Being the fans of New Japan Pro Wrestling that we are, we’ve talked a fair bit about Tiger Mask. As far as Japanese light heavyweight wrestlers go, the character is often mentioned in the same breath as Jushin “Thunder” Liger as being one of the masters of the craft. But over a decade before Satoru Sayama donned the costume, Tiger Mask was already a well-established hero in the world of anime and manga. And now, to bring things full circle, the wrestling superhero will once again have his own animated series when Tiger Mask W debuts this fall. From Toei Animation, here’s the first official teaser and synopsis:
The protagonists are two young pro wrestlers, Naoto Azuma and Takuma Fujii. Both were trainees of Jipang Pro Wrestling, a small pro wrestling team, until it was crushed by the evil Global Wrestling Monopoly (GWM) team. To plan their revenge, Azuma trained at the foot of Mount Fuji, becoming the new Tiger Mask, while Takuma entered “The Tiger’s Hole,” the organization that manipulates GWM, becoming “Tiger The Dark.”
First of all, I think we’ve got some lost-in-autotranslation here, because I’d be shocked if the classic rival Black Tiger suddenly got a name change to “Tiger The Dark.” Secondly, I love that the plot kicks off with a giant wrestling conglomerate usurping a local territory. Art has to imitate life at some point, right?
The really cool thing to remember here is that when Tiger Mask W was first announced this spring, it was revealed that it’s being made with full cooperation from New Japan Pro Wrestling. That means you’ll be seeing NJPW roster favorites like Kazuchika Okada square off with Naoto. How cool is that? The new series debuts this fall on TV Asahi, but I’m really crossing my fingers and hoping that episodes will also make their way to the New Japan World streaming service.
(Translation credit to AnimeNewsNetwork)