I heard a new Tiger and Bunny movie is coming out and that you got the chance to see it. I like Tiger and Bunny, but not enough to watch a rushed retelling of the TV series. Is there any reason for me to watch this new movie?
Imaginary correspondent created to provide a opening segment to a review.
Hi there! Thanks for writing in. You’re right, I did get a chance to see the new Tiger and Bunny movie and I too sorta liked the Tiger and Bunny TV series but not enough to eagerly devour the exact same material all over again. This
movie is indeed a re-skinning of the first few episodes of the TV series. That all said, yes it is most definitely worth your time.
Something that’s worth remembering about Tiger and Bunny is Sunrise were flying by the seat of their pants when it came to writing that story. For example, early episodes had a big focus on Blue Rose, but once it became clear that a huge part of their audience were yaoi fangirls, they swapped the focus away from her and had more swimwear photo shoots with Bunny. They created this villain in Lunatic who acted on his own morals, but then sort of forgot about him in the second half. Looking back, the writing really seemed all over the place. What’s clear about this movie is there’s a much steadier hand on the reigns this time. With their fiction fully established, they can now pace things properly and set clearer objectives within the timeframe. The story is entirely about Tiger and Bunny getting to know each other and eventually work together, and this time it’s paced much better. Bunny comes off as less of a total asshole and the culpability of the relationship not working stretches to both parties. The entire story just flows better.
In general, the main thing I came out of this movie thinking was how much the production staff learned from their mistakes on the TV series. Some of the heroes that were boring originally are massively improved in the movie. For example, did you guys ever know what Rock Bison’s superhero ability even was? I didn’t, and that’s absurd when you consider he was one of the main 8 heroes in the series. In the movie, they reveal it in this rather great sequence where he shows off his shirtless rock body to Dragon Kid. They still riff on the idea that he’s not the coolest of heroes. His new weapon is this giant catapult you might see Gundams launched from, except they literally launch Rock Bison from it. Except every time he uses it, he misses his target by a couple of feet and flies straight into a skyscraper instead. Dumb as hell, but really funny.
Speaking of Dragon Kid, she’s another character who gets way more chance to shine. She actually feels like a human being with personality this time, rather than some girl in the background that they never really knew what to do with. She’s like the rookie in the group who is more personable and interested in events. Origami Cyclone also gets a big improvement in his character. They take his ninja stuff to ridiculous levels, as it kinda always was with his character, and really milk it for humour. Even better is his brooding, sulky side, in which he sits behind everyone and makes emo comments about how popular Bunny is with the girls. The heroes talking to each other have always been my favourite part of Tiger and Bunny, and this movie only improves on that.
However, because they really try to play up and exaggerate the elements of each of the heroes personalities, it does result in some of the heroes from the TV series who were well-handled originally being diminished. Sky High is still great, there’s no worry there, but Blue Rose really isn’t. Because Blue Rose got so much screentime in the TV series, her character had a lot of depth. Not so much here, where she mainly comes off as kind of a bitch. Fire Emblem is probably the worse though. He was always a flaming gay stereotype, but he had cool parts to his character. He was a tough dude who, because of his seniority, felt like a father mother figure to the others. In the movie, those elements seem to disappear and he comes off as even more prancy gay stereotype, except with even less likeable qualities.
What’s disappointing is they had the opportunity to show off Fire Emblem’s cool side too. One of the most interesting parts of his character is something you never learn in the TV series, instead only learning through drama CDs. They tell the story of how, when he was starting off as a hero, nobody would sponsor him because he was gay. So he said “fuck you guys, I’ll set up my own company and sponsor myself”, founded Helios Energy and became a hugely successful businessman on top of being a superhero. In a way, that almost justifies his total campness because it’s a point of pride for him. That he stuck by his flaming gay ways even in the face of adversity and succeeded. It’s a cool story, which the movie does try to cover but makes a total balls of it by not telling it properly. It says that he owns Helios Energy, but don’t say that he’s sponsored by it. The only way you’d make that connection was that if you remembered it was on his suit, and good luck remembering that one piece of info with all the corporate logos flying around.
Those minor gripes aside, this is Tiger and Bunny with a tighter focus and comes off much the better for it. I’d say roughly 30% of the movie is the same material from the TV series (+ or – 20% depending on my total inability to remember stuff correctly), but it’s cut in a way that makes it feel fresh and more vibrant than it was before. Absolutely well worth your time if you even remotely liked Tiger and Bunny. I’d even say this is a better starting point for people who have never watched the TV series. To make that judgement, I would have to see what their other movies pan out like first. That said, all they need to do is cut Jake from the story entirely, and it will automatically win.
"We love it when big anime companies repackage the same damn thing in a more consumable product instead of getting more of we loved!" -said no anime fan ever, but in all honestly I'm willing to give this one some incredible leeway... Yes I am a fervent fanboy of this particular series, but at least this one manages to give it's fans so much more than most of the same breed has done in the past.
Tiger & Bunny The Beginning is, to sum it up simply, a directors cut of episodes 1 and 2 with a lost episode included. Not an actual lost episode, but
something that would've appeared to be a planned to be an ova rather than a part of a longer running feature. And by directors cut I mean this movie offers more content to these episodes, to the point of showing brand new material with mixed in with the old.
Fans are sure appreciate this, though the issue here is, this is still just a recap of the first two episode, in fact it's really just a re-airing of the those episodes in order. Meaning that the first 40-50 minutes of the movie is stuff that isn't terribly different from the tv series.
So, with that out of the way, what new's to experience in this movie? A little bit of detail into Kotetsu's internal anguish with the lost of his wife, an event that happened before the series starting point. It doesn't struggle him with grief (As that would make him into a rather unenjoyable character), but it sheds some light on him and makes him an even more relate-able and sympathetic character (And thankfully gives me some material to fight back the crazier fujoshi fans with). Unfortunately for Barnaby, we're stuck with the beginning's less likable pre-good character development. Which isn't all that bad, that just means we get more of the great banter between them.
But with even more good news, the side characters get a lot more screen time in this than they normally would in the series. Even Rock Bison, who until this movie, gets some more details revealed like what is his powers exactly.
Production wise, this is barely an update of the tv series, even the new material looks as good as the better parts of the series. Which isn't in any way to talk it down, the tv series was competently well made and so is this.
So at this point you're probably wondering what the rest of the movie unfolds out to be. The new material doesn't come in until pass the halfway point of the movie (Though the villain has a small cameo earlier in the film). Basically it's like this: A Next with teleporting powers has come to Stern City to steal a valuable object and the whole gang has to stop him in an amusement park. Plays out like a Saturday morning superhero episode plot, which we expect it to. The villain is pretty crafty with his powers and is pretty enjoyable to watch him outwit everyone with admittedly useful powers (Useful in a way that Origami Cyclone wishes his was). And the conclusion is while predicable, is written well enough to rank up with the best of the solo episodes of Tiger&Bunny.
It's just unfortunate that I have to say that it still doesn't quite deserve to have a movie made just for it. It would've worked out better as an ova or material for one or two episodes of a second season. But despite knowing what that was going to be, this was still a much better end product I expected it to be and I have high hopes for the second movie where apparently some big shit is going down.
Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning is one part recap and two parts new material. The film reuses scenes from the first few episodes and adds new content to expand the story and characters.
Story: 8 - the main event explored in the film is the starting point of the show: the beginning of Bunny's career and Tiger being forced to become his partner. When I first watched the show this did feel a bit rushed, so Sunrise choosing to address this feels like a good move. The scenes that are reused are mainly the action and comedy ones, and almost all the new scenes focus
on the characters, giving them some much needed development (in the series most of the heroes received one episode to establish character and that was pretty much it). The new story content is a whole new NEXT villain the heroes have to deal with the same day Tiger & Bunny make their debut. More of a gag villain than a heavy hitter, the situation is mainly created to force early cooperation between the heroes early on.
Art: 9 - the expected 'Sunrise Smooth' standard, CGI looks better than in the TV series.
Sound: 10 - one of the areas where the film excels, the voice work is very well suited to each character, and both the music and sound effects keep to the pace of the action very well.
Character: 9 - the main new addition of the film is the expansion of the characters, with some characters having as much screen time as civilians in the film as they did during the entire series. Each of the heroes received an extra layer of depth, making me much more invested in them than I was during the series.
Enjoyment: 10 - a great mix of action, comedy and character development. Only loses traction once, and very briefly at that.
Overall: 10 - this film has added much to the setup of the main series, and I'm very excited to see what direction Sunrise will take for the next entry to the film series.
I was finally able to watch the first Tiger & Bunny movie yesterday, and I'd like to share my opinions.
Story: The first movie is 2 parts retelling, 1 part new story. The first two episodes of the series are used, with new sequences added in. Some additions are purely cosmetic (scenes with Kotetsu struggling to put on his CrapSuit in his car) and others serve to flesh out characters (we finally learn what Rock Bison's NEXT power is!).
The new scenario was on-par with an average episode. The villain had an interesting power, and the heroes dealt with him in classic T&B style: everyone
works together to try and catch him, but T&B end up figuring it out. I must say, I did not expect the capture the way it played out on screen; I was expecting something completely different based on what characters were saying throughout the epsisode. I felt that the crime was lackluster, however. It seemed a little cheesy, but that's part of T&B's charm.
Art: The retelling section was mostly reused from the show, so nothing new there. The new sequences were added in seamlessly. I loved the villain's swanky outfit!
Sound: Like the art, most of it was reused. I didn't notice any new themes, but I could be wrong.
Character: Most characters benefitted from additional screen time. Rock Bison, Sky High, Blue Rose, Wild Tiger and Barnaby all had some interesting tidbit or sequence that shed more light on their personalities or Hero alter-ego.
Fire Emblem, Dragon Kid and Origami Cyclone got the shorter end of the stick, with nothing new revealed about them. Poor Ivan came across as a mumbling loner that no one paid attention to. I guess you could say that's true to Origami Cyclone, but out-of-costume Ivan is such an interesting character. In the movie, he was mostly seen muttering to his shurikens.
Overall: I was impressed with the first movie. Sunrise handled the retelling well, and interspersed the new sequences well so that you were not bored. I think this is an excellent way to start the series if you've never seen it before, and even if you have, you'll look at characters differently. I suggest it to new and old fans alike.
TL;DR 5 words/phrases to describe Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning
retelling, some filler, new scenario, new character tidbits, great start to series
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