Tiger & Bunny: The Rising Review (Anime)

Tiger & Bunny: The Rising arrived a few hours ago at the time of writing this and, not being able to wait on watching a follow up to one of my favourite anime, I got comfy and slipped the bluray in.

Hrngh. That’s the sound of this film getting its own rising out of me. It’s time to let out a wild roar! The innuendos are endless but alas, the show must go on. This film managed to build on the series perfectly and provides a heartwarming farewell to the cast I know and have come to love. It goes without saying that there will be spoilers in this review, as it’s set after the TV series, so carry on reading at your own risk!

Kotetsu, also known as superhero Wild Tiger, lost much of his ability after the events of the anime original series and can now only activate it One Hundred Power, which gives him 100x his normal strength, to only last for one minute rather than five. He’s been delegated to a lesser squad of heroes and his partner Barnaby, the most popular superhero who Tiger has affectionately nicknamed Bunny, opted to join him as they wanted to protect Sternbild City as a duo and it was only due to their teamwork that they managed to solve a massive crime in the series. They’re both looking to be promoted to first league again when Bunny is tricked into teaming up with newcomer Golden Ryan and Tiger is fired instead.

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With Tiger out of a job, he has to decide on going back home to be with his daughter and accepting that he can no longer be a hero, or carry on being a hero regardless of what others think of him – he promised his deceased wife he’d never give up on being a hero, and the film explores Tiger’s turmoil of feeling as if he’s failed her final wish. The stakes are high in The Rising and there’s character development all around, particularly for Fire Emblem who struggles with his homosexuality. I was glued to my seat and got pretty emotional towards the end when I realised that there will likely be no more Tiger & Bunny adventures, mostly due to Tiger’s waning power from the original series, but I couldn’t have asked for a better way to wrap up the series up.

The series already looked fantastic but Sunrise have outdone themselves with with a noticeable increase in budget that allows for grander scale battles and animation. There’s a fair bit of CG which I enjoyed and it’s implemented seamlessly into Tiger & Bunny, avoiding clashing with the animation like some other anime fall victim to. There’re a few action scenes interspersed throughout the movie but there’s one massive battle that takes place towards the end, and it’s on a much grander scale than anything that was in the series and made for a brilliant ‘final battle’ of sorts.

What’s a superhero without an eye-catching outfit? The character and outfit designs are top notch and reflect each characters unique abilities and names such as Rock Bison having horns and being big and bulky, and Blue Rose having thorn whips attached to her outfit. They’re a joy to watch in action and it’s one of the most colourful and detailed anime I’ve watched whilst still being soft on the eyes. Tiger & Bunny has eye candy in spades which is made even clearer on beautiful blu-ray.

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I know you might be like, “Mitch, what about the bad points, it has to have bad points?!”, and honestly, I can’t say that it does. Others might find something to complain about but Tiger & Bunny is one of those shows that blends all aspects together perfectly and it’s clear Sunrise loved working on this. Even those who claim to despise dubs will find little to criticise here; it’s a gathering of some of the greatest and highly recognisable voice-actors and actresses in the business including Yuri Lowenthal, Tara Platt, Laura Bailey, Sam Riegel, Patrick Seitz, Kari Wahlgren and several others. You can watch it in Japanese with English subs if you’d prefer which is also a great experience but I prefer the English dub in this case.

The OST is memorable and composed by Yoshihiro Ike, and it’s become popular enough to have it’s very own concert in Japan this September (if anybody is going and wants to take me, feel free too, okay?) Much of the OST is orchestral and sweeping, interspersed with a handful of rockier tracks to keep things varied and the film even has its own opening and ending tracks, similar to OP’s and ED’s in an anime series. One listen won’t be enough to satisfy you and you’ll be sure to come back for more.

There are a few extras on-disc including creditless OP’s and ED’s, an art gallery, trailers and a few cooler things including a Weekly Hero Countdown which walks through the popularity of the heroes, a TV series digest although I very much recommend watching the full anime and Theater Manners which is a live-action segment about how to correctly and respectfully behave in a theater as well as some interviews. There’s always room for more Tiger & Bunny in the future and whilst it’s clear that they could continue the series, I’m conflicted because I want to see more but feel that it has ended perfectly. If the quality remains consistent though, then I’d welcome more TIger & Bunny.

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As you can tell, I love both the series and The Rising. The Rising is an excellent addition to the series that brings the heroes back together for one of their most difficult battles yet, as well as the inclusion of Ryan who has some impressive character development for a 140 minute long film. It’s feel good, engrossing, boasts high production values and has something for everyone, even those who might not be heavily interested in anime. Watch the series, watch The Beginning (the first movie) and then watch The Rising – they’re best experienced in that order and you certainly will not regret it. It’s a sadly overlooked anime that shouldn’t be missed by anybody and if you’ve already seen the series and haven’t pre-ordered Anime Limited’s release of The Rising yet, then you’ll want to do that immediately.

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