Episode 14 is called Love is Blind. It's mostly a throwaway episode with a minor "villain" who can turn invisible by holding his breath. He's been sneaking backstage at concerts and stealing things from performers. After defeating Jake Martinez with teamwork, Tiger and Barnaby have become close and now "trust" each other as partners, even concealing from the public during talk show interviews their rocky and contentious start as a duo.
That cooperation turned things around for Bild Stern's first hero teamup. Barnaby finished in 1st place and won the title King of Heroes on the previous season of Hero TV. I guess that kinda happens when you save the entire three level city from being collapsed and sunk into the ocean. Wild Tiger, too, has gotten his act together, moving up to 4th in the points. And even the Origami Cyclone made good on his word to be better than last. Rock Bison has dropped to dead last.
So why did I bother to write about such a minor episode? To gloat. In this episode, Blue Rose (Karina) finally realizes that she has the hots for Wild Tiger. Which is pretty creepy considering that she's still a high school girl and he's in his 30s with an 11 year old daughter of his own. Oh anime... tentacle rape and statutory rape romances. And you don't even get the whole Lolita thing right.
There's a mixup where Karina thinks Kotetsu is asking her out but really he's just asking for some extra dance instruction (don't ask, just watch). However, to retrieve Karina's stolen bag from the aforementioned invisible creeper, Kotetsu is able to achieve power levels well beyond his normal Hundred Power. Is this activated because of his <3 for Karina? Or does he achieve a power level over 9000 because he's no longer thinking about getting credit for his heroing?
The downside of his boosted power is that it doesn't last for the normal 5 full minutes of the normal Hundred Power. Barnaby doesn't believe him when he explains this, instead crediting Kotetsu for intentionally letting Rock Bison capture the thief to boost his points and flagging confidence.
Will Barnaby have a similar over-drive capability for his Hundred Power? What will trigger it?
Aside: So far, no two NEXT have the same power except for Kotetsu and Barnaby. While the other characters note this, they don't seem curious about it. It remains to be seen if Tiger and Bunny have some deeper, hidden connection besides being Bild Stern's first dynamic duo.
For your edification, here's how to tell you're in <3 with a boy (if you're a Japanese high school girl):
1. You can't keep your eyes off him when he's around and he's always on your mind.
2. Everybody calls you by your nickname, including him, but you want him to call you by your real name.
3. You want to keep everything he gives you even if it's just a silly note or a real ugly workout towel.