Tokyo Olympics Committee President Proposes Manga Parade at 2020 Games

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

Japan is gearing up for its turn hosting the Olympics in 2020. The country's hosting of the world's largest international sporting event has been under scrutiny from its announcement. From criticism over excessive spending, to debate over the design of the main stadium, to allegations that the original logo was plagiarized, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been plagued with controversy. Former prime minister of Japan and current president of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Yoshirō Mori recently appeared at an event to discuss the status of planning and explain his vision for the upcoming event.

In discussing plans for the opening and closing ceremonies, Mori said that people around the world do not necessarily know much about kabuki and sumo. He believes that the aspect of Japanese culture that people everywhere know best is anime and manga. Characters such as Doraemon, Hello Kitty, and Astro Boy are internationally popular and well-known. Therefore, Mori likes the idea of including a big manga parade in the ceremonies.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government also held a special projection mapping event on Monday to mark three years until the Olympics come to the metropolis. The official show included famous footage from Akira, including the Kaneda bike sequence. Katsuhiro Otomo famously held part of his Akira story in a fictional stadium built for the 2020 Olympics in Neo-Tokyo.

The Olympics' organizing committee unveiled Astro Boy, Sailor Moon, Shin-chan, Luffy (One Piece), Naruto, Jibanyan (Yōkai Watch), Goku (Dragon Ball Super), Cure Miracle and Cure Magical (Maho Girls Precure!) as characters that appear on official Olympic merchandise. The Olympic handover ceremony at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics saw Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wearing a costume of iconic Nintendo character Mario. Although Pokémon was left out, the handover also showed a video featuring many iconic characters from Japanese pop culture. The video featured Captain Tsubasa, Pac-Man, Doraemon, and Hello Kitty while showcasing many traditional Summer Olympic sports.

Shoko Nakagawa is an official member of the Mascot Selection Review Conference for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020. The committee is expected to make its final selection for the Olympics' mascot character next year.

Source: Jiji Press via Yaraon!, Kotaku

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