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.
Other iconic characters from gaming and anime popped up in a Tokyo Olympics promotional clip shown during this year’s closing ceremony,
Such as Pac-Man.
Captain Tsubasa from the iconic manga and anime series by the same name.
And Doraemon, the robotic cat from the future.
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.
But will there be more characters?
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.
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.)
(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.)
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?
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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