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Tiger man

Original title: Tiger mask
Naoto Date, Daigo Daimon, Kentaro Takaoka, Mister X, Big Tiger, King of Tigers, Big Tiger, Black Tiger, Giant Baba, Antonio Inoki, Saka
Author: Ikki Kajiwara
Production: Toei Animation
Directed by: Takeshi Tamiya

Country: Japan
Year: 2 October 1969
Broadcast in Italy: 1982
Gender: Sportsman
Episodes: 105 mm
Duration: 22 minutes
Recommended age: Teenagers aged 13 to 19

The Tiger Man cartoons were broadcast for the first time in Italy on Rete 4 in 1982 and later on several regional private broadcasters. The first series began in Japan in 1969 and was produced by Toei Animation. Based on the manga by Ikki Kajiwara (story) and Naoki Tsuji (drawings), the Tiger Man cartoons are divided into 105 episodes scripted by Massaki Tsuji, directed by Takeshi Tamiya and drawings by Keiichiro Kimura. To remember the Italian theme song "L'Uomo Tigre" sung by Riccardo Zara and I Cavalieri del Re.
For the violence of the images, this cartoon certainly is not recommended for children, even if there is a strong appeal to universal values ​​such as solidarity with the marginalized, friendship and sporting loyalty.

Tiger manThe story of the Tiger Man is that of Naoto Date, an orphan who grew up in the "Chibikko House" institute, who is deceived by a criminal organization called "La Tana delle Tigri". Their purpose is to train the boys in wrestling and wrestling, with cruel and cynical methods in order to make them so ferocious that they can earn on their victories in various fights. The workouts are real torture, with fights to the death and fights against ferocious animals, so that the true champion can emerge, by "natural selection". Naoto Date manages to overcome all the tremendous tests and becomes the first fighter of the "Lair of the Tigers". To hide his true identity during the fighting he hides his face with a Tiger mask and calls himself "Tigerman", The Tiger Man.Tiger man Initially the Tiger Man is very cruel in his fights and in the violence he pours out all his anger and frustrations related to his past, to the point of being nicknamed "the yellow devil" by the public who detest him, but soon there will be a episode that will change his attitudes. One day he goes to the orphanage where he grew up and meets little Kenta, a surly and rebellious child, his admirer who reminds him of his sad childhood and sees himself at his age. So he decides to deny the Tana delle Tigri and donate the winnings to the orphanage, in order to make a more dignified life for the children of the institute and in this he is also supported by Ruriko, a childhood friend who runs the orphan house together with Wakatsuki. Tiger manThe wrestlers of the Tigers' Den, considered him a traitor, want his death so he will have to face them in the ring during the various episodes. The fighters will be selected and trained by the terrible Mister X, a despicable and cowardly individual. The adversaries that Tiger Man will encounter will be one more terrible than the other as Gorilla Man, a man raised in the wild as a beast and endowed with monstrous strength. Golden Mask, equipped with a mask that emits radiation that can blind his opponents. Dracula who, like the well-known vampire, sucked the blood of his opponents with terrible bites. Lion King the strongest fighter, Kamikaze the martial arts expert, Yeti the snowman and many others. After eliminating all these opponents, the Tiger Man will have to contend with the same leaders and masters of the Tiger's Den, such as Big Tiger, Black Tiger and King Tiger and finally against Black Mystery, the most powerful of all, against which he will give vent to all his anger. Within the organization of the Lair of the Tigers, Naoto will also meet loyal and sincere people such as the fighter Daigo Daimon nicknamed Mister Fudo, who will be willing to do anything to help his friend, but unfortunately will die in combat against the Black Tiger. Ken Takaoka, the Yellow Demon will also become a close friend of the Tiger Man, not before he hated him as he was accused by Mister X of being the murderer of his mother. Understood the deception Ken takes the side of Naoto.

Tiger manGiven the great success in 1981, the second series was also made, divided into 33 episodes in which there will be several changes starting from the drawings, more accurate and much less stylized than the previous version. In place of the Tigers' Lair we find another criminal organization called the "Space Federation" led by the rich Arab oilman Hassan, whose aim is to destroy the NJPW (New Japan Pro Wrestling Federation, a real-life federation, founded by Antonio Inoki in 1972). Wearing the Tiger Man's clothes this time is no longer Naoto Date, but Tommy Haku (Tatsuo Aku in the Japanese original) a journalist who also grew up in the same orphanage as his predecessor and also trained at the Tigers' Den. Tommy will do anything to hide his true identity from his fellow journalists. Among the various opponents that the new Tiger Man will face are the Sparrowhawks, who fight with trained raptors, as well as the British Bulldogs who fight with dogs. The thing that characterizes this series is the appearance of athletes from wrestling and other real sports such as Hulk Hogan, The Butcher, Andrè The Giant, Tatsumi Fujinami and Antonio Inoki himself. In the last episodes there will also be female figures to fight, such as Rita inspired by Japanese wrestling figures like those of Madusa, Leilani Kai, Fabolous Moolah and Mae Young.

Even in real wrestling there were several athletes who were inspired by the figure of the Tiger Man, first of all Satoru Sayama, better known as Tiger Musk, who decided to wear this mask after winning the fight against the champion Dynamite Kid.

by Gianluigi Piludu

Tiger Man and all names, images and registered trademarks are copyright 1969 Toei Animation - Play World Film - ITB - Italian TV Broadcasting and of the entitled persons and are used here for cognitive and informative purposes.

Titles of the Tiger Man episodes

First series

01. The Yellow Demon
02. The Kenta Escape
03. The Return of Naoto
04. The Law of Tana delle Tigri
05. Tiger Man Challenge Mister X
06. Black python
07. Loyal meeting
08. The Trap
09. The Gorilla Man
10. The Blow of the Bridge
11. World Professional League
12. A good reason to win
13. Skull star
14. Mister X's Blackmail
15. The Broken TV
16. The First Defeat
17. A Tiger Never Runs Away
18. The Confrontation
19. Two hours before the match
20. Shadow of the Tigers' Den
21. Fang the Red's Revenge
22. Hope for Tomorrow
23. Tiger Man Risks His Life
24. The Masked Wrestlers
25. Golden Mask
26. Great Zebra
27. Watch out, Tiger Man!
28. The den of the tigers
29. The Challenge
30. A great wrestler
31. The Training
32. Winning move
33. The Great Meeting
34. Boys in the Tigers' Den
35. The Champion's Road
36. Fight Championships
37. The Snowman
38. The Championships
39. Victory
40. Immortal Tiger
41. Death mask
42. The Spirit of a Warrior
43. An Evil Wrestler
44. Remorse
45. The New Mask
46. ​​The Little Wrestler
47. Jungle King
48. Tiger against Kamikaze
49. The Return of the Tiger Man
50. Memory of Hiroshima
51. Let's defend the Title
52. The World Championship
53. The Miracle Brothers
54. Welcome Micro
55. Polluted Cities
56. Popo Africa: The Prince of Darkness
57. Unbeatable opponent
58. The Encounter
59. A brave challenger
60. Doctor Granky
61. The Right Path
62. The Black Nightmare
63. Joe the American
64. It's Christmas
65. The True Champion
66. The Fear of Tana delle Tigri
67. The Other Face of Tiger Man
68. Yellow demon
69. Junker's Challenge
70. A Strange Meeting
71. Jaguar King
72. The Strength of Daigo Daimon
73. The Last Resource
74. The Third Traitor
75. The Great Escape
76. A Terrible Challenge
77. The Great Match
78. A Duel to the Last Blood
79. The Chief of the Burrow
80. Two Great Rivals
81. A New Wrestler
82. Desperate combat
83. The New Micro Family
84. The White Carnation
85. Deadly hunt
86. Crazy devil
87. Hunt for Tiger Man
88. The Cloud of Fire
89. Yoshibo's Happiness
90. The Texan
91. The Spider Web
92. Black Mystery
93. A Precious Council
94. The Honor of the Tiger Man
95. The Piranha
96. Who is Tiger Man?
97. An Exceptional Wrestler
98. Terror of Fighting
99. Lone Wolf
100. The Yoshibo Family
101. The defeat of Ken
102. The Triumph of Truth
103. A Deadly Trap
104. The fateful meeting
105. The defeat of Tana delle Tigri

Second series

01. Oath in the ring
02. A worthy successor
03. Down the mask
04. A fair fight
05. The missing boys
06. A solemn pact
07. The Pyramid of the Tigers
08. Duel to the death
09. The victory of intelligence
10. The challenge of the iron man
11. A ruthless law
12. Hell Sparrowhawks
13. Baseball training
14. The belt of the pyramids
15. Tiger-Inoki against Sparrowhawks
16. The threat of Hassan
17. The great challenge
18. For a second
19. Argenta's betrayal
20. A great friendship
21. The value of sport
22. Blue bronze
23. Butcher's challenge
24. The great Butcher
25. Two champions
26. The crazy Stan Hansen
27. The conspiracy
28. The terrible Puma
29. King Kyllium
30. Real fight
31. You are against one
32. Joe Forte
33. Final clash


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