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Anime / Tiger & Bunny

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Wild Tiger: As long as there's a glimmer of hope, a real hero never leaves a life behind!
Barnaby: You still stand by that idealistic nonsense?
Wild Tiger: Don't stop me.
Barnaby: I never said anything about stopping you.
Wild Tiger: Huh?
Barnaby: As long as there's a glimmer of hope, a real hero never leaves a point behind.

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 professional 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 channel "HeroTV", which awards "Hero Points" to superheroes for their 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 superhero is Kotetsu T. Kaburagi—hero name, "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 new hero entering the business starting the upcoming season who has the exact same superpower as him, and whose cynical and modern approach to crimefighting clashes horribly with Kotetsu's old-school sensibilities.

Tiger & Bunny was a year 2011 Anime First produced by Sunrisenote  directed by Keiichi Sato, and featured original character/hero suit designs by Masakazu Katsura. The title was then simulcast in North America by Viz Media), in France by KZPlay, in the UK by Anime on Demand, and in Australia by Siren Visual on ANN.

The success of the first TV series, now labeled as Tiger & Bunny Season One, led to the release of two movie features for the franchise:

  • Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning (September 2012)—A partial Compilation Movie of Season One’s first two episodes with added new content and a new villain.
  • Tiger & Bunny: The Rising (February 8, 2014)—The Immediate Sequel to Season One.

Set as the direct sequel to The Rising, Tiger & Bunny Season Two premiered in year 2022 under the direction of Atsuko Kase, with Masakazu Katsura back on board with character/hero suit design, and Keiichi Sato as lead scriptwriter. Season Two have 25 episodes in total; with the first 13 episodes released on Netflix starting April 8, 2022, and the rest of the episodes released on October 7, 2022.

Late Arrival Spoiler Warning: Given the long Sequel Gap between Seasons One and Two, spoilers are bound to be present and lifted.

Tiger & Bunny contains examples of:

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     The Series in General 
  • Affectionate Parody/Deconstructive Parody: Cheerfully pokes fun at and deconstructs western superhero conventions whilst maintaining the firm idealism that gave the original stories their charm.
  • Alliterative Name: The principal hero duo, their direct family members, and their mirrored lowerclassmen have the common ground of alliterative Theme Naming.
    • B: Barnaby Brooks Jr. and his father, Barnaby Brooks.
    • K: Kotetsu T. Kaburagi and his daughter, Kaede Kaburagi
    • S: Subaru Sengoku
    • T: Thomas Taurus
  • Alternate Calendar: The setting takes place in a alternate city echoing New York City, and gave the year count in a relatable late 1970's to 1980's format but the universe in itself is much different, especially visible with Sternbild's high technology.
    • Season 1 took place in year 1978 N.C., NEXT have been appearing for 45 years, making their first appearance in 1933 N.C.—a possible Shout-Out to the beginning of the Golden Age of comic books.
  • 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 Hero TV works, details on the areas in and around Sternbild, etc.
  • All-Stereotype Cast: The superhero identities of the supporting cast rely heavily on stereotypes: sexy Ms. Fanservice superheroine Karina, bull-themed Dashing Hispanic Antonio, dragon-themed Bruce Lee Clone Chinese Girl Pao-Lin, ditzy, nice All American Face Keith, and flamboyant note Nathan play this trope straight; Ivan plays with it by having his identity being a stereotypical ninja/samurai but is instead a Russian Japanophile.
  • All There in the Script: Most minor and criminal characters are only listed within the script, and were not mentioned in the show. A few lucky ones would get their names out on the ending credits, but most failed to be listed. Voice actors would out the names to the public when given the chance.
    • Keith Goodman during Season One, practically everyone just calls him by his hero name, “Sky High.”
    • Sternbild’s Hero Academy principal is named Timo Massini.
    • Jolly, the Wild Tiger fan in Season Two.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • Sky High overshadows Wild Tiger so much that criminals want to be arrested by him instead of Wild Tiger.
    • Barnaby has the same powers as Wild Tiger, but is younger, good-looking, seen as more competent, and better regarded by the corporate sponsors in comparison to Wild Tiger.
    • Golden Ryan also became this to Wild Tiger in The Rising. He's an upcoming star who the new boss of Apollon blatantly favors, is more powerful, and is served to replace Wild Tiger. Despite Kotetsu's feelings towards him, pretty much everyone else views him as an obnoxious snob preferring Kotetsu's commitment to old fashion heroics and fairness to Ryan's showmanship.
  • Americasia: The city of Sternbild is located within a fictionalized country similar to The United States, with Sternbild resembling New York City. However, despite the realistic usage of character namings, the ethnicities of the people living in this setting are not matched to any non-fictional countries.
    • Kotetsu's family lives in Oriental Town; a town that's based on rural Asian villages. Subaru's hometown, Panjani City also based their name from a scrambled "Japan."
  • Animal Motifs: Some of the heroes have this going for them. Four of them have animals that are found in the Eastern Zodiac and/or The Four Gods.
    • Dragon: Pao-Lin/Dragon Kid.
    • Ox: Antonio/Rock Bison.
    • Rabbit: Barnaby/"Bunny".
    • Tiger: Kotetsu/Wild Tiger.
    • Phoenix: Nathan/Fire Emblem.
  • Animesque: Inverted. The show aims to have a Western comic book feeling.
  • As You Know: The series opens with one directly to the audience — the Hero TV audience, that is.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The name of the city, Sternbild, is German for "constellation".
    • The heavy use of Englishnote  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.
  • 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 math.
  • Bland-Name Product: While many of the products and companies in the show are real for obvious reasons, there are fake ones as well. Pwitter, for example.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • All the NEXT students Tiger mentors in S1 Episode 8 have varied powers such as hair manipulation, neck stretching, leg stretching, and sweating a lot.
    • Shown on Season 2, based on how Kaede used her powers, Kaede's friend, Saloja is able to puffing her chin up like a frog to hot-air balloon proportions.
  • "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 hero-suited Wild Tiger, and any of the heroes in gag mode in as many odd poses as they could come up with.
  • Book Ends:
    • Season 1 begins and ends with an episode of Hero TV and an Embarrassing Rescue.
    • Both first and last episodes of that same season have a scene where Nathan is hitting on Antonio, to the latter's obvious displeasure and annoyance.
    • Season 2 begins in the snowy day where Barnaby has being held by Fugan and Mugan, and ends in the same environment where the Hero Museum is build to commemorate the former first Buddy Hero.
  • Bridal Carry: Barnaby saves Kotetsu when they first meet by carrying him in his arms. Later in the episode it gets lampshaded, at Kotetsu's expense.
  • Clark Kenting:
    • Wild Tiger wears only a classic superhero mask with his normal outfit when he's not in his hero suit. Lampshaded in S1 Episode 20; when Kotetsu puts on his mask in front of a guard to prove he's Wild Tiger, the guard says that with that beard and mask, anyone could be Wild Tiger.
    • By far, all female superheroes, Blue Rose, Dragon Kid, and Magical Cat change into costumes complete with makeup, colorful wigs, and contact lenses. But this seems to be enough to conceal their identities.
  • Clothing Damage:
    • Saito, 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 S1 Episode 6, which proves Saito's new suit is far more durable.
    • The Apollon Wild Tiger suit is damaged quite a few times. Jake cracks the visor on the helmet (S1.E12), Barnaby breaks the "Good Luck Mode" arm (S1.E23), and H-01's gun destroys most of the front of the suit (S1.E24).
    • Saito does it again with Golden Ryan's old suit he's replacing as a callback to the demonstrations he did with Tiger's suit in The Rising. He's dismayed that Ryan didn't have anywhere near the emotional connection to the copies of his old suit Koutetsu did, and the repeated destruction of them in the demo doesn't result in that big of a reaction.
  • 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, but it's been implied to indicate the NEXT who has a different color other than blue holds more than one power to play with.
    • The two protagonists' signature colors 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 color 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.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Word of God has confirmed that those minor characters you think resemble famous people (Mayor Obama, for example) are based on said famous people.
  • Cool Bike: Kotetsu and Barnaby have matching ones that can combine. Blue Rose is seen riding on one in S1 Episodes 1 and 4, but doesn't actually maneuvered it until S1 Episode 7.
  • 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 S1 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.
  • Corporate-Sponsored Superhero: The premise of the show.
  • 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 Season 1; 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.
  • Differently Powered Individual: Humans evolving into persons with supernatural powers are called "NEXT;" as in Noted Entities with eXtraordinary Talents.
  • 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).
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • 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 S1 Episode 2.
    • Later on we're introduced to Jake Martinez, who's basically a NEXT supremacist.
    • S1 Episode 18 reveals that Kriem, Jake's girlfriend and fellow supremacist, was painfully on the receiving end of that prejudice against them as a kid, which resulted in her becoming who she is.
    • There are indications that Hero TV in part was created to fight the prejudice and it worked, based on how much more accepted the NEXT have become.
    • Rotwang from Episodes 15, 23 and 24 is a rabid anti-NEXT.
    • The second half of Season 2 deals with the increased prejudice against NEXT after many NEXT lose control of their powers and go berserk, causing destruction around the city. Because of this, many NEXT, who haven't gone berserk including the heroes, face a lot of persecution from the public. Because of this, the Mayor of Sternbild forces all the NEXT to evacuate the city for their safety while the heroes are compelled to give up their superhero activities and join in the evacuation. It turns out Gregory Sunshine is responsible for this as part of Ouroboros' plan.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Sternbild City is a fantasy counterpart of New York City.
  • Fictional Currency: Stern Dollars.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Despite it having been remarked that Tiger doesn't make very much money as a hero, he lives alone in a giant two-story apartment in a major metropolis (Sternbild is a No Communities Were Harmed of New York City). Barnaby's apartment is also relatively large, though much smaller than Tiger's, but in his case at least it's justified, as he's already wealthy.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • By and large the series is known for its well-done English, but the episode names can be an example; they're actually English-language proverbs. In the preview for Ep. 5, Kotetsu lampshades this by complaining that he doesn't understand the title of the next episode. Most of the time he can't read them at all — even though he's supposed to speak English just fine.
      • In the dubbed version this is tweaked to him just not being able to deliver the titles as eloquently as they are originally, which arguably works for his character.
    • Episode 8 prominently features the phrase "Let's believe HEROES".
    • Episode 20 has a picture of Barnaby in Samantha's scrapbook with "Conglaturations" written on it.
  • Hero Academy/Superhero School: Ivan, Barnaby, and Thomas are graduates from Sternbild's Hero Academy.
  • Hero Insurance: Averted. The sponsors are billed for the destruction their heroes cause, explaining why Kotetsu starts out as one of the lowest-budget supers.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All episodes titles are English proverbs.
  • Yes! Pretty Cure 5: a Kowaina possessing a pile of teddy bears appears
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • How Kotetsu discovers the fundamental unwiseness of littering with a Banana Peel.
    • Mattia's boss was working for Ouroborus and had the power-boosting drug made for them. He ends up shot dead by an escaping Gregory Sunshine.
  • Layered Metropolis: Sternbild City 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.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Pretty much all the recurring characters (even Blue Rose) has one of these.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Double subverted and played straight. Only a few of the sponsored companies don't sell products related to the show, but most do actually held collaborations; aside from direct product lines from Bandai Namco Entertainment (of in itself includes Sunrise), the food and clothing related brands are usually the more hyped to release T&B collaborations.
    • Since most of the fanbase ages to mature adults, additional sponsored products began to show up in forms like credit cards (Epos), air travel (StarFlyer Airlines), and personalized seals (Itaindou)—which are important documentation items in East Asia. Then there’s Kleenex Japan getting ready to push out their collaboration products later in 2022.
  • Monochrome Casting: Character representation is deliberately and carefully averted, according to Ozaki.
  • Monster of the Week: As corporate-sponsored superheroes, Sternbild First Leagues are tasked to take on NEXT criminals that the police have trouble capturing.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: When Viz announced that their target market for this show were 14-25 year old males fangirls laughed at them with derision. Then Kotetsu's seiyuu, Hiroaki Hirata, revealed that his character was intended to appeal to 40-year-old men.
    • According to the producers the show was specifically designed to be enjoyed by working adults who may still read manga but don't watch anime anymore for various reasons, and may be interested in foreign (mostly American) TV series.
  • Name and Name: The title of the show.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
  • Official Cosplay Gear: For Season 1, Kotetsu's hat and wristwatch, Barnaby's jacket and belt, and even shirts that resemble the duo's power suits have been sold.
  • Power Glows: Whenever NEXTs activate their powers. Their eyes by default would glow blue, regardless of their original color.
    • Also parts of Kotetsu and Barnaby's suits glow when their powers are active.
  • Power of Trust: A frequently recurring theme.
  • Product Placement: Played straight and lampshaded, with real-life sponsors such as Bandai, Animate, Pepsi, and Kleenex.
    Jackson: You do understand who made you a hero, don't ya pal?
    Kotetsu: My sponsors, sir!
    Jackson: Good answer!
  • Randomly Gifted: Heredity seems to have little or nothing to do with being a NEXT, at least with the initial member of those who develop powers in a bloodline. This trope may be defied, however, in the initial crop's children, as both Yuri/Lunatic and Kaede develop powers and are the children of NEXTs.
  • Reality Show: Hero TV!
  • Recurring Extra:
    • For Season One, a girl with a pink scarf and a fox-backpack who caught herself in-between criminal chases for several episodes. She was even added to a scene in the Blu-ray release. And had speaking lines in Episodes 7, 10 and 22.
    • For Season Two, confirmed by Kotetsu’s voice actor, Hiroaki Hirata, Jolly the hardcore Wild Tiger fan is set to appear in every single episode through the full season. Though it turns out Jolly was officially absent for episode 18.
  • 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.
  • Running Gag:
  • Scenery Porn: The night view of Sternbild City is beautiful and the creators won't let you forget it.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • The Ouroboros symbol appearing on a Stern dollar on Season 1's epilogue is the major one.
    • Wild Tiger and Barnaby coming out of their 10-Minute Retirement and joining the Second League Heroes counts too.
    • Koutetsu getting promoted back up to the First League with Barnaby, and vowing to keep fighting regardless of what happens to his remaining power at the end of The Rising.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Heroes swinging from buildings. Which makes a lot more sense what with Sternbild's unique architecture.
    • Tiger's armor (and Barnaby to a lesser extent) take some design cues from Iron Man.
    • A few possible ones to Batman:
      • Karina Lyle (Blue Rose) sounds dangerously close to Selina Kyle (A.K.A. Catwoman).
      • The magazine that Kotetsu is reading at the beginning of Episode 18 includes a picture of a Palette Swapped version of Catwoman.
      • All of the clown-like imagery used by Ouroboros appears to be one to the Joker. A random Mook who takes a girl hostage with a gun looks like him as well.
      • The relationship between Jake and Kriem is reminiscent of the relationship between The Joker and Harley Quinn, right down to Kriem's red-and-black outfit with a playing card theme.
      • The bank in Kotetsu's flashback in Episode 2 is similar to the one at the beginning of The Dark Knight.
    • The comparison between Tiger's old and new armor is akin to a similar scene in The Incredibles.
    • Pao-Lin's clothes when she's out of costume (as seen in the intro and Episode 9) look rather like those of another short-haired blonde martial arts expert. The shoutout goes even earlier than that, to another very famous Chinese martial artist...
    • Episode 15 is a shout-out to Fritz Lang's Metropolis; the scientist is named Rotwang and there are homages to the android transformation effects.
      • The robot that Barnaby's parents are seen working on in this episode looks like Robby the Robot.
    • Sternbild's Phone Company logo is the old DC Comics logo with the letters SB instead of DC.
    • Rock Bison's eyepiece is the same shape as MagiGreen's.
    • H-01's eye visor is very similar to Kamen Rider Tiger's, appropriately enough.
    • Barnaby's backstory mirrors that of the 1989 Batman movie.
  • Show Within a Show: Hero TV.
  • Sigil Spam: From superhero logos, alliliation logos, sponsor logos, to HeroTV, this is to be expected, given the premise.
  • Signature Device: Heroes that work for Hero TV have the same communication wrist bands for Mission Control to contact heroes in times of emergency.
  • Skyscraper City: Sternbild is so tall it has been divided into levels.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: This series challenges different morality scales with each represented superhero. On one hand, the story celebrates idealistic old-fashioned heroism through Kotetsu, as well as acknowledging the cynical side through characters like Lunatic as well as a number of revelations—(Hero TV being in league with Ouroboros for instance)—that criticize superhero tropes.
  • Spiritual Successor: To The Big O - similar western themes, Scenery Porn, basically does with entire western superhero concept what Big O does with Batman.
  • Stock Footage: Good Luck Mode, and many of the CGI attacks by other superheroes are used with relish.
  • Super Registration Act: This trope has been in use for at least several decades and generally works without a hitch. The Justice Bureau approves all heroes and allows them to sign up with a sponsor company and serve as private law enforcement/celebrities (technically, it's possible to be a free agent without a sponsor, but it's almost unheard of). While only NEXT have been shown to be active as heroes, presumably anyone without a criminal record has the opportunity to become one. Any hero under investigation for criminal behavior is suspended until they're cleared of all charges. Damages are handled either by the sponsor company or, if a judge rules that property damage was necessary in order for a hero to do their job properly, by the state. However, the execution is marred by the very influential (the Mayor seems unwilling/unable to disagree with him) Maverick's collusion with Ouroborus to 'promote' NEXTs as superheroes, and the fact the judge that oversees hero-related cases is himself secretly a vigilante and killer.
  • Super Supremacist: Most of the villains are militant NEXT, militant anti-NEXT or one being manipulated by the other. The Big Bad of Season 1 is a subversion; he wanted to improve the public image of NEXT initially, but he did evil things when he stopped caring about that and went after more money and power.
  • Technicolor Fire: Fire Emblem has red-orange-yellow flames. Lunatic, meanwhile, has green-blue flames.
  • Time Skip:
    • Season 1 takes place in 1978 N.C., with ten months passed between S1 Episodes 13 and 14.
    • The epilogue of S1 ends a whole year after Maverick's case, connecting directly to the events of The Rising. (1979 N.C.)
    • According to the Japanese cast, Season 2 takes place six months after The Rising. (1980 N.C.)
  • Title Drop: The countdown of Good Luck Mode at the moment Wild Tiger and Barnaby simultaneously hit a villain. Doc Saito obviously gets Barnaby's nickname and placed it in their combat system.
    Computer Voice: Tiger & Bunny. Over and Out!
  • Transformation Sequence:
  • 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: Over the course of two years in-universe, with the exception of Barnaby (23-26), Kaede (9-12), Pao-Lin (13-16), Ivan (18-21) and Karina (16-19), nobody in the series have a confirmable set age.
    • Even though that was being said, Season 2 Director Kase confirmed at least the ages of new meats, Lara, Subaru, and Thomas are properly set. But they’re important to the plot, so she would not disclose any information and would ask all viewers to watch the full season to understand the story.
  • Virtual Training Simulation: As being sponsored by just about every heavyweight mega-corps in the world, HeroTV provides a complete state-of-the-art facility for the superheroes to train in.
  • 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.

     Season One & The Beginning 
  • And the Adventure Continues: Season 1 and The Rising ends with chats between Wild Tiger and Barnaby with messages along the lines of "let's get to work," and "the show must go on."
  • Anime Theme Song: Played with in the first episode of Season 1. Karina/Blue Rose is shown singing an ending song titled "Go NEXT".
  • Arc Words: The silly nickname Kotetsu gives Barnaby in Episode 2.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • The first three are the bank robbers from S1 Episode 1, who are murdered in S1 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.
    • The last criminal of S1 Episode 6.
    • The serial killer from S1 Episode 16.
    • Dr. Rotwang, who is sent falling to his death by Maverick due to no longer being of use to him.
    • 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.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • S1 Episode 25: Should you really be wearing 3-D glasses outside of a theater? At night? While driving?
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Kaede and Kotetsu plays this on the familial angle. As much as Kaede will insist she hates her father for not being there for her, she'll still be the first to set off on her own to rescue him when she learns he's in danger.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • Kotetsu and Barnaby pull this off in S1 Episode 10.
    • Wild Tiger and Blue Rose strike this pose as part of a stage show, but the implication of teamwork is immediately ruined when Blue Rose dodges a bad guy's attack, letting it hit Tiger in the back of the head.
  • 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.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Teddy Bears show up in S1 Episode 10. Kotetsu buys one for his daughter, then an army of them piloting mechas show up to attack the city in name of Ouroboros.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In S1 Episode 13, Kotetsu rushes out of the ICU to help Barnaby win the battle against Jake.
    • Lunatic of all people pulls one in S1 Episode 21 to save Kotetsu from being captured by his former allies.
    • In S1 Episode 24, Kaede saves the heroes (minus Kotetsu and Barnaby) when Rotwang is about to kill them all.
    • Three in S1 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.
  • Birthday Episode: Early in their partnership during Season 1, Kotetsu finds out Barnaby's birthday is coming up and 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.
  • 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 S1 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: I guess we've been like this since the very beginning. Right, Bunny?
      Barnaby: Yes, we seem to have a connection right from the start!
  • Breather Episode: S1 Episode 14, which takes place after the end of rather dramatic arc and right before the first heartbreaking episode in the series.
    • S1 Episode 17, though not without drama, is a restful interlude between the Wham Episode that is 16 and the plot developments in the episodes that followed.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The kid in the S1 Episode 2 was the target of this treatment. Kotetsu apparently got similar treatment in his youth.
  • Call-Back: The bar scene in S1 Episode 16 plays clips from the beginning of the first episode on the TV.
  • The Cavalry: Agnes and the Hero TV crew, turning the tables on Maverick in the finale.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Played straight in S1 Episode 5 with the diamond necklace.
    • Subverted in S1 Episode 23, where Kotetsu slaps Barnaby in a bid to jog his memory of their quarrel from S1 Episode 19. The attempt fails dismally, serving only to aggravate an already angered Barnaby.
      • Although S1 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 S1 Episode 2 where Kotetsu first used it.
  • Clear My Name:
    • In S1 Episode 6, Fire Emblem is accused of murder.
    • Kotetsu in S1 Episodes 20, 21, and 22.
  • Cliffhanger: S1 Episodes 11, 12, and pretty much every episode from 19 to 24.
  • 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 S1 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 S1 Episode 20.
    • In S1 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.
    • Kaede getting her power when she did, which ended up not only saving Kotetsu from being arrested by the other heroes when they didn't remember him, but also ended up saving all of the other heroes when she destroyed Rotwang's detonator. Also, happening to run into Maverick, and him happening to pat her head.
  • Cross Counter:
    • Kotetsu and Lunatic in S1 Episode 8.
    • Kotetsu and Barnaby in Episode 23.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Sky High and Rock Bison both in S1 Episode 12.
  • 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 S1 Episode 14, when Kotetsu's power runs out thirty seconds early. Remembering what happened in S1 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 S1 Episode 15, the second half of the series just keeps progressively getting darker. It took a short break in S1 Episode 17, which is only light-hearted in comparison, and then goes straight back. S1 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 S1 Episode 25, and the series ends on its usual positive, upbeat note.
  • Danger Room Cold Open: The opening to S1 Episode 3, which has Barnaby and Kotetsu arguing about which direction to attack from before Kotetsu accidentally draws sniper fire to himself...cue opening credits, and then the revelation that it's a simulation.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Season 1, several of the supporting characters have spotlight episodes: Karina in Episodes 4 and 14, Ivan in Episode 8, Pao-Lin in Episode 9, and Keith in Episode 15. And Lunatic in Episode 16.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: The end of S1 Episode 24 seems to be leading to a classic example, but this is subverted in Episode 25.
  • Disturbed Doves: In the first ending theme for Season 1, 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 S1 Episode 3 following Wild Tiger and Barnaby. It got somewhat derailed with the bomb threat.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Wild Tiger, a superhero 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. The one he's partnered up with is 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.
    • 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.
  • Downer Ending:
    • S1 Episode 15 certainly counts as this.
    • 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.
  • Dub Induced Plothole: The Netflix version removes the sponsorships from the characters. This is somewhat problematic when the sponsorships are major part of the show. Sponsors appearing on camera is important, for some characters more than others (Origami Cyclone in particular), which now makes a lot less sense with said sponsors removed.
    • Said dub also removes the stingers from most of the episodes, which also removes the official reveal of Kotetsu losing his powers in the stinger of episode 15, among other things.
  • 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.
  • Easter Egg: Several are explained here.
  • Engineered Public Confession: The Hero TV crew captures Maverick's entire monologue in the finale — and airs it on live TV.
  • 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.
  • Establishing Character Moment/What You Are in the Dark: An out-of-costume Barnaby passes by a crying child without batting an eye. Cue an out-of-costume Kotetsu passing the same kid and pulling off some impressive Le Parkour just to get the kid's balloon out of a tree.
  • "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.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Sky High's dog, John. Upon meeting Cis for the first time he barks and growls at her.
  • Evil Knockoff: Maverick and Rotwang created the combat android HN-01, the black suit fake Wild Tiger, to replace the real Wild Tiger.
  • Explosive Leash: The heroes who were defeated and captured were forced to wear them by Rotwang.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: The mecha in S1 Episode 6 has one that shoots blue flames out of its left arm.
  • Foreshadowing: During the bomb scare in Episode 3, Mary briefly hypothesizes that it might have been made up as a desperate publicity grab. Then Episode 19 rolls along, and it's revealed that Maverick has been collaborating with Ouroboros to make eye-catching, ratings-drawing crimes for heroes to thwart — like that big bomb scare.
  • Forgotten Birthday: Zig-Zagged in Episode 5. Kotetsu remembers one of Barnaby's fans saying it's his birthday the next day, so he plans a surprise birthday party/staged robbery with several other heroes. However, thanks to an actual robbery occurring at the same time things go amusingly awry.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Inverted in Episode 3. Kotetsu and Barnaby get filmed 24/7 as part of a reality show gimmick, and while Barnaby's open identity isn't an issue, Kotetsu just adds a mask to his civilian getup to remain as Wild Tiger. It works, too.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In Episode 3, Barnaby's computer has a folder entitled "Ouroboros" which contains the news clipping of his parents' death. The news clipping itself states that his parents were in fact famed robot engineers.
    • At the end of Episode 5 when a presumable bad guy throws away a newspaper that contains references to earlier episodes.
    • Also in Episode 10, we see that Mr. Legend was the one who captured the person who killed Barnaby's parents.
    • Look very carefully- Yuri's research on Kotetsu and Barnaby in the end of Episode 8 reveals, among other things, when Kotetsu made his debut and that he used to be a lot more successful. All of this is in 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 scene where Kotetsu's powers run out in Episode 1 which relates to their discussion of Kotetsu's powers going on the decline.
    • A magazine shot in Episode 21 indicates that someone managed to get Lunatic to sit down for an interview.
    • A close look at the foreground at the end of Episode 2 shows that Kotetsu is a Bob Marley fan.
    • Maverick's profile on Barnaby from Episode 23 raises the question of exactly how messed up Barnaby's memories really are, and how big a bastard Maverick really is.
    • Masayuki Ozaki confirms that the animators have a tendency to sneak in various real-world items for their own amusement (whereas Ozaki himself is responsible for some minor characters' suspicious resemblance to real-life actors). The most infamous of these is Kotetsu's cologne, the discovery of which triggered a major spike of its sales.
    • A short shot in the eleventh episode hints at one of the major reveals in the second half of the series: Jake doesn't have an Ouroboros tattoo on his hand, meaning he can't be the killer Barnaby remembers.
  • 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 Ouroboros in Episode 10 also have them, which Kotetsu manages to take advantage of.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Subverted. The Bitch Slap Kotetsu gives Barnaby during the latter's angry tirade in Episode 19 does not produce positive results.
  • Goo-Goo-Godlike: The Mayor's son, Sam, is a perfect example of why powerful psychic abilities shouldn't be given to a baby. But he is pretty good at defending himself when it really matters...
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The murder of The Ladykiller in Episode 16 and, more tragically, the murder of Samantha in Episode 20.
  • Have You Told Anyone Else?: Maverick to Barnaby in Episode 19. The answer was "yes"—and though this made matters much worse for Kotetsu, it did help Barnaby on the long run.
  • He Knows Too Much:
    • It's eventually revealed that Maverick killed Barnaby Brooks Sr. and his wife Emily because they discovered his allegiance to Ouroboros.
    • As of Episode 20, Maverick is out to eliminate Kotetsu.
    • In Episode 23, after Barnaby regains his memories, Maverick decides to get rid of him as well.
  • Heroic BSoD: Karina has a comedic one after discovering Kotetsu was married and has a kid.
    Antonio: Hey, Blue Rose, help us out!
    Karina: Daughter... Wife... Haha. Hahaha... (eye twitch)
    Antonio: It's no good. She's cracking up!
    • In a less comedic version: Barnaby does not take the revelation that Jake didn't kill his parents very well.
  • Heroic RRoD: There's rare cases of NEXT gaining a sudden boost in their abilities before they gradually fade away. Ben Jackson's afraid that this might be happening to Kotetsu.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted by Kotetsu in Episode 25, owing to Barnaby (and everyone else) forgetting to check his pulse before declaring him dead.
  • 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.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: In Episode 21 and the earlier part of Episode 22, it's Kotetsu vs. all the heroes thanks to Maverick's mental manipulations.
    • In tail end of Episode 22 and the first half of 23, it's Kotetsu vs. Barnaby.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Provided the targeting systems for the Ouroboros mechas.
  • * Killer Teddy Bear: Kriem has a NEXT ability that allows her to control a collection of creepy teddy bears that sold wildly throughout Sternbild in order to set off bombs and hold the entire city hostage.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After Barnaby first shows up, Agnes demands that they cut to commercial. Cue the real commercial break, which features Blue Rose. Expect to be confused.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: The villain of Episode 15 is an android driven to attack heroes due to electrical damage.
  • 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 has an open mouth long-eared pig mask.
    • In Episode 5 Karina, Antonio, Nathan, and Keith as the boss, pretended to be burglars to surprise Barnaby for his birthday. The former three had black ski masks while the latter was In the Hood with Sunglasses at Night.
      • Averted for Pauly's butler-looking henchmen.
  • Man Hug: Kotetsu gives one to Saito upon discovering that he remembers him. Saito is understandably confused.
  • Manly Tears: Episode 17 shows Kotetsu weeping on three separate occasions, and only twice but for much longer in Ep. 23.
    • And in Episode 19 Barnaby cries a lot.
  • Marionette Master:
    • Tony, the NEXT kid in Episode 2. He manages to take control of 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.
  • Mind over Matter: Wielded by Sam, the mayor's infant son.
  • Mind Rape: In the second half of the series, Barnaby Brooks Jr. suffers this twice at the hands of his Parental Substitute, Albert Maverick, who has the power of creating Fake Memories; though it's hinted that it has happened quite a few times prior to the beginning of the series as well. Later, Maverick mindrapes the other heroes via first erasing their memories of Kotetsu, then making them believe he's a murderer.
  • Mistaken Death Confirmation: Kotetsu takes a hit during a Kill Us Both moment and passes out from the pain. Everyone, including Barnaby and Kotetsu's daughter, assumes he's died, and it's played as a death until Kotetsu wakes up later and asks if Barnaby even checked his pulse before making assumptions.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Jake to Tiger. It was so bad that Agnes of all people wanted to stop it from airing.
    • Kotetsu and Barnaby were well on their way to getting one courtesy of Cis in Episode 15 - at least before Sky High showed up to save the day.
  • Offscreen Inertia: Episode 15 uses this one, ending with Keith still patiently waiting to meet the girl he fell for, unaware that she was the robot he'd destroyed the night before.
  • Oh, Crap!: The end of Episode 11 when Jake Martinez makes it apparent that he knows he's talking to a disguised Origami Cyclone.
    • The end of Episodes 12, 19, 20, and 24.
  • 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.
  • Police Are Useless: The city's cops just don't have the ability to take on super-powered criminals. They're even shown being largely ineffective against ordinary criminals- in episode 8, there's a hostage situation that occurred in Oragami Cyclone's backstory before he became a hero. The cops did nothing even after Cyclone's friend, a Next with the ability to phase through matter, stole the gun from the hostage-taker. A second criminal appeared and the criminals and Cyclone's friend all tussled for control of the gun while the police continued to hold back, resulting in the gun going off and killing the hostage.
  • Reactive Continuous Scream: Occurs between Kotetsu and a pig-masked carjacker in Episode 4.
  • Rhetorical Request Blunder: Played with. When Kotetsu keeps bugging Barnaby about what he wants for his birthday, Barnaby points to an incredibly valuable diamond necklace just to shut him up. Said necklace somehow winds up on a crook Kotetsu hands off to him as a "present".
    Barnaby: You honestly believed me when I said I wanted that diamond. I can't accept stolen property.
    Kotetsu: Not that. What I meant was I'll give you the arrest. After all I know how much you love points.
  • Scary Surprise Party: Tiger and the other heroes try to pull a variation of this for Barnaby's birthday. Needless to say it doesn't quite go as planned.
  • Shirtless Scene:
    • Episode 3 - Barnaby doesn't bother dressing himself after a shower
    • Episode 9 - Kotetsu takes of his shirt for an injury and just kind of forgets to put it back on.
    • Episode 13 - Kotetsu spends almost half the episode wearing nothing but boxers and bandages.
    • Episode 15 - Lloyds decides to sign Barnaby up for another modeling shoot. For speedos.
    • Episode 16 - Yuri gets a Shower Scene and apparently doesn't know how to button his shirt.
    • Episode 24 and 25 - Kotetsu gets his armor and about half of his undersuit obliterated. He appears to neither notice nor care in the least that he's exposed from collar to pelvis.
  • Skyward Scream: Kotetsu in Episode 7 when he and Rock Bison realise the criminal he's giving CPR to can't be revived.
  • Sliding Scale of Living Toys: The Mad Bears are Level 4.
  • Spot the Imposter: Episode 8 has a villain version; when Lunatic comes for Edward, Ivan takes Edward's form in an attempt to draw Lunatic's fire. Lunatic, however, judges that he's too brave to be a "sinner," and ignores him for the real Edward.
  • 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.
  • Stalling the Sip: In Episode 20, Kotetsu keeps getting distracted, which frustrates Maverick to no end, who needs Kotetsu to drink the coffee to knock him out so he can mess with his memories.
  • Sucking-In Lines: The android guns in the final episode suddenly need to charge know, just for dramatic effect.
  • 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.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • When Barnaby and Kotetsu are sent to deal with an auto theft, Kotetsu wonders why they're being called in when this is something the police should easily be able to handle. He gets his answer mid-dialogue:
      Kotetsu: Us heroes should be fighting real bad guys, ya know. Like guys with machine guns, "Badadadadadadada—"
      Kotetsu: Eh?
    • And in Episode 10:
      Barnaby: Jake Martinez's sentence is 250 years. I don't think he's going anywhere soon.
      • Two minutes later, Ouroboros is announcing that they're taking the entire city of Sternbild hostage to ensure Jake's release.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Blue Rose and Origami Cyclone both get episodes where they're feeling depressed and about ready to throw in the towel when it comes to being a hero, then conveniently there's a situation where their powers are exactly what's needed to save the day.
  • Wire Dilemma: The case of Episode 3; lampshaded by Kotetsu about how cliché the Time Bomb is. Fortunately for him and Barnaby, they know how to take care of explosive situations in a pinch.
  • Trainstopping: At the beginning of the series, Kotetsu has to stop a Poseidon Line train so that he can fight the robber who infiltrated it. Unfortunately for Kotetsu, the robber escapes and steals a nearby airship.
  • Unwinnable Training Simulation: The opening scene of Episode 3 is a textbook example, which ends with Kotetsu carelessly removing his headplate to more effectively rag on Barnaby, only to get headshotted by a (virtual) sniper for his efforts.
  • Wham Episode:
    • While previous episodes had some foreshadowing, Episode 10 is when the Ourobouros finally reveal themselves to the general public...and what a revelation it is!
    • Aaaaaand Episode 12 : "Deep lacerations all over his body! His pulse is dropping -- Stop the bleeding right away! Prepare for a blood transfusion!"
    • Episode 15: After everything looks to finally turn good for Barnaby and Kotetsu it's revealed that Kotetsu is losing his powers.
    • Episode 16 is pretty much a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of revelations and whamness.
    • Episode 19, in which we learn of all kinds of corruption and lies.
    • Episode 20 has Kotetsu erased from his friends's memories and declared a murderer.
    • The end of Episode 24, in which it looks like we have our first major death of the series...
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?:
    • Not every NEXT gets cool powers or even useful ones. 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. But it explains why heroes are far and few between rather than bustling with them in a city with such notoriety and emphasize on their heroes.
    • Origami views his power this way though this is disproven in Episodes 11 and 12.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • While they are prone to chewing each other out at the best of times, Kotetsu utterly tears into Barnaby over his callous indifference towards the death of three criminals.
      Kotetsu: Three men die, doesn't matter who they are. I thought it was our job to save people's lives. That's what a hero does!
    • In the twelfth episode, Barnaby returns the favor after Kotetsu interferes with Barnaby's scouting of Jake's hideout because he thought Barnaby might lose it and try to kill their target.
      Barnaby: I needed you to trust me and you couldn't! I was actually starting to believe I could rely on you as a partner, but I can't put my trust in a partner who doesn't trust me.
    • Karina also chews him out when she hears of what he did.
      Karina: Are you a total moron?! Jake escaped because you defied Barnaby's request and got in his way. That's not how you treat a teammate!
  • 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.

     Movie: The Rising 
  • Attack Reflector: Used by Origami Cyclone against the sonic villain, using a heretofore unknown use of his powers.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Done by Schneider, if unknowingly. He spouts anti-NEXT rhetoric in front of Lunatic, (in civilian guise) of all people.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Done by Fire Emblem, when the old man puts him to sleep and unleashes all of his repressed insecurities to attack him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After Fire Emblem wakes up, they immediately go to help Blue Rose and Dragon Kid's fight against Johnny.
    • During the final battle, the rest of the First League arrives to hold off Scott long enough for Tiger and Barnaby's powers to recharge. When they all get blown away though, Golden Ryan is able to wake up to help them finish it.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: Barnaby is instantly distrustful of Golden Ryan, who Apollon Media assigns to replace Kotetsu as Barnaby's partner; and is implied to suspect him of being a Sixth Ranger Traitor. The group of villains they're fighting seem to be gearing up to create a massive crater, and Ryan's power involves the ability to manipulate gravity in a way that would allow such a thing. Ryan is not the bad guy and actually pretty committed to being a hero, even if he is showy, self involved, and doesn't devote himself to Kotetsu school of old fashioned heroism Barnaby now embraces. Ryan even calls Barnaby out on this, revealing that he knew Barnaby suspected him. There are actually two traitors in the good guy camp, neither of which was Ryan. The Obviously Evil Corrupt Corporate Executive and another, less obvious, newly hired Apollon employee under him who was out for revenge against the boss for destroying his father's business and causing the death of his father.
  • Heroic Second Wind: When the others notice Wild Tiger getting back in the action they immediately get up and resume fighting.
  • Revenge: Scott and his henchman are all after Scheidner after he ruined their lives.

     Season Two 
  • All There in the Manual: Prologues such as Subaru's backstory, how the buddy pairs were formed, as well as what happened to the Second League heroes is relegated to the tie-in manga Tiger & Bunny 2: The Comic which plays between The Rising and the beginning of Season 2.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: Compared to Season One, Season Two's overall character designs grew much closer to Masakazu Katsura's own art style. Season Two Director, Atsuko Kase confirmed Katsura was directly involved in approving 3D character modelings prior to characters being animated.
  • The Artifact: Hero points and rankings by Season 2. While popularity in the public's eye is important, and not everyone accepts NEXTs, it's shown that points mean little compared to being genuinely heroic, and it no longer hinders any active superheroes like it used to.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: In Season 2, the heroes' final battle against Hugan and Fugan takes place on Christmas Eve.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • In episode 10, Fugan and Mugan use a mobile of dolls over Baranaby's comatose body to signal which heroes they'll go after. When Kotestu sees a doll with Rock Bison's color scheme, he fears that Antonio is their next target. As it turns out, Fugan dropped the Bison doll by accident when trying to signal the twin's actual targets Dragon Kid and Origami Cyclone.
    • In part 2 of season 2, Antonio has been talking with his partner Ivan about advice for a gift, and is urgently trying to get the gift ready for a certain date. The date just happens to be Ivan's birthday, so both he and the audience assume that it's for him. As it turns out, Antonio was searching for a gift to confess his feelings for Agnes.
  • Big Damn Reunion: In the second half of Season 2, Thomas finally reunites with his little sister, Ruby, all thanks to Subaru. Ruby reveals that she knew her brother became a superhero and tries to contact him by letter but they never got to him because Thomas discards all potential fanmail. Instead, she reaches out to Subaru because he's his partner.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Season 2 ends with Kotetsu losing all of his NEXT powers meaning he may no longer continue his superhero career. Despite that, the day is saved once again and Barnaby vows to continue being a superhero on Kotetsu's behalf and remains as his buddy. The extended version of the oneshot manga taking place few months after that sweetens this up for a bit, as Kotetsu remains in the city starting his own company with Barnaby helping him occasionally.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Although Season 1 was not without death and blood, it was quite minimal, with most deaths being victims of being burned away. Season 2 has the heroes being bloody and severely injured, and shows a fair amount of people being shot to death.
  • The Bus Came Back: In episode 22, the various defeated villains from the first and second seasons, along with the films The Beginning and The Rising, returned and sent to rampage out of Abbas prison by Gregory.
  • Call-Back: In the final fight against Hugan and Mugan, the remaining heroes challenge them to a fight (actually a trap to capture them) at the same stadium where Jake was fought in season 1. This backfires, as the twins don't want to copy off the last villain and nearly decide to leave and pick them off one by one. Barnaby is forced to reveal himself (removing the element of surprise they planned) so all the heroes can be together when fighting the twins rather than return when they aren't ready.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In episode 3, Ryan is trying to warn Barnaby that Kotesu and Karina are planning to partner upnote , though Barnaby had upmost fate that Kotesu wouldn't do such a thing. The episode is framed as Barnaby being told that Kotesu is cheating on him with a younger partner.
    • The secondary plot also has shades of this, with Karina receiving letters from a fan that is portrayed as a young girl and asks to visit at her favorite restaurant, only to turn out to be the Stalker with a Crush that stole her hero outfit in the previous season that plotted to sneak a grab at her while he was invisible. It has plenty of similarities to online predators pretending to be someone else and manipulating their targets into lowering their guards.
  • For the Evulz: The seeming reason why Gregory Sunshine shot and killed Fugan, Mugan and Brahe.
  • Hope Spot: Three times in episode 24
    • In their fight against Anti-Villain L. L. Audun, Subaru and Thomas are able to work together and Subaru is able to master his Finishing Move to knock him down. Then Audun gets back up with only a bruise on his head and easily beat the younger heroes.
    • While Audun was initially tricked by Gregory into thinking that Gregory was an ally and that the heroes he fought were villains, by the time he gets to fight Kotetsu and Barnaby, he realizes that his opponents acted more heroic than mere villains should, and declines fighting the pair in favor of helping the civilians he hears needing help. Gregory responds by using his enhanced powers to drive Audun crazy, along with charging him with the NEXT-enhancing drug to make him a bigger threat to Tiger and Barnaby.
    • Even with Lunatic joining to help them, Kotetsu and Barnaby can't do much to take down the out of control Audun. Kotetsu decides to force Gregory in turning off his NEXT powers and freeing the afflicted NEXTs, even making sure to grab his arms so Gregory won't hug him and use his powers on Kotetsu. However, Gregory reveals that his Power Incontinence ability is activated not by hugging his target but by licking them, which he uses to turn Kotetsu mad.
  • How We Got Here: The season opens up with a injured Barnaby being held by the throat by Mugan and Fugan, before the story jumps back to two months ago.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The police chief has a one-sided one with the heroes, seeing them as making the police force look underwhelming and incompetent in comparison. So when the heroes are suspended due to the anti-NEXT sentiment, the police chief is eager to take command and show that the police can handle anything. This goes to the extreme when during the supervillain break-out, he tells his men to arrest both the villains and the heroes that came to stop them just to prove that they're better.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: This is brought up in Season 2. After Barnaby is critically injured leaving him a coma, Kotetsu investigates on finding the culprit who is a NEXT criminal that make objects into explosive once they're touched. However, Kotetsu was hauled over to Petrov's office who warns him that his actions are overstepping the police's job.
  • Power Misidentification:
    • In episode 10, Mugan tells Dragon Kid and Origami Cyclone that his power is Invisibility, but it's after he fakes his defeat that he reveals he's a teleporter.
    • Played With in regards to Gregory Sunshine, though more with how his powers is activated rather than how it works. Between accounts from victims like Ryan, the heroes believed Gregory causes Power Incontinence through hugging. In truth, Gregory activates his NEXT power by licking his prey, which he uses on Kotetsu in the penultimate episode.
  • Right Behind Me: In episode 4, Nathan tells Kotetsu and Barnaby that he feels overpressured by Keith being the perfect partner, but by the time he said this Keith is right behind him. What's more, Kotetsu's constant interruptions at what he thought was Nathan's issues kept delaying the reveal until the moment Keith came back.
  • Running Gag: Through most of the season, Kotetsu and Barnaby try to get drinks together, only for some event to get in the way.
  • Superior Twin Teamwork: Hugan and Mugan and NEXT powers that compliment each other in battle—Hugan absorbs force used against him, but not when it comes from himself, and Mugan can warp them both to sneak up on opponents—and ensure Hugan is fully powered up to attack. The twins are typically only defeated when they can be separated.

Alternative Title(s): Tiger And Bunny