Tiger & Bunny Box 2 Review

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The second Tiger & Bunny box set contains episodes 8-13 of the series (six episodes total) and kicks off jumping straight into the events following episode 7’s explosive reveal of Lunatic, the series’ first overarching plot villain. While all that’s initially known about him is that he’s using his powers to kill murderers, as episode 8 progresses we see him develop in terms of his motivations and logic in a way that offers many parallels to Light in Death Note. From the way he views himself as a righteous killer on a mission to make the world a better place, to the way his morals will shift to killing people outside of his self set rules if someone gets in his way (for example, a willingness to kill an innocent person trying to shield and protect a killer), the series’ first episode does a great way of setting up Lunatic as someone who is trying to do good, but is doing so in a way that the government cannot stand behind.

Interestingly, whereas Death Note handled this topic in a fairly balanced manner, allowing the actions of both sides to dictate the audiences view of who was good and who was bad in the series, Tiger & Bunny is squarely centered on the view that killing is never justified, even if it’s the killing of killers or if it’s making the world a better place. We get snippets of the general public supporting Lunatic, glimpses of them siding with the killer who kills killers (rather than the heroes trying to stand in his way), but this public support is brushed aside and we’re shown the heroes making public appearances and teaching lessons at schools to try and rally back support for themselves. This was a little difficult to buy into, as honestly a public outcry of support for someone with ideals as decisive as Lunatic’s would take a lot more than photo opportunities in the paper to effect. Not taking more time to look at the issue being presented by Lunatic does feel like a bit of a missed opportunity, but perhaps we will see this as the series progresses.

We’re also given some great insight into Origami Cyclone, a hero who up to this point in the series has remained largely on the sidelines. His story is fleshed out and provides a moment for him to progress from minor side character to a relatable role where he can demand respect from the viewer in a way he hadn’t before in the show.

From there we get a couple of episodes of comic relief and personal life issues to lighten the tone slightly from the introduction of Lunatic. We get some good insight into Tiger’s role as a father from these episodes and get the opportunity to see him grow as a character as well as getting a better feel for his motivations.

The second half of the episodes ramp the tension back up with the introduction of a new group of villains and switch up the focus to a look at Bunny’s motivations and desires as a character, as well as building the first real moment of growth between the titular pair. After the man who killed Bunny’s parents is discovered, he’s promptly broken out of prison by a group holding the city ransom for his release. We spend several episodes following an attempted infiltration of the group’s base, a fall out between Tiger and Bunny, followed by a spectacular tournament style series of battles between the leader of this group and the city’s heroes. This tournament setup allows for a number of very impressively animated fight scenes to all take place in a short time, focusing on battle rather than overly long exposition. Somewhat predictably, Tiger’s battle holds the key to Bunny eventually succeeding, where we get the promised character growth, but the solution to the problem posed by the battle tournament was painfully obvious, with the viewer left wondering how long it will take the characters to work out what we have already seen coming a long way off.

The six episode box set introduced some very interesting villains, makes some much needed steps forward with character development and made a great shift from small time villains to enemies that posed a real threat to both the heroes and the world. We get some brilliantly choreographed fight scenes without heavy handed exposition ruining their flow, and honestly the first seven episodes really just feel like they were the build up to what we see in Box 2. It’s well worth a watch and is fast becoming one of the most interesting anime I’ve seen.

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