Tiger Mask (タイガーマスク Taigā Masuku?) is a Japanese manga series written by Ikki Kajiwara and illustrated by Naoki Tsuji. The series was first published in Kodansha's Bokura Magazine from 1968 to 1969 and was later published in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from 1970 to 1971. It was later adapted into an anime series by Toei Animation which first aired on Yomiuri TV on October 2, 1969 and ended its run on September 30, 1971, airing 105 episodes. In real life, the name has been used by a succession of Japanese professional wrestling characters as a gimmick. The Tiger Mask persona is instantly recognizable by its trademark mask, designed to look like a tiger's head, as well as the combination of high flying attacks and martial arts in the ring.
In the manga and anime, Tiger Mask (whose real name was Naoto Date) was a feared heel wrestler in America who was extremely vicious in the ring. However, he became a face after returning to Japan when a young boy said that he wanted to be a villain like Tiger Mask when he grew up. The boy resided in an orphanage, the same one that Tiger Mask grew up in during his childhood. Feeling that he did not want the boy to idolize a villain, Tiger was inspired to be a heroic wrestler.
The main antagonist in the manga and anime was Tiger's Cave, a mysterious organization that trained young people to be villainous wrestlers on the condition that they gave half of their earnings to the organization. Tiger Mask was once a member of Tiger's Cave under the name "Yellow Devil", but no longer wanted anything to do with them, instead donating his money to the orphanage. This infuriated the leader of the organization and he sent numerous assassins, including other professional wrestlers, to punish him.
The manga was originally created for the Bokura and Weekly Shōnen Magazine in 1968 by Ikki Kajiwara and Naoki Tsuji. The manga would be reprinted by Kodansha comics, and made available in Hong Kong. Further versions include Sankei Comics and the Kodansha KC Special. The anime would be televised nationally in Japan, while two movies would be constructed from reusing footage of the series. Most of the environment and characters were fictional, but real-life pro wrestlers like Antonio Inoki, Giant Baba, Michiaki Yoshimura, Kintaro Ohki, Seiji Sakaguchi were included in the manga and anime as well.
A continuation of the series was followed by Tiger Mask II in 1981.
- Director: Takeshi Tamiya
- Additional Directors: Kimio Yabuki, Tomoharu Katsumata, Fusahito Nagaki, Hiroshi Shidara, Yoshio Kuroda, Yasuo Yamaguchi
- Screenwriter: Masaki Tsuji, Tadashi Kondo, Tomohiro Ando
- Design: Naoki Tsuiji
- Animator: Keijiro Kimura, Koichi Murata
- Music: Shunsuke Kikuchi
Tiger Mask and His Comrades
- Toranosuke Arashi (嵐虎之介, Arashi Toranosuke?)
- The Great Zebra (ザ・グレイト・ゼブラ?)
- Ruriko Wakatsuki (若月ルリ子, Wakatsuki Ruriko?)
- Kenta (健太?)
- Yoshibou (ヨシ坊?)
- Chappy (チャッピー?)
- Gaboten (ガボテン?)
- Mikuro (ミクロ?)
- Yoko Takaoka (高岡洋子, Taka?)
- Mister X (ミスターＸ?)
- Boss (ボス?)
- Big Tiger (ビッグ・タイガー?)
- Black Tiger (ブラック・タイガー?)
- King Tiger (キング・タイガー?)
- Miracle 3 (ミラクル３?)
- See Boss
- Tiger The Great (タイガー・ザ・グレイト?)
- See Boss
Japanese Pro Wrestling Promotion
- Giant Baba
- See The Great Zebra
- Black V (ブラックＶ?)
- Announcer (アナウンサー?)
The movies were titled as such in English when exported outside Japan. They are by no means actual translations.
|Japanese Name||English Name||Release Date||Type|
|タイガーマスク ふく面リーグ戦||Tiger Mask: War against the League of Masked Wrestlers||July 19, 1970||movie|
|Tiger Mask I||Satoru Sayama|
|Tiger Mask II||Mitsuharu Misawa|
|Tiger Mask III||Koji Kanemoto|
|Tiger Mask IV||Yoshihiro Yamazaki|
|Tiger Mask V||Unknown|
The evil twin character Black Tiger (using a black costume with silver stripes) was created by New Japan to oppose the man who portrayed Tiger Mask at the time, although he did not have to have the existing Tiger Mask as his exclusive antagonist. Black Tiger had always been portrayed by foreign wrestlers: Mark Rocco (British), Eddie Guerrero (Mexican-American), Silver King (Mexican) and Rocky Romero (Cuban-American). As Black Tiger, Rocco also feuded with The Cobra (George Takano), and Guerrero also feuded with Jushin Liger and Wild Pegasus. A fifth Black Tiger surfaced and, breaking away from the Black Tiger tradition, recently revealed to be Tatsuhito Takaiwa, who had just finished a long run with the Zero-ONE promotion.
Último Dragón, as a temporary break between gigs in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), adopted the name and character Second Tiger, modeled after the original, Satoru Sayama, who was his childhood idol. Último also made a character called Tiger Dragon which saw his attire a blend of the Último Dragón and Tiger Mask garb. Sayama himself used the Super Tiger (in the original UWF) and uses the Tiger King and Original Tiger Mask characters in special appearances since 1996, as a means to differentiate himself as being the original.
Sayama also gave brief authorization for a female version of the character, called Tiger Dream, to be played by female wrestler Candy Okutsu in the mid-1990s. He and Tiger Mask IV also provided her with training.
Osaka Pro has a wrestler named Tigers Mask who wears a mask similar to Tiger Mask and is portrayed as a fan of the Hanshin Tigers baseball team. Former Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling superstar Ricky Fuji developed a Tiger Mask persona of his own called Calgary Tiger, influenced by the Canadian city, where he was trained, and debuted as a wrestler.
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) ranked him (Mitsuharu Misawa) #37 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003.
Although the manga and anime ended in the early 1970s, Tiger Mask remains a popular character in Japan.
- The Tekken series of video games have characters named King and Armor King who are modelled after the Tiger Mask and Black Tiger from the anime. This is evident by the fact that they are all masked professional wrestlers (though King and Armor king wear jaguar masks), and both King and Tiger Mask are orphans and were played by more than one person. In Tekken 5, you can purchase an alternate mask for King that appears to be a replica of the one worn by Tiger Mask.
- Tizoc/Griffon from the Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters series has a similar story, sports an animal (griffon) mask, and even shares various moves with Tiger Mask. The character Ramon also sports the repertoire of the real life Tiger Masks.
- In the Sailor Moon Musicals series a wrestler appears in the Ai no Sanctuary musical by the name of Sensational Jaguar Mask. This is thought to be an homage to Tiger Mask.
- In part 3 of the H anime F3: Frantic, Frustrated & Female, one of the masks Yayoi has in her room is a Tiger Mask.
- In the anime OVA Battle Royale High School, the main character is seen wearing a Jaguar mask (as in King from Tekken) when fighting the high school karate club.
- On the post-humous album All Systems Go 3 by Rocket From The Crypt, there is an instrumental track entitled Tiger Mask. A version with lyrics has also been recorded in the compilation album: Dope, Guns and Fucking in the Streets, Vols. 8-11.
- In Seikimatsu Sentai Gorenjai (a parody of Himitsu Sentai Goranger) the yellow ranger dresses up as Tiger Mask.
- Tiger Mask Catoon Arabic / English Website - Story, Characters, Downloads,DVD And Much More..
- - موقع النمر القنع - القصة, ملخص الحلقات, الشخصيات, الـ دى فى دى, والمزيد
- Tiger Mask Wrestler Info
- Anime News Network
- Tiger Mask movie Japanese
- A history of the Tiger Mask gimmick, with all the profiles of the Tiger Mask wrestlers, plus related and unrelated characters (In Japanese)
- Tiger Mask screenshots from Anime Click
- Tiger Mask Anime Info in details English and Japanesear:النمر المقنعko:타이거 마스크