Tiger and Bunny is a Netflix Original action anime produced by Sunrise. Inspired by the success of Tiger and Barnaby’s permanent team-up, the heroes of Sternbuild City have adopted The Buddy Program. A system that teams all the heroes up into pairs so they can have each other’s backs. But when a new threat arises that is specifically targeting heroes will the Buddy system, along with a fresh crop of new recruits be enough to save the city in Tiger and Bunny Season 2?
While Tiger and Bunny has all the chases, escapes, and explosions of any action series, its strongest asset is its focus on character. Just like in season one, this season sees its trademark heroes and their new partners learning, growing, and becoming the best heroes they can be. Unfortunately for them, having superpowers rarely makes interpersonal challenges any easier.
Roughly the first half of this series focuses on these personal struggles as the main villains of the season slowly make their way to the city. Most episodes in this portion of the show focus on a different duo in each entry. These episodes rarely go astray as they delve into the struggles of learning to work with new people and overcoming differences to trust each other. But while they rarely fail, when they do, they fail big. The biggest misstep this portion of Tiger and Bunny Season 2 delivers comes when it looks at returning series hero Blue Rose and her new partner Golden Ryan.
When Ryan suspects Rose of planning to ditch him to team up with Tiger he begins to stalk the duo, taking pictures, video recordings, and trying to convince Barneby to preemptively ditch Tiger to team up with him. While Ryan’s behavior is ultimately addressed in the story, it is played off far too lightly. This behavior is treated like a minor oops that is quickly forgiven and forgotten. Obsessive behavior like this feels like the sort of thing that should be dealt with a bit more seriously. As it is the only issue between heroes in Tiger and Bunny Season 2 that isn’t a simple personality clash, it feels inappropriate that it is dealt with in the same light way.
Once the series has explored the new hero pairings thoroughly, the focus quickly shifts to the series’ newest threat. The duo of NEXTs provides some unique and interesting challenges for our heroes. More powerful than even last season’s big baddie Jake, this duo is delivered in an equally intimidating, and unfortunately obnoxious, way.
To be completely fair to these two, I’ve never been a fan of the villains whose core personality is “WE’RE CRAZY!” They have a masochistic streak big enough to make them chilling if I didn’t want to roll my eyes every time they spoke. The only characters I can think of to compare them to would the trio of villains in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. But while those characters never deliver enough lines in their appearance to become truly tired, these two are allowed more than ample time to overstay their welcome.
The visuals in Tiger and Bunny Season 2 provide a bit of a mixed bag. While the character designs are suitably flashy and I love many of the unique looking special attacks that populate the show’s 15 episodes, the character animation leaves a bit to be desired at times. There is a distinct lack of fluidity in a lot of the animations that are seen here. This stiffness hurt the show’s ability to deliver its biggest action moments.
When all is said and done, Tiger and Bunny Season 2 delivers some cool designs and solid character growth despite some moments of annoyance. But I believe that if you found yourself cheering for the heroes of Sternbuild City last season, you will find plenty more to love here.
Tiger and Bunny Season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.
Tiger and Bunny Season 2
- Rating - 8/108/10
Tiger and Bunny Season 2 delivers some cool designs and solid character growth despite some moments of annoyance. But I believe that if you found yourself cheering for the heroes of Sternbuild City last season, you will find plenty more to love here.