Tiger & Bunny Vol. 1 Mizuki Sakakibara (Viz Media)


3/5 – a fun story no matter what media you’re viewing it in

Anytime an anime or video game is a hit, you can almost always count on the manga adaptation not being too far away. That the first words on the cover to Tiger & Bunny are “Based on the HIT ANIME SERIES” (yes, they used all caps) lends some credence to this idea. Often the books are put out as a quick cash grab by a company looking to capitalize on the game or anime’s success. Sometimes the adaptation proves to be just as good as the anime. Sometimes it even goes a step beyond. Then there’s occasions when they’re both pretty much equal, and it comes down to a matter of preference.

I enjoyed the anime version of Tiger & Bunny, mainly because it’s what I saw first. So it’s doing the book a disservice to say it’s lacking anything simply because it’s not in color or not animated. If my first exposure to Tiger & Bunny had come from the manga, regardless of which came first, I’d like to think I’d hold a higher opinion of the manga. The humor is still there, and Mizuka Sakakibara does a great job on art chores. The clean linework works perfectly in a story about a world of superheroes all in competition with each other to boost ratings.

So why the 3 out of 5? It’s simply a matter of preference. If your first exposure to the story of Tiger & Bunny is going to come from this manga, you’re likely to enjoy the story as much as if you’d seen it first through the anime. Still, it’s difficult, and not entirely fair, to say one is “better” than the other.  Either way you should exposure yourself to it. Tiger & Bunny is a fun story no matter what media you’re viewing it in, particularly if you’re a fan of Western-based superhero stories.

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