Episode Title: Many a True Word is Spoken in Jest
Original Airdate: 4-17-11
This is the first episode that had no part of it included in the first movie so it was all new to me. It also focuses on what I think is the most interesting aspect of the show as a whole, and that’s the show within a show. Here, Hero TV’s crew follows the newest hero on the block Barnaby to get some footage of him when he’s not out saving the city, and of course since Wild Tiger isn’t the most popular hero on the block, he’s generally pushed off to the side and given lines to read. But when they start filming in a newly finished building, there’s a bomb threat and Tiger and Bunny are forced to work together once again to save the day, if they don’t kill each other first.
The biggest point of conflict between the two characters is their differing personalities. It’s very much like the Odd Couple where Barnaby is the more measured and logical one, while Wild Tiger is the more free-spirited one like his name implies. This episode really starts to get to the heart of this from the very start during a simulated training exercise. Instead of listening to Barnaby’s logical reasons to go to the right, Kotetsu prefers to go with his gut and head to the left and in the end they both get pummeled by the simulation. Not specifically because one of them was right and one of them was wrong, but because they wasted so much time arguing that they weren’t able to try either option. This comes to a head at the end of the episode where Barnaby is trying to disarm the bomb and Kotetsu is there for both moral support and to film it so the actual film crew can be safely away in the event that they fail to disarm the bomb and it ends up exploding. The disarming of the bomb comes down to one final cut of the wire, not the typical red or green wire, but the wire coming from the top or the bottom. Once again, the two are in disagreement, but before time runs out Barnaby finally agrees on a compromise that saves them both with minimal property damage.
Before the meat of the action, there’s quite a bit of downtime with the film crew shooting behind the scenes for Hero TV with Wild Tiger and Barnaby. It starts off pretty poorly since Kotetsu isn’t very good at promoting himself as a hero, nor does he care much about helping promote Barnaby as his teammate. It does make him a bit of an odd choice for a protagonist, as he spends much of his time during this episode not being very positive about anybody around him. He’s obviously rather disagreeable with Barnaby, but he also doesn’t get along with the TV crew, his boss, even to a certain extent the other heroes. But he’s able to have this put upon demeanor that makes it seem like everything and everyone is out to get him and his only recourse is to lash out at them to a certain extent which ends up making him a likable character. There was a nice mix of comedy, down time, as well as some tension with the bomb scenes that made this a pretty enjoyable episode. It also ended with a brief scene where we get to see Blue Rose’s persona without her getup as somewhat of a lounge singer, though she seems a bit embarrassed by the whole thing, something that will likely be explored in a later episode.