Kentaro Takaoka (高岡 拳太郎 Takaoka Kentarō) is a main protagonist in the anime series Tiger Mask and Tiger Mask W.

Plot Edit

Tiger Mask (1969-1971) Edit

Childhood Edit

Kentaro Takaoka was born in Meiwa[1], not far from Tokyo, in 1955.[2] First born of a Japanese Catholic family[3], he lives with his parents in a small ruined house and has a younger sister, Yoko Takaoka, born in 1961.[4]

He's like his father[5], but with maternal dark brown hair and not black. After his premature death before 1970, he and his sister were desperately raised by their mother, Sadamasa Takaoka[6], a delicate woman, with flowers' passion, fighting against the poor life.

To treat his mother, very sick with tuberculosis[7] and forced to bed, he must sweat working part-time as a bicycle milkman in the neighborhood even under the rain, but due the grave post-war economic crisis, the pay isn't enough for a now useless hospitalization. His sister must sew and cook.

Tiger's Den Edit

In the early of 1970[8], a karateka at age 15, in the restaurant at Takaoo Hotel, after knocking down a table with one shot, decides to sign Mr. X's contract, who takes him into the new and modern Tiger's Den for his family. With $ 10,000[9] and the promise to become a pro-wrestler like Tiger Mask, his mother hasn't choice. Headed to headquarters in the Switzerland Alps, he's manipulated and educated against the traitor Tiger Mask, whose true identity is revealed by a computer quiz on pro-wrestling, but is home nostalgic and suffers from extreme neurosis, so the doctor certifies him to be thrown out. He's 160 cm high, weighs 55 kg, and 95 cm of life.[10]

He has to fight with young people of all origin, struggling like him to survive: US Billy Heyse, one year younger; French Pierre Lummaniere, one year older; English Michael Gordon, his peer; Indian Karitoba Swahim, two years younger; Masai Lologim Masaii, one year older; Thai boxer Chakil Lumpafa, one year older[11]; Italian Lois Rodríguez, one year older; Rudolf, his senpai, alias Black Panther; German Hans Streizer, two years older; Amazonian Iron Shark, his senpai, alias The Piranhan; US Cyclone Gaston; the wild Canadian Lone Wolf, his kōhai; and many others. His best friend and roommate is the Japanese Koroku, who calls "Roku". Although certified with Lois and Chakil to be thrown out, he's the best, with Hans number two and Chakil number three. Although not in computer quizzes, Koroku manages to compete with him, not like Lologim and Pierre, but Billy is the best in a pool death match. He can't hide his fears a bit extreme for Lone Wolf, who, though now a civilized man, isn't human for him.

In June[12], at the time of death at the prefectural sanatorium, the sad mother wants to see him again and, from his words when disappears, asks help by Tiger Mask, who visits her without a mask, as a wrestler's friend, and promises to do as much as possible for help her. But soon after, when Tiger Mask defeats Hippie and is chosen for the Asian Championships, he dies in hospital under heels and is buried in Kannon-tsunein's cemetery.[13] Tiger Mask is undertakes to taking care of her daughter and risking her life to save her son from Tiger's Den and watch him grow into a good man. Mr. X, as if he was his late father, came to know it and took advantage with the three rulers, extraditing Tiger Mask to the direct cause of her death. So his hate, totally unfounded, for Naoto Date grows more and more, at the point he wants to kill him in the ring and become himself the second Tiger Mask. The orphan sister is sent by Naoto to Chibikko House, but she feels much his lack.

In August[14], his friend Pierre, who has never believed false teachings, is rescued in Monaco by Tiger Mask. At the beginning of October[15], with skeptical Koroku, he studied Tiger Mask's death match against Shark II for a long time and knows how to neutralize Ultra Tiger Breaker. The three rulers give him permission to challenge him, promising to leave him free in case of victory, but first he must kill a caged tiger as a graduation exam. He's injured to the left shoulder by the claws and he only does it with a knife hidden in the bottom of the left shoe, so he isn't ready yet.

In January 1971[16], after strangling a caged lion, he was sent to New York with ring name Yellow Devil (イ エ ロ ー • デ ビ ル Ierō Debiru), the old name of Tiger Mask before becoming an orthodox wrestler. He ends up in hospital all eastern US opponents, including Popo Africa, instead The Missiganian rejects proudly the challenge of who isn't a true fighter. Naoto imagines that the Japanese newcomer is Yoko's older brother. Nazis Junker and King Jaguar, his friends Hans and Chakil graduated and left with him, are killed by Tiger's Den for being defeated by Tiger Mask, while The Red Death Mask and Black Panther were sentenced to forced labor at the headquarters.

Japan Pro-Wrestling Association Edit

On the evening of February 18th[17], at Nippon Budokan, he faces Tiger Mask in a death match without rules and time limit, using the knife under the right shoe as a weapon, but is still defeated. Black Tiger[18], his second, doesn't forgive him and decides to execute his death sentence once they return to the headquarters. But he's saved by Daigo Daimon/Mister Fudo and, when he meets his sister, he finally understands that he has been deceived and used by Tiger's Den. He becomes another inseparable friend and disciple of Tiger Mask, and with the new ring name Ken Takaoka (ケン高岡 Ken Takaoka), an orthodox wrestler of the Japan Pro-Wrestling Association. Not being able to save Hans, Naoto and Daimon swear to protect him at the cost of life. They have two rooms communicating on the fifth floor of the Crown Hotel, 2-8-16 at Yoyogi, in Shibuya[19]: he 513 and Naoto 519.[20] He drives a gray Toyota 2000GT with Shinagawa license plate.

On February 24th[21], following his example, Koroku escapes Billy and Michael in Africa, but is shot by armed guards as well as other thirteen, including Karitoba, Lologim, and Lois.[22] Received the dirty letter of blood written by Koroku, sent by Billy as he wanted before died, is completely discouraged. On the evening of March 25th[23], after two days at Seimei Hospital for the serious injuries of Big Tiger and Black Tiger, Daimon dies in his arms. He's ready to risk his life to avenge Hans, Chakil, Koroku, Daimon, and others, but Naoto reminds him to think his sister's dream, who wants to become a florist because her mother said good. However, if he died in the death match against King Tiger, Tiger Mask chose him as his mask heir. He often goes with Naoto to find Daimon in cemetery, and also his mother with his sister.

He can't fight against Mount Larrau on March 26th[24], but in April, after Daimon's death, he becomes the main eventer and thinks that's the only who could protect Tiger Mask. The first match, easily won, uses favorite attacks of Giant Baba, Antonio Inoki, Michiaki Yoshimura, Seiji Sakaguchi, and Tiger Mask. He defeats Handsome Johnny and Black Hurricane, the Bad Brothers and others two with Tiger Mask. He had to fight against Big Robo instead of Tiger Mask if he was absent for a wound to his right arm. He's his second in the matches against Universal Mask, Jekyll & Hyde, Akira Rose, The Missiganian, Devil Spider, The Piranhan, Cyclon Gaston, and Lone Wolf. Before he was furious, but now deeply admires The Missiganian, who isn't bribed by Mr. X and equalizes in a clean match against Tiger Mask.

Kenta wants him to reveal Tiger Mask's true identity, but he promised Naoto didn't say it before Tiger's Den's defeating. He and Tiger Mask encourage Kenta, bullying at school for being orphaned, finding again courage, and even Mitsu Takada and Yoshio Sasaki, who find their true family. On May 9th[25], he will not be bribed by Mr. X, who tries to take him on their side, and on Friday June 4th[26], when they go in a department store to buy a gift for Ruriko Wakatsuki twentieth birthday party, saves Naoto from his attempt murder. He informs Naoto that Mr. X has his office at the International Trade Center Building. At the end of July[27], when Naoto remains involved in an accident, he protects Tiger Mask's honor wearing his mask and winning the match against Judas in his seat, though he's recognized by Miracle 3 by the various techniques.

Defeat Edit

He assists with Tiger Mask at Miracle 3's matches against Bill Buffalo, Killer Karl Pops, and Red Rooster, easily won as clean wrestler. Lone Wolf is rewarded with freedom, having studied Tiger Mask's new ability, and returns to live with the wolves in the mountains. Naoto understands that he wants to kill the second traitor in a deadly match without rules, and must not let Daimon's tragedy repeat.

However, the evening of August 31st, he accepts his challenge. Miracle 3 finally returns Tiger the Great and calls him Yellow Devil. To help Tiger Mask, he looks in vain to damage him with un-rulers techniques. As his second, Tiger Mask intervenes before he being killed, losing for TKO. The next day, hospitalized in Miyata hospital room 136 for a serious accident in every body, he tells Ruriko the truth about Tiger Mask, who as he thought she knew he's Naoto[28], about Tiger's Den and Daimon, and also his past as Yellow Devil. Although upset, he falls in love with the nurse responsible for his hospitalization, somewhat identical to the deceased mother, and is reciprocated.[29][30]

The last time he sees Naoto is the day after the defeat, subjected to continuous blood transfusions, donated to the blood center of the Japanese red cross by ten gym comrades and Ruriko. On the day before the match, in order to calm his mind, Tiger Mask goes to find him last time, grateful for telling Ruriko the truth, but he is sleeping and, according to the nurse, while delirious he said a lot to encourage him. He hasn't longer the left arm stuffed, but the doctor orders to not get out of bed or watch television.

Successor Edit

On the evening of September 3rd[31], the day after Mr. X's death, Tiger Mask brutally killed Tiger the Great as an animal and so destroyed Tiger's Den, but he was unmasked before all and returned forever Yellow Devil, then he must leave Japan for many years. Before leaving alone on a plane to an unknown place, he tells Giant Baba to give him the mask snatched and stained with blood. He couldn't see the match on TV, but he immediately realized that, by Naoto's will, he become now Tiger Mask II (タイガーマスク二世 Taigā Masuku Nisei), the second generation of Tiger, and firmly swears to continue to protect the happiness of disadvantaged orphans, once resigned from the hospital and returned on the ring.

Just like his friends Pierre, Billy, Michael, and Lone Wolf, he's now free thanks Tiger Mask. Regarding his sister, the children, and Arika Wakatsuki, Ruriko tells them the truth and must be helped by the legitimate successor of the former Tiger Mask.

Tiger Mask W (2016-2017) Edit

New life Edit

Towards the end of 2016, now old in the modern developed country, has left the world of puroresu since the turn of the century[32] and the old Japan Pro-Wrestling Association no longer exists. He lives in Tokyo with his niece Haruna Takaoka, the energetic and hyperactive daughter of his sister, born on June 28th, 1998[33][34][35], when Yoko was 37-year-old, with his own strong character when he had her age, inheriting the tiger blood, and for nothing as her very mild and sentimental mother. His only defect is he's stopped at the Shōwa period, at the time of Rikidōzan's old puroresu after the war, always being criticized and embarrassed by his niece. He has long since started a new motomechanical activity and manages a small motorcycle store Takaoka Motors (高岡モータース Takaoka mōtāsu). He always wears a suit with the shop's mark and drives a van with the mark. He holds a Valentino Rossi poster in the workshop.

Tormented by his past, he hadn't Naoto's news. He was loaded with his desire and he was prepared for the worst and, just as he feared, Tiger's Den came back. Due to a permanent injury to the right leg, doesn't reveal how, he can't longer fight and must always walk leaning against a crutch. An old Kita-Kantō Shinbun article, kept in archives by the Monthly Pro-Wrestling World, reports Tiger Mask true story, then he isn't longer the only one who knows his secret. He never met the deceased Toranosuke Arashi, but Naoto told him that he went from him to ask advice when he couldn't invent a new final move.[36] No one knows anything about his sister[37] or brother-in-law[38], and neither if he married the nurse and had children.

New Tiger Mask Edit

Three years earlier, at the end of March 2013[39], after meeting the young orphaned and aspiring pro-wrestler Naoto Azuma, when his gym is closed after being ridiculed by the wrestlers of the Global Wrestling Monopoly (GWM), an American powerful federation of wrestling secretly controlled by the new Tiger's Den, decides to take him under his protector wing and becomes the coach, training him in Naoto Date secret training site lost in the grassy plain near the slopes of Mount Fuji[40][41][42], which he did his private property and refurbished a bit after being half destroyed by the Tohoku earthquake, and making him the new Tiger Mask. With the new ring name, he signed up for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, reassuring him that this will sooner or later push the organization to send against him his best wrestlers, including Yellow Devil, who condemned his gym to ruin.

He and his niece are thus aware of Naoto's dual identity, who lives with them and works as a his shop mechanic when he isn't masked. However, his niece is training alone and, between March and April 2017[43], becomes a pro-wrestler with the ring name Spring Tiger, even succeeding in defeating Miss X/X Woman, the GWM head. However, having promised her mother to not ever be a pro-wrestler, Haruna must be very careful. When he reads the Monthly Pro-Wrestling World Magazine, he says her that Spring Tiger is a new pro-wrestler, but with an old school fighting style, so he has potential. Almost never understand it, he good sees the relationship between Naoto and Haruna, even though he prefers to let them together by themselves and helps them above all by telling nostalgically the first Tiger Mask past when needed.

But he's very disappointed when, with the promise to let him fight against The Third, Tiger the Great's grandson and GWM world champion, the one who was Yellow Devil three years before[44], Naoto is convinced by Miss X to sign a contract that compels him to betray the New Japan Pro-Wrestling to join the Miracles. From then on, they only argue and ignore themselves so much that for Haruna seem almost like father and son. However, when Naoto understands his mistake, they reconcile themselves. He accompanies him in Kyoto with Haruna by Issai Handa, Arashi's successor, to help him realize a second successful move. In addition to The Third, he also recognizes The Second, Big Tiger's son.

Subsequently, he agrees to allow Takuma Fujii/Tiger the Dark to use Naoto's secret training site to speed up his recovery from the serious injury of The Third, however he must cut off any relationship with Tiger's Den. The rule is that only wrestlers can enter, since it was created to undergo infernal training and therefore is like a sacred dojo for wrestlers, and can't even bring his niece.

Final win Edit

He laughed with joy when, in summer, Naoto defeated The Third, marking the final destruction of Tiger's Den, even in honor of Naoto Date. Also, after Naoto decides to go for a while to fight in Acapulco, to thank him for taking great care of Tiger Mask, he lets Fukuwara Mask use his secretive training site every time he wants.

A month later, Haruna intends to tell her mother and her uncle, both strongly opposed to not being a child's play, who wants to continue with puroresu, having been recruited by Miss X as the main fighter of her new organization, GWM (Girls Wrestling Movement ), with the new ring name Springer. She told Miss X that her uncle was a wrestler of the old Tiger's Den and trained the current Tiger Mask, and thanks to her encouragement she finds the courage to tell it her family. Now they're in love and informs Naoto on cellphone, who offers to talk even him with her uncle, but she wants to convince them alone.

Trivia Edit

  • Voice actor: Ryōichi Tanaka.
  • His models are Teppei Oiwa, a young disciple and assistant of Tiger Mask in the manga, and Morio Mita, a boy from the tragic family affair in episode 19.
  • According to Yoshio Kuroda, the producer of episode 28, he was to be the protagonist in the sequel Tiger Mask II of 1981, but he is replaced by Tatsuo Aku and is partly a model for Ichiro Nakayama. In episode 25, setting in autumn 1981, a black-haired young man watches from the window of a TV shop in Ōizumi/Ginza the match between Tiger Mask II and Abdullah the Butcher. It's definitely him, because he wears a light green T-shirt with the letter "K", his name's initial, on his chest. At the beginning of January 1982, her sister still lives in the orphanage, and in fact, behind her, we can see a light green sleeve and black hair. However, it is only a parallel universe.
  • His character design is reused for a character in episode 28 of the anime series Blocker Gundan 4 Machine Blaster of 1977.
  • In the official sequel, being the only character that appears in fact, he acts as a common thread with the first anime.
  • In the first anime, he has black eyes, but in the sequel are dark brown, like hair and eyebrows.

References Edit

  1. His hometown's name is on the basket with twenty milk bottles in episode 34.
  2. In episode 34, set in June 1970, he's 15-year-old, then he was born in 1955.
  3. In episode 78, he has a silver rosario, then erroneously gold.
  4. In episode 96, she's in fifth grade class with Yoshio Sasaki, who was born in March 1961 according to episode 100.
  5. He appears only in an old photo in episode 53.
  6. Her name is on the wooden plaque in episode 34.
  7. It doesn't reveal the ill nature, but she cures continuously and is in a sanatorium.
  8. The next episode 29 ends on the night of May 10th, 1970. Episode 22 ends on the morning of February 27th, 1970, while a newspaper in episode 24 reports incorrectly Thursday December 11th, 1969.
  9. The sum is on the contract in episode 28.
  10. His measurements are reported in his file in episode 34.
  11. His file in episode 34 incorrectly reports he's one year younger.
  12. Episode 34. A newspaper in episode 31 reported Friday May 22th, 1970, while Kenta's diary in episode 37 Tuesday June 23rd, 1970.
  13. The name of the temple appears on the cement plaque in episode 84.
  14. The month appears on the Hamburg poster of the match between Tiger Mask and Map Man in the previous episode 45.
  15. The previous episode 52 ends on September 24th, 1970, while episode 55 on October 15th. A letter in episode 54 incorrectly reports October 20th, 1970.
  16. The match blackboard in episode 67 reported January 1971. A New York newspaper in episode 68 reported incorrectly Sunday December 6, 1970.
  17. The date appears on the death match manifesto in episode 74.
  18. They have the same Japanese voice actor, so they're the same person.
  19. The address is on the airmail letters sent to them in episode 76.
  20. Episodes 83 and 102. In episode 90, they've erroneously 5.
  21. The date appears on the airmail letter who Billy sents to him in episode 76.
  22. Character design is completely different from the first appearance in episodes 28 and 34, but can still recognize them.
  23. The date appears on the match card in episode 77, the death match day between Tiger Mask and King Tiger, and also behind Daimon wooden tomb in episodes 81 and 101.
  24. The date and the challenger appear on the match card in episode 77.
  25. Episode 84. It is Mother's Day, in Japan on the second Sunday of May, so in 1971 it was May 9th. In fact, the next episode 85 is set on May 17th, 1971.
  26. The date appears on Mr. X's agenda in episode 88.
  27. The month appears on the scoreboard in episode 92, and in a journal in episode 93.
  28. In episode 86, when Jekyll & Hyde was about to kill Tiger Mask, Ruriko was falled cold calling Naoto. Having heard it, the kids take her around in Tiger Mask dressing room, with Ken present.
  29. タイガーマスク登場人物 (働く人々)
  30. She is voiced in Japanese by Noriko Watanabe in episodes 102-103, and Reiko Katsura in episode 104.
  31. The date appears on Maiasa Shinbun in episode 104.
  32. Haruna says it in episode 8.
  33. In episode 15, set in January 2017, she is 19-year-old, one year younger than her friends Milk and Mint, then she was born in 1998.
  34. ぴーこ
  35. The day and the month are the same of her Japanese voice actress Suzuko Mimori, born June 28th, 1986.
  36. In fact, since he was in his gym, Tiger Mask met Arashi in private only in episodes 79 and 103.
  37. She appears only in a flashback in episode 7, when she was small.
  38. Haruna brings her mother's surname, so she must be the daughter of unmarried or divorced parents, and perhaps her father was one of the Chibikko House orphans.
  39. The first day of high school for his niece, which in Japan begins on April 1st, Naoto has just arrived at his store.
  40. It's from the manga, but omitted from the first anime.
  41. アニメ「タイガーマスクW」公式
  42. アニメ「タイガーマスクW」公式
  43. The match blackboard in episode 18 reports March and April 2017, while the calendar and match blackboard in episode 22 report May 2017.
  44. Being in 2017, now are four years.