Alan Smithee

Tiger & Bunny The Beginning – Manga Review

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1421560755Tiger & Bunny was one of those series that I had the highest intention to watch because it had my name written all over it. Oh who am I kidding, almost any anime has that…but this series is something on a whole different level.

I never saw the anime series, nor did I check out the movie, but I’m glad that it’s not necessary when reading these two volumes of excellent manga. The script comes from Masafumi Nishida (Afro Tanaka, Oniichan no Hanabi) with character designs by Masakazu Katsura (Iria: Zeiram the Animation). From the moment I picked up the first volume, I was physically unable to put it down. It was that engrossing of a read.

Considering I brought it with me while walking around my work and couldn’t be bothered to pull my nose out of it…that should give you a clue of how addicted I was.

The first volume of Tiger & Bunny The Beginning is basically the introduction story of Wild Tiger (Kotetsu T. Kaburagi), and the other superheroes of Sternbild City. Tiger is a sponsored hero on the television series Hero TV that broadcasts the various deeds and misdeeds of the city’s super powered humans called “NEXT”. Being a veteran hero who cares more about getting the job done than making the show look good and gaining points in the competiton, he’s suddenly faced with his sponsor backing out only to be picked up by another company that teams him up with a rookie by the name of Barnaby Brooks Jr. whom he affectionally calls Bunny.

The two are the first superhero duo representing their respective company and sponsors and end up butting heads more often than not as they each have very conflicting styles of heroism. Both Side A and Side B contain these conflicts but ultimately as you’d expect, the duo gets their act straight finally near the conclusion.

I don’t want to give any of the fights away, but I finished Side A and had no intention of reading past the first chapter of Side B until the villain showed up and had my attention for the rest of the book. I hadn’t burned through a book this fast since Infinite Crisis almost a decade ago. It flows well, the artwork is spectacular as you’d expect, and the story is lighthearted and full of action. If this is the Japanese take on superheroes, we have a lot to learn.

I highly recommend these to anyone who wants superhero action with out any of the traditional hangups that those characters have. Sure each has their own issues but overall it’s not a person brooding on a rooftop over the death of their parents (I’m looking at you Batman). Each volume runs about $9.99 a piece and is in my opinion worth every penny though a word to the wise, pick them both up at the same time, you won’t want to stop.

When done reading, go back over it all and reread the series again this time paying extra special care to actually SEE the manga-ka’s artwork.

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