‘Tiger And Bunny’ Season 1: Ending, Explained – Who Is The Real Villain, Tiger Or Maverick?


Directed by Keichi Sato and written by Mizuki Sakakibara, “Tiger and Bunny” was released on April 3rd, 2011. The series was an absolute hit with the Japanese audience. The series gained popularity due to its quirky plotline and a new perspective on superheroes among the many superhero movies that were released simultaneously around the world during the decade. The topic of superheroes who work with sponsors to save the citizens in order to gain points and be declared the hero of the season was unheard of. The other recurring anime like “Boku no Hero Academia” have been loosely based on this sort of plotline.

‘Tiger And Bunny’ Season 1: Plotline

The series follows protagonists Kotetsu and Barnaby around the city of Sternbild as they strive to save their fellow citizens from the claws of criminals. They are forced to team up with their employees to save their city and also hack up points for their company. They are, like other heroes in the “Tiger and Bunny,” part of a company that is tied up with sponsors who sponsor a show called “Hero TV.” This show broadcasts the actions of the heroes and awards them with points according to their actions. The superheroes, along with Kotetsu and Barnaby, are known as NEXT.

Major Spoilers Ahead

The Character Of Barnaby And His Backstory

The story of “Tiger and Bunny” follows the plots of different major hero comics. An orphan who is trying to find the murderer of his parents, who were tycoons when they were killed. Sounds familiar? Though, in Barnaby’s case, he goes by his real name instead of the hero name that others in “Tiger and Bunny” follow to enjoy their privacy. Barnaby puts himself out there so that he can act as bait to pull out his parents’ killer and avenge them. He first acts as a solo hero who has just joined the show “Hero TV”, but then is forced to cooperate with the Wild Tiger, Kotetsu, who’s a veteran hero. They build up their trust in each other as partners and eventually are in sync while chasing the villains through the city. Barnaby has spent almost 20 years of his life trying to weed out the killers of his parents, all to no avail. He had actually witnessed his parents’ murder when he was a child. He saw them shot and almost burnt to death by fire. This is really traumatizing for anyone, much more for a kid. He does, in fact, remember the person who killed them, but he cannot recall his face. This leads to him suffering through a lot of nightmares. It seemed to him as if somebody might have tampered with his memories, but he couldn’t figure out who.

Another thing that he remembered vividly was a tattoo. The killer had a tattoo on his right arm. He chased the tattoo, which had a design like a circular snake with a sword across it, only to find out that the suspect who knew about the tattoo was being jailed. He then stumbled on the name Ouroboros, which is suspected to be a crime syndicate. He became a hero to find out more about Ouroboros and spent every waking hour trying to solve the murder of his parents. He kept his real name as his identity and went on to win the hearts of all the citizens with his good looks and charm. He became a fan favorite, beating Sky High, who ruled the hearts just before him in just a few days after his introduction.

When Barnaby was eventually introduced to Kotetsu, he was irritated at first sight. Eventually, both Kotetsu and Barnaby hated each other’s guts. But eventually, they did start warming up to one another and became an excellent team. Barnaby wanted to score points and be on top of the leaderboard, unlike Kotetsu, who believed in focusing on saving the citizens. This was a major reason behind their small tiffs in the beginning. Barnaby still hated that Kotetsu called him Bunny and not Barnaby. It irked him and always led to a quarrel between them. Kotetsu, not to be deterred, did not hold back from calling him Bunny whenever he pleased. With the help of Kotetsu, Barnaby did get closer to the other heroes: Blue Rose, Rock Bison, Sky High, Origami Knight, Fire Emblem, and Dragon Kid.

The Character Of Maverick, His Road To Success And Doom

Maverick was the founder of “Hero TV” and was the first person to give the identity of heroes to the next group of people with superpowers. He motivated them to participate in his TV show and successfully manipulated the audience into believing and leaning on the heroes for help when in need. After a few decades of business, the operation of the show was handed over to Agnes, who focused mainly on the ratings of the show. She was obsessed with the viewership and wanted to make sure that “Heroes TV” was ruling over the other programs.

At first, Maverick was portrayed as a kind, old man who listened to the heroes and acted accordingly to boost their image and allowed them free ground to carry out their missions however they wanted. Later on, his actions regarding the release of an evil prisoner named Jack, who was termed as the murderer behind Barnaby’s parents’ death, threw a light of suspicion on Maverick. However, the fingers would be pointed at the Mayor if the move went south. Jack was released due to his partner endangering the entire city, so as to get Jack out of prison. His partner, Kriem, had taken the citizens hostage and was targeting the very foundation of Sternbild. The efforts of the heroes against her power of controlling stuffed beats and using them to drive automated robots were considered futile. This led to Maverick convincing the Mayor to quietly agree with their demands and release Jake from prison. All was going well for Maverick until suddenly, Samantha, Barnaby’s old nurse who took care of him since he was young, found a picture of where she had taken Bunny to see the Christmas festival.

Here, we find out that Maverick is actually a NEXT himself, with the power to plant memories in people’s brains. This is how he had convinced Barnaby that he was not the killer and that, instead of Samantha, he was the one who had taken him to the Christmas festival for 20 long years. He had also planted other fake memories in Samantha so that she could defend his story. After Barnaby found out the truth about that night after visiting Kriem in the hospital after she met with an accident while fleeing from the heroes after they took over the hostage situation and defeated Jake, who had died in that accident, he went on to confide in Maverick. He found out the truth when Samantha sent him the picture while he was in Maverick’s office. Barnaby faced the betrayal of his life when he understood that the man who had been looking after him and had helped him get this far was actually the murderer of his family.

Maverick killed his family because they had found out that he was organizing crimes with the help of the crime syndicate Ouroboros to boost the ratings of his show and create more content. He had joined the organization to make sure that the next would always have to fight crime to stay relevant, and the citizens would then trust and lean on the heroes, essentially wracking up ad revenues and making him rich. After Baraby’s parents had found out about this, they were aghast and were going to report him when he shot them dead. With his heartbroken and with nobody to help him, Barnaby finds himself in the clutches of another false memory planted by Maverick to escape his wrath. Barnaby is then taken by Maverick to his home, where Maverick pretends to be kept in the dark about Bunny’s presence.

However, things start going south for him once he frames Kotetsu for Samantha’s murder, plants false memories, and erases Kotetsu’s memories from the rest of the team and heroes, especially Barnaby. He did this because, along with Barnaby, Kotetsu was the one present with him during the day, and they learned the truth about Jack in the hospital room. Kotetsu woke up at Samantha’s house when he went to find her and ask for the picture, only to be declared a criminal and suffer through the pain of his friends and coworkers forgetting him entirely, hunting him down for points, and arresting him. Amidst the chaos he was facing, his daughter, Kaede, who had awakened her NEXT powers, journeyed to the city to save her dad’s name. Her powers enabled her to copy the powers of other NEXTs she had come into contact with. This served as the beginning of the downfall of Maverick, because he patted her head when she came to talk to Barnaby to prove her dad’s innocence.

‘Tiger And Bunny’ Season 1: Ending Explained

Kotetsu found out about Maverick and was on his way to inform others, but he had already been framed as the murderer and had the other heroes on his tail in hot pursuit. He eventually figures out Maverick’s powers when his friends or coworkers could not remember him and had tagged him as fake and a stalker. Maverick had also classified all the information about Kotetsu and deleted most of it to erase his presence in the world.

Kotetsu lures his friends to the roof to help them remember him when his daughter comes along to save the day. They were all focused on trying to arrest him, and when Kaede came in and produced a flash of light that exempted their minds of the false memories, they finally remembered their dear friend. Everybody who witnessed the beam of light regained their original memories, except for Barnaby. He regained his memories during the fight with Kotetsu when he called him Bunny instead of Barnaby. Together, all the heroes set out to defeat Maverick, but they were imprisoned, and Kaeda was held hostage. Maverick used Barnaby’s parents’ research into robots to create robots to replace the Next Heroes.

Eventually, Barnaby and Kotetsu defeated the robot, and Kaeda helped in freeing the other heroes. Kotetsu and Barnaby’s friend Saito, who was in charge of their suits, hacked into the robots’ configuration and typed in the safe sequence that ultimately saved all of them from dying in Maverick’s hands after he had unleashed the rest of the robots. Maverick tried to shut down the system so that he could escape the safe sequence, but in the process, admitted to his wrongdoings, which were recorded and broadcast by Agnes, who had also escaped the false memories and was pretending so that she could use the opportune moment to unmask Maverick’s true face. He tried to escape while holding Kaede hostage, but eventually got captured by Kotetsu. Not to be deterred, he used his powers on himself and turned himself into a person who had lost the functions of their brain. He was escorted to prison in this condition only to meet his death through Lunatic, the son of Mr. Legend, who was the first Next superhero ever to be cast on “Hero TV.” The Lunatic has a twisted sense of justice where he kills the criminals whom he holds guilty.

After everything is over, Kotetsu retires due to him eventually losing his powers. Barnaby follows him and retires as well, because he refused to be a hero without his partner. However, Kotestsu was sent back to the field because he still had a bit of power left, and his daughter thought it was uncool for him to just laze around. He was incorporated into the Second League of Heroes instead, and Barnaby joined in to save him from his screw-ups.

‘Tiger And Bunny’ Season 2: Expectations

In the second season of “Tiger and Bunny,” we can expect more of Kotetsu and his partner, Barnaby. Maybe his daughter will also join in as a hero and save the day with her father. Season 2 Adventures of Tiger and Bunny will ensure more information about the crime syndicate Ouroboros and also share hindsight about the reason behind the loss of power faced by the NEXT. In “Tiger and Bunny” Season 2, Lunatic might as well join the heroes and save the world with them, though that could be a contradiction to his moral justice. Because he is not a hero, he can easily kill criminals as a way of delivering justice. There can be the introduction of new characters and more glimpses into the lives of our favorite heroes as they chase down the crime syndicate to eradicate crime forever from Sternbild.

See More: ‘Tiger and Bunny’ Season 2: Ending, Explained – Do The Heroes Get Defeated By Overpowered Villains?

‘Tiger And Bunny’ is a 2011 Action Anime Series directed by Keichi Sato.

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Alokananda Sen
Alokananda Sen
Alokananda Sen holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. She has a keen interest in graphic designing, reading, and photography. Her insatiable appetite for cinema and pop culture enticed her to work as a content writer. She is currently pursuing a Post Graduate Diploma focused in Animation & VFX to explore a new dimension in her career.

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