Opinion: Please, take my money!

Hello! I’m derpchan, the member of Sternbild who is trying to find ways to kill time before episode 21 airs. There’s a lot of merchandise talk now that release dates are finally coming up, so I figured I’d share some of my thoughts on that. It’s not something new for me to buy stuff related to my favourite show/movie/book/etc. I’ve got a collection of figures, books, posters, gunpla, games, CDs and DVDs that I’ve accumulated over the years to show my powerlevel. But Tiger & Bunny is really making me lay down the cash from my meager funds like no fandom before has. And judging how fast the merchandise is selling out already on preorders, I’m not the only one…

Popular theory: Keiichi Satou is a powerful NEXT.
His ability is to make people buy merchandise.

Usually I buy a lot of fanmade goods, so I didn’t mind it too much that to begin with there was barely any official merchandise for Tiger & Bunny. Many people were even looking up stuff that had been placed in the show by the animators and buying those instead to fill the merchandise void. (I wonder if Kenzo has noticed an increase in sales thanks to Tiger & Bunny? People are still buying it to smell like Kotetsu!) Now it’s like the floodgates have been opened and stuff just keeps popping up left and right (and selling out on preorders) and every week there’s something new when I check the store listings.

For me, wanting to support the show plays a big part in why I’m buying so much merchandise. I could manage without, and I could certainly use my money for something that I need more. But there’s just something irresistible about Tiger & Bunny. And it gives an odd feeling of satisfaction to me to proverbially push my money over the counter (I buy most of the stuff online, see?) to prove it to Sunrise that the show they had no faith in is really pretty awesome, at least in my opinion. That’s also why I’m mostly buying official merchandise this time – I want my money to count.

Although I’m dying to have that shiny Fire Emblem Figuarts on my shelf, I don’t expect actually getting one. The battle for every Figuarts preorder so far has been bloody, and with online stores crashing under the flood of people wanting the items I don’t expect success in getting a preorder in. Many of my friends want especially Sky High, and I’ve got a feeling there’ll be a lot of tears and despair when he finally becomes available. Even Rock Bison who isn’t so popular among the Western fandom as in Japan sold out in minutes. In that light it’s kind of relieving to be primarily a book collector, since even though the books are selling out they’re not going as fast as the figures. There’s gonna be at least as many as five or six official source books (maybe even more) and only two are out so far, so I won’t be done with my book shopping any time soon.

I wanted to finish this post with a sip from a Barnaby coffee mug like a boss, but sadly it hasn’t arrived yet. How’s the shopping working for you guys?

Opinion: Two Daddies Ending

If you’ve followed the fandom on both the Japanese and the Western side, you’ve probably noticed that we’re thinking on the same lines about how Tiger & Bunny should end. Most of us want everyone to be happy when the final credits roll – especially Kotetsu and Barnaby. And well, if being together makes them happy then that’s how it should be. I’m talking about the so-called “Two Daddies Ending”. This can mean a variety of things, depending on your own standpoint and how you see the characters. For simplicity, I’m going to say that it means that Kotetsu and Barnaby will continue to be a part of each other’s lives in a meaningful way.

The Tiger & Bunny fandom is one of the most mature and open-minded ones, if not the most open-minded one I’ve ever been a part of. Browsing through imageboards I’ve seen numerous comments from people who point out that they “don’t like the gay” but they still would like to see Kotetsu and Barnaby end up together. (And while Tiger & Bunny does have a pretty big yaoi fangirl following, that has very little to do with this since those fangirls can be found in just about any given fandom.) The way I see it is that many Tiger & Bunny fans have found the acceptance that love and happiness can come in many forms regardless of gender – and those forms don’t have to include sex.

Director Satou obviously has a plan, and to me it seems that part of it has been blurring out gender as much as possible. The choice of not giving detailed character profiles could also play into this, since it allows us to experience the characters based on how they act and what they say, without being defined by their attributes. Take a look at Nathan for example. Most of us probably had prejudices about the character at first, but now everyone loves him. Nathan also shows that there’s very little prejudice in the world of Tiger & Bunny. The way the other heroes act around him makes it seem like he doesn’t stand out from the norm, and we haven’t heard any negative comments from other characters in the series. As the owner of Helios Energy he’s also a very influential person. You could of course argue that we just aren’t shown it, but for now I’ll argue that you can’t show something that just isn’t there. (I’ve written an opinion on Nathan before, you can read it here.)

With the choices he’s made and how the characters have developed, Satou has created a world where he could pull off that Two Daddies Ending if he wanted to. It would still be a pretty bold move if he did it, but a large part of the fandom seems ready to accept it. This alone is a huge achievement, along with how unified both the Japanese and the Western fandom are in wanting happiness for the characters.

Ultimately, I think most of us are ready to accept any ending that will make the characters we’ve grown to love so much to be happy.

(Btw, here‘s the Pixiv tag for arts with Kotetsu, Barnaby and Kaede.)

Opinion: Kotetsu isn’t a bad parent

Since there’s a small uproar about Kotetsu making this list of bad anime parents on ANN, I wanted to add my own two cents to the mix. This was supposed to be a part of the post I’m writing on Kotetsu, but I’m not gonna post that until next episode has aired.

This topic is brought up every now and then and many people diss Kotetsu for being a bad parent and never seeing his daughter. Personally, I disagree. He keeps constantly in touch with Kaede and tries to be a part of her life even though his work always gets in the way. Also, I think there’s a little cultural clash going on here. I can speak only from my own experience of the time I lived in Japan, but it’s still fairly common that fathers have to stay away from their families because of work. It’s not because they’re bad parents, it’s the Japanese work culture, and they’re still providing for the family. Coming from a Western background I had some trouble coming to terms with this and how for example the mother of my host family was fine with her husband working abroad for months at a time (in fact, I only met him once during my stay). Kotetsu is living in a situation that the original target audience – 40 year-old males – he was designed to appeal to is familiar with. He obviously cares about his daughter very much, but his work as a hero is also important to him, and it’s his way to provide for her and keep her and the world she lives in safe. All the times Kotetsu has missed the meeting with Kaede have been because of situations beyond his control. It doesn’t justify that he’s had to let her down so many times, and it’s hard for Kaede to understand why her father keeps doing it when he can’t tell her about his job. But Kotetsu tries his best with what chances he has and you can tell he wants to see his daughter more often.

This was also mentioned in the partially cut out section of the interview where producer Tamura talked about Kotetsu’s brother. The bits we could read said that Kotetsu fears Kaede might be attacked by people holding a grudge against him, and having her live with him would put her in direct danger. He wants Kaede to stay away from all the hero business.

I think that the person who compiled the list has failed to understand Kotetsu’s character. Not to mention putting him on a list of “parents you’d call the child services on” is sending a totally wrong message. Would you like to have had child services called on your parents when they had to work hard to provide for the family when you were a child? There’s no indication that Kotetsu’s actually making a lot of money despite his popularity having gone up after teaming up with Barnaby.

This is my personal opinion and you are free to disagree with me. My thinking may be a bit more mature since I fall into the original target audience age-wise, and even though I don’t have children of my own, most of my friends and all my siblings have children. Parents sometimes have to make hard compromises for the good of their children, decisions that may be difficult for the children to understand but those decisions don’t make them bad parents.

Episode 15 or nice guys just can’t get a break

That thing with summer and swimsuits that producer Tamura talked about in the magazine snippet we found? Well we did get characters in swimsuits in this episode, just as he promised. But no beach episode. In other words, trolled again. (; ̄д ̄) And apart from finding inventive ways to distract us with, this episode had a lot of interesting stuff going on…

15. The sky’s the limit…

This week, King of Moe has his spot in the limelight. And Tiger & Bunny is a really cruel show to the nicest of the nice guys.

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