choice: Gives this to the captured heroes he put explosive leashes on. Either (A), a hero could deactivate their own explosives to save themselves, but detonate the others; or (B), trust that Tiger and Barnaby can defeat H-01, but if the pair lost to it, they would all detonate. And if any of them used their NEXT powers, he would detonate them himself.
Then he reveals in Episode 24 that trying to deactivate their own explosive will cause them all to detonate, and that he had no intention of letting any of them live. When H-01 loses, he goes back on his word and attempts to kill them anyway.
Deathbed Confession: To Barnaby regarding Oroborous' involvement in his parents' death. Or lack thereof, as the case may be.
Driven to Suicide: After learning of Jake's death, she kills herself by removing her IVs and unplugging her life-support.
Fantastic Racism: Was a victim of this in her childhood. When she was young, everyone (including her own parents) hated/feared her because she was a NEXT. Inverted in that once she joined up with Jake, she became a rabid supporter of NEXT supremacy and discriminates against 'normal' people.
Minor Injury Overreaction: Goes absolutely nuts when Kotetsu, the hero he's spent the entire episode mocking as being worthless and pathetic, manages to be the only hero to land a hit on him - and accidentally, no less! Unfortunately, this doesn't end well for Kotetsu, who has to be rushed to the ICU after the ordeal.
Multicolored Hair: He's dyed it to be a mixture of pink and blond. It was black 21 years before and brown while he was in prison.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Against Wild Tiger, especially after Kotetsu actually managed to kick him in the face by accident.
Pet the Dog: He kidnapped Kriem for ransom money, but due to her NEXT abilities, her parents abandoned her and didn't pay. He cheered her up and let her go. In the end, she joined him.
I Surrender, Suckers: Inverted. When he sees Lunatic approach, he immediately attacks. When that fails, he offers to come along quietly. Unfortunately for him, he didn't seem to get the memo on Lunatic's method of handling unrepentant Serial Killers.
One of the three mysterious villains in the second movie.
Badass Grandpa: He has rather deadly NEXT power that he needs to get in close proximity to work. However, his high agility and deadly skill with staff make him a formidable adversary to the heroes even without his NEXT power.
Ship Tease: Despite her looks and style, gets just one with Barnaby when he saves her from one of the kidnappers in Episode 9. There was a clearly noticeable moment right after when she couldn't take her eyes off his face (and he was awfully close to her).
President and CEO of Apollon Media, the company responsible for HeroTV and sponsor company for Wild Tiger and Barnaby. He was a longtime associate of the Brooks family, and took Barnaby in after his parents were murdered.
Big Bad Friend: Even though he raised Barnaby (or so he would have everyone think), he was behind Barnaby's parents deaths all along, as well as Rotwang.
Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Has a prominent one on his tie right around when he gets revealed as the Big Bad. Makes sense, as he's continually "killing" and replacing other people's memories.
The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: He may have originally created HeroTV to promote NEXT rights and keep the city safe and prosperous, but if so, that rapidly took a back seat to the lure of money and power.
Driven to Suicide: Follows the spirit if not the letter - during his arrest, he opts to wipe his own mind, leaving himself a drooling vegetable, rather than give away anything about Ouroboros.
Empty Shell: In the final episode, he uses his power to give himself a virtual lobotomy after his confession is broadcast live.
The Extremist Was Right: Thanks to his management, HeroTV is a smash hit, and the positive exposure of NEXT heroes has significantly reduced anti-NEXT prejudice over the decades of its run. However, this is because he supplied tech to the criminal organization Ouroboros, who in turn provided criminals for the heroes to capture, and it becomes increasingly clear over the show's run that a lot of his actions are far from necessary for the greater good.
Fake Memories: His NEXT power, which he uses to great effect on Barnaby, and later on against the other heroes as well.
I Have Your Wife: Or I Have Your Daughter anyway. He captures Kaede along with the other heroes in the final two episodes, Unfortunately for him, she's her father's daughter.]]
Karmic Death: Both his figurative and actual deaths count. After using his Psychic Power to wipe other people's memories, he ends up using it to give himself a virtual lobotomy. Also, as the CEO and President of Apollo Media, he is at least partially responsible for Mr. Legend's fall (and in turn Lunatic's philosophy of murdering criminals), which makes his Vigilante Execution by Lunatic karmic.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Tries to paint himself as one when his plans failed, but the show makes it clear that he'd gone off the rails a long time ago. Replacing NEXT superheroes with robots, for instance, is not the best idea if you want to combat anti-NEXT prejudice.
Albert's subordinate on Apollon Media that relays the company's orders to Kotetsu. Shown to be very business-oriented, the only thing he cares about is getting the most out of his employees, whether they like it or not.
Catch Phrase: "If you don't like it, you can quit." Amusingly enough, Tiger and Barnaby's meteoric rise in popularity after defeating Jake leaves him horrified at the very notion.
Jerkass: Takes way too much pleasure in reminding Kotetsu that he's an expendable corporate asset. Until the Time Skip, anyway.
Director of TopMag's Hero Division and Wild Tiger's old boss, before the division was closed and Tiger was handed over to Apollon Media.
Bearer of Bad News: Was the one who informed Kotetsu that he was apparently losing his powers.
Benevolent Boss: Was one to Wild Tiger. And since he's made CEO of Apollon Media in the season finale, he most likely resumes this role.
Big Damn Heroes: Saves Kotetsu from a brainwashed Ivan and Pao-Lin without a second thought.
How the Mighty Have Fallen: From director of TopMag's Hero Division to a mere taxi driver. A sad subversion since, unlike most examples of the trope, he was a genuinely caring boss to Kotetsu. Although, as Episode 12 reveals, he doesn't seem to mind it, as he is more worried about Kotetsu's new lease of superhero life (and what seems to be an impending loss of his powers) than anything else. Ultimately subverted in the last episode, when he is promoted as the new president of Apollon Media.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: He is just as bad as Maverick in this regard. It's telling that Lunatic, the vigilante who usually goes after murderers, decides that he should be judged and hunts him down.
Genius Ditz: Just look at his amazing and very original upgrades for the suits.
Insufferable Genius: Saito is insistent to make sure that Kotetsu knows just how awesome the Powered Armor he made for him is (like, say, forcing him to be the "victim" in a crime scene replication so he can feel the suit's fire-resistance capabilities for himself).
Although we see exactly how justified Saito's pride is in the finale. Even when everyone thinks Kotetsu is dead, the fact that the suit just broke instead of melting completely after being hit with that laser is pretty damn awesome.
Does Not Know Her Own Strength: Her power is to copy the power of the last NEXT she's touched. Thus, she spends some time accidentally destroying damn near everything she touches after temporarily acquiring her father's Hundred Power abilities.
Sternbild City’s Administration of Justice’s judge as well as the TV hero’s curator. He takes into account the actual situations of all of the various matters and state of affairs of the damages caused to goods during Hero TV. Therefore, he fairly judges indemnities and other such judicial decisions. He's also the criminal-killing NEXT, Lunatic.
Chekhov's Gunman: Appears in Episode 1 in the background of the after-party behind Blue Rose.
Patricide: He killed his abusive father while trying to protect his mother.
Reasonable Authority Figure: He will always do his research on a criminal if he suspects something fishy with their case. Even if the whole city believes otherwise. This proved vital to Kotetsu's remaining free when he was chased by his brainwashed friends.
Scars Are Forever: He has a burn scar with the shape of his father's hand he covers with make up.
Superpowerful Genetics: His father was Mr. Legend, but he diligently follows his own version of superheroics after having lost faith in the method Legend was promoting before he lost his powers.
A former housekeeper of the Brooks family who Barnaby is still friendly with. She sends him a cake on his birthday every year. She eventually finds proof that suggests Maverick tampered with Barnaby's memories. After Maverick finds this out he has her captured and murders her, while framing Kotetsu for it.