Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tiger & Bunny

Super heroes are my favorite role playing genre right after fantasy. In terms of reading, I'd say that might be true as well if we count comics as 'reading' material. My comic collection was so vast at one point it took up a whole room in and of itself despite stacking those boxes way higher than they should ever have been.

So while I have +Hulu I figured I'd hit up two of my favorite bits as Tiger & Bunny is an anime tale about super heroes in a futuristic city. The Wiki page over here does a pretty good job of breaking down Tiger & Bunny.

Seeing as how this isn't a new anime and it's streaming in a few places and has already had a few movie tie ins and a mangan, I'm going to hit some of the high points.

The setting, Sternbild City, is visually appealing. It's a true technological miracle of tomorrow. But like all such things, it is a bit well, comic book stupid. For example, they build up and those higher buildings are supported by columns which are easy to attack as we discover later on. When developing your city and other setting bits, are there things that shouldn't work, but because of the setting itself do?

In terms of character origins, if you don't feel comfortable with the word 'Mutant', just make up your own classification like they did here with 'Next'. In part, that's one of the things I like about the show. While it's not 'deep', the show does have bits that resonate with any X-Men fan in terms of the Next thinking their superior, the Next being treated differently, and many of the Next just not having abilities that are all that useful or powerful.

Another nice nod to comics, was that time marches on., In this instance, we have super heroes, but they also rely on technology. For example, Tiger is initially seen in a suit that would resemble something like a humours Batman. When he joins with Bunny under a new corporation, he gets a 'hardsuit'. The suit has all sorts of technological bits to it and is very difficult to damage, being shown to withstand high degrees of heat for example, like from a flamethrower.

But on the flip side of that technology, comes androids. One of the themes running through the second half of the series is that with the right technology, the Next themselves are obsolete.  Having a variety of enemies and options to draw from allows anyone who wants to run a game like Tiger & Bunny a little more leeway than having normal villains or just rogue Next be the bad guy of the week.

In terms of campaign twists though, the whole corporate sponsorship is an interesting one. While not a brand new idea by far and in super hero comics, we see many corporations with their own super powered individuals, not necessarily heroes mind you, but body guards and enforcers, the idea here is that these corporate sponsored heroes fight crime and earn points based on how good of a job they do. Their costumes incorporate company logos and they are connected via network to a specialized television program that highlights their adventures and assigns points on them.

Nick names and catch phrases have their place here. For example, the series title, Tiger & Bunny, comes along because Tiger gives that name, Bunny, to his partner, Barnaby, because of the 'ears' on Barnaby's suit. Not to mention that it's pink. Blue Rose, a female super with the ability to create ice, has a catchphrase "my ice is a little bit cold, but your crime has been put completely on hold."

Heck, the Bunny nickname actually winds up saving Tiger when Bunny is mind-controlled into attacking him. You see, Barnaby hated it so much he recalls that and snaps out of it.

Tiger & Bunny may have a silly name but it's a solid anime and fans of super heroes should check it out.