With most of our heroes locked away with explosives strapped to their necks and Wild Tiger and Barnaby facing off against the ridiculously powerful (if unimaginatively named) H-01 robot, times are looking tough as we enter this penultimate episode of Tiger & Bunny.
While Kotetsu and Barnaby are preoccupied with simply staying alive for long enough to allow their powers to recharge, the other heroes find themselves questioning one another's intentions as they know that any one of them could choose to release themselves from death at any time, thus sacrificing the rest of them. While Rock Bison seems the most likely to crack, some clever manipulation of the video feeds makes it look to the others as though Sky High is about to push the button, although of course little do they all know that their captor is planning on killing all of them anyway.
Eventually, Wild Tiger and Barnaby's powers return, but it still looks as though it won't be enough to fend off their opponent - their last-ditch strategy succeeds only in depriving H-01 of one of his weapons, leading him to unleash another on both of them. Just as it seems as if all hope is lost, Kotetsu manages to grab hold of H-01, leaving Barnaby to use that previously discarded weapon to finish off their opponent... but at what cost? As Kaede makes use of her own abilities as a NEXT to do her part in saving the other heroes, it seems as though the day has been won - but what of Maverick? What's more, what of Kotetsu?
After Kami-sama no Memou-chou yesterday, today it seems that it's Tiger & Bunny's turn to shock us and tug at our heartstrings as its brings an episode to a seemingly morbid conclusion after yet another instalment of this series proves to be greater than the sum of its parts - despite the daft mind games played against the other heroes (surely they aren't dim enough to believe that Maverick would let one of them survive?) and the clichéd ending to the fight against H-01, this was still pretty compelling, energetic and entertaining stuff. Indeed, it's probably a lesson in simple but effective story-telling that other, lesser, series would do well to learn - and what's more we still have plenty in store for the show's finale next week.