THE TIGER MASK
This past January, SciFi Japan profiled Shochiku’s upcoming superhero movie, THE TIGER MASK (タイガーマスク, Taiga Masuku). After a long stretch with little activity to report, the film has finally began public screenings: the International Premiere was held at the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival in July, the North American Premiere will take place August 4, 2013 at the Fantasia International Film Festival, and the Japanese theatrical release is scheduled for November 2013.
THE TIGER MASK is based on writer Ikki Kajiwara and artist Naoki Tsuji’s popular manga about a masked wrestler superhero, originally serialized from 1968-1971. Toei Co., Ltd. also produced a TIGER MASK anime series, which ran for 105 episodes between 1969-1971. The show was a hit, with a peak rating of 31.9%. The sequel, TIGER MASK II (タイガーマスク二世, Taigaa Masuku Nisei), aired in 1981-1982.
The new live action film updates the character with an origin story and a “Marvel superhero-inspired” costume intended to appeal to a new generation of moviegoers, unfamiliar with the original manga or anime. THE TIGER MASK is also the feature film debut of director Ken Ochai. A graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, he has made more than 30 short films, commercials, and music videos including HALF KENNETH (2009) which won the Jury Prize from the Directors Guild of America.
The movie stars Eiji Wentz (KITARO, KITARO AND THE MILLENNIUM CURSE, MASKED RIDER: THE FIRST, NODAME CANTABILE: THE MOVIE I, NODAME CANTABILE: THE MOVIE II), Sho Aikawa (ZEBRAMAN, ZEBRAMAN 2: ATTACK ON ZEBRA CITY, BRASS KNUCKLE BOYS, HELTER SKELTER) and Natsuna (DAIMAJIN KANON, GANTZ, GANTZ: PERFECT ANSWER).
World Premiere: November 1, 2012 (American Film Market)
International Premiere: July 20, 2013 (Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival)
North American Premiere: August 4, 2013 (Fantasia International Film Festival)
Japanese Theatrical Release: November 2013
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Naoto Date: Eiji Wentz
Mister X: Sho Aikawa
Ruriko Wakatsuki: Natsuna
Director: Ken Ochiai
Screenplay: Hidehiro Ito, Itaru Era, Ken Ochiai, Micael. W Schock
Original Story: Ikki Kajiwara (story), Naoki Tsuji (art)
Producers: Toshiaki Nakazawa, Hidehiro Ito, Yoshihiro Yamamoto
Cinematographer: Chris Freilich
Production: “Tiger Mask” Film Partners (Sedic International, Media Works, Dentsu, Kodansha, TV Asahi, Excellent Films)
Production Company: Excellent Films
Distributor: Ark Entertainment, Inc., Shochiku
International Sales: Shochiku, Sedic International
© 2013 “Tiger Mask” Film Partners
For more information on THE TIGER MASK, please see the previous coverage here on SciFi Japan: