Producer Masayuki Ozaki was a guest at the New York Anime Festival this weekend and a couple interesting things came out of the Tiger & Bunny question and answer session today.
First, did you know they originally had an idea for a ninth hero? "The final concept was to have eight heroes, but in the very early stages we talked about having a ninth called Zen Beast. And what was going through our minds when developing this character was inserting Japanese culture[...]so we wanted zen[...]so it would be quiet and tranquil[...]and the other side be wild and a beast[...] In the end, we were very limited—we knew we only [had] 25 episodes, so we had to trim down on the number of characters. So we ended up with eight, and we already had Origami Cyclone with Japanese culture."
There was also some alternate initial discussion related to the two main heroes:
"When we were deciding on who [Kotetsu] would be and what his background was, we were trying to decide on who he was... One of the early ideas was to make him the president of a small company, but in the end it was more important to put forth the idea of the bureaucracy and the idea of a salaryman who is also a hero, and we wanted to go more into his relationship with Barnaby, so we scratched that idea.
"[... Also] we actually had received comments and a slight nudging of commentary by those of us [...] not directly on the production team that they wanted two young heroes, but we wanted a show that showed the generational gap, the old man vs. the rookie, and the how that develops, and we felt strongly that we had to preserve that."
Finally, Viz no doubt made some fans happy by revealing that the English dub is in pre-production.