Tiger and Bunny: The Rising Review
The original TV series of Tiger and Bunny was an incredible mixture of superheroes, reality TV and anime sensibilities. Being a fan of both anime and American comic books, I loved the ideas and execution of Tiger and Bunny, so it warmed my heart finding out that there would be a sequel film that continues the story. In Tiger and Bunny: The Rising, not only does the franchise continue in exquisite fashion, but contains a tremendous amount of character development, for not only the main characters, but even some of the side heroes in the cast.
The film picks up right after the TV series, where both Barnaby Brooks Jr. and Kotetsu Kaburagi have become members of the Secondary Hero team, even though they managed to save Sternbuild city from Ouroboros. A new investor shows up to the city, planning to give the duo a second chance at fighting crime, but with a cost. Kotetsu is asked to give up his spot on Hero TV, in order to make way for a new hero, Golden Ryan, who shall become Barnaby's new partner. Ryan's abilities as a NEXT, give him the means to control gravity within a certain amount of range. When some new villains appear in Sternbuild, disrupting the balance of things once again, its up to the heroes of Hero TV to stop them and make their city a safer place.
With the subtitle of The Rising, this second film version of Tiger and Bunny makes it a point to excel, both thematically and its representation of its heroes. Kotetsu is challenged, as he must find a way to be a hero, even though he's lost a majority of his powers. While he's maintained a solid relationship with Barnaby, we see how much Kotetsu wishes to sacrifice, in order to make sure that both his friend and partner can ensure the safety of Sternbuild. Nathan Seymore, who plays Fire Emblem, gets a major portion of the spotlight and begins to show his personal journey into becoming the hero that we know and love. This was possibly the greatest aspect of the film, showing the challenges that Seymore has faced in being a gay character. With most homosexual characters being used as comic relief, it was refreshing to see the point of view this character's personal struggles and how this has made him a stronger person. Both of these stories make The Rising an excellent addition to the franchise, which was already pretty amazing.
The production from Sunrise on the TV series was pretty solid, even though in the latter half, felt a bit lackluster. The Rising makes full use of its budget and feels much bigger and grandiose, with each of the heroes taking a whole new set of villains with great powers. While the integration of CGI has never been anime's strong suit, the CGI in Tiger and Bunny has always made me acknowledge the difference between the superheroes and their normal lives. There's a bit more polish in The Rising and some really great use of it during the third act of the film, that make it feel as epic as it should. Each of the fight sequences are tremendous and showcase each of the heroes and how effective they are when they work together.
Sunrise and Director Yoshitomo Yonetani have outdone themselves with Tiger and Bunny: The Rising, a fantastic continuation that makes full use of the world and characters built in the TV series. If you love superheroes and like anime, I implore you to see Tiger and Bunny: The Rising, a film that explores the personal struggles of what it means to be a hero and how to rise above it!
You can find screenings for Tiger and Bunny: The Rising here
, to see if its playing in a city near you!