With Barnaby ensuring that he can handle things on his own, Mr Lloyds gives Kotetsu the permission to take some paid vacation time, and so during this time he decides to head back to his hometown and visit his family. Being picked up by his older brother Muramasa.
And upon returning home he meets his mother who picks up on something bothering him and takes a look around his old room, which now belongs to Kaede and is decorated with Barnaby photos, unfortunately she returns home at this point and is pissed about the idea of him going through her stuff. Leading to a tense atmosphere between them that barely even cracks when he gives her an autographed photo book of her hero.
Following this he meets his brother after hours at his bar, who also notices that something’s bothering him and unlike their mother presses on to get him to talk. Leading to him telling him about the predicament he’s in and how he refuses to let it end because of it, and to this Muramasa just tells him to rest and that his powers aren’t everything in his life. So as he watches Barnaby handle things on his own, he remembers how he was called in when his wife, Tomoe was ill but still insisted that he went and made him promise that he would always be a hero. However when he came back she had passed away. The next morning he’s woken up by Kaede’s panicked calls when his mother collapsed when her back went out, and upon ensuring her that everything will be okay and seeing her off to school, she tells him that she hates him.
Later that day Kotetsu goes to visit Tomoe’s grave and meets Muramasa again, who explains that Kaede had overreacted only because her grandmother is the only one she has left after he ran off to Sternbild and her mother died. Forcing him to reflect on these things as his mother works in her vegetable garden, regardless of what happened earlier. At the same time Kaede has gone to pray for her grandmother but with a storm approaching she finds herself trapped inside the shrine with no way of getting out. And worried that something may have happened to her, Kotetsu and Muramasa head out to look for her and with things becoming grim, Kotetsu uses his Hundred Power to boost his hearing and hears her crying out for him. And now that he’s found her he wastes no time in clearing the debris from the entrance, and even as he runs out of time he flings it aside and manages to save her just as the shrine started to slip away, both apologising for what they’ve done wrong.
During the epilogue Kotetsu prepares to head back to Sternbild, informing his family that he’ll be handing in his resignation, and as the train departs Kaede runs down and completely off the platform with her developing NEXT powers to hand him a drawing she’s done. Ending with him convinced he’ll be able to keep the promise he made to Tomoe.
In quite a few ways the way Kotetsu and Kaede interacted may have been kind of cliche in a predictable sort of way but I really loved what we got to see in this episode, we may have gotten something which was a bit more important at the time but it was exactly what I was expecting to see in episode 10. Also Tomoe going onto be Mrs Kaburagi was confirmed.
Which was both nice and tragic to see at the same time, since from the drama cd where Tomoe first appeared, she was Kotetsu’s tsundere classrep who wears glasses and ends up being saved by him back in highschool, being voiced by Maaya Sakamoto who pretty much confirmed in this episode that she went on to marry him after it. However while it may have been nice to have the story that the drama cd covered connect with the main series, it’s because of this otherwise happy and lighthearted background that the two of them have that Tomoe’s death became all the more tragic. The two of them had their happy ending but the story wasn’t done just yet. And with it, it also felt like a step forward to learn that she was one of the main backing forces that made Kotetsu continue on his path as a hero, that he had made a promise to always be one, which he must have always been thinking about whenever he looked at a photo of her in the past episodes.
However even as he started to lose his powers what the episode seemed to try and mainly tell Kotetsu was that he could still keep being a hero but he would have to narrow it down a bit, that while he couldn’t be a hero of Sternbild he could always be a hero in Kaede’s eyes. It’s actually a pretty good message when you think about it, even if he completely lost his powers he could still maintain his promise by doing that and it was great to see him start to prioritise things through this. However while he may have made his decision to quit I hardly think this will be the end we’ll see of Wild Tiger, there’s still at least several more episodes so either a lot of things are going to happen in between or something’s going to happen to force him to don his suit again towards the end. That aside however I also wonder how Barnaby is going to handle his decision.
Finally if there was one thing I was looking forward to seeing in this episode, aside from some more details on Kotetsu’s late wife, it was the interactions between Kotetsu and his family. In a sense they may have all been kind of cliche with how both his mother and older brother, Muramasa could tell that something was bothering him, and above all the way he interacted with Kaede was far too predictable, but despite that they were all good to see. Especially considering that we’ve only seen them talking over the phone and not in person, it said enough but not as much. And so with that I’m looking forward to seeing how he’ll further mend the strained relationship he has with his family, if he really does carry through and quit at some point, it could even lead to him helping Kaede with her NEXT powers and giving her a nudge in the direction he chose himself.