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Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning Side B Manga Review

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Tiger & Bunny Side B
Tiger & Bunny Side B
The end of the beginning!

Creative Staff
Art: Tsutomu Oono
Story: Sunrise
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 2 of this two-volume adaptation of the Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning animated film continues to introduce you to the exciting world and characters of Tiger & Bunny!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
After Kotetsu finds himself getting chewed out for his actions and we are treated to a quick flashback to Barnaby’s past, the heroes gather for a party. When it comes to light that Kotetsu lied so he could attempt to get everyone to become friends, things quickly fall apart and the other heroes prepare to leave. However, just at that moment a call is sent out, reporting that a thief has snatched the Statue of Justice. Though there are some strangely close calls, the suspect manages to make his way into an amusement park.

It soon becomes clear that something is wrong when the heroes end up mysteriously in a pinch themselves whenever it seems they have the thief cornered. Once the criminal mastermind has thoroughly humiliated the heroes, Barnaby is able to figure out that he has the ability to switch places with other people. Thanks to word from the Justice Bureau, our heroes learn that the man’s name is Robin Baxter, but even with all of this information the heroes are unable to keep him from running rampant.

Deciding that enough is enough, the heroes seal off the park and evacuate the patrons, but even so Robin manages to give them the slip and mess with a father and son in the process. This gives Barnaby a chance to show off his softer side, and helps bring the hero duo a little closer. Barnaby announces he has a plan, and shockingly Kotetsu lets him go off on his own. Will the rookie hero manage to catch the master thief, or will he require the help of his partner after all?

In Summary
Though there’s a little bit before and after, the core of this volume is focused around the frantic chase to capture a single criminal. Fortunately for the story, the villain manages to show off a good bit of flair and has an interesting power to boot, so it ends up working out in the book’s favor. It is a little confusing to follow the action at times thanks to the nature of the criminal’s power, but in a way that’s fitting and helps to add to the confusion he’s able to create within the plot. It’s a bit of a shame that cooperation didn’t play a bigger role in the story seeing as the series has two main protagonists, but even so there’s a number of great sequences, and this is definitely a fun little book. It’s definitely worth a look if you’re a fan of the series, and it does a far better job than the first volume, making for an enjoyable read overall.

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
MSRP: $9.99