Episode 25 or all’s well that ends well

I feel somewhat reluctant to write this, because it’ll just be another thing signifying that all good things have to come to an end… But what an end!

25. Eternal Immortality.
-永久不滅-

We didn’t expect to see this much hero action in this episode after all the action scenes in the previous one, but it was really cool to see all the heroes fight Maverick’s army of androids. One has to wonder just what kind of technology has gone into them considering how hard they are to beat, and the heroes would have lost had it not been Doc Saitou successfully hacking them.

Maverick getting rid of Rotwang was also as expected, since he’d served his purpose and it was apparent that Maverick loathed him even more than Rotwang hated NEXTs. (Also, is it just me or did that mainframe thing Maverick ran to to cancel the safety mode on the androids look like that scene in Karas?) Maverick seemed so certain he’d get away with everything, but that was before Agnes delivered the biggest “Fuck yeah!” moment in the episode by playing her cards carefully and being in the right place at the right time with the TV crew.

Return from Hell

I guess a lot of people were worried about Kotetsu, despite the way how Tiger & Bunny is oozing with superhero clichés. Heroes do not die, but I admit I had a bit of a doubtful twinge in the back of my head too. “What if…” This was one way we didn’t mind to be trolled in. I called that we’d get a snoring Kotetsu and although that’d been perfectly in character of him, his “return from the depths of Hell” was just as goofy as expected. Even Bunny’s signature salute can’t give him enough cool to sustain it for more than 10 seconds. Since there’s a definite brohug moment and this time it’s Bunny doing the hugging, I’m not going to say a word of complaint about the way he decided to return “from death”. (The whole thing was just so damn KOTETSU.)

Learn to read the atmosphere, Karina. They were having a moment!

Ouroborosouroborosouroboros

After Maverick’s spontaneous choice to virtually lobotomize himself with his own NEXT power, we’re back to square one with Ouroboros. Maverick’s words also point to Ouroboros actually being that “certain organization” which throws a curve ball at all our speculation. But what is Ouroboros? Are they criminals? A secret society? Something operating in the shadow and secrecy, or something so big that they’re in plain sight but you just won’t see it because it’s always been there. Whatever they are, they’re powerful enough to drive Maverick to erase his own mind. Did he do it out of fear of reprimand if he revealed something he wasn’t supposed to, or to protect Ouroboros? There are more questions than answers again. In the ending scene the Ouroboros symbol that was removed from Stern Dollar in the BD version makes a return, too. It might signify that a continuation will deal more with Ouroboros – or it might just be a nod to many Hollywood movies that end in a stinger like that.

Lunatic finishing off Maverick could be seen as redundant since the man was already a vegetable. That doesn’t mean he didn’t deserve his punishment in Lunatic’s view of justice, and Lunatic can do things heroes can’t. Yuri must have seen Maverick’s boast on how he had committed no sin and how he displayed no remorse on live TV, and that’s like waving a flag to Lunatic to come and kill him. All that considered, Lunatic delivering the final blow was expected. (Also, he looked fabulous while doing it.)

Heroes, a year later

A year passes but some things don’t change. It’s nice to see how the other heroes are doing in their private lives, as well as how they’re continuing as heroes.

I’ve actually been waiting for some feminist to bust out a complaint about Pao-Lin in a dress, but luckily I’ve not seen one. She’s Chinese, those are her parents and she’s just showing respect to them because she knows they care about her. She’ll probably change out of the dress as soon as she’s out of their sight.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

You wouldn't have seen this headbutt before - now it shows they're on equal footing.

The timeskip we get in the end shows that Kotetsu and Barnaby have spent some time apart, figuring out their lives – and this is a good thing! They’re both adults who need to have their own lives. Gone are the clingy Bunny and the revenge-seeking Bunny, and although he still seems to have things he needs to figure out, he’s grown much stronger. He’s not returning to being a hero just because Kotetsu returned, but because it’s what he’s decided to do now out of his own free will and not because someone has manipulated him to do it. The memories of his parents and the way they protected him even from beyond the grave set him on the path to become a protector and returning as a hero is just the last step to confirm it. (And as a fine detail we finally have a confirmed birthdate for Barnaby.)

As for Kotetsu, he had to figure out what he wanted to do with his life, too. We’re not surprised he returned to being a hero, because it meant so much to him. He’d probably end up going stir crazy (and driving his family crazy while he’s at it) if he didn’t get to do the things he loves so much. Besides, giving up isn’t in his vocabulary, nor is it a part of his character. He’s gone through midlife crisis and tried a different way of life. Kotetsu has always carried a strong message to the audience and now it’s also expanded to “don’t set limits to yourself and don’t let others limit you”. I think his decision to quit as a hero was influenced by people like Ben suggesting that he should do so.

Kotetsu and Barnaby may have been apart for a while but their bond has just gotten stronger, the headbutt after yet another Princess Carry speaks volumes. They’re on equal ground now, stronger as individuals and stronger together – and totally comfortable around each other. This time Kotetsu doesn’t even bother to protest to Barnaby carrying him in his strong arms (he wasn’t even using Hundred Power). This ending delivers what we wanted from the series, because it shows they’ll still be a part of each other’s lives. (Though we didn’t expect them to return to being heroes.)

Last chance to troll

There are many ways to interpret the title of the episode, so I feel like there’s some trolling going on with it. It could refer to Kotetsu and Barnaby’s bond that has grown much stronger. It could refer to Ouroboros since “it won’t die” and the Ouroboros symbol also signifies infinity. Or it could mean Kotetsu’s spirit and his drive to never give up being himself, forever.

There’s a lot of material – things left open-ended and a whole basket of red herrings the production team inserted into the series – that can be used for S2. All those things make the world of Tiger & Bunny feel more complete even though they’re left unexplained, because they also show much planning and attention the story received.

That’s it for now. We haven’t enjoyed another show like this… like never ever. The ending felt good(man) and left us with a huge grin on our faces (Aki calls this an understatement but come on, I don’t have words for this!). Nothing is ever perfect, but even with the imperfections Tiger & Bunny is no doubt the best anime we’ve seen in a very long time – and we don’t expect to see anything like it for a while.

Thanks for watching with us and discussing with us, and reading our crazy theories. It’s been a blast. We ain’t going anywhere, though. There’s all that sweet merchandise coming out, NEXT PROJECT, BD extra drama CDs, another character song CD… And whatever continuation might follow. (I’ve actually warmed up to the idea of a 2nd season after I realized just how much material they still have that could be used for it.)

See ya!

21 comments on “Episode 25 or all’s well that ends well

  1. Half assed theory because it was right before sleep:
    Sternbild was a rundown city with shitload of crime because Ouroboros was fully repressing the citizens (could have started out as a small crime syndicate). Maverick offers them technology and want to stabilize the city, bringing in Justice in the form of NEXT heroes, since they were starting to appear more and threaten the power Ouroboros held. But Ouroboros will remain in charge of controlling both Justice and Crime, only now it’ll be more lucrative than just having control over the old Sternbild in a negative way.

    Only in Ouroboros there were also NEXT, who hadn’t come forward.
    And the NEXT change made some people in Ouroboros, like Jake, want to move the city in another direction since he didn’t like the way the Justice side ridiculed NEXT.
    Ouroboros is probably more mixed now, with both NEXT and humans who more or less oppose to the heroes, but are fine as long as they can control them.

    Forgot to mention that this is “Maverick telling them what they want”. He obviously just wanted to make Hero TV more successful than it was when NEXT were still unpopular and the city was rundown.

    I can see that Brooks probably worked on the robots that would “help people” to stabilize the city as well.

    So in a way Maverick did save the city, but at the same time everything became Ouroboros.
    Made way more sense in my head.

  2. I loved this ending so much, I’m glad it wasn’t a downer and I’m so unbelievably happy they set so much up for a sequel. One thing I would say though is that I wish they hadn’t made the time skip as big as a whole year. I think 1-2 months would have been better because I think that, realistically, is how long it would take Kotetsu to get bored of sitting around the house lol. Although obviously then the scene with Barnaby sitting at his parent’s graves in the snow wouldn’t have been so fitting in February/March. I really enjoyed that scene…

    What do you guys think of 1-Minute Wild Tiger? Good or bad? I personally want Saito to invent a serum to help him get his powers back because I don’t like the idea of him being a second-rate hero. Though with Barnaby by his side I have no doubt they’ll hit the big leagues again soon enough!

    • I think Kotetsu could continue as a hero even without his powers, he could handle himself just fine while on the run and trying to save his 100 Power. He’s probably learned to deal with his shorter time limit, so he’ll be careful when to use the power.

  3. You know… I’m waiting for the explosion of Bunnicula!Barnaby fanart to begin. As a Halloween Bunny, I think I may just start spawning it.

    As a side note, I loved this episode. I’d figured his sensors were down since the suit was destroyed, and all I could think of was a scene from Hot Fuzz, where Nicholas is cradling Danny in his arms. HF was just as loaded with (deliberate) cliches as T&B, so I figured it’d all be all right in the end.

    Though I’ll confess I let out 3 [Squeaks of Joy] during the episode… When Kotetsu gets up and punches Maverick dead in the face, when Lunatic finishes that jackass off (Like so many others, I’d almost thought it was Ouroboros coming to claim him, despite the Red Moon giving away who it was), and finally… Antonio nicely eating out with Nathan… Who is still a dirty ol’ fox, and we love him for it. 😄

    I’m sincerely awaiting the proclamation “S2 confirmed! Heroes will return on (Date)!” Maybe we’ll find a way to increase Tiger’s Stamina right back up. 😉 No one wants to last only a minute.

  4. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’m going to miss Tiger & Bunny, it was an amazing ride, and I can’t wait for what’s next (cause you KNOW there’s going to be more).

    It’s crazy, everything I was worried about happened; Kotetsu and Barnaby split up, Kotetsu retired and (presumably) left Sternbild, Kaede didn’t end up living with her dad, etc, but it all worked out in the end. I don’t think I could have asked for a better ending.

  5. haha, you know, for all my “confidence” that Kotetsu would live, I still had that “what if” as well, and when I found out that he was alive, I actually…BREATHED, this sigh of relief. Whew. THANK YOU. I didn’t need another favourite character dying on me, especially not one as lovable as Kotetsu.

    You know, one thing I noted as well was how strangely comfortable Kotetsu was when Barnaby princess carried him. No protests, nothing. They had an ENTIRE conversation while in that position, and it actually felt completely natural. And the way Barnaby just…looked at Kotetsu for a few seconds, before speaking, as if he was taking in everything about his partner again, for the first time. I really like how their relationship is developing, but it makes me wonder, if during the one year gap, whether Barnaby and Kotetsu communicated ? It would be interesting to have an episode or some sort of clue from the writers as to what happened in the one year gap. Still, whether or not they communicated, when they saw each other again in that scene, it was as if they never parted. I loved that.

    thank you tiger and bunny ! You were awesome all round.

  6. Scarf Girl actually made 3 appearance in this episode. The episode proper when she’s one of the spectator down below the Justice Tower. Once sitting on the fountain in the year after, and in the sequal hook when she ran by the news stand. Is that a new record for her appearances?

    • I’ll check for her again, thanks! The weekend was kinda insane here at This is Sternbild (and the insanity still continues!). I think that was record amount, but the longest appearance she had was probably in episode 7.

  7. “Though we didn’t expect them to return to being heroes” – THIS.
    I didn’t expect that too, I’m so shocked!
    But the end is still AWESOME, this is my favorite anime EVER, and I’m impatient for waiting 2d season!
    Awwwwwwwwwwwwww ❤

    • “Though we didn’t expect them to return to being heroes” – THIS.

      … makes it easier for use to have a Season 2!

  8. What I was always curious about is the actual mutation of the NEXT. Some hero stories always have a reason behind how a group of people suddenly get their powers. Maverick gives the history of it appearing many years ago and Jake seems to imply that it’s the next step for human evolution. So what if the mutation is really just that? Humans evolving. And with Kriem saying that she and Jake were just a small fraction of Ouroboros, maybe they too think of themselves as being above humans.

    • I think if they want to explain NEXTs it’ll probably be done in S2 or some spin-off material like manga. Though if they’re deeply connected with Ouroboros and if S2 will be about Ouroboros they’ll probably give the backstory then.

  9. i’m copypasta-ing my fantheory here

    the scene at the end, where the money showed the ouroborous symbol…

    had me thinking that Ouroboros isn’t exactly wrecking havoc. Maybe the organization is plotting something in the shadows in the guise of Stern Bild authorities. Why else would it be printed on the money? They might have something to do with the economy or money system. If it’s a pro-NEXT movement like Jake claims it to be, then they might be using Heroes as puppets so that normal people bow down to NEXT.

    because there are still unanswered question on how NEXT came to be. I’m not accepting ‘human evolution’ as an excuse, but there has to be a ‘beginning’. And why are the NEXT powers vary and random. If they don’t explain this in season 2, I don’t mind if they do in the official books etc. I’m thinking that the origin of NEXT could have something to do with Ouroboros, or vice versa. Perhaps a virus failed/successful secret science experiment that spread throughout the world and infect people randomly. Since they took to the account of roboticist, why don’t they have the Department of NEXT Research? or even a Data Bank on NEXT?

    I’d like the second season to answer questions, mainly what is Ouroboros and what is the origin of NEXT

    • I could copypasta my answer to previous comment to you too. 😄

      I think they simply didn’t have enough time to delve into the history of NEXT given how tight timeframe the series had. Hopefully it’ll be revealed in the future, since there seems to be tons of material that Nishida wrote for the series but that didn’t get used.

  10. There was one thing in episode 25 that really bugs me, Maverick’s death. Now, I understand that the way they went about mind wiping him was to made to look like permanent brain damage, which is fine.
    My problem is that it wasnt specifically stated that the effects of whatever he did were permanent. It had already been established that Kaede can reverse Maverick’s mind control. So, by not telling us that it was permanent, they’ve opened up a huge plot hole in which the whole mystery of Ouroboros could have been solved…and then lunatic kills him…

  11. The Case of Barnaby’s parents murder is finally over.

    The identity of Lunatic’s face would be revealed in the public.

    Kaede should become a dream of being a Hero just like her dad.

    TIGER & BUNNY will continue….

  12. tbh it’s not about feminism or chinese culture, pao lin is pretty much confirmed trans at this point. Doesn’t think of themself as a girl, and in the rising is so flat chested i’m pretty sure they’re binding. Expand your horizons and stop shadowboxing with imaginary evil feminists, my friend.

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