It Came from Japan – Tiger & Bunny, Set 1
Reviewer was provided a DVD review copy by Viz Media.
Tiger & Bunny is far from your typical story of good vs. evil. For starters, superheroes are commonplace enough to require an academy to train them all, whether their superpowers are useful or not. Secondly, superheroes no longer have to hold secondary jobs where they can leave unexpectedly at a moment’s notice just to have bread on their tables and roofs over their heads.
In this world, fighting crime is only a small part of the job of the superhero, which the series calls NEXTs. They also have sponsors to appease, catchphrases to uphold, and points to obtain. You see, while a hero can go out saving every kitten from a tree and arresting pursenappers, the networks will award big points for more dangerous feats. Good luck getting Fluffy back if there is a armed robbery down the road.
Tiger is a washed up veteran who knows how to get the job done, regardless of how much property is damaged and how low his ratings get. Unfortunately, his sponsor doesn’t share the same sentiment and pairs him with Barnaby Brooks Jr. (whom he nicknames “Bunny” for the ridiculous ears on his super suit), a rookie with an identical superpower. When activated, both Tiger and Bunny can increase their strength exponentially for a few minutes time, after which they need a lengthy recharge period.
Tiger & Bunny, Set 1 includes the first 13 episodes of the series in both its original Japanese and a new English dub, originally exclusive to the 24-hour streaming service Neon Alley (REVIEW). I’m happy to report that Tiger & Bunny features an incredibly strong and eccentric cast of English dub regulars, such as Kari Wahlgreen, Wally Wingert, and Yuri Lowenthal, churning out great performances all around. Since the NEXTs are basically walking billboards with muscles, colors in this series really pop, even in the DVD release.
If I had one complaint about this release, it would be the lack of a surround sound experience. Both the English and Japanese audio tracks are presented in 2.0 stereo sound, but the fast pace action and often explosive powers would have really benefited from the improved audio mix.
Despite the audio qualms and a relatively barebones disc release, Tiger & Bunny, Set 1 is deviation from the norm that is both fun and funny. That said, I cannot wait until the next set to find out how the series will conclude.