Anime Film Review: Tiger & Bunny The Movie: The Rising

Tiger & Bunny The Movie: The Rising is the second film released for the Tiger & Bunny anime franchise.

Tiger & Bunny The Movie: The Rising
Directed by: Yoshitomo Yonetani
Written by: Masafumi Nishida
Starring: Hiroaki Hirata, Masakazu Morita, Yuichi Nakamura, Hochu Otsuka, Minako Kotobuki, Kenjiro Tsuda, Taiten Kusunoki, Go Inoue, Mariya Ise, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Yuko Kaida, Daisuke Hirakawa, Koji Yusa, Rikiya Koyama, Nana Mizuki
Run Time: 90 minutes
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Home Media Release Date: February 24, 2015

Tiger & Bunny The Movie: The Rising is set after the end of the Tiger & Bunny anime series, and the writers of the film assume that the viewer has seen the anime series before watching this. A brief scene lets the audience know what happened with Barnaby at the end of the anime series, but that’s about it in the way of any recap.

The film introduces a new character named Golden Ryan, who becomes Barnaby’s new partner. Ryan is so egotistical and full of himself that he’s rather off-putting as a character. To be honest, he was a character that I never warmed up to during the film, because he goes through so little progression as a character. Compared to the other heroes, he comes across as a shallow and undeveloped character.

The characters with the best arcs in this film are Kotetsu and Fire Emblem. With the acquisition of Apollon Media by a new entity and the introduction of Golden Ryan, Kotetsu finds himself removed as a hero because the new owner of Apollon Media decides to dissolve the Second League (which is where Kotetsu and Barnaby were placed at the end of the series). Barnaby is promoted back to the First League when he’s paired with Ryan. This story sees Kotetsu trying to live life as a non-hero, and how his daughter Kaede helps him find himself again. I loved seeing how much of a role Kaede had in this film.

When a mysterious new enemy starts recreating a legend that’s known in Stern Bild, Fire Emblem finds himself being put under a sleeping spell by one of the members of the new enemy. As he’s trapped in his dreams, the audience gets to see some backstory for Fire Emblem. With this story arc, we see Fire Emblem struggling with his identity. I thought this anime film handled the LGBT issue presented here in a strong manner. Considering how most anime, with the Tiger & Bunny anime series included, tend to treat being gay as more of a joke than anything else, it impressed me that this film tackled Fire Emblem’s identity issue in a serious manner.

Overall, Tiger & Bunny The Movie: The Rising was an enjoyable film, and should be watched by viewers who are fans of the Tiger & Bunny franchise. However, viewers should make sure to watch the entire anime series first before delving into this film. If they don’t, they’re going to be lost as to what’s happening, since there isn’t a true recap to remind viewers what happened before this film starts.

I watched the film on the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack that VIZ Media released. The Blu-ray has 1080p 16×9 video, and English and Japanese 5.1 and 2.0 audio options. The DVD has 16×9 video, and English and Japanese 5.1 and 2.0 audio.

The content of the Blu-ray is duplicated on the DVD, which includes the film and the bonus features. The bonus features include an art gallery, an interview with producer Kazuhiko Tamura, as well as various trailers and promotional videos for the film. There’s also a “Theater Manners” piece that features Wild Tiger and Barnaby Brooks Jr., reminding theater-goers how to behave properly in a movie theater. The “TV Series Special Digest” has two pieces back-to-back, with one summarizing the Tiger & Bunny anime series, and one summarizing the first Tiger & Bunny anime film; unfortunately, having these two pieces playing back-to-back emphasized just how repetitive they were. “Weekly Movies” runs for 12 minutes, and it’s several shorts highlighting the new hero Golden Ryan, with Sky High showing him around and teaching him some of the basics about the history and world of the Tiger & Bunny franchise. There’s a short feature of the film’s U.S. premiere at the New People Cinema, with Charlene Ingram interviewing attendees afterward about their reactions to the movie. There’s a clean opening and ending, as well as trailers for other releases from VIZ Media. While the bonus features here are nowhere near as extensive as they were for the first Tiger & Bunny anime film, there’s still enough here to make the bonus features worth something.

If you’re a fan of the Tiger & Bunny franchise, I would recommend this film and buying this release in order to add it to your anime home video library.

Additional posts about Tiger & Bunny:

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