New Japan Pro-Wrestling Plans Tiger Mask Anime
posted on by Egan Loo
The New Japan Pro Wrestling organization's owner Takaaki Kidani (Bushiroad) announced on Thursday that an anime adaptation of Ikki Kajiwara's Tiger Mask manga is in the works. According to the organization, its wrestlers will appear in the project under their own names. They plan to release the anime not only in Japan, but also stream it throughout the world.
"Tiger Mask" is the alter ego of the character Naoto Date, a pro wrestler who goes against an evil wrestling organization and fights for children in an orphanage.
The original manga ran from 1968 to 1971 in Kodansha's Bokura magazine, Weekly Shōnen Magazine, and other magazines. Along with the baseball manga Kyojin no Hoshi, Tiger Mask is considered Kajiwara's life work. The manga already inspired two anime series in 1969-1971 and 1981-1982. The 1969 television anime series recorded 31.9% as its highest rating. There are even real-life wrestlers who have been inspired by the manga and anime to compete under the Tiger Mask persona.
The manga became a popular topic in the national news in Japan in recent years after an anonymous donation of backpacks at a child guidance center sparked a charity movement. The "Tiger Mask movement" spread to almost every corner of Japan.
Singer/actor Eiji Wentz (GeGeGe no Kitarō, Brave Story) played the titular hero in a 2013 live-action film with Natsuna Watanabe (Kimi ni Todoke, Gantz) as the heroine Ruriko and Show Aikawa (Tokyo Zombie, Zebraman) as Mister X.