Tiger & Bunny the Movie: The Rising (NR)

Animation March 14, 2014
By Sherilyn Connelly
As the second film based on the Tiger & Bunny TV show, Yoshitomo Yonetani's anime Tiger & Bunny: The Rising makes an effort to ground new viewers, unlike some other current animé film series. (You know who you are, Evangelion.) In a present-day city, superheroes work for a TV network and accept corporate sponsorship, resulting in logos like Amazon.co.jp's and Ustream's prominently displayed across the chests and arms of battlesuits. The boys' battlesuits, anyway — the girls don't get armor, because nobody watches anime to see cartoon women not baring their flesh. Tiger (Hiroaki Hirata), the older hero, deals with getting bumped off the team by the network's ratings-hungry new owners, while the younger Bunny (Masakazu Morita) must learn to work with his arrogant new partner, Golden Ryan (Yuuichi Nakamura), as a series of attacks on the city portend the coming of an apocalyptic legend. Unfortunately, what would otherwise be silly fun is hampered by a cringe-worthy subplot involving Fire Emblem (Kenjiro Tsuda), the team's gay black member. Nobody watches anime for progressive social commentary, either, but Tiger & Bunny: The Rising indulges in homosexual stereotypes that would have been regressive in the 1980s, let alone in a spinoff of a 2011 television series, and it's a damn shame.
Yoshitomo Yonetani Hiroaki Hirata, Masakazu Morita, Yuuichi Nakamura Masafumi Nishida Eleven Arts

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