New beginnings that retread old ground.
Art: Tsutomu Oono
Translation and English Adaptation: Labaamen and John Werry, HC Language Solutions
What They Say
In the city of Stern Bild, superpowered heroes known as NEXT fight crime while promoting their corporate sponsors for the hit TV show HERO TV. Veteran hero Wild Tiger has years of experience fighting crime, but when his ratings slip he’s forced to team up with Barnaby Brooks Jr., a rookie hero with an attitude.
Part 1 of this two-volume adaptation of the Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning animated film introduces you to the exciting world and characters of Tiger & Bunny!
The cover shows off an image of Kotetsu, back to the reader, over a pure green picture of his suit. The back cover simply contains the Tiger symbol and a quick synopsis. Overall, the covers give off a nice, clean look that still contains some style. Paper quality feels solid, sound effects are translated in stylized form, text reads smoothly, and honorifics are not used. There are no extras included in the book.
The artwork has a good look about it, using a moderate amount of detail and crisp lines. Emotions come across well and characters are easy to distinguish from one another. Backgrounds appear frequently and are sufficiently detailed. It’s not a jaw-dropping beauty of a book, but it has a nice style about it that comes together very well.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Our story opens through the lens of Hero TV, a show which chronicles and rates the deeds of heroes with corporate sponsors. As the heroes Rock Bison, Fire Emblem, and Dragon Kid rush in to apprehend a group of robbers on the run, our main character Kotetsu, also known as Wild Tiger, struggles to make it to the scene on time. He tries to make a big entrance, only to be shown up by Sky High and Blue Rose, as well as a brand new hero named Barnaby Brooks Jr., a handsome young man who freely gives out his identity and has the same powers as Kotetsu! To make matter worse, Kotetsu finds that his contract has been sold to Barnaby’s company, and he’ll be forced into the first hero duo with the newcomer.
Their first mission together sends them out into town to stop a giant steel statue which has mysteriously begun moving. They try to take on the mission separately, but only end up stepping upon one another’s toes. The statue fortunately stops before they get themselves killed, giving them a chance to rethink their strategy. Even so, their lack of teamwork once again gets in the way, getting them captured by their massive foe. When it turns out a different statue is on the move, they head out (after some bickering) and discover that the root of the incident is a young NEXT, a boy with superpowers allowing him to bring objects to life. Will Barnaby’s desire for points or Kotetsu’s yearning for true justice end up determining the boy’s fate?
This volume does a decent job setting up the basics of the story, but at the same time feels just a tad rushed. If you haven’t experienced the series in another form before you might feel a bit lost due to the quick pace, but at the same time fans of the series may find the quick, cutdown versions of events they’ve already seen to be lacking. Even so, it remains a decent story, and there are some nice touches throughout, such as Kotetsu’s subtle flashbacks. Now that the basics have been laid out, hopefully the second half of this story will manage to really run with things and tell an interesting tale, as there’s certainly some solid fundamentals displayed here.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: A-
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B
Age Rating: 13+
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: October 8th, 2013