Tiger and Bunny

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
Boxart 1268.jpg

Wild Tiger: As long as there's hope, a real hero never leaves a life behind!
Barnaby: You still stand by that idealistic nonsense?
Wild Tiger: Don't stop me.
Barnaby: I never said we shouldn't go in.
Wild Tiger: What?
Barnaby: As long as there's hope, a real hero never leaves a point behind.

In the fictional metropolitan city of Sternbild, superpowered humans known as "NEXT" have been appearing for the last forty-five years. Some of these "NEXT" have chosen to use their powers to become Corporate Sponsored Superheroes, fighting crime and saving lives while sporting logos on their suits and raising the profiles of their sponsors.

Documenting all of this is the mega popular Reality TV show "HERO TV", which awards "Hero Points" for heroic deeds such as apprehending criminals and saving civilians, with the coveted title of "King of Heroes" going to the crimefighter with the most points at the end of the season.

One such hero is Kotetsu T. Kaburagi (a.k.a "Wild Tiger"), a veteran superhero who relies on his gut instincts and years of experience to fight crime. Though obligated to work for the best interests of his sponsors, Kotetsu follows his own code of honour, putting his heroic responsibilities over showmanship and saving people regardless of collateral damage to public property, earning him the (begrudging) nickname of "Crusher for Justice".

Due to his lack of popularity, Kotetsu is forced to team up with Barnaby Brooks Jr., a rookie hero with the exact same power as Kotetsu, and whose cynical and modern approach to crimefighting clashes horribly with Kotetsu's old-school sensibilities. Together, They Fight Crime.

Directed by Keiichi Sato, featuring original character designs by Masakazu Katsura, and animated by famed studio Sunrise, Tiger And Bunny premiered in April 2011 in Japan, and is simulcast in North America by Viz Media), in France by KZPlay, in the UK by Anime on Demand, and in Australia by Siren Visual on ANN.

An English dub is currently in production.

Two movies have been announced.


Tropes used in Tiger and Bunny include:
  • A Day in the Limelight: Several of the supporting characters have spotlight episodes: Karina in episodes 4 and 14, Ivan in episode 8, Pao-Lin in episode 9 and Keith in episode 15. And Lunatic in 16.
  • Affectionate Parody/Deconstructive Parody: Cheerfully pokes fun at and deconstructs western superhero conventions whilst maintaining the firm idealism that gave the original stories their charm.
  • Alternate Calendar: The year is 1978 N.C. NEXT have been appearing for 45 years, making their first appearance in 1933 NC... a possible Shout-Out to the beginning of the Golden Age of comicbooks.
  • All There in the Manual: There's a lot of background info on the series that's given out in the various books, magazines and drama CDs. Most of it is fun trivia; the heroes' schedules and favorite foods, how Kotetsu met Tomoe and Antonio, how the point system used by HeroTV works, details on the areas in and around Sternbild, etc.
  • All There in the Script: Several, including many of the main cast names (for example, did you notice no one ever calls Sky High by his real name: Keith Goodman!)
  • Always Someone Better: Sky High (who overshadows Wild Tiger so much that criminals want to be arrested by him instead of Tiger) and Barnaby (has the same powers as Tiger, but is younger, better-looking, seen as more competent, and better regarded by the corporate sponsors) serve as this to Kotetsu.
  • And the Adventure Continues...
  • Animal Motifs/Animal-Themed Superbeing: Some of the heroes have this going for them. Four of them have animals that are found in the Eastern Zodiac and/or The Four Gods.
    • Dragon: Pao-Lin/Dragon Kid
    • Ox: Antonio/Rock Bison
    • Rabbit: Barnaby/"Bunny"
    • Tiger: Kotetsu/Wild Tiger
    • Phoenix: Nathan/Fire Emblem
  • Anime Theme Song: Played with in the first episode. Karina/Blue Rose is shown singing an ending song titled "Go NEXT".
  • Animesque: Inverted. The show aims to have a Western comic book feeling.
  • Arc Words: The silly nickname Kotetsu gave Barnaby in episode 2.
  • Armour Piercing Slap: Kotetsu gives one to Barnaby in episode 19 after being stung by his partner's rather insensitive reaction to the news of his retirement. And again in episode 23 (this time to make him remember the previous occasion). Predictably, it doesn't really have the desired effect in either case.
  • Asshole Victim: The first three were the bank robbers from Episode 1, who were murdered in episode 6. They were in their jail cell talking about how they should have stayed as kidnappers instead, reminiscing on one time they ransomed a child and then killed both the kid and the parents after they get the money. They were killed in their cell by immolation, one of them was using the toilet in the cell at the time.
    • The last criminal of episode 6.
    • The serial killer from Episode 16.
    • Dr. Rotwang, who is sent falling to his death by Maverick due to no longer being of use to him.
    • Maverick is something of a subversion - by the time Lunatic gets round to killing him, he's wiped his own mind, leaving himself as a barely-sentient Empty Shell with no traces of his former personality.
      • As a general rule of thumb, people targeted by Lunatic tend to completely deserve it.
  • As You Know: The series opens with one directly to the audience -- the Hero TV audience, that is.
  • Awesome but Impractical: In Episode 5, Tiger and Barnaby got a "Good Luck Mode" upgrade which activated automatically when they had only three seconds of power left and increased their strength by not one bit. But it makes them look much cooler.
    • Tiger's ridiculously over-elaborated wristwatch upgrade.
    • Episode 25: Should you really be wearing 3-D glasses outside of a theater? At night? While driving?
  • Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other: Kaede and Kotetsu plays this on the familial angle. As much as Kaede will insist she hates her father for not being there for her, she'll still be the first to set off on her own to rescue him when she learns he's in danger.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Kotetsu and Barnaby pull this off in episode 10.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: Invoked when one NEXT child deals with enough taunting to believe his powers are just too "creepy" for superheroics. Thus, if you can't become a superhero...
    • It's then subverted when Wild Tiger convinces him to use his powers for good and save the building and everyone in it.
  • Badly-Battered Babysitter: The main plot of Episode 9, where Tiger is charged with babysitting the mayor's son, Sam. However, Pao-Lin ends up being the main babysitter and winds up kidnapped along with the kid by a female group of NEXT criminals.
  • Banana Peel: Used as a Chekhov's Gag in Episode 14 to help Tiger, Barnaby and Blue Rose detect the presence of the criminal.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted in Episode 13 with Kotetsu.
  • Bathtub Bonding: Kotetsu suggests this to his daughter in episode 17. It gets her creeped out and more than a little angry
  • Beach Episode: Not in the actual anime, but the fifth drama CD takes place at a beach with a photoshoot for Pao-lin and Karina.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Discussed by Karina and Barnaby in the second drama CD

Karina: Hey. you know how in situations like this, people don't usually get along at first, but then gradually grow closer?
Barnaby: Yes. So?
Karina: I'm never EVER going to feel that way towards you, just so you know!
Barnaby: I feel the same way.
Karina: I'll make sure the circumstances never ever come to that! If it does, I'll rip those flags to shreds myself!
Barnaby: Sounds great. I'm looking forward to it.

  • BFG: The android H-01, a fake Wild Tiger, is equipped with a powerful one. After Wild Tiger and Barnaby disarmed H-01 of it, the gun was used by Barnaby to finish H-01 off while Wild Tiger held H-01.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In episode 13, Kotetsu rushes out of the ICU to help Barnaby win the battle against Jake.
    • Lunatic of all people pulls one in episode 21 to save Kotetsu from being captured by his former allies.
    • In episode 24 Kaede saves the heroes (minus Kotetsu and Barnaby) when Rotwang is about to kill them all.
    • Three in episode 25: Doc Saito activating the androids' safety mode just before they're about to kill the heroes, Agnes broadcasting Maverick's Engineered Public Confession to the entire city, and Kotetsu revealing himself to be Not Quite Dead just in time to save Kaede.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The name of the city, Sternbild, is German for "constellation".
    • The heavy use of Surprisingly Good English[1] actually becomes this for native Japanese viewers; although only the most important lines are translated into Japanese, the English text contains a lot of interesting things such as background on the heroes, or more plot-relevant facts like Kotetsu's diary which documents his gradual power loss and Barnaby's parents being robot engineers many episodes before the fact is explicitly brought up in the plot. Even small simple things like criminal profiles and the writing in help yourself books are in full English and not just random letters or scribbles.
  • Biting the Hand Humour: The show is an Affectionate Parody of superhero stories where the calling has become a soulless corporate career in which glitzy advertising takes priority over saving lives. They then brought in a mind-bending amount of Product Placement from real-world companies. Do the maths.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Nathan teaches Keith how to generate them in order to impress a girl he likes.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: H-01 has one in its left arm.
  • Bland-Name Product: While many of the products and companies in the show are real for obvious reasons, there are fake ones as well. Pwitter, for example
  • Blatant Lies: In episode 11 when Barnaby storms out after hearing that Ouroboros have demanded the release of Jake Martinez, Kotetsu claims it's because he told Barnaby the story of how he got his code name. Karina falls for it, Nathan expresses surprise that she did.
    • In episode 14 Barnaby and Tiger appear on a talk show together, and their blatant lying is immediately Lampshaded with a cut to the other heroes back at base commenting on it.

Tiger: We've always been good partners, right Bunny?
Barnaby: Yes, we were like this from the very beginning!

  • Blessed with Suck: All the NEXT students Tiger mentors in Episode 8 have varied powers such as hair manipulation, neck stretching, leg stretching and sweating a lot.
  • Boogie Knights: While not a straight example, you get the idea that the CGI animators were getting a kick out of putting armored Tiger in as many odd poses as they could come up with.
  • Book Ends: The series begins and ends with an episode of Hero TV and an Embarrassing Rescue.
    • Both first and last episodes have a scene where Nathan is hitting on Antonio, to the latter's obvious displeasure and annoyance.
  • Breather Episode: Episode 14, which takes place after the end of rather dramatic arc and right before first heartbreaking episode in the series.
    • Episode 17, though not without drama, is a restful interlude between the Wham! Episode that is 16 and the plot developments in the episodes that followed.
  • Bridal Carry/Embarrassing Rescue: How Barnaby saves Kotetsu when they first meet. Later in the episode it gets lampshaded, at Kotetsu's expense.
    • The same thing happens towards the end of episode 10 and at the tail end of the last episode.
  • Buddy Superhero Show
  • Building Swing: Wild Tiger can use his wires from his suit this way.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The kid with in the second episode was the target of this treatment. Kotetsu apparently got similar treatment in his youth.
  • Burning Building Rescue: A variation in Episode 4, as the burning oil-drilling site rescue didn't inspire Blue Rose into superheroics so much as it convinced her not to give it up.
  • But for Me It Was Tuesday: Jake Martinez has no idea what Barnaby is talking about when he asks why Jake murdered his parents, and mocks him for expecting him to keep track. The trope is then subverted when it's revealed in episode 18 that Barnaby's memory is faulty and Jake wasn't the murderer.
  • Call Back: The bar scene in episode 16 plays clips from the beginning of the first episode on the tv.
  • Catchphrase Interruptus: Blue Rose in Episodes 4 and 5. The former from when the suspect shot at her and the latter when Fire Emblem drove up and talked to her after she captured the second suspect. The second time it was lampshaded as she complained about Fire Emblem not letting her finish her Catch Phrase.
  • The Cavalry: Agnes and the HeroTV crew, turning the tables on Maverick in the finale.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Played straight in episode 5 with the diamond necklace.
    • Subverted in episode 23, where Kotetsu slaps Barnaby in a bid to jog his memory of their quarrel from ep.19. The attempt fails dismally, serving only to enrage an already angered Barnaby.
  • City of Adventure: Sternbild.
  • Clark Kenting: Out of suit Tiger wears only a classic superhero mask (that doesn't really hide anything) with his normal outfit. Dragon Kid and Blue Rose don't even bother to disguise themselves, only their hair color (and eye color, in Blue Rose's case) is different.
    • Lampshaded in episode 20; when Kotetsu puts on his mask in front of a guard to prove he's Wild Tiger. The guard says that with that beard and mask, anyone could be Wild Tiger.
  • Clear My Name: In Episode 6, Fire Emblem is accused of murder.
    • Kotetsu in episodes 20, 21 & 22.
  • Cliff Hanger: Episodes 11, 12, and pretty much every episode from 19 to 24.
  • Clothing Damage: Saitou, Apollon's tech head, demonstrates Kotetsu's old suit's potential for this quite graphically in order to show the superiority of his own design. Then puts Kotetsu himself through a demonstration in episode 6, which proves Saito's new suit is far more durable.
    • The Apollon Wild Tiger suit was damaged in a few times: Jake cracked the visor on the helmet (ep. 12), Barnaby broke the "Good Luck Mode" arm (ep. 23), and H-01's gun destroyed most of the suit (ep. 24).
  • Code Name: All heroes have one except for Barnaby, who doesn't hide his true identity. Kotetsu derived his Code Name "Wild Tiger" from his real name (The "ko" in Kotetsu is written with the kanji for "tiger").
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Most NEXT glow with a blue aura when they use their powers. Some, like Jake Martinez and Kriem, glow red/orange -- though why this is was never clarified.
    • The two protagonists' signature colours are green for Kotetsu and red/pink for Barnaby. This is arguably a case of the trope, since the two are complimentary to each other on the colour wheel and could have been meant to symbolize their potential for a successful partnership.
  • Colour Coded Secret Identity: Pretty much every costumed NEXT in the show has this to a greater or lesser extent. The only one who doesn't count is Barnaby, and that's because his identity isn't secret.
  • Comic Book Fantasy Casting: Word of God has confirmed that those minor characters you think resemble famous people (Mayor Obama, for example) are based on said famous people.
  • Conservation of Ninjitsu: Averted and lampshaded. H-01 wasn't a prototype, it was a production model. The second they get over defeating it, 8 more equally powerful ones show up.
  • Conspicuous CG: Used for most of the costumes, cars, backgrounds and even for some bananas.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Tiger and Barnaby have the exact same superpower.
    • In episode 12 when Jake selects Wild Tiger's card, he remarks that he will not last a second and decides to pick the next opponent as well. He ends up drawing Barnaby's card. He lampshades this by pointing out how he picked them together and saying "they really are a team".
    • In an overlap with Rule of Funny, there are the many, many convenient distractions that keep Kotetsu from drinking the drugged coffee in Episode 20.
  • Cool Bike: Kotetsu and Barnaby have matching ones. Blue Rose is seen sitting on one in Episodes 1 and 4 but doesn't actually use it until Episode 7.
    • Cool Sidecar: Kotetsu's bike turns into one and connects to Barnaby's.
  • Cool Car: Fire Emblem has two; a red Dragster/Joel Shumacher era Batmobile look-alike that he uses when he's working and a Ferrari Testarossa as his private car.
    • Agnes drives a new model blue Porsche, possibly a Boxster.
    • Barnaby is seen driving a red Honda NSX in episode 15.
    • There appears to be a few modern Ford Mustangs being driven by Sternbild's civilians.
    • In episode 25, the car that Tiger almost falls on and is subsequently destroyed when Barnaby saves him looks like the version of the Chevrolet Camaro from 2009 onward.
  • Corporate-Sponsored Superhero: The premise of the show.
  • Cross Counter: Kotetsu and Lunatic in episode 8.
    • Kotetsu and Barnaby in episode 23.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Sky High and Rock Bison both in episode 12.
  • Crying Wolf: After Kotetsu's Scary Surprise Party that involved a staged robbery, Barnaby is not inclined to believe Kotetsu when he really is in trouble. But he still ends up going out to help him.
    • Also occurs in the episode 14, when Kotetsu's power runs out thirty seconds early. Remembering what happened in episode 2, Barnaby just assumes that Kotetsu faked it to give Antonio a chance to catch the criminal.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Jake vs Sky High, Rock Bison and Wild Tiger. ESPECIALLY Rock Bison, who apparently only had time to charge Jake before the show suddenly cuts to his Crucified Hero Shot, with a comment that he went down even faster than Sky High.
    • And though it doesn't actually happen on-screen, Rotwang gloats that the battle between the H-01 android and all the heroes (minus the two protagonists) in ep. 22 went like this.
  • Cute but Cacophonic: The Mayor's baby son Sam at one point cries loud enough for a ceiling tile to fall on Fire Emblem's head. (But the kid is a Telekinetic NEXT, after all...)
  • Darker and Edgier: After episode 15 the second half of the series just keeps progressively getting darker. It takes a short break in episode 17 (which is only light-hearted in comparison) and then goes straight back. Episode 20 could be considered a turning point which demonstrates just how far it's gone in this direction; an innocent gets killed, while another becomes an Unperson and is framed for the former's death. But things lighten up again in episode 25, and the series ends on its usual positive, upbeat note.
  • Dating Catwoman: Keith becomes smitten with a quiet women he meets in the park, unaware that she's a malfunctioning android that goes berserk in the presence of heroes.
  • The Dead Have Names: The criminals from Episode 1 are named after they were killed in Episode 6. Their names were Tony Smith, Jack Brown, and Bob Johnson.
  • Decon Recon Switch: Zig-zagged. Corporatism has successfully turned the spectacle of super-heroics into a business, grading heroes on their performance and thus making them in general more concerned with their sponsors rather than doing anything heroic. Anyone lagging behind has to adapt to the new model or be cast away. It is also implied that it behooves heroes to keep a secret identity and not let their families know of their activities, which also puts a strain on their personal lives. However, the heroic idealism itself is not made fun of, which counts as reconstruction.
    • The label fully applies by the end of the series; Maverick fabricated the entire conflict surrounding superheroes and Ouroboros to get ratings, and justified it as saying it reduced hate against NEXT (which to be fair is by and large true). However Ouroboros has since spiraled out of control and is more or less impossible to destroy, so superheroes are here to stay for the duration; and by series end none of the heroes seem to care that much about appeasing their sponsors and focus more on saving people, thus making both deconstruction and reconstruction tropes valid.
  • Defictionalization: In Japan, there was enough demand for Kotetsu's Nice Hat that Sunrise decided they'd just go ahead and sell it. Soon enough, Barnaby's jacket and the Christmas pin were also made into real items.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Kriem, acting as Combat Commentator for Barnaby's fight with Jake in episode 13, refers to Barnaby as "Revenge Boy who is out for vengeance."
  • Designated Victim: The anonymous scarf-wearing girl who has been on the wrong end of an astonishing number of perils in Sternbild so far.
  • Determinator: One of the robbers basically spends half the episode evading the many heroes that show up. And he is a completely normal guy. This is, of course, purely to show off all the main heroes...
  • Development Gag: The "Black Suit Wild Tiger" from episode 21 has glowing square dots on the waist, the shoulders are colored-in, and a lack of a chest insignia like the Wild Tiger suit from the pilot. Additionally, the green vest, white shirt ensemble that Kotetsu wears in one of the show's flashbacks is a call back to Katsura's concept art for his character design.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: The end of episode 24 seemed to be leading to a classic example, but this was subverted as of episode 25.
  • Differently-Powered Individual: The NEXT.
  • Disastrous Training Sim Opening/Unwinnable Training Simulation: The opening scene of Episode 3 is a textbook example, which ends with Kotetsu carelessly removing his headplate to more effectively rag on Barnaby, only to get headshotted by a (virtual) sniper for his efforts.
  • Disturbed Doves: In the first ending theme a flock of white doves take flight in the skies above Sternbild City.
  • Documentary Episode: In-universe the people of HERO TV tried to do this in Episode 3 following Wild Tiger and Barnaby. It got somewhat derailed with the bomb threat.
  • Downer Ending: Episode 15 certainly counts as this.
    • NARROWLY averted by Kotetsu himself. He apparently took a fatal hit to the chest in Episode 24 after failing to avoid the shot Barnaby fired at the H-01 he was restraining - only to come back to his senses in the next episode and save Kaede from Maverick.
    • But Kotetsu has lost most of his powers by the end of the anime.
  • Dynamic Exit: In episode 20 Wild Tiger saves a little boy from a mall that was on fire after a terrorist bombing by smashing through a wall from the inside
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Kotetsu is alive and well; with his powers, though weakened, still intact; and he and Barnaby both retire from their duties, though they come back next year.
  • Easter Egg: Several are explained here
  • Elemental Powers: Some NEXT have them.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: Maverick's most obvious facial feature is a large bump between his eyebrows. No one mentions this, ever. Kaede even describes him as an old man with glasses and a necktie, which isn't exactly a narrow demographic. However, Kotetsu instantly recognizes him.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Kotetsu never calls Barnaby by name, preferring to use the nickname of his choosing ("Bunny") instead...much to Barnaby's annoyance.
  • Engineered Public Confession: The HeroTV crew captures Maverick's entire monologue in the finale -- and airs it on live TV.
  • Epic Fail: In the first episode, Rock Bison's attempt to capture the bank robbers flounders when his horns get stuck in the armored car, letting the crooks get away while he yells for them to come back.
  • Establishing Character Moment/What You Are in the Dark: An out-of-costume Barnaby passes by a crying child without batting an eye. Cue an out-of-costume Kotetsu passing the same kid and pulling off some impressive Le Parkour just to get the kid's balloon out of a tree.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Let's see. You have Kotetsu (Hot Dad), Barnaby (Megane Bishonen), Keith (Nice Guy), Yuri (White-Haired Pretty Boy), Ivan (Shrinking Violet), Antonio (Rated "M" for Manly), and even Nathan (Wholesome Crossdresser, if you're into that). Oh, yes - this show aims to please.
  • Eureka Moment: In Episode 6, Saito's mention of getting trapped in a broken elevator jogs Kotetsu's memory just enough for him to recall just why the man that tried to kill him and Fire Emblem seemed so familiar: he was the elevator maintenance man who planted the bomb in Episode 3.
  • Evil Costume Switch: In episodes 21-23. Though it's more like antagonism than 'evil' when we see that both the fake Wild Tiger and Barnaby are sporting black versions of their suits.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Sky High's dog, John. Upon meeting Cis for the first time he barks and growls at her.
  • Evil Knockoff: Maverick and Rotwang created the combat android H-01, the black suit fake Wild Tiger, to replace the real Wild Tiger.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: Teddy Bears show up in Episode 10. Kotetsu buys one for his daughter and a army of them piloting mechas show up to attack the city for Ouroboros.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Good Luck Mode. In episode 5, it activates when the heroes are almost out of power, giving their suits modifications which look cool but really don't do anything. Also interesting to note is that tiger claws and rabbit's feet are "good luck" charms.
  • Explosive Leash: The heroes who were defeated and captured were forced to wear them by Rotwang.
  • Expy: The Big O, another one of Sato's works, features R. Dorothy Wayneright, who looks extremely similar to Episode 15's Cis ( and behaves in a similar manner, being an android as well). Not to mention the fact Cis is voiced by Mrs. Akiko Yajima aka Dorothy.
  • Fake Memories: Maverick's NEXT power creates these. In the past he's used them on Barnaby, but as of episode 20, he's also used them on the HeroTV cast and crew
  • Falling Into His Arms: How Barnaby usually saves Kotetsu.
  • False-Flag Operation: In its early days HeroTV suffered from low ratings due to anti-NEXT prejudice. Albert Maverick made a deal with the Ouroboros crime syndicate to create flashier crimes and disasters for Heroes to foil.
  • Fandom Nod: Each "On the Next..." segment starts with either Kotetsu or Barnaby disclosing an entirely random fact about themselves ("Hi! I'm Kotetsu, the member of Tiger & Bunny who ends up falling for idols he sees in his dreams! / "Hi! This is Barnaby, the member of Tiger & Bunny who owns five pairs of the same glasses!).
  • Fantastic Racism: To a degree. NEXT who are idolized as heroes don't get it as bad -- but there are plenty of people who are prejudiced against them, as seen in episode 2.
    • Later on we're introduced to Jake Martinez, who's basically a NEXT supremacist.
    • Episode 18 reveals that Kriem, Jake's girlfriend and fellow supremacist, was painfully on the receiving end of that prejudice against them as a kid, which resulted in her becoming who she is.
    • There are indications that HeroTV in part was created to fight the prejudice and it worked, based on how much more accepted the NEXT have become.
    • Rotwang from episodes 15, 23 and 24 is a rabid anti-NEXT.
  • Feud Episode: Episodes 12 & 19.
  • Fictional Currency: Stern Dollars.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: The mecha in Episode 6 had one that shoots blue flames as it's left arm.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The Girls' Team follows this dynamic. Fire for Fire Emblem, Ice for Blue Rose, and Lightning for Dragon Kid.
  • First-Name Basis: Barnaby finally starts calling Kotetsu by his name at the end of the thirteenth episode.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Kotetsu (foolish) and Muramasa (responsible).
  • Foreshadowing: During the bomb scare in episode 3, Mary briefly hypothesizes that it might have been made up as a desperate publicity grab. Then episode 19 rolls along, and it's revealed that Maverick has been collaborating with Ouroboros to make eye-catching, ratings-drawing crimes for heroes to thwart -- like that big bomb scare.
  • Forgotten Birthday: Zig Zagged in Episode 5. Kotetsu remembers one of Barnaby's fans saying it's his birthday the next day, so he plans a surprise birthday party/staged robbery with several other heroes. However, thanks to an actual robbery occurring at the same time things go amusingly awry.
  • For Halloween I Am Going as Myself: Inverted in #3. Kotetsu and Barnaby get filmed 24/7 as part of a reality show gimmick, and while Barnaby's open identity isn't an issue, Kotetsu just adds a mask to his civilian getup to remain as Wild Tiger. It works, too.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the 3rd episode, Barnaby's computer has a folder entitled "Ouroboros" which contains the news clipping of his parents' death. The news clipping itself states that his parents were in fact famed robot engineers.
    • In the end of Episode 5 when a presumable bad guy throws away a newspaper that contains references to earlier episodes.
    • Also in Episode 10, we see that Mr. Legend was the one who captured the person who killed Barnaby's parents.
    • Look very carefully- Yuri's research on Kotetsu and Barnaby in the end of episode 8 reveals, among other things, when Kotetsu made his debut and that he used to be a lot more successful. All of this is in Surprisingly Good English.
    • Though only partially visible, Samantha's photo album in Episode 20 contains a picture of Barnaby from his swimwear photoshoot. In his Speedos.
    • A magazine shot in episode 21 indicates that someone managed to get Lunatic to sit down for an interview.
    • A close look at the foreground at the end of episode 2 shows that Kotetsu is a Bob Marley fan.
    • Maverick's profile on Barnaby from Episode 23 raises the question of exactly how messed up Barnaby's memories really are, and how big a bastard Maverick really is.
    • Masayuki Ozaki confirms that the animators have a tendency to sneak in various real-world items for their own amusement (whereas Ozaki himself is responsible for some minor characters' suspicious resemblance to real-life actors). The most infamous of these is Kotetsu's cologne, the discovery of which triggered a major spike its sales.
    • A short shot in the eleventh episode hints at one of the major reveals in the second half of the series: Jake doesn't have an Ouroboros tattoo on his hand, meaning he can't be the killer Barnaby remembers.
  • Friendly Local Chinatown: Outside the city, granted, but Kotetsu's family live in a small town that's ethnically based on rural Japanese villages.
  • Friendly Rival: Despite the competitive nature of the show and the fact that the heroes acknowledge that they're indeed rivals, they remain friendly to each other and are willing to collaborate if the situation calls for it. Or when they want to throw a surprise birthday party for someone...
    • Made all the more obvious with the bomb dilemma in episode 24.
  • Friendship Moment: It takes quite a long time, but Tiger and Barnaby end Episode 13 on First-Name Basis, with Tiger believing that Barnaby would trust him enough to take his advice without thinking too much.
  • Fun with Acronyms: NEXT is short for Noted Entities with eXtraordinary Talents.
  • Gatling Good: The mecha in Episode 6 has two, a large one as the right arm and a smaller one on the right shoulder. The mecha used by the Oroboros in Episode 10 also have them, which Kotetsu manages to take advantage of.
  • Geeky Turn On: In the Drama CD, Tomoe starts hitting it off with Kotetsu when she realizes that he was just as much of a superhero/HeroTV fan as she was. She even helped him pick out his code name.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Subverted. The Armour Piercing Slap Kotetsu gives Barnaby during the latter's angry tirade in episode 19 does not produce positive results.
  • Goo-Goo Godlike: The Mayor's son, Sam, is a perfect example of why powerful psychic abilities shouldn't be given to a baby. But he is pretty good at defending himself when it really matters...
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The murder of The Ladykiller in episode 16 and, more tragically, the murder of Samantha in episode 20.
  • Gratuitous English: The episode names (which are actually English-language proverbs). In the preview for ep.5, Kotetsu lampshades this by complaining that he doesn't understand the title of the next episode. Most of the time he can't read them at all -- even though he's supposed to speak English just fine.
    • Episode 8 prominently features the phrase "Let's believe HEROES".
  • Have You Told Anyone Else?: Maverick to Barnaby in episode 19. The answer was "yes" -- and though this made matters much worse for Kotetsu, it did help Barnaby on the long run.
  • He Knows Too Much: It's eventually revealed that Maverick killed Barnaby Brooks Sr. and his wife Emily because they discovered his allegiance to Ouroboros.
    • As of episode 20 Maverick is out to eliminate Kotetsu.
    • In episode 23 after Barnaby regains his memories, Maverick decides to get rid of him as well.
  • Hero Academy/Super-Hero School: Ivan and Barnaby are graduates of the same one.
  • Heroic BSOD: Karina has a comedic one after discovering Kotetsu was married and has a kid.

Antonio: Hey, Blue Rose, help us out!
Karina: Daughter... Wife... Haha. Hahaha... *eye twitch*
Antonio: It's no good. She's cracking up!

    • In a less comedic version: Barnaby does not take the revelation that Jake didn't kill his parents very well.
  • Heroic RROD: There's rare cases of NEXT gaining a sudden boost in their abilities before they gradually fade away. Ben Jackson's afraid that this might be happening to Kotetsu.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted by Kotetsu in episode 25, owing to Barnaby (and everyone else) forgetting to check his pulse before declaring him dead.
  • Hero Insurance: Averted. The sponsors are billed for the destruction their heroes cause, explaining why Kotetsu starts out as one of the lowest-budget supers.
  • He's Dead, Jim: Subverted. Kotetsu's a little annoyed that the other heroes didn't bother to look for signs of life before deciding to mourn him.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: It takes an unusually long time considering the length of the anime, but they do get there eventually.
  • High School Sweethearts: Kotetsu met Tomoe in high school.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Jake is ultimately defeated when he attacks Tiger while hanging from a rope, damaging Kriem's helicopter in the process... which lands on him and kills him.
  • Hour of Power: Kotetsu and Barnaby's shared superpower, called Hundred Power, is to increase their physical capabilities by a hundredfold for a maximum of five minutes - they need to wait an hour before they can use it again.
  • Humongous Mecha: Kotetsu gets attacked by a heavily-armed mecha of unknown origin in Episode 6. It may have something to do with Ouroboros.
    • The army of Mecha that show up in Episode 10 are definitely the property of Ouroboros.
  • I Can Still Fight: Kotetsu gets out of his hospital bed and insists on helping the other heroes deal with the mechas positioned around the city columns. Blue Rose has to talk him out of of it, and he goes off to help Barnaby instead.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All episode titles are English proverbs.
  • I Have the High Ground: Lunatic makes a habit of this.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: In episode 21 and the earlier part of episode 22, it's Kotetsu vs. all the heroes thanks to Maverick's mental manipulations.
    • In tail end of episode 22 and the first half of 23, it's Kotetsu vs. Barnaby.
  • Image Song: Kotetsu/Barnaby have two each and two duets together. Blue Rose has two of her own and the rest of the heroes (minus Fire emblem) have their own character songs. There is also one for Lunatic and a duet with Ben and Saito.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Provided the targeting systems for the Ouroboros mechas.
  • Improbable Weapon User: One of the criminals from Episode 7 wields a medieval broadsword. Since it was a staged show, though, he probably had no idea how to use it.
  • Indirect Kiss: Invoked in episode 14 when the backstage thief who crossdresses as Blue Rose considers using her lipstick.
  • Intangible Man: Lunatic. Unsure if this was intentional, or a case of QUALITY, but in episode 16 Lunatic just vanishes through an overpass in a burst of blue/green flame. In that same episode he phases through a wall to enter a strip club to administer his "justice" to the Lady Killer. The wall sustained no damage.
  • It Got Worse: Episode 20 onwards. Because it wasn't enough that Kotetsu's powers are fading, Kaede is mad at him again, his partner's having a breakdown and hates him too...then nobody remembers who he is and he's being accused of murdering Barnaby's old housekeeper.
    • As of episode 23, a Zig-Zagging Trope. Kotetsu's powers kinda work, his daughter comes running to rescue him, Barnaby is doing a little better and...the other heroes have been given a Distress Ball by Maverick.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: When Barnaby hides something on his monitor from the camera that follows him around, the director of Hero TV thinks he's hiding his online Porn Stash. He even asks for recommendations, much to Barnaby's amusement.
  • Irony: In the New Type Ace manga, Barnaby's inner thoughts describe Kotetsu as having faulty memory. Ironic in that it's Barnaby who suffers from having extensive editing done to his memory.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: The Lady Killer tries one on Lunatic, with predictable results.
  • Jet Pack: The villains in episode 5 have them.
  • Just Between You and Me: Maverick is very quick to explain his plans, his murder of Barnaby's parents, and how Ouroboros fits into everything when confronted by Barnaby...in order to keep him busy until the drugs he put in his drink kick in. Then comes the memory wipe.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Maverick's power as a NEXT, as well as replacing memories.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: How Kotetsu discovers the fundamental unwiseness of littering with a Banana Peel.
  • Last-Episode New Character: In-series example -- Barnaby decides to make his HeroTV debut on the last episode of the season in order to make a strong impression.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Doesn't the mayor look like a certain recent president?
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After Barnaby first shows up, Agnes demands that they cut to commercial. Cue the real commercial break, which features Blue Rose. Expect to be confused.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: The villain of Episode 15 is an android driven to attack heroes due to electrical damage.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Pretty much all the recurring characters (even Blue Rose) has one of these.
  • Magic Countdown: Kotetsu and Barnaby's Apollon Media hero suits make this in the last 5 seconds of their power duration.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The bad guys in Episodes 1 and 4. Also in Kotetsu's flashback when he met Mr. Legend.
    • The carjacker in Episode 4 had an open mouth long-eared pig mask.
    • In Episode 5 Karina, Antonio, Nathan, and Keith as the boss, pretended to be buglars to surprise Barnaby for his birthday. The former 3 had black ski masks while the latter was In the Hood with Sunglasses At Night.
      • Averted for Pauly's butler-looking henchmen.
  • Man Hug: Kotetsu gives one to Saito upon discovering that he remembers him. Saito is understandably confused.
  • Manly Tears: Episode 17 shows Kotetsu weeping on 3 separate occasions, and only twice but for much longer in ep.23.
    • And in episode 19 Barnaby cries a lot.
  • Marionette Master: Tony, the NEXT kid in Episode 2. He was controlling the Steel Hammer and Helperidese Finance's Lion statues from Episodes 1 and 2.
    • Kriem, the Ouroboros NEXT from episodes 10-13, controls an army of Mad Bear toys by connecting a strand of her hair to each one.
  • Meaningful Echo: "I want to save people in trouble. Isn't that enough of a reason?"
    • In episode 23: "My name is not Bunny! It's Barnaby!"
  • Merchandise-Driven: Double Subverted and played straight. Many of the heroes' costumes advertise companies that don't sell products related to the show at all. Sunrise did churn out a mountain of merchandise for the show after it became a hit, but none of it is aggressively advertised within the the show. Played straight in that some costumes advertise Bandai and its related branches, which release merchandise like the Figuart line.
  • The Men in Black: Maverick has several on his payroll.
  • Mind Over Matter: Wielded by Sam, the mayor's infant son.
  • Mind Rape: In the second half of Tiger & Bunny, Barnaby Brooks Jr. suffers this twice at the hands of his Parental Substitute, Albert Maverick, who has the power of creating Fake Memories; though it's hinted that it has happened quite a few times prior to the beginning of the series as well. Later, Maverick mindrapes the other heroes via first erasing their memories of Kotetsu, then making them believe he's a murderer.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Jake is absolutely furious when Wild Tiger of all heroes manages to land a hit on him -- while powered down, no less. In retaliation, he beats down Tiger so badly that he has to be rushed to the ICU immediately.
  • Mini-Mecha: What a criminal piloted in Episode 6.
  • Mission Control: Agnes and the Hero TV crew serve as this for the heroes of Sternbild.
  • Monochrome Casting: Deliberately and carefully averted, according to Ozaki.
  • Monster Protection Racket: Maverick is collaborating with Ouroboros on one of these.
  • Most Common Superpower: Blue Rose, and damn if her company isn't going to make sure everyone knows it.
    • Subverted, as apparently they're fake and she uses padding to make them seem larger than they actually are.
  • Multinational Team: While competitors rather than a proper team, the Hero TV superheroes run the gamut of Japanese (Kotetsu/Wild Tiger), Hispanic of possible Mexican descent (Antonio/Rock Bison), Russian (Ivan/Origami Cyclone), Chinese (Pao-Lin/Dragon Kid), and ridiculously American (Keith/Sky High).
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: When Viz announced that their target market for this show were 14-25 year old males fangirls laughed at them with derision. Then Kotetsu's seiyuu, Hiroaki Hirata, revealed that his character was intended to appeal to 40-year-old men.
    • According to the producers the show was specifically designed to be enjoyed by working adults who may still read manga but don't watch anime anymore for various reasons, and may be interested in foreign (mostly American) TV series.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Kotetsu, after breaking the trust Barnaby had in him by not offering him the same courtesy during an important mission.

Kotetsu: You're right. I kept telling him that we're a team - but in the end, I didn't have faith in him.

  • My Suit Is Also Super: In the second episode the maker of Wild Tiger's new suit showed Kotetsu side by side comparison tests of both the new and old. The new one was shown to be fireproof, chainsaw-proof, and can expand better than the old one.
  • Name and Name: The title of the show.
  • Names to Know in Anime:
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Good Luck Mode, Wild Tiger gets a Power Fist and Barnaby gets an Armed Leg. Subverted, as it does absolutely nothing to enhance their powers. Doc Saito just put it in the suits because he thought it looked cool.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When meeting Kaede for the first time, Sky High good-naturedly puts his hand on her shoulder. In doing so he ends up transferring his NEXT power to her, making her lose the memory-manipulation ability she got from Maverick -- meaning Barnaby's true memories couldn't be restored. Justified, since no-one knew about this little setback until then.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: When Mr Maverick and Kaede meet he pats her on the head - unwittingly transferring his power to her.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Sternbild looks an awful lot like New York, even having similar statues. Word of God says it was in fact based on Manhattan.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Jake to Tiger. It was so bad that Agnes of all people wanted to stop it from airing.
    • Kotetsu and Barnaby were well on their way to getting one courtesy of Cis in episode 15 - at least before Sky High showed up to save the day.
  • The Nose Knows: The main powers of the criminal group featured in Episode 9. Mary can smell money, Lily can smell lies, and Elly can smell danger.
  • Not So Different: Most episodes show us that Kotetsu and Barnaby aren't really all that different. Kotetsu even remarks on this during Hero TV's documentary on Barnaby at the end of episode 3 -- but whether or not that was one of Agnes' ideas or his own opinion is left open to interpretation.
  • OC Stand In: Fake Wild Tiger/HN-01 despite only appearing in a few episodes, has inspired the fandom to create a more humanized version called Ebitetsu. Sporting Palette Swap versions of Kotetsu's outfit and his hat pulled down to obscure his eyes he appears in truckloads of fanart, fancreated MMDs and even doujinshi.
  • Odd Couple: Kotetsu is laid-back, friendly and emotional, and takes his job of protecting citizens very seriously. Barnaby is somewhat uptight (he relentlessly uses Keigo with Kotetsu), reserved, and has little enthusiasm towards the idea of fighting evil.
  • Official Cosplay Gear: So far, Kotetsu's hat and wristwatch, Barnaby's jacket and belt, and even shirts that resemble the duo's power suits have been sold
  • Off-Model: Towards the middle of the series the art becomes less polished (just take a look at Barnaby in episode 8 and ep.s 11-14); but from episode 15 onwards things seem to go back to normal, and the last few episodes are particularly well-drawn and animated..
    • Most of the art/animation problems were fixed in the BD/DVD versions.
  • Oh Crap: The end of episode 11 when Jake Martinez makes it apparent that he knows he's talking to a disguised Origami Cyclone.
    • The end of episodes 12, 19, 20 & 24.
  • "On the Next...": But of course. They're narrated alternately by Kotetsu and Barnaby, and also contain tidbits of info about our two heroes' personal quirks.
  • One-Woman Wail: The ominous operatic theme that plays during Barnaby's flashbacks to his parents' murder.
  • Ouroboros: The show's version of the symbol is a snake with a Spade-shaped eye and a blade passing through its body. This is the tattoo mark found on people belonging to the secret organization of the same name. The Ouroboros was removed from the Stern Dollar for the DVD/BD release. It was supposed to be a very common image (the meaning and origins of which most people are unaware) -- much like the US Dollar's Eye of Providence.
  • Post Dramatic Stress Disorder: Kotetsu makes a point of casually getting dressed and waltzing out of his hospital room after (partially) healing his wounds with his Hundred Power. The moment he's out of sight of the other heroes, he nearly collapses in pain.
  • Powered Armor
  • Power Copying: Kaede.
  • Power Glows: When the heroes activate their powers. Their eyes also glow blue, regardless of their original color.
    • Also parts of Kotetsu and Barnaby's suits glow when their powers are active.
  • Power of Trust: A frequently recurring theme.
  • Product Placement: Played straight and lampshaded, with real-life sponsors such as Pepsi, UStream, Bandai or SoftBank.

Jackson: You know who made you a hero, right?
Kotetsu: Our sponsors, sir!
Jackson: Good!

  • The Promise: Tomoe's last request to Kotetsu was for him to continue his work as a hero after her death.
  • Punch Clock Hero: Surprisingly averted. Despite their positions as corporate employees, all of the heroes are in the business because they genuinely want to help people.
  • Puzzle Boss: Jake Martinez, definitely.
  • Randomly-Gifted: Heredity seems to have little or nothing to do with being a NEXT.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Both Wild Tiger and Barnaby fought this way against the villain of Episode 5. Tiger with his fists and Barnaby with his legs.
  • Reactive Continuous Scream: Occurs between Kotetsu and a pig-masked carjacker in Episode 4.
  • Reality Show: HeroTV!
  • Recurring Extra: A girl with a scarf and a fox-backpack who appears in several episodes, sometimes dubbed "Scarf-tan" by fans. She was even added to a scene in the Blu-Ray release.
    • She has speaking lines in episodes 7, 10 and 22.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Not the characters, but their sponsors. The companies which act as the heroes' primary affiliates are named after figures of Greek mythology and legend. (Apollon Media, Poseidon Line, Kronos Foods, Titan Industry, Helios Energy, Odysseus Communication, Helperides Finance.)
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kotetsu is the red, Barnaby the blue, though their color-coding does not match their roles.
  • Remember That You Trust Me: There's a lot of back-and-forth of this nature between Kotetsu and Barnaby.
  • Rhetorical Request Blunder: Played with. When Kotetsu keeps bugging Barnaby about what he wants for his birthday, Barnaby points to an incredibly valuable diamond necklace just to shut him up. Said necklace somehow winds up on a crook Kotetsu hands off to him as a "present".

Barnaby: Did you actually believe what I said about the necklace? I would never take it.
Kotetsu: I'm giving you the criminal so that you can get points for the arrest. It's points you want, isn't it?

  • Running Gag: Kotetsu being unable to properly pronounce any of the titles during episode previews.
  • Ryu and Ken: Kotetsu and Barnaby have the same powers but the former prefers punching and the later prefers kicking.
  • Saying Too Much / I Never Told You My Name: Kotetsu figures out Jake Martinez's second power due to these two factors. Averted by the former in episode 13 when he gives Barnaby some false information as part of a Batman Gambit to finish Jake off.
  • Scary Surprise Party: Tiger and the other heroes try to pull a variation of this for Barnaby's birthday. Needless to say it doesn't quite go as planned.
  • The Scream: Wild Tiger did this when most of the criminals died in Episode 7.
  • Secret Identity: All the heroes, except for Barnaby.
  • Sensual Spandex: Underneath the armour, Kotetsu, Barnaby, Keith, and Ivan wear form-fitting body suits. Not that we're complaining.
  • Serial Killer: Benoit Depardieu.
  • Serious Business: Kotetsu and Antonio have a boxing match in Drama CD 6. Why? Because Kotetsu supposedly ate Antonio's pudding.
    • And Sky High working so hard to memorize his lines for Barnaby's birthday surprise.
  • Scenery Porn: The night view of Sternbild City is beautiful and the creators won't let you forget it.
  • Sequel Hook: The Ouroboros symbol appearing on a Stern dollar in the epilogue of ep.25 is the major one.
    • Both protagonists coming out of their Ten-Minute Retirement and joining the Second League Heroes counts too.
  • Sexy Secretary: Fire Emblem (of all people) has one.
  • Ship Sinking: The creators' statement that Karina's crush on Kotetsu was meant to be portrayed as unreasonable should, in theory, have sunk said ship. Not that it actually did anything to deter fans of the pairing, of course.
  • Shirtless Scene: Six
    • Episode 3 - Barnaby doesn't bother dressing himself after a shower
    • Episode 9 - Kotetsu takes of his shirt for an injury and just kind of forgets to put it back on.
    • Episode 13 - Kotetsu spends almost half the episode wearing nothing but boxers and bandages.
    • Episode 15 - Lloyds decides to sign Barnaby up for another modeling shoot. For speedos.
    • Episode 16 - Yuri gets a Shower Scene and apparently doesn't know how to button his shirt.
    • Episode 24 and 25 - Kotetsu gets his armor and about half of his undersuit obliterated. He appears to neither notice nor care in the least that he's exposed from collar to pelvis.
  • Shonen Upgrade: Subverted and parodied. The "Good Luck Mode" Kotetsu and Barnaby receive in Episode 5 gives an auto-mod to their suits that lasts for three seconds. However, as Doc Saito informs them after they seemingly put it to use, it doesn't do anything except make them look cooler.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Heroes swinging from buildings. Which makes a lot more sense what with Sternbild's unique architecture.
    • Tiger's armor (and Barnaby to a lesser extent) take some design cues from movie Iron Man.
    • A few possible ones to Batman:
      • Karina Lyle (Blue Rose) sounds dangerously close to Selina Kyle (A.K.A. Catwoman).
      • On that note the magazine that Kotetsu is reading at the beginning of episode 18 includes a picture of a PaletteSwapped version of Catwoman
      • All of the clown-like imagery used by Ouroboros appears to be one to The Joker. A random Mook who takes a girl hostage with a gun looks like him as well.
      • The relationship between Jake and Kriem is reminiscent of the relationship between The Joker and Harley Quinn, right down to Kriem's red-and-black outfit with a playing card theme.
    • The comparison between Tiger's old and new armor is akin to a similar scene in The Incredibles.
    • Pao-Lin's clothes when she's out of costume (as seen in the intro and Episode 9) look rather like those of another short-haired blonde martial arts expert. The shoutout goes even earlier than that, to another very famous Chinese martial artist...
    • Episode 15 is a shout-out to Metropolis; the scientist is named Rotwang and there are homages to the android transformation effects.
      • The robot that Barnaby's parents are seen working on in this episode looks like Robby the Robot.
    • Sternbild's Phone Company logo is the old DC Comics logo with the letters SB instead of DC.
    • Rock Bison's eyepiece is the same shape as MagiGreen's.
    • Mad Scientist Rottwang is a reference to the Mad Scientist character Rottwanger from Fritz Lang's Metropolis.
    • H-01's eye visor is very similar to Kamen Rider Tiger's, appropriately enough.
  • Show Within a Show: HeroTV
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: In episode 23 when Dr. Rotwang tells the captured heroes his androids will take the place of NEXTs as the people's heroes they give him one collectively.
  • Sigil Spam: To be expected, given the premise.
  • Skyscraper City: Sternbild is so tall it has been divided into levels.
  • Skyward Scream: Kotetsu in episode 7 when he and Rock Bison realise the criminal he's giving CPR to can't be revived.
  • Slave to PR: Pretty much all the heroes who appear on HeroTV are subject to this, though some play it up more than others.
  • Sleeper Hit
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: It's difficult to pinpoint where exactly the series lies on the scale. On one hand, the series celebrates idealistic old-fashioned heroism through Kotetsu. Though it does acknowledge the cynical side through character like Lunatic as well as a number of revelations -- (HeroTV being in league with Ouroboros for instance) -- that criticize superhero tropes.
  • Sliding Scale of Living Toys: The Mad Bears are Level 4.
  • Spiritual Successor: To The Big O - similiar western themes, Scenery Porn, basically does with entire western superhero concept what Big O does with Batman.
  • Split-Screen Reaction: Kotetsu and Barnaby get one in episode 12 when Jake picks out their cards one after the other.
    • They have another one when they are nearly crushed by a stone statue in episode 2.
  • The Stinger: Most of the episodes have them. They either allude to things that happened or leads to something in future episodes.
  • Stripperiffic: Blue Rose's costume. Lampshaded a bit in the first episode, where it's shown that her costume is more useful for attracting the Male Gaze than it is for blocking bullets. The group of female NEXT criminals in Episode 9 definitely count as well.
    • In one of the manga anthology stories, Nathan decides that Kotetsu could use a change of wardrobe. The results are... special.
  • Sucking-In Lines: The android guns in the final episode suddenly need to charge up...you know, just for dramatic effect.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: One of them, anyway (Fire Emblem). Tiger also used to wear one, before he was transferred to Apollon Media and got a new, modern suit.
  • Superpower Lottery: Jake Martinez double-dipped and got two winning tickets, having both the power to project force-fields and Telepathy.
    • Kaede can mimic the powers of other NEXT.
    • Subverted when Tiger, Barnaby and Origami Cyclone visit a Hero Academy for NEXT; it's made very apparent that most NEXT abilities are fairly useless. So naturally, out of the few thousand NEXT only a very small percentage become heroes (or villains, for that matter).
      • It's also worth noting that amongst the eight HeroTV heroes, at least half of them [2] (and possibly as many as all eight) aren't originally from Sternbild.
  • Super Registration Act: Is shown to be in full effect. It doesn't really cause problems for anyone, since Sternbild uses the "too reasonable to ever actually show up in comics" version H of the law.
  • Surprisingly Good English: Most of the show's written text is in clear, comprehensible, and grammatically-correct English, in keeping with the rather Western superhero theme.[3]
  • Taking the Bullet: Kotetsu takes one of Lunatic's firebolts for Barnaby in Episode 8. It doesn't kill him (he was powered up at the time), but it does require a visit to the hospital in an ambulance.
  • Technician Versus Performer: The fundamental divide between Barnaby and Kotetsu. It's subverted in-universe because the Technician is the one who's more popular with HeroTV fans; but among the real-world T&B fandom the trope works in its typical fashion - with the Performer being the more popular of the two.
  • Technicolor Fire: Fire Emblem has red-orange-yellow flames. Lunatic, meanwhile, has green-blue flames.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Kotetsu and Barnaby, though only in episodes 1-8. From ep.9 onwards they get along remarkably better, and by ep.14 they're perfectly willing partners.
  • Tempting Fate: When Barnaby and Kotetsu are sent to deal with an auto theft, Kotetsu wonders why they're being called in when this is something the police should easily be able to handle. He gets his answer mid-dialogue:

Kotetsu: Anyways, we heroes should be fighting bad guys who carry machine guns and are like, "Badadadadadadada--"
BOOM!
Kotetsu: Eh?

    • And in episode 10:

Barnaby: Jake Martinez's sentence is 250 years. I can interrogate him after all this is over.

      • Two minutes later, Ouroboros is announcing that they're taking the entire city of Sternbild hostage to ensure Jake's release.
  • Tender Tears: Both Kotetsu and Barnaby cry these at the end of episode 24.
  • They Fight Crime: Pretty much the whole point of the series.
  • Those Two Girls: Karina's high school friends, Emily and Jane.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: The main conflict between Lunatic and the heroes.
  • Time Bomb: Used in Episode 3 as the major threat.
  • Time Skip: Ten months between episodes 13 and 14.
    • And a whole year in episode 25.
  • Title Drop: At the end of the countdown of Good Luck Mode and when they simultaneously hit the villain.

Computer Voice: Tiger & Bunny. Over and Out!

  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The show's two female superheroes, Dragon Kid (Tomboy) and Blue Rose (Girly Girl).
  • Too Dumb to Live: Lady Killer for not knowing Lunatic doesn't take prisoners.
  • Transformation Sequence: In Episode 5 both Wild Tiger and Barnaby have a mechanical sequence in the Base on Wheels.
  • Translation Convention: Since the series does take place in a futuristic Manhattan, most of the characters are assumed to be speaking English instead of Japanese. This is supported by the fact that all of the text/signs/writing is written in English, despite Kotetsu's comical inability to understand or pronounce the episode titles.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Lunatic's power manifested when he tried to stop his father from beating his mother.
  • Tron Lines: Light up on Kotetsu and Barnaby's suits whenever they tap into their powers.
  • True Companions: The heroes are starting to become this. Outright stated by Kotetsu in episode 21, and proven by them in episode 24.
  • Twenty Minutes in The Future: Inverted, the series takes place in an Alternate Universe of the 70s but with futuristic technology and architecture.
  • Vague Age: With the exception of Barnaby (23-26), Kaede (9-11), Pao-lin (13-15), Ivan (18-20) and Karina (16-18), nobody in the series has a set age.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In episode 12, Jake Martinez does not take it well at all when Kotetsu, the Hero he spent the entire fight mocking as a loser, actually scores a hit (by accident) on him. Unfortunately, Kotetsu is the one who suffers for it.
  • Virtual Training Simulation: Hero TV provides one for the superheroes.
  • Visual Pun: In episode 1 when Kotetsu and Antonio are on the phone to each other we see that Kotetsu's name has a picture of a tiger under it on Antonio's phone and Antonio's name has a Bison under it on Kotetsu's.
  • Wham! Episode: While previous episodes had some foreshadowing, Episode 10 was when the Ourobouros finally revealed themselves to the general public...and what a revelation it was!
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: The Ouroboros criminal organisation is curiously well-armed -- having helicopters, high-tech firearms, and even a good number of Mini-Mecha in its arsenal. This is because Apollon Media's been funding them -- you can't have a superhero show without properly threatening villains, after all.
    • The Stinger in the final episode suggests something far more sinister. If you get the Stern dollar wet, the Ouroboros symbol is revealed.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Not every NEXT gets cool powers. Exemplified when Tiger's students are showing off their powers to him. Some powers include: stretching your skin, excessive sweating on a whim, neck-stretching, the ability to cut off your hair instantaneously...Yeah, some people get a pretty shit end of a stick, to say the least.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: While they are prone to chewing each other out at the best of times, Kotetsu utterly tears into Barnaby over his callous indifference towards the death of three criminals.

Kotetsu: What do you take people's death as, anyway? Isn't our job to protect people's lives? You're a hero, aren't you?!

    • In the twelfth episode, Barnaby returns the favor after Kotetsu interferes with Barnaby's scouting of Jake's hideout because he thought Barnaby might lose it and try to kill their target.

Barnaby: Why? Why didn't you trust me!? I was starting to think I could trust you as a partner, but I won't trust anyone who doesn't trust me.

    • Karina also chews him out when she hears of what he did.

Karina: I can't believe you! Why did you get in his way!? Aren't you his partner?

  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Superheroes have a busy schedule, and Kaede is far from pleased. But their relationship improves greatly once she learns his secret.
  • Where The Hell Is Sternbild?: Sternbild is practically a brightly lit New York City set Twenty Minutes Into the Future; the money looks almost exactly like US currency, except with "Sternbild" printed on them ( and bearing the Ouroboros symbol), suggesting that it's a Land of One City.
  • Wingding Eyes: One of the robbers in the opening sequence of the series uses a realistic take on this look with dollar signs on the lenses of his sunglasses.
  • Worthy Opponent: It seems like Lunatic views Kotetsu as one. He promises to watch out for him in the future. He even does some research into Tiger's background at the end of Episode 8.
  • X Meets Y: Super Heroes + Reality TV
  • You Didn't Ask: Just about everyone who isn't Antonio is amazed to discover Kotetsu has a preteen daughter (especially Karina). He just kinda forgot that he never actually told anyone.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Surprisingly averted, except maybe Pao Lin, whose natural hair has a greenish tint.
    • And Nathan, since we don't know whether he dyes his hair or not...
    • Blue Rose literally has blue hair in her hero costume (Even though it's a wig; she's a blonde in real life.).
  • Your Costume Needs Work: When Kotetsu tries to enter Apollon Media after he's been unpersoned, the security guard assumes he's just a Wild Tiger cosplayer, since look-alikes trying to get into the premises aren't an uncommon phenomenon.
    • In episode 22 When Kotetsu confronts the other heroes on the roof of the Apollon Media building Rock Bison says he's wearing a cheap imitation suit.

Notes

  1. It should be mentioned that they had the American Viz Media studio do all the text on screen for them.
  2. Kotetsu grew up in Oriental Town, Ivan is Russian who apparently immigrated to Sternbild at a young age, Antonio is identified as being from "The West Coast", and Pao-Lin is from China
  3. Before the show was aired Viz Media was handed the original text and was told to accurately translate into grammatically correct English.