Reading the name “Tiger and Bunny” really doesn’t do this series justice, it seems a little sissy and possibly like this is NOT an anime about Western-like superheroes who compete with each other to save lives in incredible ways, knowing anime though it could’ve been about a Tiger and a Bunny living happily together…this is NOT that. Tiger and Bunny is a “once in a million years” type of anime that seems to slide into western culture easily and fits the superhero genre like a glove. Years after the home release of the series we’re met with the very first Tiger and Bunny movie which seemed like a promising film that many fans of the series would be excited for, to see the great story of Tiger and Bunny continue on into a set of movies is something great but, without giving away too much, it looks like my expectations for this film were far to high.
Now before I jump into the review for the film I’d like to refer you all to the reviews I did for both the first and second parts of the Tiger and Bunny series (Part 1 and Part 2), reading them will help you better understand this review and it will also allow me a bit more space to talk about the story within this movie instead of harping on what has already been said. As someone who has watched the Tiger and Bunny series multiple times I was very excited for the movie, I assumed it would continue off of the series which left on a huge cliffhanger so when I saw the title “The Beginning” my brain automatically thought “Well, maybe it’s the beginning of the end?”, it turns out I was entirely wrong.
The movie goes for a solid hour and a half yet fifty minutes of it is all footage we’ve seen before in the series just with a few small and ultimately useless scenes added in. It covers from the beginning of the series up until the point where the heroes must stop a giant statue from destroying the city which was, once again, covered in the first two episodes of the series and for it to be placed within the movie seemed like a bad idea. The last fifty minutes had the team face off against a new “Next” with an interesting power that I cannot outline because, I suppose, it’s part of the excitement. The villain, Robin Baxter, is a thief with an odd ability that has allowed him to slip away from authorities in almost every country, he’s a master at the art of stealing and he loves what he does, this time he targets Sternbild City but the local heroes wont be letting him get away with it this time.
The original story, which started about half way through the film, was actually not bad at all, the villain wasn’t terrible and the setting was actually pretty good, not to mention the interactions between characters were probably done just as well as they were in the series. I just didn’t like the idea of a recap, it seemed…lazy, so to speak. I highly doubt that anyone who hasn’t watched the series would be watching the movie and it’s not some sort of “reboot” type of deal similar to what Rebuild of Evangelion has been doing so why make a large amount of the movie the same as the series? Had they animated it different I would understand but most of it was just the same clips added from the series.
There were some small scenes that I enjoyed because it gave us a small insight into the back stories of the characters, scenes like when the heroes had a little party together and you actually saw what Rock Bison’s power is rather than it just being skimmed over like it was in the series. As I mentioned above, character interactions were also done well but…look, it felt like the series which is great because the series is fantastic but we’re supposed to be watching a Tiger and Bunny movie, I expected it to somewhat outdo the series and honestly…it didn’t. I understand that the film was meant to fit in-between episodes two and three, they did a great job at making it noticeable, but it made me sit back and wonder why they didn’t just add it somewhere into the series because it gave no deep information that would change the series for fans, it was simply another “villain of the week” case for the Sternbild Heroes and it was ultimately a little disappointing.
Audio and Visuals
I know I continue to compare the movie and the series bet I believe it’s justified. The main cast make a return for the movie and I’m so glad they decided to bring them all back because they have such a dynamic and make for some incredible and odd characters that are both real and unreal. There were a couple scenes within the film where certain characters were paired up, for no reason other than that was how the story panned out, and the interactions between all of them were so good, they felt so real and the credit goes to the writing team and the delivery of the voice actors and actresses that worked on the series. The music was great, I didn’t take much away from the score but from what I remember it was pretty much what you would hear in the series, that’s possibly why it didn’t really hit me. When it comes to Tiger and Bunny I can’t help but focus on the voice actors only because they’re so damn good, it honestly made the movie that much better for me.
Tiger and Bunny: The Beginning basically looked the exact same as the series. The series was animated fantastically and all the costume and character designs were done to a high calibre, the film is the exact same. The new character, Robin Baxter, was designed to have a suit similar to those of the heroes which, when you look at the big guys of the series, is actually a little refreshing because, had the movie gone differently, you could imagine this man joining the team of heroes and actually fitting right in. Sunrise has, once again, done a brilliant job at fusing both traditional animation and CGI animation, they’ve once again proven to be one of the very best at animating in such a style and I hope they continue to do it into the future. The animation is fluid, the designs are brilliant and it ultimately reminds me of the way the series was done because there is no huge gap between the quality of the two, if anything the series actually had better and more aesthetically pleasing scenes.
In a surprising turn of events, this release came with no extras apart from a reversible cover for the DVD case. There were no on-disc extras nor were there any physical ones, what’s surprising about it is that when Siren Visual released the series down here it came with so many “goodies” but this time there was nothing, it was bone dry. Once again, a little disappointing.
Tiger and Bunny: The Beginning IS a good movie, I don’t mean for it to sound like I didn’t enjoy it because I sat through the whole thing without faltering once despite having seen most of the footage time and time again, my only big problem with it is the way they went about throwing in a recap instead of continuing with the story, I would have understood if they reanimated the scenes but it seemed like a “cut and paste” job for the most part. Still, the voice acting is absolutely brilliant and that goes for the animation too, I just can’t help but compare it to the series, it’s a bit upsetting to say but I think you’ll have to go into this movie with low expectations if you’re to truly enjoy it. The Beginning is basically another little story added into the Tiger and Bunny series and I would’ve have preferred for it to be shortened and called an “OVA” because that’s pretty much what it was. If you’re a fan of the series and a fan of the genre I still recommend you get this, let’s just hope the next movie does much better than this one.
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