Video games and anime to dazzle at Olympic opening ceremony

Sports | Michael Shum 21 Jul 2021

There will be elements of video games and anime in the opening ceremony this Friday, which Japanese Emperor Naruhito will attend amid the pandemic.

As all details regarding the opening ceremony have been kept strictly under wraps, it is speculated that the performances will feature elements of pop culture, including anime and video games, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo News.

Over the weekend, music from a popular Japanese video game could be heard coming from the Japan National Stadium, which will host the opening ceremony.

Sources noted that final rehearsals were being conducted during that time, which is why the video game music was playing.

During the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Games in Brazil, a performance by Japan as the next Olympics host already featured famous comic characters such as Doraemon.

Then Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe also made an appearance dressed up as Mario from the hit video game series Super Mario Brothers.

Given the popularity of Japanese video games and anime around the world, it is highly expected that the ceremony will feature these elements of Japanese culture.

Members of the opening ceremony's organizing team also hint at a program geared towards a younger audience.

Show director Kentaro Kobayashi is known for using mime and magic in performances while the music director is the famous musician and DJ Tomoyuki Tanaka.

Cellist Seigen Tokuzawa composed music for the ceremony. He took part in the productions of hit animated films Your Name and Weathering With You.

Meanwhile, the Imperial Household Agency announced that Japanese Emperor Naruhito will attend the ceremony but Empress Masako will not take part as organizers look to reduce the number of attendees to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

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July 2021

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