This episode had some really horribly derpy animation in the beginning, but to be honest I think it just adds to the charm of the series. Tiger & Bunny is even more awesome considering how well it sells compared to many other series with better animation. These guys are doing it right, despite being so constricted by the shoe-lace budget. (And I have no doubt this episode will receive corrections for the BD/DVD release.)
20. Full of courtesy, full of craft.
We were right, this episode title was indeed about Maverick. Though it really wasn’t any huge surprise at this point…
Kotetsu dodged Maverick’s attempt to change his memories, but that’s really where his problems started. The scene of him avoiding the drugged coffee was probably the funniest in the episode, I think we were both screaming and cheering for him to put the cup down and get the hell out of that office. And then… You know those comical scenes where someone falls over in a chair out of surprise or shock? That’s exactly how I felt when Kotetsu realized he’d found Barnaby’s pin and just went “bwuh?” at it. He can be so cool and so smart, but today really wasn’t his day. Not only did he fail to connect the dots when he found the pins, he went and told everything to Maverick. Including Samantha wanting to meet him. Though we do understand why he doesn’t suspect Maverick; he’s like a father figure for Barnaby, and he created Hero TV. He’s an authority and someone Kotetsu would consider trustworthy.
I had a bad feeling last week when the spoilers came out that the person whose murder Kotetsu would be framed for would be Barnaby’s Aunt Samantha, and sadly I was right. And she didn’t even have to die. Instead of changing her memories, Maverick had her killed because it would be more profitable for the ratings since he plans to turn the whole thing with pinning the murder on Kotetsu into a media circus. Wild Tiger still exists and he can’t be erased so easily, but Kotetsu is alone against the world now. We’re not sure how Maverick is going to explain Wild Tiger’s absence, but since Kotetsu just recently went to visit his family he can use that and claim he’s still away… and then quietly retire him.
Barnaby keeps breaking my heart. After I saw how easily Maverick changed his memories for the second time in this episode, I’m no longer even sure how much of what we see of Barnaby is the “real” Barnaby and how much is just something he’s been programmed to be. I’m certain that he got the treatment in episode 7 too, because that’s when his memories started changing. He seemed very docile before he went into that pod, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d been drugged. He’s going to need a lot of help when he pulls through this all, because his entire life has been basically stolen and fabricated while Maverick has kept him in a cycle of revenge, not letting him move on to make him the “perfect hero”. (The spoilers in the latest magazines also mentioned that if he’d been allowed to live a normal life, he wouldn’t have become a hero but instead followed his parents’ footsteps to become a scientist.)
And now Maverick has set Barnaby back on the path to revenge and turned him against the person that meant the most to him in the world. If that’s not cruel then we don’t know what is.
This is not the hero you are looking for
We sort of joked about that preview pic on the site last week for this episode but really… I didn’t believe Maverick would actually drug everyone at that party and change their memories. What he’s doing with everyone’s memories is very risky, because he can’t erase them, he can just cover up and twist existing memories. The original ones will still be there, covered by the false memories. He changed the true identity of Wild Tiger in the other heroes’ minds, but he can’t make it disappear. Kotetsu’s tendency to keep things to himself is backfiring now, but there are still people who have mementos connecting to him. Barnaby might still have that stupid photo of him in his cellphone (though it’s possible that Maverick has tampered with it). He might still have the burnt piece of sash from the time Kotetsu took Lunatic’s blow for him in episode 8. Not to mention Barnaby has strong feelings for Kotetsu, and those can help him remember. Karina has the Kaburagi Liquors towel Kotetsu gifted her (and there’s her crush, which is a strong feeling too), and that might jostle her memory. Antonio has known Kotetsu for years so he’s also likely to remember.
We also think that Maverick is getting careless. He’s literally gotten away with murder so far by keeping a low profile. No one even knows he’s a NEXT. The way he tampered with the memories of so many people – some of whom have known Kotetsu for a long time – seems kind of desperate. He’s buying time to save his own neck and Hero TV, and we think he’s doing it also for fun. He tried to keep things simple but when rearranging Kotetsu’s memories failed, it’s like his scheming went into overdrive. He’s not going to get away with what he’s doing, but the question is, how far can he take it before he’s stopped? Also, I can’t even find words for the feeling I got when watching the epilogue, he sounded so evil. The theory that Maverick is some sort of twisted Professor X type was mentioned in the comments to the earlier speculah post, but I’m not willing to buy that anymore. He might have started out with that kind of agenda, but he’s taking too much pleasure in the current situation. If you compare Maverick to your usual villain in a superhero series, he’s different. Normally those villains have something that redeems them, something that makes them seem cool and makes the audience like them. We can’t find a single thing like that with Maverick, he’s rotten to the core.
Another little thing to note would also be the whole Ouroboros vs. “a certain organization” thing that we noted in that same speculah. Maverick ordered that “terrorist bombing” at the shopping center to keep Kotetsu preoccupied, and his men-in-black looked more like some sort of mafia than flashy NEXT supremacists. So for now we’ll stick with the theory that if Ouroboros is a true organization, it is not the one that Maverick is working with. Also, the members of Ouroboros that we know of had very long prison sentences. Both J.G. Benjamin and Jake Martinez were sent away for 250 years. (It can’t be even trusted that their criminal records were real, since there’s so much fake crime and covering up going on.) It would seem unlikely that Maverick would allow members of an organization he works with to be sent to prison for life and then some without getting some sort of backlash from the said organization.
The preview hints that Yuri will play a bigger part in the coming episodes. He probably has a bone to pick with Hero TV and Maverick. His father, Legend, was the first hero and when his powers faltered and he couldn’t meet the expectations of the people, he turned on his family. And Maverick is the one who created Hero TV, so in a way Maverick destroyed his family and made him a murderer. It’s possible he has just been biding his time, waiting for a moment when he would have gotten enough evidence to act against Maverick. Lunatic’s first appearance was not that long after Barnaby started as a hero, so that might have spurred his decision to join the game against Maverick’s protegé.
Aki also suggested that maybe Yuri is actually part of the real Ouroboros – if it exists. We could easily see him sympathize with a pro-NEXT cause, especially if he’s already out to expose Maverick. He’s in a position where he has all kinds of connections, and it’s likely he knows much more about what goes on behind the scenes that we’ve so far been shown. It’s also possible that Kotetsu will receive some aid from Lunatic, since it shouldn’t take long for Yuri to figure out that he’s wrongfully accused – he has files on the heroes after all.
The epilogue and preview also show Kaede, who will probably soon find out what her father does for work. We really don’t want to speculate too much on her involvement, things are getting dangerous so it’d be better if she stayed in Oriental Town. She might come to Sternbild, though, if not in the next episode then soon after.
I’ll spare you all the raging that went on during and after the episode, most of it aimed at Maverick and the rest at Satou & his team for making us feel all these feelings for these characters. (And also a bit more rage mixed with laughter at Satou for making horrible puns about Maverick’s mole on Twitter.) We love the trolling Kantoku Man but sometimes this all just feels like it’s too much.
And just noting this down because you never know…
[21:53] [Aki_the_geek] my most outragerous 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.
By the way, here’s the preview pic for episode 22 that was up on the official site last night. It’s been taken down since and now it just shows “Now Printing” text. So who knows, maybe the original Wild Tiger suit was too big of a spoiler?
That’s it from us today, supplemental speculah during the week if we come up with something else. If you need a pick-me-up after this episode, check out the cast comments that Aki translated from Official Hero Book!