Random Curiosity

Fireball Charming – 01 »« X-Men – 01


OP Sequence

OP: 「オリオンをなぞる」 (Orion wo Nazoru) by UNISON SQUARE GARDEN
Watch the OP!: Download, Streaming ▼

「All’s well that ends well. 終わりよければすべてよし」 (Owari Yokereba Subete Yoshi)

All the letdowns I had from the promotional video for Sunrise’s company superhero anime were quickly washed away after seeing it in action. With a story centering around Kaburagi T. Kotetsu (Hirata Hiroaki), a veteran hero who’s deemed past his prime, the series doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously and works well because of it. The premise with evolved humans known as NEXT working as full-time superheroes for large corporations is outlandish enough, so putting a comedic spin on is often one of the best ways to make it all work. Most of the humor actually comes from Kotetsu when he takes up his superhero alter-ego Wild Tiger, who embodies the sense of justice one would expect from a superhero but without the tactful grace of one. The premiere provided a good glimpse into his complete disregard for personal property, as well as the other superheros of Sternbild that the Hero TV program provides live coverage of and awards seasonal ranking points to.

Much like how SHAFT attempted to redefine the magical girl genre with Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, Sunrise seems to be trying to do the same with the superhero one. Rather than having a reason to fight against crime in a flashy outfit, this is nothing more than a job to most of the characters. A quick look at the hero lineup speaks for itself, as we have the seemingly gay Nathan Seymour/Fire Emblem (Tsuda Kenjirou), the lazy and indifferent samurai-like Ivan Karelin/Origami Cyclone (Okamoto Nobuhiko), the young martial artist Pao-Lin Huang/Dragon Kid (Ise Mariya), the big yet considerate Antonio Lopez/Rock Bison (Kusunoki Taiten), the popular and always appreciative Keith Goodman/Sky High (Inoue Gou), and the pop idol Karina Lyle/Blue Rose (Kotobuki Minako). Kotetsu is one of the rare exceptions being the veteran he is, but soon finds himself working with a new generation hero, Barnaby Brooks Jr. (Masakazu Morita), after his company Top Mag is bought out by Apollon Media. From their first encounter, it was pretty easy to see that their clashing senses of justice will lead to interesting scenarios now that they’ve been paired up, starting with Barnaby’s view that secret identities are so old school. Unlike those before him, he’s the only hero who goes by his real name, and is the least bit interested in helping kids who may look up to him.

On paper it seems like we just have a bunch of off individuals with special abilities who probably have no business being a superhero; however, it’s how they all come to together that has me very curious about the direction that Sunrise plans to take this original anime. Story-wise, I love how we follow the supposedly washed up and past his prime Wild Tiger, who has to do whatever he can to stay in a line of business that the younger generation is taking over. From this episode alone, I could already get a good sense of the dynamic between characters that goes well beyond the terrible mismatch of “Tiger & Bunny” (as suggested by the ear-like extensions on Barnaby’s power suit). What really won me over were the visuals though, where the CG animation was integrated much more seamlessly than the low quality promo video indicated. The end result is more in line with what I’ve come to expect from Sunrise, which combined with the seemingly unorthodox plot, has me pretty set on following this potential surprise hit all the way through. Insert songs by Kotobuki Minako are always a plus too.

* It’s worth noting that the characters have sponsor logos of real companies, including SoftBank, Bandai, Pepsi, USTREAM, and Calbee, because Sunrise put a real spin on the premise and sold them as advertisement space.


ED Sequence

ED: 「星のすみか」 (Hoshi no Sumika) by 藍坊主 (Aobouzu)
Watch the ED!: Download, Streaming ▼


April 4, 2011 at 1:00 am
  • April 4, 2011 at 1:14 amSenakuuri

    I wtf-ed throughout the entire episode but probably in the most positive way possible. The animation especially was awesome; after watching the promotional vids, I was a bit on the fence but that was cast aside pretty quickly.

  • April 4, 2011 at 1:17 amCroosboy

    ahahaha. here i though this anime was like other old cliche superheros story but to think they would add something to it made it really good.
    and wow they got tones of sponsors.
    if divine didn’t say it was interesting i wouldn’t have watch.

  • April 4, 2011 at 1:18 amShirt

    This looks… wacky? I’ll give it a try though. I dun wanna watch it and ruin the recent viewage of Iroha.

    • April 4, 2011 at 1:29 amDivine

      Give it a try and let me know what you think. I was pleasantly surprised.

      For anyone in the US, it’s being simulcast by Viz Media on Hulu.

    • April 4, 2011 at 2:19 amShirt

      Okay. (lol) You got me. The show was just like you said: “pleasantly surprising”. I liked it because it reminded me of Level E and Basquash. Also, the reason I’m hooked officially is because of Dragon Kid. She reminds me of a certain Soul Calibur II character I loved. Thanks for the extra push. I just wish it were in 720p. :D

      ps. I went to Hulu (bad idea) to watch this and was reminded why I hate streaming. Ads. There were ads that interrupted the show! I downloaded it from Nyaa and there were still ads. Dx

    • April 4, 2011 at 2:23 amDivine

      It is in 720p, just not Hulu’s stream. You’ll notice that my screen caps are that resolution.

    • April 4, 2011 at 2:29 amShirt

      But that’s because you watched it RAW. I’m limited to subs so I had to suffer. Either way, I was satisfied. I noticed Dragon Kid stuffing her face at the party. Is that somehow related to her advertising Calbee? I didn’t see the Pepsi girl drinking Pepsi.. (*laughing*)

      • April 4, 2011 at 12:32 pmZero

        lolz, she does in the op…

    • April 4, 2011 at 9:00 amBluerise

      I might give this ago.

      It’s also going to be on Anime On Demand for those of us in the UK. ^_^

  • April 4, 2011 at 1:46 amVermillion

    I don’t know what should I expect after I heard it’s name for the first time.

    But now I glad I gave it a try :)

  • April 4, 2011 at 1:58 amkarry

    “Much like how SHAFT attempted to redefine the magical girl genre with Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, Sunrise seems to be trying to do the same with the superhero one.”

    Marvel did it years ago. Damage Control miniseries, Civil War stuff that still goes on today, etc.

  • April 4, 2011 at 2:11 amoutcast

    Did i miss a memo? I thought divine was going to take a well earned break? Well all for the best. I kinda feared him not coming back after the break.

    • April 4, 2011 at 2:18 amDivine

      I mentioned it in the X-Men and DOG DAYS comments. At the moment, I’m just helping out with first episodes of new anime that the other writers either 1.) don’t have any interest in or 2.) are busy covering something else on the same day. There are still a bunch of other shows I intend to help out with, and hopefully in a quicker manner without having to rely on subs (like RC has been typically known for).

  • April 4, 2011 at 2:34 amLoL

    Every topic sunrise touches makes it interesting in it’s own way.

  • April 4, 2011 at 2:56 amComToooastMe

    sunrise left a good impression on me with gundam wing. The entire show seems like it can go anywhere

  • April 4, 2011 at 3:33 amLitho

    This was a riot to watch, even if it did stink of product-placement.

    It’s actually way more believable than most superhero stories, seeing as how current society behaves with regards to ‘trends’ like American Idol, Facebook, etc.

  • April 4, 2011 at 4:14 amShadowanime12

    I love it because not only the superheroes but the action that was in it. This will be my first anime for the spring! It will probably might have at least 26 or 52 episodes. Sunrise outdone themselves once again!

  • April 4, 2011 at 4:52 amIne

    Reality TV lol is the first thing that came to my mind, and the way it is managed from above brought me to think of Death Race. The silliness in the characters blew from surprise every moment, management controls catchphrase (poor Blue Rose :) and costumes (tiger lol)… And Mr. Brooks too serious (wonder if that lasts or is it to counter with tiger’s silliness XD) Still, seems unique and wouldn’t be surprised if it takes over my ☆! slot :D

  • April 4, 2011 at 7:05 amRuu27

    What I like is that Kotetsu is a rarity as a main character in anime today, being apparently over 25, married and having a daughter. It’s a breath of fresh air seeing that among all the teenage/pre-teen main characters during the past season and this season too.

  • April 4, 2011 at 9:00 amcyo

    I’m glad i read your review and decided to give this show a try. Possibly the hidden gem of this season.

  • April 4, 2011 at 10:12 amyanipheonu

    I dunno, I still think the CG didn’t mesh. It just seemed cheap to me, and really detracted from the show.

    The concept is cool and the first episode was fun but I really am not a fan of CG in anime and it doesn’t seem to be used right here.

    • April 4, 2011 at 11:28 amShirt

      Not to be evil but you should watch Fireball Charming if you haven’t already. Short, but funny. All CG too.

      • April 4, 2011 at 2:12 pmyanipheonu

        I’m not saying I hate CG. When done right, like in say Macross Frontier, it’s really impressive, or it makes sense when used to do menial things like crowds and so on. But in this case, the CG seems to rendered in way that it’s all choppy and it really takes away from the action.

  • April 4, 2011 at 11:32 amsarcastic_weasel

    I was laughing from the OP, with the blatant product placements on the superhero suits. Sort of an in-your-face, no-nonsense attempt at product placement. I hope Sunrise gets a lot of sponsor money from this, because I know anime studios need all the money they can get to keep themselves afloat these days. It sure adds a humorous touch.

    I was on the fence about watching this, but I’m glad I did. Funny stuff. Looking forward to more of it.

    (I hope someone blogs the first episode of the train wreck that is Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa…, just so I can have an explanation of WTF just happened, and how I can get my 24 minutes back.)

    • April 4, 2011 at 11:37 amDivine

      Takaii will be covering it if everything goes as planned. He’s considering covering it on a regular basis too.

      • April 4, 2011 at 4:21 pmsarcastic_weasel

        Well, good on Takaii for sitting through Ore-tachi no whatchamacallit and reviewing it. I’m one of those people who will usually watch the first few episodes of just about anything, and even I had trouble finishing that one. o_O

        But Tiger and Bunny looks like FUN.

      • April 4, 2011 at 5:21 pmDivine

        I watched it as well. I didn’t find it that jarring since I had already looked into the plot a fair bit for the season preview. You have to keep in mind that it’s based on an eroge, hence the eccentric personalities of a lot of the support characters (e.g. the female waitresses at Alexander).

    • April 4, 2011 at 11:58 amShirt


  • April 4, 2011 at 12:26 pmAshen

    This sounds very weird and cool at the same time. The reviews I’ve seen here and on ANN have given me a lot of hope for T&B.

    LOL Oh gawd, the yaoist in me can already smell the bromance.

  • April 4, 2011 at 12:49 pmanishuma

    I instantly fell in love.

    Felt like I was watching an anime version of The Incredibles.Lol@ Bison getting sexually harassed by Fire Emblem.

    It’s messed up how that kid gave Kotetsu his Wild Tiger Card, talk about low blow lmao.

    I would’ve said Barnaby was being a douche for not getting that baloon, but it’s not like the kid was doing much to get his attention.Like what kind of kid just stands there and makes a face that looks like that famous painting with the screaming guy?

    Lol@Cutie escape, can’t stand getting shot at, why not just freeze the bullets.

    And lastly, lol it’s Origami Cyclone, standing in the background again, 0 POINTS!

  • April 4, 2011 at 2:00 pmoutcast

    So what happens if one of the heroes becomes an evil sadistic murderer? A reall sponsor would oppose that i guess. So nothing bad will happen to our animated friends?

  • April 4, 2011 at 3:01 pmLuxorcist

    LOL ads for real companies. Reality and fiction are merging!

  • April 4, 2011 at 4:08 pmNorwegium

    That’s certainly one whacky show right there. But damn was it whacky in a good way. Glad you guy’s will be blogging this show.

  • April 4, 2011 at 4:16 pmsynkronized

    I agree with ruu27. Seeing a main character in an anime who’s not only over 30 but has a kid? I love it. It’s such a simple detail but after having to deal with a deluge of teenie characters seeing an old fogie doing his thing and keeping up with the young uns is so refreshing.

    I hope bunny doesn’t over take him in prominence, I wanna keep seeing more of grampa tiger.

  • April 4, 2011 at 5:58 pmheminder

    from the screenshots this reminds me of Kawaguchi Taro’s manga from Bakuman, “Super Hero Legends”

  • April 4, 2011 at 6:20 pmboingman

    Am I the only K2R fan who noticed that he’s responsible for the original charadesigns?
    Until then I wasn’t really that interested in the show, but now I’ll have to check it out.
    It’s weird though that there’s not even an OVA episode for his ZETMAN manga.

  • April 4, 2011 at 6:31 pmN

    This looks awesomely wacky. I’ll be giving this one a try.

  • April 4, 2011 at 7:27 pmDiscoman

    I loved the first episode. An interesting and fun premise/setting with a likable lead coupled with super-hero antics, soon to become a buddy-cop show (presumably). Really looking forward to where this is going.

    • April 4, 2011 at 7:28 pmDiscoman

      Well, buddy-hero.. show..?

  • April 4, 2011 at 7:28 pmm

    Whoever at Sunrise made the decision to place real advertising in the show was a genius. The participating companies deserve some credit too, for being good sports about it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything before that was actually improved by adding advertising to it.

  • April 4, 2011 at 8:19 pmFrito

    BOOSTER GOLDDDDDDDDdddd!! This is funny stuff.

  • April 4, 2011 at 8:46 pmahelo

    What a way to horde advertising huh?
    Great episode though. Somehow it feels like I’m not watching an anime but… I like its charms.

  • April 4, 2011 at 8:54 pmFrito

    This is Sunrise’s attempt to make a BOOSTER GOLD series. I am happy. Bromance involved, Superhero teams that seems dysfunctional is unorthodox yet it intrigues me. The cast is no Avengers or JLA in terms of iconic superhero teams but these guys will probably be more awesome.

  • April 4, 2011 at 9:55 pmbabawaba

    I was surprised that there wasnt more Blue Rose fan service, since its supposed to be some of those reality shows that would stop at nothing to get more money AND its japan afterall, they are already purposely showing panty shots and even nipples in gameshows and stuff like that IRL.

    • April 4, 2011 at 10:51 pmFrito

      This anime is fairly American, just look at the atmosphere and fact that they really want to endorse ads. This is like the Superbowl of Anime, lots and lots of ads. That said it will be quite interesting on how these ads either become a major distraction or a very well thought out joke in the long run.

  • April 5, 2011 at 5:39 ammindflayer

    Following your (indirect) advice on Rainbow Charming and Sengoku Otome (both of which are now entries on my ‘Watching’ list) I tried this one out as well. It does sport somewhat nice visuals and a dose of originality…but this was just not my cup of tea.

  • April 5, 2011 at 3:07 pmSereni

    loved Pepsi Girl! xD
    Wasn’t expecting this one to be as entertaining as it was

  • April 5, 2011 at 6:33 pmconyo985

    Any info on how heavily sponsored this anime is? The creators put the sponsorship to good use by using it as part of the story. With this many sponsors it’s no wonder how good the animation quality is.

  • April 6, 2011 at 2:21 amstardust

    Oh my god Wild Tiger looks so much like Diego Show Spoiler ▼

    from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney I can’t even

    • April 10, 2011 at 8:55 pmVii

      exactly what I was thinking oh my god

  • April 6, 2011 at 10:33 amsaviourshadow

    love it

  • April 6, 2011 at 4:28 pmrainstrife

    I agree with the reception so far. It does have the potential to be a hit series and it does have a look and feel of an american animated series. In my opinion it’s easy to follow and there take on the superhero story is very interesting so far.

  • April 6, 2011 at 6:29 pmJack Spicer

    Are they a gay duo?

    • April 10, 2011 at 9:30 pmDa5id


  • April 7, 2011 at 9:58 pmKarmafan

    I must be the only person that didn’t like it. I thought I was watching a kiddie sat. morning cartoon show. I prefer more edgy cool shows like Freezing, or Madoka, or Kimi Ni Todoke for my anime. I always give each series at least a 1 episode try and lucklily there is alot to watch this season so I will leave the little kiddie shows to others.

    • April 9, 2011 at 1:15 pmVictor3y

      I too was a little…meh, after watching this episode. But I was like that with Madoka too & I did eventually pick it up again for obvious reasons…

  • April 9, 2011 at 11:41 pmZaku Fan

    Surprisingly good anime. The storyline looks like its going to be character based and doesn’t take itself 100% seriously. It looks to be a better prospect than x-men

  • April 18, 2011 at 9:38 amiron2000

    Its like playing heroes as a sport.
    Reminds me of F1 Racing.

  • July 31, 2011 at 4:51 pmShalala

    Does Random Curiosity review Tiger & Bunny? As I can only find Ep 1.