Alan Smithee

Watch Sunrise’s Tiger and Bunny on April 2nd

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Growing up as an anime fan has been a double edged sword. The good side is that the art style and animation that I love so dearly is finally being noticed as a great medium, the bad side is that we’ve had to deal with some bad stuff over the years like Pokemon (it WAS terrible folks), the Just4Kids version of One-Piece, and the repetition of Naruto’s ‘believe it’ just to name a few.

It’s completely awesome that this medium has become so accepted and ubiquitous as to be shown on national TV schedules, but what takes this to a whole different level is when anime is shown in Japan and America for the first time, at the SAME time. That’s what Viz has been doing with their website Viz Anime.

The best and latest example of this would be the new show from Sunrise (Dirty Pair, Outlaw Star, InuYasha, and Gundam AC) titled Tiger and Bunny. The series is a superhero anime, but I think that the synopsis from the company itself does a better job of selling it:

TIGER & BUNNY (rated TV-14) is directed by Keiichi Sato (director of THE BIG O), with original character designs by Masakazu Katsura, creator of I”S and VIDEO GIRL AI (also released by VIZ Media). Stern Bild is a metropolitan city where superheroes called NEXT help to maintain peace. Sporting sponsor logos on their suits, these heroes work to solve cases and save people’s lives in order to earn Hero Points, while also helping to improve the public image of their corporate sponsors. Their activities are documented and broadcast by the popular show “HERO TV,” in which each superhero strives to become the “King of Heroes” of the year.

One such hero is Wild Tiger (real name Kotetsu T. Kaburagi), a veteran superhero who relies on his years of experience and instincts to fight crime. Though obligated to work for his boss’s best interest, Kotetsu follows his own code of honor and is even willing to cause destruction to public property for the sake of protecting the lives of his fellow citizens. Over time, he has grudgingly earned the nickname “Crusher for Justice.” Now, Kotetsu suddenly finds himself forced to team up with rookie hero Barnaby Brooks Jr.

This means that as soon as the new show airs in Japan on the 2nd of April, heck even at the same time it’s broadcast, you can watch the episode at Viz Anime’s site in Japanese with subtitles. I think that it’s a marvelous age we’re living in, but I won’t rest until we have prime time anime series. This though, is a great start.

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