About This Item

Preview Image for Tiger & Bunny Part 4 Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack
Tiger & Bunny Part 4 Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack (Blu-ray Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000157970
Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 25/8/2013 14:04
View Changes

Other Reviews, etc
  • Log in to Add Reviews, Videos, Etc
  • Places to Buy

    Searching for products...

    Other Images

    Review for Tiger & Bunny Part 4 Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack

    9 / 10


    I hope this hasn’t set a precedent. Tiger and Bunny Part 4 is here now, over six months after part 1, and I find that my enthusiasm for the show has waned. The last few years of two-part releases, spaced just a couple of months apart has spoiled me for anime. I can’t believe that I actually used to watch this stuff over six or seven volumes, released over the space of a year or more. Now prices are going up, and episode counts are going down, and it seems we’re heading back to the bad old days of anime. This last week, Manga Entertainment announced that they will be releasing the Sword Art Online series, of a similar length to Tiger & Bunny, over four separate releases beginning this Christmas. The difference here is that they are bound by the requirements of the licensor, Aniplex, and SAO will be released that way across the Western World. Kazé chose to release Tiger & Bunny this way, while the rest of the world got reasonable, two part releases.

    The future has arrived, and with it the superheroes. Some forty years previously, genetic mutations started appearing in people, resulting in them developing strange powers. They were called NEXT, and some of them began using their powers to help people. They became the heroes that stopped crime and kept people safe. Today, in Stern Bild city, heroes are big business and indeed entertainment. Sponsored by major companies, they compete in a game show called Hero TV, trying to rack up as many points as possible as they go about their hero business to be crowned King of the Heroes each year. Of course being telegenic, and knowing just how to make an entrance are important as well.

    Not so important to Wild Tiger, a.k.a. Kotetsu Kaburagi who got into the hero business for the old fashioned reason, to help people. He uses his ‘Hundred Power’, an ability that boosts his strengths 100-fold but only for five minutes, to try and do good, but his enthusiasm usually leaves a lot of property damage in his wake. As a result he tends to slip down the rankings. It gets to the point where his sponsors pull out, and his manager quits. He’s got just one chance to redeem himself, and join a new corporation that is trying something new in the hero game. They’re establishing a hero team, a first for Hero TV, and Kotetsu will be sidekick to the hottest young thing on the block. Barnaby Brooks Jr. has the same powers as Wild Tiger, but that’s where the similarity ends. His approach to the superhero business is diametrically opposed to Kotetsu’s and he’s a lot more business-like and pragmatic in his attitudes. He’s also got a very personal and not at all altruistic reason for becoming a hero. Naturally they wind up butting heads on the first day on the job. They may not be much of a team, but at least the new suits look cool, and as long as Hero TV’s ratings go up, Wild Tiger may just hold onto his job.

    Inline Image

    Previously on Tiger & Bunny, Kotetsu Kaburagi came to the realisation that he couldn’t remain a hero for much longer, but finding the right time to tell his partner Barnaby just wasn’t happening. It was made especially hard as Barnaby’s memories of his parents’ murders, the evidence that had apparently put the case to rest, were all called into question. But for Albert Maverick, the guiding force behind the Heroes phenomenon, having his star hero question his memories is the last thing he needs. He’ll do anything to maintain the status quo, and keep the ratings up, and if that means throwing Wild Tiger to the wolves, so be it.

    The concluding six episodes of Tiger & Bunny are presented in this combo collection from Kazé via Manga Entertainment. For your money, you get one Blu-ray disc, two DVD discs (splitting the episodes three-three), and some interesting physical extras in the box. For the purposes of this review, I watched the Blu-ray in Japanese, and the DVD in English.

    20. Full of courtesy, full of craft.
    21. Heaven helps those who help themselves.
    22. Bad luck often brings good luck.
    23. Misfortunes never come singly.
    24. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    25. Eternal Immortality

    The Blu-ray

    Six episodes are presented on this Blu-ray disc, at 1.78:1 aspect ratio at 1080p resolution, with the choice between PCM 2.0 Stereo Japanese accompanied by player forced subtitles and signs and PCM 2.0 stereo English with player forced text translations, but only on those episodes that require it. You can change the audio options from within an episode using the pop-up menu. The image is clear and sharp throughout, and is indicative of an HD show animated at lower than full HD resolution, and up-scaled to 1080p, as is the situation with most modern television anime. Colours are strong, the animation comes across with vibrancy at the intended frame rate, and detail levels are high, especially in the cityscape backgrounds. The audio also comes across with no issue, although once again we have an action-oriented show which really ought to have a surround audio track, but doesn’t. Digital banding is minimal, and you’ll have to actively seek it out if you want to nitpick about it.

    Inline Image

    The DVDs

    Here you get two discs, with three episodes plus extras on one, and three episodes plus extras on the other. The image comes in PAL 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with the requisite 4% speed up due to differing frame rates. The image is clear and sharp throughout, and it’s a strong presentation from Kazé, with bold colours, well defined lines, and smooth animation that is visually free of compression signs. It’s as good as an SD anime disc can be assumed to look. The audio comes in DD 2.0 Surround English and Japanese, with player forced subtitles and signs. It’s here that the presentation takes a bit of a knock, as I heard some distinct clipping in the background music as associated with pitch correction. It’s enough to make the Blu-ray the preferred option, before even considering the higher resolution.


    At first acquaintance, Tiger & Bunny is a very appealing visual experience. They’ve got the character designs just right, memorable and evocative of the genre. Should Sunrise wish to develop this world further, I could see this as an upstart challenger to the worlds of DC and Marvel, such are the varieties of superhero and super villain in this show, so well portrayed are their abilities. Also Stern Bild is a suitably impressive Metropolis for this series, large scale and futuristic. The colours are impressive, the action sequences are brilliantly animated, and the way that corporate sponsorship is incorporated into the show is very well done. In this collection of episodes, there were fewer moments where characters drifted off model, or static scenes became obvious. There’s much greater consistency of production value across these episodes.

    The images in this review are sourced from the PR materials, and aren’t necessarily representative of the final retail release.


    While 5.1 audio would have been nice, the stereo does a great job in conveying the show’s action sequences, and makes the most of the music soundtrack which calls to mind classic superhero cartoons and TV shows. The dialogue is clear in both versions, and for the first time in quite a while, I gave equal attention to both English and Japanese audio, watching the show twice. Personally I prefer the Japanese audio, as for me Hiroaki Hirata, the Japanese voice actor behind Kotetsu puts a lot more dimension and nuance to the role. He delivers many different shades of sarcasm. In comparison Wally Wingert plays the role a lot more broadly. I’m also not too convinced by Barnaby’s pronunciation of Ouroboros in the English dub, as it fails to be consistent from one utterance to the next. Add to that the pot-luck pronunciation of Kaede/Kye-day/Kye Ay Day/Kaye Day, and the English dub didn’t impress me as much as it did in the first two volumes.

    Inline Image

    Still, it’s no surprise that for me Tiger and Bunny gets the best English dub an anime has seen in many a year. It’s as if they got the lee-way to do a proper adaptation for the US market, rather than sticking closely to Japanese expectations, which can scupper a dub. As a result the adaptation is looser, flows more easily and references 60 plus years of US comic book superhero heritage. Watch the dub version and you forget that you’re watching an anime, and it comes across as a US superhero cartoon.

    Kazé’s subtitling is just as questionable as always when it comes to showing onscreen text and dialogue translations simultaneously. Fortunately Tiger & Bunny isn’t a show with a whole lot of onscreen text, while the dub is still exceptionally good, making it an easy choice to get the few captions that are missed in the subtitle track that way.


    Both the Blu-ray and DVDs present their content with animated menus. As always with Kazé, they are locked away from the user. If you are a hard of hearing English dub fan, who needs subtitles to back up the audio, you’re out of luck here, but given that the English dub translation is looser than usual for anime, it wouldn’t really help. The Blu-ray disc autoplays with a trailer for Bleach The Movie 4: Hellverse, DVD disc one autoplays Persona 4: The Animation and Nura Rise of the Yokai Clan trailers, while disc 2 autoplays trailers for the Bleach movie again and the oft-delayed Penguindrum.
    Once more, the extra features are on the DVD only, so if you were thinking of buying the combo set for the Blu-ray, and selling on the DVDs as some people are apt to, think again.

    What you get on DVD disc 1 is the UStream Mini Corner: Volume 3. A couple of soft toys, Usa and Tora present little segments that were extras released between the episodes, most lasting just 5 minutes, and offering brief soundbite interviews with the cast and crew. These run to a total of 54 minutes. They are all chaptered, but inaccurately so, with some chapters before the end of the segment. Also, Kazé’s subtitling suckitude really shines here, with none of the on-screen text or captions translated. Good luck guessing just who is speaking. Also white subtitles against white kanji are nigh on impossible to read.

    Inline Image

    Disc 2 has also has substantial extras this time around, although the karaoke credits have been dropped. This time you get a Meet the Cast Stage Event that lasts 35 minutes. The Japanese voice actors for Wild Tiger, Barnaby Brooks Jr., Sky High, Blue Rose, and Fire Emblem take to the stage for a promotional event for a live audience. It’s pretty light and inconsequential stuff, but it’s fun to watch.


    Ah, now this is more like it! Tiger & Bunny pulls out all the stops to deliver a rip-snorting conclusion for its superhero tale, a climax fitting for its classic comic-book style collision of good versus evil. It’s got all you need for a fitting denouement, heroes and villains, the stakes raised higher than before, lives in imminent peril, with danger both epic and personal, and it has the character dynamics and emotional investment to have you glued to the screen right to the end. And in perfect comic book style, it leaves just enough hanging for a potential sequel, and sequels there will be, at least in movie form.

    Anime Limited have already announced the Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning movie, for this winter on DVD and Blu-ray. It’s a retelling of the pair’s initial meeting, a compilation of the first two episodes of the series, followed by a new adventure set prior to episode 3. But this autumn sees the release of Tiger & Bunny: The Rising to Japanese cinemas, and this promises to be the sequel to the tantalising final few minutes of the Tiger & Bunny series, and it is hotly anticipated.

    Tiger & Bunny turned out to be a show of two halves, or rather one half and two quarters. The initial intention of the show’s creators was to beat the US comic-book superheroes at their own game, adopting that storytelling style to fashion their own world of mutant heroes and villains. For the first half of the show, introducing the team of Tiger & Bunny, working out the kinks in their partnership, having fun with their characters, it worked a treat. All the way up to the Jake Martinez arc, and the reveal of Barnaby’s back story, this could have been a US cartoon series, dubbed into Japanese, instead of vice versa. Watch it in English, and the only thing giving it away as anime is the odd bit of Japanese text, and those are usually burnt in subtitles translating onscreen English.

    Inline Image

    For the second half, it seems that the creators ditched the idea of aping the US comic book style, and the show really shows its anime roots in the final twelve episodes. This is storytelling with the long game in mind, less of the instant hit of action and story development, but rather sowing seeds at the start that only blossom in the final episodes. So we really got two very different looking quarters for the final two parts of Tiger & Bunny. Part 3 was slow, episodic and unimpressive, with a bunch of trivial stories that failed to challenge the characters or the viewers. They were almost slice of life vignettes that felt out of place with the superhero milieu. But the fact of the matter was that each of those episodes was setting up an important element of the show’s finale. And episode 19, the last in Part 3 revealed just how epic that finale would be when the true villain of the show was unmasked.

    The final six episodes in the series, this collection, are really just one long narrative dealing with that villain and his megalomaniacal plans. All that seemed so trivial in Part 3 becomes wholly relevant here, the truth about Barnaby’s parents, Kotetsu’s waning abilities, his daughter Kaede’s nascent powers, Sky High’s erstwhile robotic girlfriend, it all makes sense here, and leads to the fantastic and gripping conclusion to the show.

    Kazé’s release strategy hasn’t been the best. They’ve taken interminably longer than both Viz Media and Siren Visual, despite getting their first volume out ahead of everyone else. They’ve opted for four volumes instead of two, and with more expensive combo packs. They’ve also opted for single layer Blu-rays where the other distributors used dual layer, and as a result they’ve had to strip the extras and make them DVD only. Their release costs more, but feels cheaper. Fortunately for them, and given their usual subtitling snafus, Tiger & Bunny is an anglo-centric enough series to avoid most of them. That makes this series from Kazé just about good enough. It’s still galling to realise that other territories get Tiger & Bunny releases that are better than this though.

    Your Opinions and Comments

    Be the first to post a comment!