Home > Episode Reviews, Tiger & Bunny > Tiger & Bunny Episode 20 – Rewrite

Tiger & Bunny Episode 20 – Rewrite

Tiger & Bunny has never been one to trailblaze new paths so much as to revisit familiar grounds in original ways. At heart, despite the knowing winks and the cynical inclusion of marketing gimmicks both as a plot device and an external source of revenue, it’s a classic superhero show, with storylines that would be familiar to comic book readers everywhere.

One of the classic storylines is the hero falsely accused, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that just that fate befalls Wild Tiger this episode. I’m a little surprised, however, that it happened in the way it did, for reasons both internal to the story and because of its timing in the season. There are some strong indications that this is the final arc of the season, and I don’t see how it can get stretched out until the end of the show.

Maverick gets plenty of villainous moments in this episode, including being flanked with his own set of violent thugs in suits

The basic plot involves the inevitable complication facing clandestine villains everywhere: How do you hide the fact that you are doing criminal activity without performing more criminal acts for others to ferret out? For Albert Maverick, his memory wiping ability gives him a natural edge, but it’s limited by being obvious—unless a target is bound or otherwise incapacitated, Maverick’s attempts can be easily dodged or evaded, particularly by superheroes.

Maverick moves quickly to eliminate the remaining people who knew about Barnaby’s memory lapse: Tiger and Barnaby’s old housekeeper. While capturing the latter is easy, Tiger manages through dumb luck to avoid being drugged, and even discovers a key piece of evidence that casts further suspicion on Maverick. Of course, Tiger manages through just being dumb not to put two and two together and suspect Maverick of any wrongdoing, but it causes the CEO to change his plans.

Another sign of stupidity: entering someone's house without permission and sleeping there for the night. It's a wonderful way to leave incriminating evidence

Maverick decides to wipe the memories of anyone on staff who knows Wild Tiger’s secret identity. He then deletes any records about it, kills off the housekeeper, and frames Kotetsu for the murder. Caught completely by surprise (and possibly still unaware of who was even responsible for it), Kotetsu is forced on the run, with every hero, led by the vengeful Barnaby, looking to take down a rogue Next.

It’s a clever plan, but perhaps too clever. Maverick managed to wipe the memories of anyone close at hand, but Kotetsu’s mother and brother, for example, still know about his true identity. No one will believe them, but Wild Tiger’s former manager is also around driving a cab in the city, and I strongly suspect that he’ll have something to do with keeping Kotetsu out of trouble next episode.

... which is a problem when someone wants to incriminate you

There’s just a lot of new loose ends to cover up with this method (including where the “real” Wild Tiger disappeared off to), and it seems remarkably unwise for Maverick to take that risk. It’s so much simpler to invite Tiger over again and nail him surreptitiously with a tranq dart. Perhaps this is just Maverick being given the villain ball, murdering an innocent old woman to establish his inner corruption and remove any lingering audience sympathy.

Also possible is that Maverick lives for the show: Hero TV never had as good ratings as when Barnaby faced off against Jake Martinez, the man who murdered his parents. By killing off Barnaby’s housekeeper, Maverick has restarted that cycle, only Kotetsu serving as the fall guy this time. The drama as Barnaby avenges himself once again will certainly make for good television, if only things will play according the proper script.

Another loose end: Yuri Petrov might not know Wild Tiger's secret identity, but Lunatic, at least, has access to those files (as we saw way back at the end of episode 8). What will the vigilante do against a hero he knows is falsely accused?

It won’t, of course, as Maverick’s memory changing ability is too fragile in the face of contradictory reports, and plenty of those will surface in the next few episodes. But when they do, and the plan falls apart, Maverick will have left himself completely exposed, and I don’t see how the show can stretch that plot out for the remaining four to six episodes this series has.

Maybe I’m wrong and the show will bring up something new in the final episodes, like a showdown with Lunatic. (I suspect Lunatic will make it into the projected second season that will air sometime next year, though.) Tiger & Bunny has managed to surprise me before, particularly in the direction the second half of the show has been going. And I’d hardly be mad if the show beat out my expectations once again.

One great moment of comedy is when Kotetsu tries to convince the Hero TV guard that he's Wild Tiger. The show has played the superhero trope that a simple eye mask conceals one's identity before, but here—in typical subversive fashion—it manages to illustrate how that can work against a hero as well as for him

Regardless, Tiger & Bunny has been a consistently good show since it overcame an early and brief slump into mediocrity. Honestly, I doubt the show will beat my expectations because my expectations, by this point, are fairly high. The real question is how it will manage to fulfill them.

You can watch the episode here.

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