I think it’s safe to say that the Tiger & Bunny only doujin event GO NEXT! that was held yesterday has confirmed that this is no longer just an anime. This is a phenomenon.
These are just shoppers queueing to get in to the venue of the event. Aki pulled this picture from a Japanese blog where people were joking about how queueing requires Kotetsu’s endurance. Reports say that catalogs (which also act as tickets to the event) were sold out in advance, and many circles sold out before
the end of the event all the shoppers even managed to get in. (See comments for more on this.)
Of course events like this are just one way to measure popularity, but you have to take into account that just about all merchandise is selling out on preorders weeks or even months before they’re released. Figure preorders sell out in minutes. Aki talked to her Japanese friend who estimated that Tiger & Bunny is starting to hit the same level of popularity as series like Durarara!! and Hetalia which have been around for years. Tiger & Bunny is also extremely popular among 25-40 year old females.
The overall response to episode 16 has also been amazing. People who joked about Lunatic are apologizing now and joking about him isn’t cool anymore in general. Everyone seems to want Kotetsu and Barnaby to just be bros and hug it out and everything will be fine.
Director Sato, whatever you are doing, you are doing it so right that no one can keep up. Please don’t stop.