Spoiler Level: Low- Medium
I've been trying out a few new anime titles here and there, but in general have found my interest is mostly in either the classics (such as Space Pirate Captain Harlock, now officially available from Toei and Crunchyroll), or updated versions of the classics (such as Galaxy Railways. Hmm, maybe I'm only into Leiji Matsumoto stuff?) I tried out the first episode of Aquarion but it didn't grab me, and I've had so many other things to watch that I haven't really been looking for anything new, especially in the anime department. While I no longer resent anime like I used to, I can't say I've really been interested in it either.
Tiger & Bunny might just change all that. I tried it out based on the recommendation of Captain JLS, who's also been a little burnt out on the anime scene, so I figured if it was good enough to get him hyped then it must be worth checking out. And it definitely is.
Tiger & Bunny tells the story of a future where super-powered people (referred to as NEXTs) have been around for 45 years. So how does society react to this? By putting them on reality television, of course. And not just a documentary-style Cops-type reality show, oh no; "Hero TV Live" is a competition show, with points awarded for the number of villains captured, people rescued, and various other game show factors. Each hero has a sponsor whose name is proudly emblazoned on their costume, and sponsors include Bandai and Pepsi.
And the first episode did something an anime show hasn't done for me in a long time-- after the first episode, I wanted to see what happens next. That's what good anime should do.
And Tiger & Bunny has another edge to it-- it's being simulcast in Japan and in the US, courtesy of Viz, on their website vizanime.com. Fresh, new episodes are legally being made available every week, subtitled in English, the same day they air in Japan. Ha! Take that, ya bit-torrenting bastards!
I don't know how long they intend to leave each episode up, but as of this writing this episode is still available at http://www.vizanime.com/ep/3149-all-s-well-that-ends-well. It has limited commercials, but (a) that's totally worth it for same day release, and (b) it works with the format of the show, since the show is about a tv show. If you've ever liked anime and/or reality shows, you should definitely check it out.