Episode 23 or “What did you just call me?”

It looks like they saved what budget they could for this final stretch (or maybe the studio gave them some extra funding?) because this week’s episode looked really good.

23. Misfortunes never come singly.
-不幸は重なる・不幸は単独では来ない-

It seems that this week’s title referred not to misfortunes piling up on a single person because everyone’s having something to deal with – heroes are locked up, Kotetsu and Barnaby are facing Black Tiger and Kaede has been kidnapped.

Now before I go on with this, I’d just like to point out this conversation we posted a few weeks ago when things looked really grim:

[21:53] [Aki_the_geek] my most outrageous theory
[21:53] [Aki_the_geek] POWER OF LOVE HELPS BUNNY OVERCOME IT
[21:53] [Aki_the_geek] there.
[21:53] [Aki_the_geek] i said it.
[21:53] [derpchan] ^ I CAN DIG THAT
[21:53] [Aki_the_geek] hell, my ep 13 thing turned out to be true.

Well, Aki wasn’t off the mark. ヽ( >∀<)ノ I guess the more you mess with someone’s memories, the easier they are to fix since all it took was a nickname. I kinda had a hunch something like this might happen since in last week’s episode Kotetsu systematically called Barnaby only by his actual name and not Bunny.

Also, may I just say “lolspoilers”? Because the boards have been full of spoilers contradicting each other, and even the one about “a hero dying in episode 23″ that was supposed to be from a reliable source turned out to be false. Actually, this one was true! Maverick deleted Barnaby’s files from the database, erasing him as a hero, it just didn’t register as “death” with us at first. (Thanks for pointing that out, Emily!) There are a ton of spoilers I’d like to believe to be true, but looks like the rest of this ride is going to be flown blind unless the new magazines coming out next week have any hints. (Newtype October issue is supposed to have a feature on the final episode.)

“Did you just call me Bunny-chan?”

Kotetsu is finally making progress with his issues and actually talks about things seriously. We saw it in the previous episode when he apologized to Kaede for lying to her, and this week it was his turn to tell Barnaby that he’s important. Although his first idea of slapping Barnaby again wasn’t really the brightest, even if it was very characteristic of him to just act on impulse. I don’t know about others, but we sure shed some tears here when he talked about what their partnership meant to him.

Another thing I suspected might happen with restoring Barnaby’s memories was another 180 degree spin where a hopeless situation suddenly gets turned around completely. I was holding back on hoping it’d happen because Tiger & Bunny is really good at making us suffer. But then it really did happen.

Barnaby was acting pretty composed after he snapped back to his old self, this could be possibly due to memories coming back gradually or it might also be that his subconscious has already dealt with the shock for now. It might well come back later, but since he’s got something he can focus on right now – taking down Maverick and saving Kaede – he’s not going to lose his head. The flashback scene to Barnaby’s childhood and his father reading a story about a mountain giant that protected people, and his mother’s words about how they’d protect him forever and ever seem to be giving him the resolution to protect what’s important to him now.

The team-up

Nishida said in the interview that was printed in Official Hero Book that two characters would unexpectedly team up, and it turned out to be Ben & Doc Saito as the not-so-trustworthy spoilers said and many people speculated. Turns out that Saito got his memories restored by watching the TV broadcast where Kaede activated the power she’d received from Maverick. Agnes had her back to the monitor when it was shown on the broadcast so she still thinks Kotetsu is a murderer as Saito found out when he went looking for help. He turned up at just the right moment to help Kotetsu and Barnaby, first I wondered how he knew where they were but the bikes and Tiger’s suit probably have some sort of tracking device. Well, the bikes are now swimming with fishes (and Mr. Lloyds probably doesn’t like it but can’t quit anyway).

Saito was suspicious of Barnaby’s black suit since he didn’t design it, and we saw it had at least a direct video feed to Maverick so who knows what else might have been built into it. Later when Tiger and Barnaby encounter Black Tiger, Saito seems totally shocked to find out it’s a battle android and says that it’s impossible. All we know of robotics within the Tiger & Bunny universe is what we’ve learned from snippets of Barnaby’s parents’ work and the Cis incident, so there’s probably more to this if Saito’s reaction is anything to go by.

(I am so weirded out hearing Saito speak normally through the megaphone hat. Wonder why he didn’t use it earlier.)

This is the droid you’re looking for

Personally I was a bit surprised to see Rotwang again although we fully expected Black Tiger to be an android. Rotwang was a bit short on marbles – that’s the impression I got from him – but maybe that just makes it easier for Maverick to deal with him. We’re wondering a bit just what the new H-01 aka Black Tiger is capable of, since it beat the other heroes so easily. It could be also that they’re not as used to working together, unlike Kotetsu and Barnaby who have been teaming up for a year. Maverick still doesn’t seem to want to get his hands dirty since he’s left all the bomb collar stuff for Rotwang to explain. The set up is nothing new, but it’ll be interesting to see how the heroes get out of it, since they can’t use their powers and one person flipping the switch will kill the others. It should be noted that Rotwang seems to hate NEXTs so he probably wouldn’t be interested in working with Maverick if he knew about his NEXT powers. It’s possible he’ll turn on Maverick if he finds out.

We’re not quite able to follow Maverick’s logic here even though we’ve speculated a lot about the reasons why he started Hero TV in the first place. We assumed he might have done it to help the NEXTs, but trying to reason this whole “androids for heroes” doesn’t compute if we think it from the pro-NEXT angle. This would also mean that Ouroboros definitely isn’t that “a certain organization”. The most logical angle to approach his scheme from would be making profit. He wants to make money and he doesn’t care where it comes from, whether it be other NEXTs or androids. The ease which he tosses Barnaby aside and deletes his information shows that he treats Barnaby as nothing more but a product – an item that is no longer useful. But we have this nagging feeling that we’re missing some detail about Maverick and his motives, and once we learn it the whole picture will make sense.

Stuff to wrap up

Things that should be resolved before the final ending credits roll:

  • Get the other heroes out of trouble.
  • Fight Black Tiger.
  • Bring down Maverick and rescue Kaede.
  • Give some sort of explanation on “a certain organization” and Ouroboros.
  • Address Kotetsu’s power loss.
  • Have a happy ending. ← This is important!

It seems like a lot but since the series was planned to be self-contained they must have a plan to pull it off. Let’s believe HEROES Satou to make more twists in the last two episodes. Meanwhile, we tried to come up with new stuff to call for the finale…

[20:24] [Aki_the_geek] we should call a new outrageous thing for the grand finale wwwwwww
[20:25] [derpchan] hohoho
[20:25] [Aki_the_geek] since outrageous seems to be filled under “normal proceedings” in Satou’s dictionary
[20:25] [derpchan] I want another princess carry
[20:26] [derpchan] but this time Kotetsu carrying Bunny
[20:26] [derpchan] that’s not very outrageous tho
[20:26] [Aki_the_geek] I wanted to call the two daddies ending but then I realized
[20:26] [Aki_the_geek] it’s not outrageous anymore either

…which turned out to be more challenging than we expected.

No Scarf-tan this week, shocking I know! Instead, have an obligatory speedo photo shoot shoop, because everyone loves Bunny in speedo, right? See ya!

7 comments on “Episode 23 or “What did you just call me?”

  1. Well the spoiler was
    >’a “hero” dies’
    And Maverick deleted Barnaby so maybe that counts.

    Let’s not forget in things to wrap up; That fucking ring. Why is it significant. You can’t just have the main character fiddle with his ring and then not have the ring kill someone in the next episode. (Maybe that’s not how that saying goes..)

    • Hey that’s very well noted about Barnaby being deleted! It didn’t register as “death” with us but I think you’re absolutely right there! I shall adjust the post for that.

      I’m wondering about the ring too. Of course it could just turn out to be an elaborate troll…

  2. As much as my heart aches, as the closure comes, I´m really starting to think that we might give goodbye to Lunatic/Yuri Petrov. I think that they will need external help to get out of this situation, and this external help certainly will come from Lunatic, that might know more of his own father form Maverick´s mouth than he cares to know. He seems to be the man to be left to roft, after all, we are approaching the final moments of this first season, and the villains must go. Good to see that Samantha was really put to rest. RIP.
    Have to say that you weren´t the only ones to cry when Bunny came back to his senses. Emotions were aplenty in this episode, really one of the best of this entire first season. I hope #24 and specially #25 will make this anime memorable for a long time, one of the greatest hits of this decade.
    #tigerbunny will never die.

  3. I’m fairly sure Maverick’s motive boils down to plain human greed, and letting power get to his head. He’s been getting away with this for a quarter of a century. At first he saw NEXTs would make a good spectacle for TV, then he saw a chance to mold Barnaby into the greatest hero, and now he sees androids as the easiest way to escalate. They can’t turn on him, they can go on 24/7, and you don’t have to worry about their safety as much; could probably pull some dangerous stunts with robots. It’s not a perfect plan, but Maverick doesn’t seem to be an evil genius planner. He sees an opportunity, and runs with it.

    Also I just noticed in that screencap you have, Barnaby fixed his hair after the hug. Such a priss.

    • The fact that Maverick isn’t an evil genius actually makes his actions a bit harder to predict, he does a lot of stuff on moment’s spur. Your usual evil genius would have more logic (maybe not good logic, but logic nevertheless).

      Also I just noticed in that screencap you have, Barnaby fixed his hair after the hug. Such a priss.

      Kotetsu seems to be the only person able to mess up his hair. (Remember episode 9.)

  4. Aaaah, this episode was great~

    My heart ached for Kotetsu for all of the first part (this man is so unlucky, dear God) I expected the slap though. I had this whole theory that it WOULD make Bunny remember since he’s probably never been slapped in HIS WHOLE LIFE. But hey, apparently the nickname worked a whole lot better XD Also, I was thinking of why he didn’t call Barnaby “Bunny” to start with and, well, the only explanation I can come up with is because he was being serious and thus needed Barnaby to LISTEN (before Kotetsu was erased from Bunny’s memories, Kotetsu never – or rarely – used his name so it makes sense that to make a point, he’d use it in those circumstances) Oh and Rotwang? Welcome back, I suspected you were behind the whole android!Tiger (Saitou must have worked hella fast if he had been the one to design the suits D: )

    On a sidenote, regarding names, are we ever going to know Barnaby’s REAL name? Since, if I remember right, he took his father’s name when he started seeking revenge which implies it isn’t his given name….? Dunno, this is one of the plotholes that I’d like filled by the end of the series >>

    Well, if we have a happy ending, no Hero will die right? Pffft, I’m waiting for Kaede to blow the whole Justice tower or something (who was the last person she touched? I doubt it’s Maverick, he probably didn’t approach her at all since that one time. Which makes me think… Does Kaede have a bomb around her neck? Well, apart from the fact that she’s a kid, Maverick knows she has NEXT powers and assumes they’re the same as his, right? Which crosses her as physically dangerous… Whatev’, Maverick fails at villainy :| At least, he didn’t put Kaede with the other Heroes, it would have clued Kotetsu and Bunny on their fate way too quickly)
    And I’m really looking forward to their fight with Black Tiger~ (if it’s as gorgeously animated as the one between Bunny and Kotetsu, I’ll probably scream in delight XD)

    Also, Maverick seems inconsistent doesn’t he? To me, he’s a first-class opportunist. He’ll take whatever will profit him, no matter how long it’ll take. I mean come on! He raised the perfect hero wannabe and now he’s just going to eliminate him? And then what? He’ll just do it again with another kid? (God, imagine if he manages to fuck Kotetsu up so bad that Kaede thinks he’s dead or something and so Maverick goes to fetch her to fester ~*~REVENGE~*~ on Ouroboros once again. YEAH, not gonna happen) Or Maverick wants to control Sternbirld? Realistically speaking, the show’s going to end with Maverick arrested/dying in the crumbling tower/blowing his head off. If he ever succeeded, is he confident enough to brainwash ALL of Sternbild? (Which isn’t that unlikely…. they are screens everywhere!)
    …. There’s someone behind Maverick, isn’t it?

    Whew, long comment is long D: Sorry but this series makes me think so damn much –“

  5. Kaede save them all :D
    She kick Rotwang and save all heroes, then they somehow must defeat that stupid android…
    uwaaaaaa, I want an happy end so much!

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