Tiger & Bunny – Set 1 (Blu-ray Review)
Tiger & Bunny prove what it means to be heroes
Tiger & Bunny is an anime series produced be famous studio Sunrise (Cowboy Bebop). The series centers around two heroes: Tiger aka Wild Tiger is a middle aged hero who has seen his best days. His new partner is Bunny, a young hero who has the same superpowers. While Tiger is more idealistic than Bunny the latter is certainly more capable in tense situations. Together they team up to save the metropolis of Stern Bild City and uncover the mysteries around the death of Bunny’s parents. The clou to this story is, that these heroes don’t work like the Avengers but have big corporations as sponsors. Their adventures are always broadcast on TV and they are ranked on a leaderboard for every deed they do. So they must decide: Do they rake in the points or let TV be TV and do everything to save lifes?
Tiger & Bunny is a fun little anime that is heavy on action and beautifully animated. The heroes look a bit sterile in their robotic suits but the colourful cast of other characters makes up for that. For example there is the drag queen Fire Emblem, the sexy teenage hero Blue Ice or the pompous Sky High (not to be confused with the movie of the same name). The banter between Tiger & Bunny is also often quite funny: Tiger, whose real name is Kotetsu T. Kaburagi, always wants to get on Bunnys good side, which mostly leads to silly results. Bunny on the other hand, whose real name is Barnaby Brooks Jr., just wants Tiger to quit his “meddeling”. Over the course of the first 13 episodes included in this set the two unlikely partners slowly develop a friendship.
While Tiger & Bunny is mostly an action-packed adventure with a lot of humour, it even contains a bit of social criticism. The whole documentary aspect reminds the viewer of voyeuristic TV shows like Big Brother, Simple Life and The Osbournes. Even though there is a bit of slapstick involved here and there Tiger & Bunny can also be quite dramatic. Bunny’s backstory is tragic and his quest to find the murderer of his parents can even be dark at times.
All in all I’d advise every superhero fan to tune in and give Tiger & Bunny a chance. It is a fine little series that should appeal to many comic fans.
I bought the American blu-ray by VIZ Media. This set contains the first 13 episodes in 1080p / 1,78:1 encoded with MPEG4-AVC for the picture. The episodes are spread over two discs (Region A locked). The picture quality is excellent with bold colours and a lot of detail to the animation. There are no compression problems and I give the PQ a solid 9/10.
The audio is lossless DTS-HD Master Audio but sadly only in stereo. This goes for the English dub as well as the Japanese original. The sound quality is good but I feel this action-packed anime could have greatly benefitted from a surround mix. So the audio is more like a 6/10.
For those bonus lovers there is even some extra material here. The Making of Tiger & Bunny grants insight into the production process and is even in HD. There are also clean opening and closing sequences as well as some trailers.
Overall this is a great blu-ray set. Fans of anime in general and superheroes in particular should definately give Tiger & Bunny a shot.