Tiger&Bunny The Beginning: a review

 

And now a break from our regularly scheduled program – aka posts written by derpchan – to bring you some first-hand info about Tiger&Bunny: The Beginning.

First thing you need to know about the movie: it starts with fried rice.

And then it just keeps getting better.

THE NEW AND OLD

I really wasn’t sure if I’m going to like this movie. The thing that troubled me the most was the fact that it uses some footage from the TV series – so I was worried it might be just an one big recap episode instead of a “real” movie.

I was quickly proven wrong.

There are some scenes we’ve all already seen in the TV series – but the extra ones added in between them make the movie feel fresh. All of them focus on the heroes themselves – and this time, every single hero gets about the same amount of screentime. The movie doesn’t forget about the developing relationship between Tiger and Bunny – but it’s not the most important part of it. Instead, it tries to focus on giving us as much background information about the other heroes as possible. The movie shows us how each hero puts on their suits, shows them interacting between each other, and does a really good job of it. It doesn’t spoon-feed you the new information – just subtly puts it in there; sometimes new things happen in the background, sometimes they’re served to you hidden behind a joke. Personally, I like all of the heroes, so getting so much information about them at one go felt simply amazing.

Of course, the movie has more that just all that: there’s a brand new episode, featuring an entirely new villain with NEXT powers, facing our favourite heroes. I really liked the bad guy they presented us this time – he’s cheeky, and his power is what made the whole new adventure for me. I’m not going to spoil it, of course, but let me just say I had a lot of fun trying to guess what it might be and how the heroes’ are going to overcome it. This brand new episode switched the focus again to Tiger and Barnaby’s relationship – but didn’t forget about the other heroes, who still get their chance to show off (or, in some cases, photobomb).

THE EXPERIENCE

I think I should also write something about the difference I felt between watching this movie at the cinema and seeing the episodes at home. I’ve seen this movie in the Toho Cinema in Fuchuu – and I’m not entirely sure how it works in other countries, but the quality of the showing was much better than what I’m used to in my country. The animation looked stunning on the big screen – especially the close-ups on the hero suits; you could see how much work went into animating them. The new episode they prepared for the movie was simply made for the big screen. A lot of work went into the backgrounds; since the biggest part of this episode takes place in an amusement park, the design team went crazy on some locations, and it shows – the whole final “fight” is an one big eyecandy. The sound design was superb, too – I had goosebumps when they presented Barnaby’s hero suit, and Saitou’s whisper-like voice felt even creepier.

One thing that amused me: Japanese people rarely make any comments or laugh out loud while watching movies in the cinema, so you kind of feel like you’re enjoying it on your own. However, during the showing I was watching, the audience actually had a noticeable oh-nope reaction when Maverick appeared for the first time.

Speaking of the audience – people of all ages came to see the movie. I’ve seen a few middle-aged ladies and gents, and a couple of elderly ladies – I met one of them again in the cinema store, buying a Barnaby plush keychain. Many people went there after the movie, actually – most of them were just browsing while discussing the movie.

Hilariously enough, most of them referred to Barnaby as “Bunny-chan”.

WHAT’S NEXT?

If the trailer shown after the movie is to be believed, the second movie will appear in the cinemas in August 2013. The trailer was very short – you could only see the heroes on the ground and the great statue of Justice being toppled over. They also left us with the ominous „The last day of Sternbild” message, so I guess the next movie is going to be a lot darker than this one.

Then again, wasn’t the same true for the TV series? Nishida seems to like the have-fun-then-suffer theme a lot.

TO GO OR NOT TO GO?

I might be a bit biased, but I think it’s a must-watch movie for every T&B fan. I can’t say if the movie is entertaining enough for a person who never seen the TV series, but if you’ve seen it and liked at least one of the heroes, you are probably going to love it. If you happen to be in Japan while it’s still airing in the cinemas – do yourself a favor and go check it out, it’s worth the crazy price they ask you to pay for a ticket over here.

RANDOM INTERESTING INFO

Just some things I noticed during the movie. You might want to skip this part if you want to notice them on your own, but I wouldn’t call them spoilery:

* Blue Rose isn’t wearing a wig. She actually uses her power to freeze her natural hair into the fancy hairstyle she wears as Blue Rose.

* Blue Rose needs to reload her water gun from time to time – she uses special clips she hides in her suit.

* There was a new PEPSI NEX scene – featuring Blue Rose, of course – inserted after the “cut to commercials” line spoken by Agnes.

* There are some new clips not included in the actual movie that appear during the credits, so I recommend paying attention. The short scenes are a mix of different parts of the movie, the TV series, and some extras.

* The movie confirms some info we already gathered from interviews and magazines: Rock Bison’s power is making his body hard as rock, and Sky High uses his to levitate, not fly – he needs his jetpack to control his movements in the air.

* The movie also confirms that the statues found in Sternbild represent the sponsors and their heroes.

* Kotetsu owns several copies of his casual outfit (5 identical trademark Kotetsu hats, anyone?)

* The opening sequence shows our heroes in trendy modern clothes (I actually found our favourite “stylish” hero’s outift hilarious).

* Different heroes use different ways of moving upwards: Blue Rose propels herself up while freezing the water shot from her guns; Rock Bison uses a special launcher prepared for him by his sponsors; Sky High, of course, just flies to his target; Barnaby jumps using the power of his suit; Kotetsu uses his line launcher; Dragon Kid simply jumps from one platform to another and Origami Cyclone… well, tries to do that, too.

* Blue Rose’s “thorns” attached to her outfit can glow/light up in the dark (at least during her commercial scene)

* The Sky Tree’s mascot is a snowflake-patterned mushroom.

10 comments on “Tiger&Bunny The Beginning: a review

  1. Thanks for the awesome review! Oh how I wish I could see this in the theater (probably the only movie that will get me to a theater), but it won’t be showing in my state, so will have to wait for the DVD (preferably blu ray). Glad to see there were older people in the theater enjoying it too – I won’t feel so alone, heehee.

  2. I got to see in sf yesterday and the audience was dying from laughter most of the time. Anyone who hasn’t seen it will LOVE it.

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