‘Wild Tiger’ Kotetsu is on the run – from everyone, even his fellow Heroes. Framed for the murder of his partner Bunny’s Aunt Samantha, with his face plastered on ‘wanted’ posters and screens throughout the city, it seems as if there’s nowhere left for him to run. Why does no one – especially his friends – remember who he is? And it’s not just Kotetsu’s life that’s on the line; someone has trapped the other Heroes. Is this the end – not just of a very successful TV show – but of the Heroes, themselves?
These final episodes put Kotetsu and his partnership with Barnaby firmly into the spotlight as the true reasons for the death of Barnaby’s parents are revealed. It’s Kotetsu’s amiable, easy-going yet true-hearted personality that could sway the odds in a nail-biting, life-or-death crisis. His powers may be decreasing, but his stubborn determination to do what needs to be done, no matter what the personal cost may be (and no matter how ridiculous he looks!) is well portrayed, especially when his daughter Kaede’s life is on the line. Wally Wingert as Kotetsu and Yuri Lowenthal as Bunny play out the bitter battle between the former partners very convincingly (as, of course do original seiyuu Hiroaki Hirata and Masakazu Morita.) And watch out for a gem of a cameo performance from Vic Mignogna…
Tiger & Bunny is a watchable, entertaining, and neatly-written anime riff on the American superhero mythos. The idealized 1970s setting is lovingly yet stylishly portrayed (love those outfits!) and suits the superhero material well (some of us can actually remember the 70s and it was never that glamorous in the UK!) The script is unusually well worked out, with hints planted earlier on, delivering the resolution very neatly and satisfyingly (unlike several recent anime TV shows, sigh.) And yes, there are certain things left unresolved, with a nice little moment of sequel fishing at the end. (Although the next Tiger & Bunny coming our way on R2 this autumn, is the first film, The Beginning, which is more of a prequel than a sequel.)
The Extras (which are only included on the DVDs) are Ustream Mini Corner 3 and Meet the (Japanese) Cast (both are in Japanese with English subtitles.)
Dastardly villainy! Thrilling battles! Don’t miss the edge-of-the seat denouement of this affectionate – but delightfully Japanese-flavoured – tribute to the superhero genre.