Episode 21 or light at the end of the tunnel

Whaddaya know, this week wasn’t as much suffering as expected. No complaints, and some sweet hero action for a change! (And animation-wise this episode looked really good, too!)

21. Heaven helps those who help themselves.
-天は自ら助くる者助く-

Sometimes Kotetsu makes us worry by exhibiting his tendency for not being the sharpest tool in the shed. But when it counts, he can act so cool. And today was one of those days.

The Fugitive

Bricks = shat.

The amount of property damage inflicted when Kotetsu was dodging the other heroes surprised me. We’re used to Wild Tiger being the one wrecking things, but Sky High demolished the most this time. It could be he was just going all out since we wouldn’t be surprised if there’s extra points in them for catching the “murdere”. Regardless, Kotetsu seemed to get through to Blue Rose just a bit. She did hesitate, but the arrival of Dark Tiger along with Fire Emblem interrupted them. From what Blue Rose said it seems that Maverick changed Wild Tiger’s real identity so not even the other heroes know his name or face – a pretty smart move on his part to stall things.

As for Dark Tiger, we’re pretty sure that thing is just a machine, programmed with Wild Tiger’s mannerisms. The movement seemed sluggish and someone might be remote controlling the suit. (It’s pretty impressive how Kotetsu fights Dark Tiger without using his Hundred Power, which was probably on cooldown.) Notable is also that the Dark Tiger suit has no sponsor logos (and neither does Barnaby’s new suit which we see later), which sort of indicates that they are not the “real” ones – and villains don’t have sponsors anyway. If Dark Tiger suit is indeed remote-controlled, it’s possible that there’s a similar mechanism built into Barnaby’s new suit, allowing Maverick someone to override his actions if needed. It’s possible that Maverick doesn’t trust 100% that Barnaby will get the job done, especially if his intention is to get Kotetsu killed during the chase.

How does Dark Tiger fit into Barnaby’s memories, then? Before Maverick changed his memories, Barnaby’s mind was literally full of Kotetsu. (Even Barnaby’s VA Masakazu Morita made a comment about his clinginess in one of the recent interviews.) If Dark Tiger is some sort of android, talking clearly isn’t their forte, because Cis – which was supposedly a very advanced model – could only use a few words, although pretty logically. If Doc Saito or someone else is remote controlling Dark Tiger, he might do the talking. It’s also possible that Barnaby now has the memory that Dark Tiger is actually a machine and it’s being done as some sort of publicity thing – but Blue Rose’s words to Kotetsu contradict this. Whatever Barnaby is thinking, his mind is probably a pretty finely balanced mess at the moment.

So who’s this guy Thanatos, anyway?

Everyone had great expectations for Yuri, even as far as to him teaming up with Kotetsu. He probably disappointed people who wanted that, but we don’t see it in his character to “team up” with anyone. He did his fair share by allowing Kotetsu to escape from Dark Tiger and the other heroes, and the only reason he even did that was because he realized that Kotetsu was being framed. Besides, this episode’s title clearly points to Kotetsu having to help himself to receive help along the way. He didn’t stay wringing his hands but chose to act – and help he did receive.

Maverick must think that he has the entire jurisdiction system on his side, since he doesn’t seem concerned that someone in the Department of Justice would start suspecting. Or maybe he just thinks that he can rearrange the memories of whoever speaks up? And he doesn’t seem to know Lunatic’s true identity, since we weren’t shown any reaction from him to the intervention.

And as an amusing detail about Lunatic, keep an eye on the magazines Kaede flips through after finding out her father’s secret. (Yuri probably added extra honey to his tea as a reaction to the magazines spinning lies like that.)

We love Ben Jackson

Kotetsu seemed so relieved when he saw on TV that Barnaby was alright. The same TV broadcast also finally made him start connecting the dots and to figure out what was going on. It was also fine proof of how media in Sternbild acts, because they didn’t bother looking up details on Samantha until Maverick revealed she was like family to Barnaby. That line about “Barnaby having his mind set on revenge” really stung me, thinking of how happily he talked about living for other things than revenge in episode 15.

As for Ben, he seriously gave us a heart-attack at first when we thought he might have been brainwashed with the rest. I don’t think Maverick thought that Kotetsu would still be in touch with his old boss, because Maverick seems like that type to just use people as long as it’s beneficial to him. Running into Ben was the turning point in Kotetsu’s luck. Not only did he get his original Wild Tiger suit back, I think talking to Ben also helped Kotetsu arrange his thoughts on the whole thing and to come up with a plan. How he intends to achieve making the other heroes remember the real Wild Tiger, we have no idea. Kotetsu tends to act on instinct but he can come up with amazing things when under pressure, like we saw during Barnaby’s fight against Jake.

Kaede goes to town

Kaede finally found out her father’s secret. She’s a pretty perceptive child, she would probably have figured it out soon anyway. Under all circumstances, I think she found out in a good way, and her faith in her father was also very touching. I think that she’ll be more understanding about Kotetsu’s shortcomings as a father now that she knows. It doesn’t excuse all those missed visits he promised her, but at least she’ll know why he missed them.

It was pretty predictable how Kaede ran away from Oriental Town to go look for her dad in Sternbild. She seems to be as headstrong (and impulsive) as her parents. And of all possible people, she ran into Maverick. We were both shaking our fists and screaming at the screen in the scene where they met, especially when Maverick patted her head. Now, Maverick probably knows Kotetsu has a daughter but it seems he doesn’t know what she looks like since he didn’t recognise Kaede – or he just doesn’t see Kotetsu’s family as a threat. He’s probably on a power trip right now, and thinks he’s invincible and that Kotetsu’s as good as dealt with. Kaede was also pretty smart in saying she was looking for Barnaby. Now that she knows her father actually works with Barnaby, the wisest thing would be to try to contact him – she just doesn’t know how bad the situation is for Barnaby.

So what about Kaede’s possible copycat powers? Thing is, we don’t actually know how her power works. Even if she did copy Maverick’s power when he patted her head, she might not know how to use it – not to mention that messing with someone’s mind when you don’t know what you’re doing is pretty dangerous. We don’t know if she can retain powers she copies and have more than one copied power in use. It can be used as evidence against Maverick that she has the power, if she manages to keep it and figures out where she got it from. We’d rather she didn’t have to use it, and even if she does it’d be best she does it out of her own choice and not because someone tells her to.

If this is your keikaku, we like it~

We could be totally on the wrong track here, since so many spoilers seem to have double meanings. But let’s look at two of them that seem to have made some people jittery with implications. First, producer Kazuhiko Tamura said in an interview that “…[Barnaby] will be learning from him [Kotetsu] what does it mean to ‘be a hero’.” Secondly, there’s a spoiler that’s been going around, saying that “a ‘Hero’ will die” and we also know that it won’t be Kotetsu or Barnaby.

That first one especially has worried many, since all too often someone being heroic leads to their demise. To be honest, that’d feel cheap and we think this has a different meaning. If you look at what Kotetsu did in this episode, he used his Hundred Power only once. He took on Dark Tiger with his own, human strength. We think that what this whole “what it means to be a hero” means that Kotetsu will show Barnaby that you don’t need NEXT powers to be heroic. Kotetsu’s idea of what being a hero means is very different from Barnaby’s to begin with – for Barnaby it’s all points, points and more points with some publicity on the side. Kotetsu wants to help and save people, and the person he most wants to look up to him is his own daughter – whether or not he has his power. This also leads to the “a ‘Hero’ will die” spoiler. It’s of course very possible that the spoiler means that Dark Tiger will die (or be demolished if it is an android like we think) but it can also mean that Barnaby’s idea of a hero will “die”. In episode 19 it was very obvious from the interview that Kotetsu saw in the bar that Barnaby really looks up to him. When Barnaby remembers and realizes everything that’s been going on, he’ll probably be more than willing to adopt Kotetsu’s view.

We really hope we’re at least partially right with this because if we are, it’ll be glorious. ( ´∀`)☆ And we’re really looking forward to next Saturday now! The green Wild Tiger power suit makes a return in the preview, and there’s also a scene with the bikes. Some spoilers have told us that Kotetsu will come up with a very Kotetsu-like solution to the situation, and suggested to keep an eye on Tiger’s “sidecar” so the bikes might be closely involved in making Barnaby remember. Personally I hope Barnaby’s memories will return soon, there’s still a lot of work ahead to catch Maverick, and the upcoming episode titles aren’t all the brightest rays of sunshine. (Though we think that episode 23 title might actually refer to Maverick, not our heroes. Maybe some backlash will finally reach him.)

Supplemental speculah along the week, as usual. Oh and don’t forget that Tiger & Barnaby’s character song CD comes out on Wednesday!

29 comments on “Episode 21 or light at the end of the tunnel

  1. Wow, didn’t notice the Lunatic interview, Yuri must have been so happy when he saw that XD

    I’m wondering if the hero that will die is Dark Tiger. Since Kotetsu is about to lose his powers maybe after Dark Tiger is defeated they’ll just tell the media Wild Tiger is dead? I hope that’s it…

    As for Kaede, I really don’t want an end where she simply uses her powers to make everyone remember. So I’m hoping she accidently makes Doc Saito have his memories back and they team up or something -_-

  2. Regarding someone dying, I liked the theory that “Wild Tiger” would die (but not Kotetsu.) Maybe the death of Wild Tiger is somehow staged, and Kotetsu is allowed to escape into a normal life as a civilian. It made more sense before the last few episode, though, cause it’s all a big mess now.

    I’m still unclear as to whether the heros have been made to think that Wild Tiger has always been a robot, or if they actually think there’s a man in there that no one knows the identity of. If they think he’s a robot, what about all the interviews and photo shoots done with him in his domino mask? There’s hundreds, likely thousands of magazines out there, and of course the old wild tiger costume which is clearly no robot. Hmm.

    I’m curious to learn how Kaede’s role plays out. I’m excited for that part! And hopeful that she plays a role in the (still potential but damn are we hoping) second season. Especially if Tiger’s powers do wear out (though there’s been no mention of this… how much time does he have left anymore?) Then I dare say Kaede being the new Tiger would be delightful. However unbelievable it would be that Kotetsu would let Kaede be a Hero.

    • I don’t think Maverick thought this whole thing through. He’s not exactly a tactical genius, most of his moves he’s done on impulse. He’s keeping the heroes busy right now, buying himself some time. And since he controls the media in Sternbild he can spin whatever story he wants to feed to the public – and he believes they’ll buy it.

      I hope we’ll get some more information on the continuation by the time the final episode airs. It’d be crazy if they didn’t do something, what with how popular the show is!

  3. I agree with the theory that Fake Wild Tiger will die, and Kotetsu can live a normal life for some time, maybe another time skip and he’ll be needed as a hero again… That seems likely to me, tough… the series can’t end so quickly, right? … Anyway, I’m also looking forward to see how Kaede will take part in the story. This copycat power kinda reminds me of Peter Petrelli from Heroes, It’ll be awesome if she can use it like that!

    Lunatic? I think Yuri helped Kotetsu ’cause he had a bad feeling about Maverik, I mean, he did erased Wild Tiger from the database and that’s quite fishy. If I were Yuri, I’ll have my doubts about Hero TV and everything, and I’ll kidnap him and make him pay! (ok, my inner yaoi-fangirl really wants to kill Maverik now, but I’m trying to have an analytical talk in here! .. I’m seriously trying!)

    And also I have my doubts about Sternbild’s inhabitant’s memory, I mean, come on! Kotetsu has like, thousands of photos, videos, trading-cards and stuff with this face! And seriously, walking around with just a little mask(dunno what is called) to cover your identity… Either the people who see you are blind, they don’t look at details, or … well, you can decifre the rest of the sentence.

    Can’t wait for next week!
    You have a totally awesome blog~! Definetely love it~! X3
    See you. [/Barnaby] *fangirl squee* .. *faints*

    yeah, sorry about that…

    • It’s likely the series is going to be self-contained. It was expected to fail and fail hard so even though they might have planned for things to leave open for possible continuation, the studio never expected the success.

      The way media handles everything in Sternbild is pretty fishy, so we’ll probably get back to that issue in another post.

      Thank you, we’re happy you’re enjoying the blog!

  4. Argh… Hulu’s subtitling was dorked up, so I missed most of Maverick’s lines (and a few others, one subtitle even cut off mid-word, yeesh). Gonna try and hunt down a better subtitle later in the week. Even so, I was able to follow along pretty well and enjoyed it.

    Kotetsu’s plan… oh man, the mind just boggles on this one. 🙂 Personally, I suspect that if nothing else, the rooftop confrontation is going to serve as a distraction while Ben does whatever Kotetsu needs him to do for said plan. I don’t doubt Kotetsu is going to try to make his old friends remember, but I also don’t think he’s going to rely on that alone to save his hide.

    I too hope that the hero who’s going to die is Bizarro Tiger as well. I’d hate losing any member of this cast – they’re all just… really great.

    [sigh] Saturday seems so far right now.

    • I agree, the cast is so awesome. Usually I have one or two favourite characters in the shows I’m watching but with T&B, I love them all. Except Maverick. (╬ ಠ益ಠ)

          • Some more random thoughts:
            – regarding the green suits in the preview, could that be from a flashback (from Tiger trying to jog everyone’s memories) and the creators are just yanking our chain?

            – random speculation inspired by some online spoilers: while I expect everyone else to get their memories back mostly unscathed, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Barnaby (thanks to way too many Maverick brainscrews) ends up having a complete memory meltdown to the point where he can’t remember his own name.

            (Of course, if I was REALLY evil, this is when I’d have Jake come back into the picture, mwhahaha!)

          • Green suit is shown in same frame with Barnaby’s new black suit, so they can’t be flashbacks.

            I’ve seen the same spoilers that have been on /a/, we’ll see what’ll come true and what’s something else than we can deduct from them or even outright trolling.

            Time’s a’ticking, they’ve got 4 episodes left to wrap this up so things will probably start happening even faster.

  5. Do you think that the new suits were meant for Barnaby?
    So that he wouldn’t remember those 10 months of that green suit or something?

    • Considering how fast the new suits popped up, I think Maverick might actually have been planning to get rid of Kotetsu for a while already. Revenge is good for ratings, like the whole Jake case showed. Well-adjusted, happy Bunny who is getting friendly with his co-worker doesn’t make so good ratings even though he’s leading in points. I really don’t think Maverick expected Barnaby to get along with Kotetsu so well. The situation to get rid of the troublemaker just presented itself to Maverick and he’s going overboard with it now.

  6. If any hero has to die symbolically, I don’t think the one that will be is Tiger, but Barnaby.
    He’s the one who has to be apart form the public life, he’s the one who has to start from zero. About the part when Bunny learns what is to be a true hero, I think it means to protect what he loves and the person he loves the most (or the only one he loves in fact) right now it’s Kotetsu. He wants to be worthy of his trust and to be able to protect his happiness. Whether it is in battle (taking the bullet for him) or just being by his side.

    Well, let’s see what happens next!
    And thanks as always for your wonderful review 🙂

    • Thanks for reading!

      The spoiler was so ambiguous, so we’ll just have to wait and see if it’ll be a symbolic death or Dark Tiger biting it. And I really like your idea here! Barnaby’s going to have a hell of a time adjusting to everything after this is all over.

  7. Only 4 episodes left. Maverick must be stopped once and for all. There’s NO way in hell that he created an imposter Wild Tiger & brainwashed Barnaby.

    – Will Kotetsu find out the truth about Maverick’s evil plan?
    – Can Kotetsu saved Barnaby from mindwarped Maverick?
    – Can Kaede ever get to his dad in time?

    I guess that I was wrong about last time about Jake VS barnaby’s from ep13 thingy. It was all part of Maverick’s conspiracy! I swear a god! Somebody should snapped Barnaby out of this hellhole!

    • Thanatos is also the personification of Death in Greek mythology. (The Lunatic section title in the post was a jab at the Monthly Hero article on Lunatic that was flashed in the episode.)

  8. Lovely post here.
    Only one thing I’d like to point out; Maverick not only does not know how kotetsu’s daughter look like, I don’t think he even knows that he has a daughter.

    no matter how evil Maverick is and how he abuse his NEXT powers, I still think his scheme has a lot of weakness.

    • Maverick has access to all the personal files, so I’d be surprised if he didn’t know about Kotetsu’s daughter. But he probably doesn’t see a little girl as a danger.

  9. Everybody must have noticed it by now, but, as it seem that nobody has commented on it yet… Yuri Petrov´s tie has a striking resemblance with his flames and also with his Lunatic costume. Also, the scene that Kotetsu scapes from Sky High resembles Spider Man´s movements on its movies/comics. Dark Tiger doesn´t have any ads on his armor, and (Dark?) Bunny seem not to have any on his also. Although Dark Tiger´s explanation is easy (he´s a villain, like Lunatic), the same can´t be said about Bunny (it´s a new suit, it might be remotelly controled, could explain it). Also, it might be striking the producers that they aren´t getting as much money as they could be receiving from a exposure as large as they are giving to the sponsors (except from Bandai/Namco, that owns Sunrise and the other stores that are helping market the anime´s merch).
    Also, about Lunatic/Yuri Petrov, he´s already spoke about Thanatos on episode 16. Thanatos is the personification of death, but of peaceful death, unlike his sisters Keres, that are personifications of violent death. He´s also a guide to the dead (Lunatic speaks about atonements and also about rebirth). And… did he really kill his father? Project Monarch was, supposedly, a trauma-based mind control program. Since the entire demise of Legend was almost buried in secrets, and no one really seem to know how he died (on episode 16, again, Ben speaks about his demise, the framing of lots of arrests, but not of his death), it seems possible that it was another Maverick´s job.

  10. Ngggh that episode was brilliant! (I think I have watched it like, 10 times ever since it was released last Saturday, LOL.) Your summary is great, as always! (and it does the episode justice as well!)

    I’m not sure I want Kaede to save the day with her power, that would actually be a little bit far-fetched, in my opinion. :/ I mean, she just recently developed it, I don’t think she can master it that well. Also, isn’t she supposed to copy the powers of people she touches, and not the other way around?

    Things are looking bad for Kotetsu, though. :C I’m pretty sure the other Heros will remember him in the next episode, but I don’t think it will be the case for Barnaby. (he looks really badass in that new suit!)

    My question is unrelated, but do you think that Barnaby is actually his real name?
    I mean, I remember in episode 11th when Maverick says that he took his father’s name to fight crime under, but you can’t take your father’s name if it’s already your name, right? Also, his father’s name is shown to be ”Barnaby Brooks”, not ”Barnaby Brooks Sr.”. I find interesting that his name is never mentioned by his parents during the flashbacks, and that Samantha never calls him by his name… (though the subbers make her call him ”Master Barnaby”…) Any opinion on that? (LOL it’s such a small detail, but I’m curious about it)

  11. Pingback: Episode 22 or “Please remember me!” | This is Sternbild

  12. Pingback: Episode 24 or let’s believe HEROES | This is Sternbild

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