Tiger & Bunny, Vol. 1 by Mizuki Sakakibara
We all know superheroes. Those guys who swoop in to stop evil and save the day. Only to disappear when the danger is over; never seeking any kind of reward for their actions. The downside of being a superhero is that unless you are already rich it makes it very hard to hold down a job. Just ask Clark Kent or Peter Parker.
But what if being a superhero was a job? Tiger and Bunny combines reality TV and superheroes with hilarious results. All superheroes are contracted with HERO TV. A channel that broadcasts their adventures live and turns them into a game show. Be the first on the scene, catch the bad guy, or save civilians and you win points toward being the superhero of the year! A title that includes lots of fame and money. Wild Tiger is a washed up superhero. His ratings and profile are down and his corporate sponsor is looking for a way to increase his popularity. The problem with Wild Tiger is that he cares more about doing the right thing than making good TV (and he keeps knocking buildings down and causing millions in property damage). So what do his bosses do? Pair him with a new up-and-coming hero who knows exactly how to play an audience. Barnaby Brooks Jr. (a.k.a. Bunny) wants to make a name for himself and if that means pairing up with an old hero like Wild Tiger so be it. Neither of them are happy about it, but together they just might make it to the top of the superhero world.
In volume 1 the laughs and adventure don’t stop. Tiger and Barnaby hate each other and instead of working together they keep getting in each others' way. Sometimes they even help the villain by accident. The plot can be kinda silly. If you are looking for a serious or dark manga then Tiger & Bunny might not be for you. (Though, let’s be honest--with a name like Tiger & Bunny, no one really expected it to be dark and serious.) Tiger is your stereotypical manga good guy who just wants to do the right thing and Barnaby is the wise cracker cynic who can’t believe he has to put up with Tiger’s antics. Still, it's good fun and quite entertaining. The artwork is the true star of the manga. Characters are drawn crisply and the city feels vibrant and alive. Battles are easy to follow and have a sense of danger. I can almost imagine I’m watching the anime.