Tiger & Bunny: Set 1

Tiger & BunnyWelcome to Sternbild City, where heroes are real and you can watch them live on Hero TV!

Kotetsu, a.k.a. “Wild Tiger,” is an experienced hero, having worked as a hero for the last ten years. When activated, his power multiplies all his abilities x100 — speed, strength, agility, and so on — but it only lasts five minutes. To compensate, he fights in a super-suit that helps protect him with built-in guns and other gadgets. Barnaby, nicknamed “Bunny” by Tiger, is the Fresh Young Thing With a Mysterious Past. His power is exactly the same as Tiger’s, which is very unusual. Tiger and Bunny are part of a group of super-powered humans called “Next,” who defend Sternbild City. Their super-powered status is completely commercialized, down to the logos on their costumes and official catch phrases. The heroes work for different sponsors and all of their exploits are shown on Hero TV where they get points for such things as Being the First On the Scene or Making the First Arrest.

Collected in episodes 1-13, the first half of season one is a complete story arc unto itself. Basically, it’s a Batman story: Bunny’s parents were killed in front of his eyes, leaving him a wealthy young child with a burning desire for revenge. The beginning of the show is driven by Bunny’s attempts to solve his parents’ murder. The story unfolds with nice pacing and a fairly satisfying resolution. If some minor story arcs are not resolved, it is because there is another half-season to go.

At the same time, Tiger and Bunny are learning how to be partners. While Bunny is driven by his desire to earn points in the ratings, Tiger believes that being a hero is more important than corporate sponsorship. Each episode features a side story, a conflict for Tiger and Bunny to resolve together, and smaller stories about other Next heroes with whom they work on Hero TV. We learn that Tiger has a pre-teen daughter who doesn’t know he is a Next, that Blue Rose is still a teenager who lives at home, that Origami Cyclone worries he is not good enough to be a hero, and that while Sky High may be the most popular hero, he is also the most simple-minded. All of the heroes have secret identities except for Bunny; this is his Hero TV gimmick as opposed to a costume or catch phrase.

While this anime may look cutesy from the picture on the packaging, it is a fun twist on a superhero story with great pacing and character development. Despite showing Tiger and Bunny in mechanical suits, it is not mecha. This anime would be good for people who like action/adventure films and those who want their superheroes to be a little deeper. This series is most suitable for teens due to realistic violence (heroes actually bleed) and existential plotlines, e.g., avenging a parent’s death and questioning one’s identity.

The set includes 2 DVDs with no extras or inserts.

Tiger & Bunny: Set 1
Viz Media, 2013
directed by Keiichi Satou
300 minutes, Number of Discs: 2, DVD Set
Company Age Rating: TV-14
Related to: Tiger and Bunny by Mizuki Sakakibara