[Image via NHK]

As reported earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared at the 2016 Rio Olympics’ closing ceremony as Mario. But that wasn’t the only Japanese pop culture cameo.

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Other iconic characters from gaming and anime popped up in a Tokyo Olympics promotional clip shown during this year’s closing ceremony,

[Image via NHK]

Such as Pac-Man.

[Image via NHK]

Captain Tsubasa from the iconic manga and anime series by the same name.

[Image via NHK]

Hello Kitty.

[Image via NHK]

And Doraemon, the robotic cat from the future.

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Since Mario appeared in such a big way in the closing ceremony Tokyo Olympics teasers, I expect him to continue to be connected with 2020 Olympics.

[Image via NHK]

But will there be more characters?

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Pikachu was Japan’s World Cup mascot and certainly could also pop up in promotions related to the Tokyo Olympics. (If so, that might mean no Yokai Watch!)

Sonic would make sense, too.

[Image via NHK]

Captain Tsubasa was published in Weekly Jump, so it would make sense for other Jump sports manga, like Slam Dunk, to be roped in. I could also see non-sports manga and anime like Dragon Ball and One Piece doing the same. (Akira would be a hilarious in-joke, but let’s not hold our breath.)

[Image via NHK]

(Shojo anime and manga Sailor Moon would also be a terrific addition, and seeing how many fans it has around the world, a smart one.)

[Image via NHK]

But even if they keep it to only the characters they have, this must be a first, no? Are there other examples of video game and anime characters appearing in official Olympic ceremonies?

[Image via NHK]

No doubt we’ll get a heavy dose of traditional culture, but this seems like a smart way to not only promote the Tokyo Olympics to the world, but also its games, cartoons, and comics.

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