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Tiger & Bunny Comic Anthology 2-in-1 vol. 1 (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

August 3, 2013 by  



“Tiger & Bunny Comic Anthology 2-in-1” features over 35 short stories by over two dozen up-and-coming manga writers and illustrators from Japan.  All stories are hilarious and fun and for those wanting an enjoyable anthology with crazy, random stories with your favorite superheroes from Sternbild City, this anthology series is for you!

© Sunrise/T&B Partners, MBS. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Tiger & Bunny Comic Anthology 2-in-1 vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Various Artists

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kadokawa Shoten

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: August 13, 2013

 

Based on the hit animated series, a collection of humorous shorts by an all-star line-up.The Heroes of Stern Bild City are larger than life when they appear on Hero TV, but when they take off their costumes, their lives are just like anyone else! Or are they?! Why would someone impersonate Barnaby to work at a host club? Dragon Kid is a Hero but still has to struggle with homework. What will happen when Barnaby meets Kotetsu’s family? And is it possible for Origami Cyclone to ride into battle on a kite, or is he just going to break his neck? Dozens of stories take you deep into the world of Tiger & Bunny!

With a current ongoing “Tiger & Bunny” manga series (based on the animated series) being released by Viz Media, a new “Tiger & Bunny Comic Anthology” series will be released via a 2-in-1 omnibus.

Featuring over 35 short stories by different mangaka, the anthology series features each character in crazy and wacky situations as imagined by each mangaka which include Ichimiya, Kuro Nijo, Min Sakusaka, Ayumi Kanou, Pochi, Miki Maki, Uka Nagao, Tsutomu Ohno, Yoko Fujioka, Ryo Fujiwara, Renji Kuriyama, Toru Tegoshihara, Mamika Mitsushio, Hazuki Matsuo, You Asami, Ran Sakaduki, Hayato, Tomo, Suisu Kaneshiki, Rihito Takarai, Jun Kusuki, Nokiya, Sawaike, Uka Nagao, Min Sakusaka, Suzu Kohno, Arata Shion, Souji Ishida, Hazuki Matsuo, Watari, Takumi Yoshimura, Mamika Mitsushio, Aya Sakurai, Kazuki Soma, Sawaike and nap.

Each short story are stand alone, have nothing to do with the actual canon of “Tiger & Bunny” and last about 1-13 pages long for each storyline.

Fun and crazy storylines are featured such as Blue Rose worried that she has gained weight, the team wondering why Kotetsu’ goatee is styled a certain way or it naturally grows that way.  Another story features the group having to dress up during Halloween, what happens when each superhero teams up with a partner temporarily, what happens when Sky High wants to play karuta (card game) or what happens when the team tries to make Barnaby laugh (Since he’s always so serious) or what happens when the group competes in a marathon or discussions about how everyone has their own cool hairstyle and more!

What is “Tiger & Bunny”?

In 2011, the anime studio Sunrise, best known for its anime series for “Mobile Suit Gundam”, “Cowboy Bebop”, “Dirty Pair”, “City Hunter” to name a few, went on to work on anime series that would captivate older viewers but also something unique and different for anime fans. And the 25- episode TV series “Tiger & Bunny” was created.

In Japan, a one-shot manga by Masakazu Katsura (“Video Girl Ai”, “DNA2″, “Zetman”) was published in “Weekly Shonen Jump”. Featuring the original planning and story by Sunrise, original script by Masfumi Nishida and original character design and hero design by Masakazu Katsura, the first volume of the “Tiger & Bunny” manga was released in April 2013 courtesy of Viz Media.

“Tiger & Bunny” takes place in NC1978 in the city of Sternbild City. 45 years prior, humans with supernatural abilities known as “NEXT” began appearing in the planet. And now, these people with special abilities and are superheroes sponsored by major corporations such as Pepsi, Softbank, Calbee, etc. and are featured on the popular reality TV show titled “Hero TV”.

Each season, these heroes try to achieve points by capturing/defeating criminals and the best ranked superhero will be crowned as “King of Heroes”. While each are competing with each other, often they work as a superhero team.

The storyline focuses on the relationship of veteran superhero Wild Tiger (Kotetsu T. Kaburagi) and the popular young superhero Barnaby Brooks Jr.  Both are paired with each other to become a superhero duo but because they have different methods of catching the criminals (ie. Kotetsu tends to go on gut instinct than plan out a strategy), both are in odds with each other but are forced to learn how to work with each other as teammates.

The primary characters are of “Tiger & Bunny” are:

  • Kotetsu T. Kaburagi/Wild Tiger – One of the main protagonist, he is one of the oldest superheros and unlike others, tends not to listen to orders as he is the “Crusher of Justice” and could care less about the ratings. Because he causes too much damage and likes to do things alone, he was forced to take on a new partner, Barnaby Brooks Jr. Kotetsu is also a single father who never gets to see his daughter because of his superhero obligations, so she lives with his mother. His daughter is unaware that he is a superhero. Tiger’s power is the ability to increase his physical abilities for five minutes using his “Hundred Power”. His sponsors are Bandai and Softbank.
  • Barnaby Brooks Jr./Bunny – A rookie that is called “Bunny” by Kotetsu. He is more about strategy and is not as rash as Kotetsu. He has a reason why he became a superhero and that is to find the one who killed his parents. His sponsors are Amazon Japan and Bandai. He also has similar powers to Kotetsu and becoming “King of Heroes” is important to him.
  • Karina Lyle/Blue Rose – A popular girl in high school who wants to be a singer. She has freezing power abilities and is sponsored by Pepsi Nex and Suntory. She represents Titan Industry.
  • Keith Goodman/Sky High – A popular hero and is the current “King of Heroes”. He is upbeat and has the power to control air current. He is sponsored by Tamashii Nations and Ustream and represents Poseidon Line.
  • Nathan Seymour/Fire Emblem – An effeminate hero with flame abilities, Nathan wants to be part of the girls. He is sponsored by FMV and Animate and represents Helios Energy.
  • Huang Pao-Lin/Dragon Kid – A tomboy Chinese girl who has the power to generate electrical discharge. She lived in China with her parents but they wanted her to go to Sternbild City to become a hero. She is sonosred by Calbee and DMM.com and is represented by Odysseys Communication.
  • Antonio Lopez/Rock Bison – Kotetsu’s best friend since high school, his power is invulnerability. He is in last place of the Hero’s standings and is sponsored by Gyu-Kaku and represents Kronos Foods.
  • Ivan Karelin/Origami Cyclone – A young hero who is typically seen standing behind-the-scenes and not fighting, Ivan has the power to shapeshift and copy the appearance and voice of another. His sponsors are .ANIME and he represents Helperidese Finance.

“Tiger & Bunny” is one of the more popular series (anime and manga) in 2013.  From when I saw photos in Japan of the number of Tiger & Bunny cosplayers at Tokyo Anime Fair and Anime Contents Expo and even of the number of Tiger & Bunny outfits that people in Japan are sporting in the Nintendo 3DS video game “Animal Crossing”, suffice to say, “Tiger & Bunny” has won over a lot of fans.

And I can definitely see the allure, America has its fair share of comic book superhero teams that have been featured in comics, animation and live action films, but in Japan, while there have been sentai hero teams, “Tiger & Bunny” takes a western approach to the superhero but gives the superheroes that unique spin with corporate sponsorship and reality TV.

And as Americans are discovering “Tiger & Bunny” with the release of the Blu-ray and DVD of the anime series and the manga by Mizuki Sakakibara, in Japan, there are a number of “Tiger & Bunny” manga, books and mooks.  And it will be interesting to see how many of them will be released in the U.S.

And for “Tiger & Bunny Comic Anthology”, several have been released in Japan and the good news is that it will be released in the U.S. as a 2-in-1 omnibus.

For the most part, the stories by the individual mangaka involved are crazy and whacky.  With some pages for each mangaka lasting 1-13 pages, most of the stories are lighthearted and humorous, nothing serious.  And it doesn’t affect the main storyline of the series as a lot of these stories are gags.

With so many writers/illustrators involved, you get to see various styles of “Tiger & Bunny” as interpreted by that mangaka.

As one can expect, some storylines are hilarious, some are not but the enjoyment of this anthology is that there are over 35 short stories featured and each story is so different, may it be the art or the whole setting. Everything is so random but it’s what I enjoy about manga anthologies.

Overall, “Tiger & Bunny Comic Anthology 2-in-1” is for fans who enjoy the characters of the popular series but want to see them in crazy situations.  May it be each of the superheroes trying to bond over hairstyles, fashion, friendly competition or eating the most sour umeboshi, each of these short stories are random, hilarious and just a lot of fun.

Featuring over 35 short stories with over two dozen up-and-coming manga writers and illustrators with their own wacky interpretation of the “Tiger & Bunny” world, it’s an anthology definitely worth reading!

Recommended!

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