T&B is basically a buddy cop show with superpowers, coupled with a theme of multi-national corporations working as their sponsors. They pay for the expenses of a hero’s costly equipment, and glamorous lifestyle. In return, they advertise their products and increase the sales. That means you get lots of product placement like PEPSI and BANDAI, which unlike Pizza Hut in Code Geass, is excused in-series.
The introduction to the setting was close to amazing as each hero needs a manager for his public relations, as well as to maintain popularity by being cool in the eyes of the audience. Heroism is more about entertainment than protecting the world from villains, and I was really interested to see where they would go with such a premise. It could be about the exploitation of marketing, the vanity of commercialism, or the façade of a secret identity. Sadly none of that happened.
The show belongs in the same vein as One Punch Man and My Hero Academia, that is, making a comical version of western superhero stories, with a few hints of getting serious and dramatic that are quickly rendered meaningless. As soon as they set the stage for an aging hero who lost his glamour and wants to do a comeback, everything turns to a semi-episodic comedy, filled with breezy missions and not much exploration concerning the premise of superheroes being the same thing as superstars.
It’s not like there is no redeeming value, since the show spends a lot of time in showing us the lives of its characters instead of being a braindead storyless action flick. Each one of them has a life outside of being a stereotype that needs to look cool in front of cameras. Everybody gets a decent amount of fleshing out. Too bad it’s not used in an overarching plot, or doesn’t play any part in their superhero missions.
And boy, are the superhero parts bad. They are just poorly orchestrated action scenes with bad CGI, no sense of choreography, and easily defeat-able villains. They are more silly than exciting and they end up damaging the show by making everything feel stupid. If the show is supposed to present more down to earth superheroes, it is all ruined with villains who toy with the heroes instead of killing them, and improbable comebacks that have no consistency in power scaling. An energy beam that can blow up a powerful robot in one scene, doesn’t do shit when it hits a hero in another.
Also, the superpowers are abused way more than they should. Even if you like the characters, when you have powers like mind control and amnesia, their personalities mean nothing. They are puppets that behave in any way the plot wants them to behave. The final conflict was cheap since it was basically a villain mind controlling the heroes to fight each other, and the resolution was lazy since all it took was using a superpower than negates other superpowers. There was no strategy or diplomacy, and on top of that it was forced.
I liked the premise, but the presentation was random nonsense. There is no tension or drama, and it’s not rewarding when resolutions are all about deus ex machinas instead of wits and personal choices.