Anime Blu-ray Review: Tiger & Bunny Set 1

Tiger & Bunny Set 1 is a set that collects the first 13 episodes of the series together into one release, and it was made available as both a DVD set and as a Blu-ray set. This review focuses on the Blu-ray pressing of Tiger & Bunny Set 1.

Tiger & Bunny Set 1
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: February 19, 2013

Tiger & Bunny is set in the year NC 1978 and takes place in Sternbild City, which is a futuristic version of Manhattan. 45 years prior to the start of the series, superpowered individuals known as “NEXT” started appearing through a mysterious mutation. Some of them became superheroes, and each of the city’s famous superheroes work for a sponsor company; their uniforms contain advertising for their sponsor company. Their heroic activities are broadcast on the popular television show Hero TV, where they accumulate points for each heroic feat they accomplish. The best ranked hero of the season is crowned “King of Heroes.”

The main focus of the series is on Kotetsu Kaburagi, who is the real identity for the hero Wild Tiger. He’s a veteran superhero past his prime and has a total disregard for private property when he’s trying to nab the villains. His daughter, Kaede, lives with his mother and is unaware of her father’s secret identity.

During the first episode, his sponsor company is taken over, thanks in large part to the high cost of the damage that Wild Tiger creates. His new sponsor, Apollon Media, makes him partner with a new and younger hero.

Barnaby Brooks Jr. becomes Kotetsu’s new partner, and Kotetsu gives him the nickname “Bunny.” Barnaby is given this nickname because of his armor’s earpieces and his use of long jumps and kicks. Even though Barnaby has the same powers as Wild Tiger, Barnaby relies more on strategy than brute force. When Barnaby becomes a part of Hero TV, he makes no attempts to conceal his appearance or identity.

It’s revealed that Barnaby became a hero because he is trying to find the man who murdered his parents when he was four years old in order to have his revenge.

The other superheroes that participate in Hero TV are: Blue Rose (a high school girl who also aspires to be an idol singer and has freezing powers), Sky High (an overly dramatic and optimistic guy who has the ability to control the wind), Fire Emblem (an effeminate hero who has the ability to control flames), Dragon Kid (a young and tomboyish Chinese girl who can generate strong electrical discharges), Rock Bison (he has a bull-themed costume with horns that tend to get stuck in things), and Origami Cyclone (a hero who wears a ninja/samurai-themed costume and tends to focus more on advertising than on actually doing any crime fighting).

For a lot of the episodes in this set, Kotetsu and Barnaby really don’t get along very well together and can make for a bit of a clumsy team. However, near the end of this set, the two men seem to begin having a little more understanding of each other. While they may not really be friends by the end of episode 13, at least they are able to start working together somewhat.

By the time I finished watching the episodes in this set, I found myself truly enjoying Tiger & Bunny. The series has just the right mix of drama and humor, and the viewer really comes to care about the characters. The writing for this show is top-notch, and the animation looks incredible. And the fact that this series focuses on superheroes, which is not a common thing in anime, helps to make this series a bit more unique in comparison with other anime series that have been released in recent years.

When it comes to the Blu-ray set itself, the video quality looks rather impressive. According to the box, the video is 1080p High Definition 16×9 1.85:1, and the audio is in DTS-HD for both the English and Japanese audio. Subtitles are only available in English.

There are a total of seven bonus features included in this set. The first is “The Making of Tiger & Bunny,” which is a 24 minute pre-show special that aired in Japan before the first episode of Tiger & Bunny aired. It includes interviews with cast and crew, some behind the scenes footage, and as well as some footage from the first episode of the series. It’s not bad for what it was intended to be, and I think it was done in a way where it not only informed potential viewers of what was coming, but provided enough to get viewers interested in tuning in for the first episode.

“Production Art” is 20 pages. It consists primarily of character sketches, but there is one overhead view of Stern Bild included as well. “Special Logo Art” is eight pages of drawins of the logos for the various companies that sponsor the heroes and for Hero TV.

“Japanese Trailers” is about four minutes in length, and it includes two trailers to promote the series in Japan; the two trailers run back-to-back as one continuous piece. The only drawback to this feature is the fact that it has Japanese audio but no English subtitles.

A “Clean Opening” and “Clean Closing” are included; they are textless versions of the opening and closing credits, respectively. You can also access the trailer for Viz’s Neon Alley service from the “Extras” menu; however, it also appears at the beginning of the disc when it starts playing.

If you watched Tiger & Bunny either as a simulcast back in 2011 or with the English dub on Neon Alley and enjoy the series, I would recommend adding it to your anime home video library if you can. If you have Blu-ray capability, I would recommend purchasing the Blu-ray version of this set.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of the Tiger & Bunny Set 1 Blu-ray that my husband purchased for me as a gift.

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