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Tiger & Bunny: The Rising Anime DVD/Blu-ray Review

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Tiger & Bunny - The Rising Blu-ray FrontTiger and Bunny are back on the beat!

What They Say:
The heroes of Tiger & Bunny are back in an all-new feature-length film! Kotetsu T Kaburagi, a.k.a. Wild Tiger, and Barnaby Brooks Jr.’s partnership comes to asudden end when Apollon Media’s new owner Mark Schneider fires Kotetsu and moves Barnaby back into the First League, pairing him up with Golden Ryan, a new hero with awesome powers and a huge ego to match. When the heres are sent to investigate a string of strange incidents tied closely to the city’s Goddess Legend, they discover three superpowered NEXTs plotting to bring terror and destruction to Stern Bild.

The Review:
Audio:
I watched the dub for this review and it sounds pretty good. The music isn’t overwhelming the voices ever and the action scenes sound full.

Video:
The video looks pretty nice, but could be a little sharper. I didn’t see anything that took away from the enjoyment of the movie, though. The CG in Tiger and Bunny has never really looked great, just competent. The quality of the show is well worth sitting through the mediocre CG, but the rest of the animation looks pretty good.

Packaging:
I have the BD/DVD combo pack and it’s super nice. It comes with a glossy slip cover and the format of the text on the back is pretty nifty. They color code all the heroes, so Wild Tiger is green, Barnaby is red, and Golden Ryan is gold. The slip cover also has different art from the package slip, which is sweet. The inside slip isn’t reversible, but it has some nice artwork on it as well and the discs aren’t just copied directly from the covers. It’s a really impressive piece here and about as good as you’re gonna get without spending NIS, Aniplex, or premium packaging prices.

Menu:
The menu plays that same awesome fight music from the series with some footage from the movie in the back. The BD menu has pop ups that’ll take you anywhere you need to go on the disc. Curiously, the beginning part of the music is way louder and gets quieter. So when it loops, it surprised me a litte.

Extras:
There’s a bunch of promotional videos and trailers on here, all of which I skipped on watching. But there IS an interview with the producer of the show and movie, Kazuhiko Tamura, that was pretty cool. It detailed a little bit of the process of making Tiger and Bunny and turning it from a TV series into a movie. A nice look behind the scenes.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Tiger and Bunny is not exactly a show / movie to go to for a great plot. The resolution, as it is, focuses more on a catharsis for the characters rather than the villain. It’s made me realize that Tiger and Bunny will always be better as a TV series that can fight off villains of the day rather than a movie that almost demands some larger villain.

The villains in this movie, Virgil and Mark Schneider, are relatively weak. Too much time is spent with Tiger’s problem for them to ever develop further than “being villain-y.” Their motivations are essentially told to us at the climax of the film. Schneider being a man who wants money and will do anything for it and Virgil who wants revenge and is willing to sacrifice anything for that. It’s not interesting…

Fortunately, the time spent on the other characters is the strong part of Tiger and Bunny. Wild Tiger is back in action in the Second League heroes—among whom are heroes that can spurt salt from their hands and poison people to make them itchy. Tiger is by far the most skilled out of them because, well, he has the strength of 100 men one minute at a time.

The movie is then about Tiger regaining some semblance of confidence in himself, and it works tremendously well. Throughout the franchise, we’ve seen Tiger constantly be bemoaned as a dumber or less popular character, but he still has his own fans. It’s a realization that there’s more to it than popularity. It’s paralleled with Fire Emblem’s arc, who’s struggled with both gender identity and sexuality. He literally has to face this over and over again in his dreams because of a NEXT power. But it’s not about what other people think of you, it’s about what you think of you.

There were a few curiosities in the movie, like the inclusion of Golden Ryan at all. He didn’t serve as a great foil to Barnaby and basically only showed up to show off or to be Barnaby’s partner. Tiger coming to only Barnaby’s aid, or the other way around, would be a lot more resonant than having Golden Ryan around too. His power was pretty cool though.

Another is Dragon Kid’s new technique, which was alluded at but never used. I thought she was going to have an awesome moment against the giant junk of metal spider thing, but nothing happened. It’s a bit cheap to the character to put that idea there then never use it, but this is a movie full of problems.

In Summary:
Tiger and Bunny deserved better than this. While this movie isn’t really bad, it’s not really good either. It sours my feelings on the franchise as a whole a little since it is sort of a continuation of the TV series without ACTUALLY being a continuation of the TV series. Either way, Tiger and Bunny the TV is the way to go if you want the full Tiger and Bunny experience. This movie is ultimately disposable, with few exceptions.

Features:
English and Japanese 5.1 and 2.0 audio, English subtitles, Theatrical trailer, Pilot trailer, Promotional videos, TV series special digest, San Francisco premiere at New People Cinema, Clean opening, Clean ending, Interview with producer Kazuhiko Tamura, Art gallery, Weekly Hero Countdown, Commercial collection, Theater manners

Content Grade: B-
Audio Grade: A-
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: A-
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: A-

Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: February 24th, 2015
MSRP: $29.99
Running Time: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16 x 9

Review Equipment:
PS3, LG 47LB5800 47” 1080p LED TV, LG NB3530A Sound Bar

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