And off to the races we go with the second set of Tiger & Bunny, with a new story arc which ties up the series, ending on a great note and leaving us wanting more! Viz’s second DVD set gives us the second half of the action series which is an incredibly cool take on the American superhero genre, yet not a knock off of anything over here; it’s still fresh and very much its own thing. This fusion of east-meets-west gives us one of the most widely accessible shows since Cowboy Bebop hit our shores, always hooking the viewer into its world.
The second half of the series keeps the intense yet comical action drama of the first 13 episodes and pushes the bar a bit further, giving fans the coloration and twists of such darker superhero comics as Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. The first few episodes feel like lighter feel good set up stuff, coming off the epic conclusion that episode 13 left us at, but all isn’t peachy keen for our duo, Barnaby and Tiger. Quickly we learn Barnaby’s memories aren’t what they seem, and the man they thought was responsible for his parents’ deaths really wasn’t! Barnaby’s memories as a child have been tampered with and altered, but who from his past could have done such a thing? At the same time, Tiger learns his Next powers are fading, and his unlimited strength for 5 minutes is suddenly getting shorter, first by a few seconds, then up to a minute! With this decline in his powers, Tiger decides maybe he should retire from the superhero business, but can he turn his back on his partner Barnaby when he really needs him? Before we know it, lots of memories of heroes are being tampered with, and suddenly Tiger finds himself in the spotlight as he is framed for murder with all his friends now after him, setting up the epic series conclusion!
Series wise the writing is excellent, all the characters coming to a pay-off fruition as the twists and turns keep pumping away. Fans of comics from all over the globe will notice the mentioned hints of such things as Watchmen, while there are still some very Japanese moments (early on in this set there’s a pop idol song episode, totally anime right there). The blend is so perfect, it is hard not to enjoy it, and those who held off on watching it simulcast for the DVD release are in for a treat. Animation side, the action is gorgeous to look at, and some of the 2-D/3-D cell shading animation that looked off from time-to-time in the first 13 episodes, is corrected here for a much smoother feel in the series’ second half.
Viz has done a Grade-A job with the set once again. Subtitles look great, and the sound quality is there for those that want to watch it in Japanese. For those wanting to watch it in English, they do a fantastic job with the English dub here. I’m still not a fan of the voice they use for Fire Emblem, but everything else sounds spot on and it’s a lot of fun to just enjoy the ride.
Tiger & Bunny Set #2 is available now on both DVD and Blu-Ray from Viz Media. High recommendation!
A copy was provided by Viz Media for review.