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Tiger Mask W
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Annotated Anime: Tiger Mask W episodes 20-22

12:00 PM on 03.12.2017 // Soul Tsukino

We go to Hell and then a hot spring!

We are back as Tiger Mask W rolls on. The second season has been all over the place and doesn't seem to have much direction. Even though the plot advances in baby steps, we still get some storyline development. Naoto and Ruriko have an awkward budding relationship going, Takuma is being punished for his failures, and Haruna has a few secrets of her own. Things are moving slowly, be we will get there eventually. Let's see what the next three episodes will bring us.

Episode 20

 We are back to Hell in the Hole as the GWM willfully has their wrestlers kill each other to the delight of a bunch of rich people in a posh house. We pick up where we left off as Takuma (Tiger The Dark without his gear) and Kevin Anderson have teamed up against the veterans of Odin and Billy The Kidman.

We are interrupted with more bullcrap concerning Naoto and Ruriko. Naoto visited Fuji in the hospital and Fuji tells Naito that not everyone in the hospital was thrilled with her as a nurse. Turns out her father is the hospital's director and while she wanted to help people, she is so well off she doesn't need to work at all. Naoto doesn't take it well for some reason as the thought of her being so well off makes him feel bad. Yeah, I don't entirely get it either.

Anyway back to the real plot here as the four guys are squared off. Things are at a standstill when Red Death Mask shows up. He makes an interesting offer that whoever of the four to turn on their friend and join him would be spared and get te table while the other three would not. Odin freaks out and asks to join the masked man (whispering to Billy to trust him) and that... doesn't go well.

Red Death Mask doesn't last much longer thanks to the other three, but neither does Billy the Kidman.  They are rewarded with bottled water and Protein powder to rest up for the final push that leads them to the house with all the rich people in it and The Gatekeeper, a 7-foot tall monster named Blackout. They retrieve the key from him, they get to escape the mountain.

They learned very quickly that Blackout isn't entirely what he seems. Takuma and Billy try their best but Blackout just tosses them around like nothing. Odin comes back and he actually does some damage with part of the table Red Death Mask had and actually gets the key. Blackout then has him. Odin fights back with the prize he won earlier, a lighter and...

Blackout goes full Terminator! He crashes into the house and immediately goes after EVERYONE! Serves them right. Odin signals for Takuma and Billy to follow him, but not before Takuma watches big mysterious tiger guy stop Blackout with a suplex.

We finish things off with Takuma and Billy on a plane heading for Madison Square Garden (how specific) and we see and injured Odin return to his grain fields and his Catherine.

This was a great way to conclude this story! I really enjoyed it. And while the Odin storyline was a little last minute, seeing the payoff was nice and I teared up a bit for the poor guy. It played out well and dare I say it was the best payoff to a story yet in the series. I'm not sure if it's the end for all the other GWM guys involved, but if it is, at least it ended well.

Episode 21

After last week's episode where we had some storyline progression and an ending to "Hell in the Hole," I think things are off the rails again, especially bad since we are closing in on the end of the second season.

We start out with a comparison to what the two kitties are up to. Tiger Mask W is in the main event of a New Japan show teaming with Tanahashi against Okada and Yoshi-Hashi. Tiger and Tanahashi win to the roar of the crowd. Meanwhile elsewhere Tiger The Dark and Kevin Anderson are in an opening match against the Metal Brothers.

Wow, do those guys looks familiar! Dark and Kevin win to an anemic response and apathetic crowd. However, the real info to be gathered here is that the mysterious new Tiger guy is named "The Third" and he is the GWM World Champion. He wrestles in the main event again Bigfoot.

Uninspired name aside, he looks like a discolored Kinnikuman villain. I can tell right now that NJPW will dressed some gaijin up in that getup and have him wrestle Kota Ibushi in the next live action tiger Mask W match. Mr. X then notifies Tiger the Dark and Kevin they will be going to Japan for the next tour and after Mr. X tells Miss X to make sure the Japanese takeover actually happens this time, The Third says he's going to Japan too.

Once at the Max Dome, Dark accidently gets tagged in the face by Kevin during a sparring session and goes to see the doctor. The doc tells him to take off his mask so he can treat Takuma, and when he does Ruriko walks in and recognizes him as "The pudding guy" from when he visited Fujii. She swears not to spill the beans on Tiger the Dark's identity.

Meanwhile, Haruna has a meeting with Miss X. X wants a full participation in the next tour, and in a funny bit Haruna jokes about it being for herself. Haruna asks for a raise for tiger and Miss X just gives it to her. Yeah, That's not how it works!

We get more whining from Naoto about Ruriko before we get to the night's matches when Tiger the Dark is facing Mike Rodriguez. Miss X tells Kevin Anderson that Tiger the Dark needs to connect with the fans more or else he won't get any higher than where he is. That never stops Roman Reigns! *ba dum pish*. Takuma says the hell with that, if he beats Tiger Mask the fans will just follow him and that is that. Tiger Mask, on the other hand, is facing El Caracas, a GWM Luchador that was one of the guys the GWM snatched from The mother of Saboten from a few episodes back. Tiger wins the match, but just barely and with a Chicken Wing submission oddly.

After the match tiger confronts Caracas in the locker room and tells him he needs to go back to Mexico and his home wrestling company. This gathers a crowd in the hallway, including Tiger the Dark who tells him off by saying the strong takes all and the weak lose. Tiger Mask comes back with that the man hiding under that tiger mask couldn't beat him.

You kinda asked for that one Naoto. They of course fight, but it is broken up. We end with Miss X saying that this will help hype up their match in the next tour.

Ugh. this one was all over the place with all kinds of storylines. It tried to establish way too much in a single episode and was like a hyperactive ferret that someone gave a ring of cars keys to. And worse of all is, even with all that, we still don't know half of what is going on. The one thing this episode did accomplish as if we didn't already figure out, is that Naoto is kind of a little bitch. He mopes and complains because his kinda girlfriend is way richer than he is, and then gets all preachy to a guy he has never even met. Considering Caracas's response, he is probably getting paid a lot more money than he would from that insane woman and he probably needs to money for a damn good reason. I'm going to give this stuff some time to see it play out since we've still got some episodes left to make things clearer.

 

Episode 22

This episode shows what seems to be the big trade off that shows itself in this series. We have a single clear story to be told. It is a nice story that plays itself out from beginning to end. The trade off? It's a filler episode that has jack all to do with the overall plot. It is a nice story don't get me wrong, but it is completely forgettable in the long run.

This episode centers around Fukuwara Mask. The big guy is talking with the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce for a little town he likes to visit during his tours, but the town has fallen on hard times with all the shops closing and people leaving. So he comes up with the idea of holding a wrestling event called "The Fukuwara Wrestling Mishmash" and put up all kinds of posters for it.

Too bad he hasn't actually asked anyone on those posters to be on the show.

He basically cons Haruna by saying he knows about her being Spring Tiger and sweetens the deal with the fans voting for the MVP of the night getting 10 Million. So both Tiger Mask and Spring Tiger will be there. He then begs Yuji Nagata into getting some NJPW guys to go by promising to appear on the next tour for them. Later we see the few other wrestlers he has gathered along with them like The Candy Pair and Wakamatsu, along with a few other nameless shlubs. The guys hauling the ring are stuck in traffic, so Yuji calls up and has the IWGP ring rushed over instead. And you won't believe who is actually driving the truck!

Tetsuya Naito and Evil?!? They have a weird thing with Naito as he shows up in the most random of times in this series, but this takes the cake. He is asked to be o the show, but he will only do so if he is in the main event. No problems there!

We see some of the matches from the show. The Candy Pair (with Milk returning from her appendicitis from a few episodes back), take on Spring Tiger and some woman named Viper. Yuji Nagata and Wakamatsu taking on two unknown guys, and the main event of Tiger Mask and Fukuwara Mask taking on Naito and Evil. The match literally goes all over the place, but the good guys win out in the end.

We wrap up with Haruna in a hot spring with the Candy Pair as she complains about Fukuwara winning the MVP of the night and the money by stuffing the ballot. Mint actually comes onto Haruna by saying she has a great body and should be a wrestler and little Haruna takes that with as much embarrassment that a comment like that would. Between that and feeling her up before Spring Tiger's debut, I'd say Mint has a thing for Haruna.

Sure, this episode is pure filler. This won't lead to anything down the road. But damn if this was a fun little episode. This beat the Saboten luchador episode by a mile as it doesn't get too out there and keeps things believable. It's not trying to be something it's not. So while this is unimportant and filler, it is a nice episode to watch.

The shows were enjoyable, but it showed the big weakness of the show. you either have clear stories being told, but completely useless, or you have muddled stuff where they cram in as much plot as they can into 20 something minutes. There really doesn't seem to be an end goal this season so we will have to see where all the meandering goes.

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Soul Tsukino, Contributor
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Soul Tsukino lives in the state of Maine. When not enveloping himself in a new fiction story he also comments on happenings in the animation and Otaku fan scene. A creative writer since he was yo... more   |   staff directory





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