Tiger Mask W
|Tiger Mask W|
(Taigā Masuku Daburu)
|Genre||Sports (professional wrestling)|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Toshiaki Komura|
|Written by||Katsuhiko Chiba|
|Original network||TV Asahi|
|Original run||October 1, 2016 – July 1, 2017|
At the end of March 2013, 42 years after the night of 3 September 1971, when Naoto Date left forever Japan, the Global Wrestling Monopoly (GWM) challenged the Zipangu Pro-Wrestling team and single-handedly destroyed them along with their manager Daisuke Fuji who was brutally defeated by GWM's top fighter Yellow Devil. The incident drove two young members, Naoto Azuma, the main protagonist of the series, and his friend Takuma Fuji, son of Daisuke, to seek revenge on the GWM and the two parted ways without. While Naoto trained under Kentaro Takaoka, Naoto Date's former ally, Takuma trained under the Tiger's Den, under the leadership of Mister X, after being recruited by Yellow Devil under the pretense of giving him the chance for revenge.
Three years later, toward the ending of 2016, Naoto has taken the identity of Tiger Mask and signing under the NJPW (New Japan Pro-Wrestling) while Takuma has taken on the identity of Tiger the Dark under the Tiger's Den with none of them being aware of the other's identity but sharing the same goal. The GWM under the leadership of Miss X, sees the new Tiger Mask as a threat that must be eliminated to ensure their control over the Wrestling World and sends their fighters in several schemes to destroy him. Tiger Mask trains with the help of his current trainer and the aid of several pro wrestlers to become a stronger fighter with the ultimate goal to fight and defeat Yellow Devil.
Both he and Takuma have their first chance at the Masked Tournament hosted in Miss X's new Max Dome, their first step on conquering Japan, and hosting none other than Yellow Devil as one of the participants. Tiger Mask with the advice of an Indian wrestler Mister Question, and an opponent in the tournament, decides to develop his own signature technique and trains with his co-workers at the NJPW to develop his technique. He eventually fights and defeats Takuma using an unperfected version of the move, and manages to face and defeat Yellow Devil but much to his surprise finds another man to have taken on its identity leaving Naoto's and Takuma's quest inconclusive but with the revelation to Takuma that Tiger Mask is also looking after Yellow Devil. Takuma is eventually demoted to undergo the Tiger's Execution which would make him a living punching bag, but decides to take the Hell in the Hole an illegal wrestling match with several bets carrying a special chance which can restore him as a main fighter but at the risk of losing his life if he fails.
The Hell in the Hole begins in the spring of 2017, with its participants being wrestlers defeated by Tiger Mask, including Odin, Billy the Kidman, Black Python, Death Red Mask, as well as Ricardo, Cox, Phantom, Takuma, and Kevin, Takuma's friend, the fight is a Battle Royale with no rules, wrestlers are given weapons after defeating contestants and alliances are possible too. Takuma and Kevin team up and eventually prevail over Odin, Billy the Kidman and Red Death Mask while the rest were eliminated. Takuma and Kevin are forced to fight a "gatekeeper" to gain their escape, but the wrestler is found to be a powerful robot. Odin regains conscience and aids the duo using a firebreath tool on the robot's face which causes it to malfunction and assault the nearby spectators. The strongest wrestler of the Tiger's Den, The Third, faces and easily defeats the robot with a piledriver. Takuma, Kevin and Odin thus succeed in the Hell in the Hole, but Odin quits the GWM.
The GWM then prepares their next big tournament, Wrestle Max War Game, which will pit wrestlers from all around the world for the right to challenge The Third who is the World Heavyweight Champion for the belt and the title and a Million Dollar Prize. The Third will also participate on the event himself. Naoto decides to enter the tournament in order to become champion as it will allow him to select his opponents and as such be able to force the true Yellow Devil out of hiding. Thinking that the battle may not play out one-on-one Naoto decides to request Fukuwara Mask to partner with him to increase his odds at winning.
The day of the War Game begins and the rules are explained, the wrestlers will fight in a pyramid-shaped ring with five stages and a ground level, they are divided in four blocks which are interconnected and when the ring sounds, they will be able to move between blocks. Once a wrestler defeats an opponent, he will be allowed to move to the next stage, where he fights his next opponent, and repeat the process until the first two fighters are standing at the top stage of the ring, at which point the battle is over. Following an interval the two combatants will fight and the winner earns the right to challenge The Third. The Champion, being one of the participants declares that whoever defeats him can take the belt. Surprisingly a man taking the name of Yellow Devil is also a participant, causing Naoto and Takuma to pursue him.
The fights rage and Takuma finds and easily defeats Yellow Devil, unmasking him as an impostor. The Third faces Ryu Wakamatsu (in his Dragon Young persona), Fukuwara Mask and Tetsuya Naito making him the first fighter to get to the top. Tiger Mask and Tiger the Dark face off once more with the fight being even grounded. Tiger Mask uses his Tiger Drive move, but Takuma is able to counter it at the last moment. Before Naoto and Takuma can resume their fight Kevin interferes and ambushes Naoto, allowing Takuma to defeat him, thus Tiger the Dark is able to challenge The Third for the championship. A recess takes place before the fight but Takuma is revealed to be greatly injured as a result of Naoto's knee strike.
Before his match, Takuma is alerted that The Third is potentially the true Yellow Devil, in order to confirm it he bests his mask with The Third which he accepts. The match begins and Takuma seemingly gains the upper hand. The Third then confirms Takuma's suspicions that he's indeed Yellow Devil by using his old signature techniques. Takuma is able to counter his Devil's Crush and almost defeats The Third. However the injuries caused by Naoto take his toll and The Third uses his true finishing move Sacrifice, greatly injuring Takuma and causing his defeat. The Third then unmasks Takuma, revealing his identity to Naoto who rushes to his friend's side revealing his own identity as well as he's transported to the hospital.
A mysterious band of wrestlers calling themselves the Miracles (Miracle 1, 2 and 3) appear and sabotage several of NJPW matches by committing fouls, while promising to keep "multiplying". After Tiger Mask battles one of GWM's strongest fighters, King Tiger and defeats him in a deadly fight, Miss X agrees to let Tiger Mask challenge The Third bound by a contract that forces him to betray the NJPW and align himself with the Miracles. As the battles escalate, Tiger Mask desperate to get his match with The Third sinks to commit fouls along with the Miracles in the matches, which corrodes his reputation.
During a final encounter between the Miracles and the NJPW in a 5-on-5 match, Tiger Mask is cruelly used as a tool in order to secure a victory against Okada, NJPW's strongest wrestler. Before the NJPW is able to win against the Miracles, The Third and Miss X interrupt the match. Tiger Mask attempts to attack The Third but is easily countered. Miss X then announces the Final Wars, the ultimate confrontation between the NJPW and the GWM, where the winner will take all the belts from the losers, effectively making it an all or nothing match. Nagata reluctantly accepts the challenge. Meanwhile, Tiger Mask is struggling as his recent actions have eroded his trust with the NJPW, leaving him alone and still bound to the GWM by contract, despite his assault against The Third. As a result, he is forced by Miss X to fight Miracle 4 in another match. Miracle 4 reveals himself to be Universal Mask, an expert in aerial combat while the two fight in a special ring elevated from the floor level and with pipes, giving Universal Mask a one-sided advantage, which is meant to punish Tiger Mask for his betrayal. Tiger Mask eventually defeats him thanks to Fukuwara Mask's advice, but has difficulties in developing a new killer move.
In the summer Tiger Mask decides to go to Kyoto in order to gain inspiration for a killer move from the Arashi Dojo, just like Naoto Date did at one point. However he comes to find two Dojos with one being a fake. Tiger Mask helps unravel the impostor and gains useful advice from the true master, but is still not sufficient knowledge. The Final Wars begin between the NJPW and GWM. During the first fight NJPW gains an advantage but Miracle 3 interferes, causing Tiger Mask to intercept the Miracles' foul combo and rendering the match a no contest. Immediately after as per the contract with the GWM, Tiger Mask is forced to fight on final fight against Miracle 3 who is GWM's coach O'Connor in a Lumberjack match where, any fighter outside the ring must be returned by seconds. However the match becomes vicious quick as Miracle 3 continuously pushes Tiger outside the ring, to be mercilessly punished by GWM's seconds, effectively making it a 4 on 1 fight. Having regained their trust, the NJPW interferes on Tiger Mask's behalf allowing him to defeat Miracle 3 and reform their alliance.
After losing two fights against NJPW, Tiger's Den sends on their strongest reinforcements, Big Tiger the Second (or The Second) and Tiger the Black two wrestlers part of Tiger's Den Four Heavenly Kings or (also called the Four Tigers along with the previously defeated King Tiger) whose strength is only surpassed by The Third. A tag match is scheduled with The Second and Tiger the Black against Tiger Mask and Nagata. The NJPW pair however is soundly defeated and Nagata is left injured by The Second. Takuma requests Naoto to allow him to use his training him to accelerate his recovery and Takaoka agrees.
The Final Wars begin consisting of five different matches. The first one ends in a draw between Tiger the Black and Makabe as they are both counted out of the ring. The second match is a double tag-match with Tiger the Black and The Third vs Makabe and Okada. Makabe is able to leave Tiger the Black unconscious but is himself crippled by The Third's Devil Crush earning GWM a win. On the next round a triple tag-match, The Second, Miracle 1 and 2 face Tanahashi, Tiger Mask and Tiger the Dark who joins NJPW. During the fight Miracle 2 unmasks himself as Kevin and battles Takuma until he is left unconscious by Tiger Mask's new killer move Tiger Fang, however The Second defeats Tanahashi with his Skewer move, granting GWM a second win. The following round is a double tag-match of Tiger Mask and Tiger the Dark vs The Third and The Second. During the fight The Third unmasks Naoto by ripping his mask. Tiger the Dark with renewed strength from his father's encouragement assaults The Third and The Second with his new killer move, Crossbow, injuring them both and allowing Naoto to defeat The Second earning NJPW a win. For the fifth, single match Miracle 1 faces NJPW's champion Okada, however Miracle 1 blinds Okada by spitting a substance on his face.
Okada defeats Miracle 1 but his arm is injured so Naoto fights with a new patched mask under the name Tiger Mask W to face The Third. The two fight with Naoto combining his own moves along Takuma's, although effective The Third severely injures Naoto with a chain of Devil's Tornadoes. Attempting to defeat him with the Devil's Crush, the move fails and Naoto counters and injures The Third. The two clash for a final time but The Third's arm begins to hurt causing him to be unable to counter Naoto's Tiger Fang. The Third is instantly defeated which causes the destruction of the Tiger's Den. Naoto and Takuma part ways deciding to fight abroad using new masks made of a combination of their former masks and calling themselves Tiger Mask W. They vowed to meet each other again in the ring either as a tag team or as opponents.
Following Naoto and Takuma's depart, Miss X now founding and leading her own organization, Girls Wrestling Movement, recruits Haruna to serve as her main fighter under her Spring Tiger (later Springer) alter ego, along with her friends Milk and Mint. Although Haruna is initially reluctant to pursue a wrestling career due to her family's disapproval, after a month later fighting and defeating Japan's strongest female wrestler, Mother Devil, along with Miss X's encouragement, she builds up the courage needed to tell them.
- Director: Toshiaki Komura
- Script: Katsuhiko Chiba
- Music: Yasuharu Takanashi and -yaiba-
- Character Design: Hisashi Kagawa
- Art Design: Yoshito Watanabe
- Action Animation Director: Junichi Hayama
The opening theme is "Ike! Tiger Mask" ( 行け!タイガーマスク; Go! Tiger Mask) by Shonan no Kaze and the ending theme is "KING OF THE WILD" also by Shonan no Kaze. The opening theme is a new rendition of the opening in the original Tiger Mask, which was originally performed by Hideyo Morimoto. The show airs on TV Asahi's 26:45 (2:45 AM) time slot on Saturday (technically Sunday morning).
The training facility Naoto Date used at Mount Fuji, and his dream to create a safe haven for kids here but didn't come true, are original from the manga Tiger Mask and omitted in the first anime version.[relevant? ]
In conjunction with the premiere of the show, NJPW debuted a live action version of Tiger Mask W, portrayed by Kota Ibushi, on October 10, 2016, at their King of Pro-Wrestling event. Since then, Red Death Mask (portrayed by Juice Robinson) and Tiger the Dark (portrayed by ACH) have also debuted for NJPW.
- "2016年テレビ朝日にてスタート！新番組「タイガーマスクW」PV — YouTube". youtube.com. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
- "Tiger Mask W Casts Yuichiro Umehara, Kenichi Suzumura, Suzuko Mimori, More".
- Only Antonio Inoki, Seiji Sakaguchi, Gantetsu Matsuoka, Mike Brisco, Don DeNucci, Pat Patterson, Len Rossi, Bruno Sammartino, and Mil Máscaras from the first anime were still alive in 2016/2017.
- The first day of high school for Haruna, which in Japan begins on April 1, Naoto has just arrived at the Takaoka shop.
- The date appears on the Maiasa Shinbun in episode 104 of the first anime.
- "Crunchyroll to Stream Tiger Mask W Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
- 【新日本】１０・１０両国全カード決定 タイガーマスクＷも参戦！. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). 2016-09-26. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
- Radican, Sean (2016-10-10). "Kota Ibushi's self-declared free agency takes a strange twist as he debuts as Tiger Mask W in New Japan after entering Dusty Classic (w/Radican's Analysis)". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
- Csonka, Larry (2016-10-13). "NJPW News: Update on Tiger Mask W, Ricochet Banged Up". 411Mania. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
- Johnson, Mike (2017-01-04). "Omega vs. Okada classic, Tanahashi vs. Naito, lots of title changes & more: complete New Japan Wrestle Kingdom 11 coverage". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2017-02-16.