I’ve never read or watched anything from Tiger & Bunny. That might have been why I didn’t really get into this story. That and it seems as if it’s geared more towards female readers/fans because of all the attractive men and the subtle love between the characters. Sure it’s brotherly love, but everyone that reads manga know what’s up. The story is about the Next (basically mutants) causing mayhem all over the city and Tiger and Bunny trying to stop it. They get some inside help and eventually learn that the man they’re after can read minds. There’s a lot of action, the bad guy gets away which is all part of his plan and really the police seem incompetent. We also get some backstory on our villain which was okay and definitely the deepest character moment of the volume.
The story isn’t deep. It’s thick with drama and moves at a snail’s pace. I haven’t read the last seven volumes and yet I didn’t feel lost or behind on the story. Sure I had some generic “who’s that”, “what’s going on?” questions, but nothing that really need to be answered in order to read and enjoy the story. It’s just not a very deep world which is probably why I’ve passed on it before. It attempts to be cute and playful because again it’s an action drama trying to capture a very specific audience that basically already likes this style of story and world creation. I would argue that because it chases that audience it alienates new readers looking to just explore the world and not have a formula forced upon them. And sure there’s powers and fighting, but you can get that anywhere so it doesn’t actually hook me on the product.
The art is good of course. I don’t think it has as much personality or visual storytelling skill as a lot of other mangas out there. By far things like Food Wars, One-Punch Man and Ultraman blow it out of the water, but it’s still skilled. It just needs to have its own personality and it doesn’t. It feels like a licensed product with very tight restraints on what it can and can’t look like visually and that’s a shame. Because if the story is just meh, then the art can at least blow you away but it doesn’t here.
I doubt I’ll ever read or watch anything else set in the Tiger & Bunny world. It’s not terrible, but it’s not interesting either. It’s just there. Some people obviously really enjoy this franchise, but I doubt they’d ever be able to win me over with their reasoning. It’s just not something that I want to read.
Tiger & Bunny Vol. 8 Story: Sunrise Script: Masafumi Nishida Artist: Mizuku Sakakibara Publisher: Viz Media Price: $9.99 Format: TPB; Print/Digital