In an interesting twist, the heroic feats of super heroes are recorded as part of “Hero TV” and they receive points based on how well they do in either capturing the culprit or saving civilians.
Another surprise so far in this season, awesome and diverse characters in a show which knows how to both take itself seriously and have fun when it needs to.
“Orion wo nazoru” by UNISON SQUARE GARDEN. Download.
The first one up to take down the robbers is Fire Emblem who launches a fire ball at them, however before he can catch them, Rock Bison shows up and stops their truck from going any further, unintentionally they’re also able to escape due to this and are able to hijack a taxi. Luckily Dragon Kid shows up and is able to catch two of them while Origami Cyclone stands in the background, this means that there’s still one left though and he ends up hijacking the monorail. In the control room for Hero TV they’re concerned for the safety of the passengers but their producer, Agnes Joubert doesn’t want her show ruined, and when Wild Tiger shows up she tries to use it as a cliffhanger for the commercial break. However as a hero he refuses to go along with it and immediately takes action by activating his ability, which increases his strength one hundred fold for five minutes.
With this he puts a stop to the monorail and does a lot of damage to it at the same time, but once again the robber escapes and this time the apparent fan favourite Sky High shows up to take him down, but prioritises saving the civilians. Leaving the robber with Wild Tiger as the airship they’re on hurtles towards a ship, luckily Blue Rose arrives to freeze the air ship in place, saving all those aboard the ship as she says her catch phrase which plays on the way that cold and hold rhyme. However the robber breaks free from Wild Tiger and while he wasn’t harmed, his ability runs out of time. In something of a surprise though, an unknown hero arrives on the scene, saves Wild Tiger and catches the culprit, making no attempt to hide his identity.
After this Blue Rose performs for a cheering crowd and Wild Tiger tries to figure out the unknown hero’s intentions, let alone why he exposed his identity, only to be treated like an old man. The judging comes up after this and backstage, Wild Tiger or Kotetsu T. Kaburagi receives a lecture from his backer Ben Jackson about the damage he caused and how their sponsors will have to fit the bill, but in light of this he happily sends him off to the judging ceremony. However out of the seven heroes he ended up coming sixth and the ceremony is seemingly overshadowed by the introduction of the unknown hero, Barnaby Brooks Jr. who’s ability happens to be identical to Kotetsu’s. And seeing this he leaves the stage.
As he wanders through the streets he sees that his time as a hero may just about be over, and over at the celebration dinner, Origami Cyclone’s sponsor praises him on showing up in the background, Blue Rose tells her sponsor how she hates her catchphrase, and Agnes tells the company head that she intends to make the show a lot more exciting. Around the same time Kotetsu arrives home and receives a call from his daughter, Kaede telling him about her recital and when his mother takes over, she tells him that he’s too reckless.
To his surprise the next day, Kotetsu finds that the company who sponsors him has been bought out with Ben apologising for not telling him earlier and telling how he’ll always be a fan of his as he sends him to his new employer. So he goes to meet him and not long after this, reports of a giant moving statue arrive in so he heads out in his new suit. But before he left he was told that their company was going to aim for the first ever hero duo, and so as he arrives on the scene he meets up with Rock Bison but soon finds that his real partner is none other than Barnaby.
Onto the next episode, the duo make their way with Kotetsu in the sidecar as the moving statue takes out a billboard, during all of this Barnaby also surveys the situation so he can make a good entrance. On the ground below, Blue Rose makes her entrance with Origami Cyclone once again in the background, by the time it gets back to Kotetsu and Barnaby, the latter has already headed in and when the former attempts to use his wire to bring the statue down. They end up tangled as the statue brings it’s hammer down.
Luckily though it suddenly stopped before it was too late, and when Kotetsu arrives back at the office, his new boss makes it clear that he’s the sidekick and sends him to the research department to learn about his new suit. Here the guy who put it together speaks in an incredibly quiet voice as he demonstrates just how well his new suit and old suit fare against flamethrowers, chainsaws, and being blown up, among other things he also threw in a watch. Which reminds him where he needs to be, so as he prepares to head out he tries to explain things to Kaede but something comes up before he can go to her recital.
When they arrive on the scene they spot a boy in contact with the statue, and while Kotetsu wants to save him, Barnaby suspects that he could be a NEXT, someone who like them has been gifted with a power of some sort as part of a mutation that first appeared some 45 years prior to the series. After this a look into Kotetsu’s past is given, where when he was younger he was saved by a hero called Mr Legend who convinced him that his power should be used to save people. He wakes up soon after this in the hands of the frozen statue, where he nicknames Barnaby, Bunny and when reports of another statue on the move come in, he uses his power to break free.
Once he finds the statue, he’s told not to damage it and spotting the same boy on its back, he tries to get him to come down only to have him race off towards the ice rink where Kaede’s recital is. So he uses his ability to race to the scene and help people escape, but when he spots Kaede some of the rubble starts to fall and he doesn’t make it in time. However none other than Barnaby saved her, once again they then come face to face with the boy and they find that what he’s doing is due to the other boys bullying him because of his ability. So Kotetsu tries to reach out to him and tells him the same thing Mr Legend told him and convinces him to hand himself over.
Soon after this though, the ice rink starts to collapse so Rock Bison, Blue Rose, Sky High, and Kotetsu try to hold it up, but there’s one problem, Kotetsu’s time limit has ran out. So he calls out to the boy, Tony, to help them stop it, and so by using the same statue from before they’re able to stop it. In the end Tony is arrested and as he’s driven away, he and Kotetsu bump fists the same way that he and Mr Legend had before, with the boy who bullied him earlier telling him that he looked cool.
After all of this, Barnaby complained about having to work with Kotetsu but was convinced to keep going, and when Kotetsu apologised to Kaede for missing her recital, he finds that she’s become a fan of Barnaby. During the epilogue to this, Barnaby curses an organisation called Ouroboros as he holds a picture of his family.
“hoshi no sumika” by Aobozu. Download.
Another show that’s grabbed my interest so far, as not only does it have a fun sort of atmosphere to it but it can also take itself kind of seriously when it needs to, and in an interesting twist the heroes themselves are all sponsored by companies and their heroic feats broadcast. Most of all however, I just like the characters for it, so far they’re all fairly interesting and if anything Kotetsu (voiced by Hiroaki Hirata) makes for a good protagonist.
If anything he’s also one of the things that I really like about this show so far, he’s the lovable loser type of protagonist and if there was one thing that the first episode tried to get across, it was that he was past his prime. With little things like how even the robber didn’t want to be saved by him and how he pretty much ranked last showing this early on, while how he saw that his cards had sold the least and how a kid he helped out gave him the one he had, made this clear to him as well. Secondly as a character he’s also pretty fun and as a main I guess you could say that because he has a daughter, he’s also pretty unique as well. Another thing that I liked about his character was that he was honestly acting as a hero to save people, something that stood out amongst all of the commercialism associated with them in this show which has them essentially act as billboards.
In contrast to Kotetsu we also have Barnaby (voiced by Masakazu Morita), and while the whole “I can’t stand working with this guy” thing between them may be kind of cheesy, I still find it pretty interesting in how they’ve pretty much thrown the rookie hero and the veteran hero together, with the veteran as the sidekick. However given Barnaby’s way as a hero I’m interested to see whether Kotetsu will be acting as something of a mentor to him, teaching him just what it means to be one from his perspective. The way he seems to prioritise doing things like making a grand entrance suggests that there could be more to it, especially from what the end scene of the second episode and the preview showed, so I’m interested to see how this will turn out as well.
The plot for the second episode may have been kind of cheesy as well, but for what it was I liked it, it gave us a look into what drove Kotetsu as a hero while giving him a chance to give the same sort of drive to a kid who felt that his power was more of a curse than anything else. Going as far as to give him the same sort of advice that Mr Legend had given him, so it was kind of nice to see his flashback and past tie into this. On the side of all of this having Kotetsu try and make it in time for Kaede’s recital may have also been kind of cliche, but I still liked it in how it helped show that there was more to him than being a hero and at the same time it was kind of sad to see her start to idolise Barnaby.
An interesting twist about this show that got me interested in it would have also had to have been the way that the heroes themselves are commercialised, or sponsored. As not only does it mean that they’re advertising for the company that sponsors them when they save people or fight crime, but it also answers one question, who exactly fits the bill whenever something is broken or destroyed. And not only that but due to this they’re responsible not to do this, and can’t just go around thoughtlessly destroying whatever gets in their way. On another interesting note related to this it also appears that the sponsors themselves also have some influence over how they act, particularly Blue Rose who doesn’t particularly like the way that her sponsor markets her as something on an idol as well.
Something related to this was also the “Hero TV” itself, which turns the heroic feats that the heroes perform into a form of entertainment and competition as well, and while the idea of making cheap entertainment out of this sort of thing is something that I find rather questionable. It’s still one of the things that’s interesting about this show, providing a careful balance between acting as a hero and pulling in ratings. Something which from Agnes’ words and the sort of personality she’s shown so far, could come up as an issue later in the series.