Things are really different at this year’s Olympics because of COVID, but it appears the Tokyo Olympics might have been even more different if the pandemic hadn’t begun. And by that I mean different in a good way and very exciting for otaku.
Anime News Network reports that Japan’s Weekly Bunshun tabloid got ahold of early proposals for the opening ceremony. The red motorcycle from AKIRA was supposed to come shooting out, and original creator Katsuhiro Otomo was going to be involved. During the segment when nations are introduced, CG characters of Super Mario and other beloved people from Japanese franchises were supposed to be there.
Besides the issues with COVID, it seems some movement behind-the-scenes also led to the end of these ideas. Mikiko Mizuno left her job as the organizing head for the ceremony, and her replacement resigned soon after following a scandal for his idea to make comedian Naomi Watanabe an “Olympig” for the Games. All these changes threw a wrench into the works, and COVID only made things more complicated.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.