The Olympics are always so culturally rich because we get to experience the culture where they are celebrated in. This year, they are being held in Tokyo, Japan, the base of anime and manga, and the creators of many well-known videogames. They had taken the chance to make their most famous creations shine during the activities of the Olympics, playing music of anime series and OSTs of videogames.
From the start, during the opening ceremony, the playlist for the welcoming march of the athletes was composed of videogames songs such as:
- “Victory Fanfare” and “Main Theme” from Final Fantasy
- “Proof of a Hero” from Monster Hunter
- “Olympus Coliseum” and “Hero’s Fanfare” from Kingdom Hearts
- “Star Light Zone” from Sonic the Hedgehog
- “Song of the Ancients” from NieR
Many fans went wild when hearing these tunes while the countries marched down the stadium.
During the volleyball game the theme song of the volleyball anime Haikyuu! was played.
During the competition of archery, the Attack on Titan anime theme was heard too.
The Mexican gymnast Alexa Moreno used a song of the movie Demon Slayer: Mugen Train to perform her routine.
The promotions are turning the athletes in Japanese animations and cartoons and many manga artists are making art inspired by the Olympics.
Several people are not happy with this and they call it a kind of “brainwash” to make everyone forget the fact that the people of Japan didn’t want the Olympics to go forward due to the pandemic. There are many people protesting, be it because of the pandemic or because of the amount of racism that has been shown. People are concerned because the government hasn’t prioritized vaccination and they want to keep the COVID-19 cases in control.
In my opinion, this is a way to boost athletes’ confidence, maybe to lure people to watch the Olympics because there is no audience in the stadium. For me, it’s also a way to showcase their specialty. I am not saying Japan is merely what is shown in anime, because everyone knows the hardships the people of Japan have lived during history, but is a moment to show that anime and videogames are not only for kids, and that there are grown-ups who enjoy Japanese animations. It is also a moment to celebrate the Japanese culture and the Olympics are doing just that, as videogames and anime are a huge part of Japanese culture. I don’t think playing an anime intro or song is going to distract the people from what is truly happening, it’s just a moment to feel happy that the song of your favorite anime is being played in the Olympics.
A group of Japanese artists had taken the chance to turn the participating countries as anime samurai and I think that’s amazing! These artists are getting the exposure and recognition they deserve. They even wrote a short description to the characters. You can find them here.
Anime fans are excited to see which other songs are going to be played during the games. They expect to hear some Kuroko No Basket songs for Basketball, Free! Songs for swimming, and many more, as there’s a vast range of sports anime to choose from.
What do you wish to hear or see during the Olympics?