Series: Tiger Mask W
Studio: Toei Animation
I started watching this series because it’s a marriage between two of my loves. One of them is pro wrestling while the other is anime. It also helped that some actual wrestlers from the NJPW roster are characters in this series with a mix of a original characters just for this series. I’m a fan of NJPW’s style of wrestling, and I felt that this is one of the ways they can have a leg up on the WWE.
Global Wrestling Monopoly is a series of wrestling organizations set to take over the wrestling world lead by Miss X and Mister X with their villainous roster from what is known as Tiger’s Den which is also a training ground for up and coming wrestlers. The original Tiger Mask had defeated this stable in the past, yet they had rose from the ashes to attempt to take over once again.
Yellow Devil is the alpha male of this GWM group. In a match with Daisuke Fujii, he severely injures him in front of his pupils Naoto Azuma and Takuma Fujii who is also his son. Both are horrified and go their separate ways to try to avenge their sensei. Naoto takes on the role of the new Tiger Mask while Takuma jumps to Lion’s Den to infiltrate their organization from the inside while accepting his persona, Tiger the Dark.
During this time, Global Wrestling Monopoly rages a war on New Japan Pro Wrestling by having Tiger Mask work for both companies as a freelancer, having shows on the same day, and even in physical confrontation. Eventually, it boils down to a head to head competition with the stakes being supremely high.
I didn’t watch the previous Tiger Mask series, and it’s okay. I wasn’t left behind at all. They made references to the predecessors, but also realized that it’s set to the present times.
The faces that showed up in 2D form from New Japan was awesome. I loved seeing Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito, and more animated. If anything, it made me a fan of those guys even more. Even places like Korakuen Hall were seen in the anime to keep the realism.
This series could have helped boost the popularity of anyone in the NJPW roster. Those that are in the midcard or lower card could have used the extra promotion. Young Lions or graduates of the program also could have benefitted. Imagine the entire Suzuki Gun or more Bullet Club members. The Chaos stable is stacked with talent. It only really benefited the main event stars and upper midcard.
There are tons of great anime series I could have watched that also match my other interests. One of the things that keeps me engaged is continuity. Not only did it help that I knew some of the characters, but one of the original characters was voiced by a familiar person. Mimori Suzuko voiced Haruna Takaoka. Her inclusion easily brought me into this series.
Not only was it cool to have the roster of New Japan in this series, but it was cool to see some of the characters from this anime depicted in some of the New Japan matches too. Some of them actually had matches. Tiger Mask W was portrayed by Kota Ibushi, Juice Robinson was Red Death Mask, and ACH took on the role of Tiger the Dark. Mimori Suzuko on occasion came out to support Tiger Mask W dressed as Haruna Takaoka.
Overall rating: 4/5
Reviewed by: Timtastic