Although the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is 3 years away, netizens can’t seem to stop talking about it.
Last week, the Olympic Channel introduced the most epic team of anime ambassadors for the upcoming Olympics via a Facebook video, which has been viewed over 2 million times. According to the organisers, the characters were chosen to gain the attention of younger Olympics fans and as a way forJapan to promote its influence on modern culture.
From Sailor Moon to Crayon Shin-Chan, here are the 8 anime characters that are included in the ambassador line-up for the Olympics:
1. Sailor Moon
“Sailor Moon” is a widely popular shojo manga (literal translate as “young women comics”) that focuses on a not-so-ordinary high school girl named Usagi Tsukino, who can transform into Sailor Moon using a magical item called the “Legendary Silver Crystal”. She is the leader of Sailor Soldiers (or Sailor Guardians in later editions) and the group’s quest is to protect the Solar System from the forces of evil.
The manga extends an array of spin-offs including video games, films, anime, and accessories.
2. Astro Boy
Known in Japan as “Mighty Atom”, “Astro Boy” is a Japanese manga series created and illustrated by Osamu Tezuka from the early 50s to the late 60s. The plot is set in a futuristic world where robots co-exist with humans and it revolves around Doctor Tenma’s powerful android named Astro Boy, who was created to replace his deceased son, Tobio.
In 1963, “Astro Boy” was adapted into a television series and it became the first domestically produced animated program on Japanese television.
3. Crayon Shin-Chan
Written and illustrated by Yoshito Usui, “Crayon Shin-Chan” stars 5-year-old Shinnosuke “Shin-chan” Nohara, a cute and cheeky boy who seems to do everything he can to annoy his parents, teachers, and friends. He is known for his thick black eyebrows and weird sense of humour.
The anime adaptation of the manga began airing on TV Asahi in 1992 and is still ongoing. The beloved show has now been dubbed into 30 different languages.
Eiichiro Oda’s “One Piece” is the #1 best-selling manga in the world, so it’s not hard to see why Luffy is selected as one of the ambassadors for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Monkey D. Luffy, or otherwise known as “Straw Hat Luffy”, is the lead character of the manga and is the founder of the Straw Hat Pirates. The story centres on his journey to become the Pirate King as he believes that it can give him the “most freedom in the world”. He is also known as one of the biggest troublemakers in the World Government’s list.
Naruto Uzumaki is the main protagonist of Masashi Kishimoto’s manga, “Naruto”. Based on one-shot manga by Kishimoto, the series tells the story of Naruto, an adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition and dreams to become the Hokage, the ninja in his village who is acknowledged as the leader and the strongest of all. The original anime series ended in December 2009 while the sequel, “Naruto: Shippuden”, began airing in January 2014.
According to Wikipedia, the manga has sold over 220 million copies worldwide as of October 2015.
As the lovable mascot of “Yo-kai Watch”, Jibanyan is a red, cat-like yo-kai (supernatural being) of the Charming tribe. Before his death, Jibanyan was a normal cat named Rudy whose human is a young girl named Amy. He likes Chocobars and his favourite band is Next HarMEOWny.
Created and developed by Level-5, “Yo-kai Watch” is a series of role-playing games and a mixed-media franchise. It follows Nate, a boy who is able to identify and see various different Yo-kai that are haunting people and causing mischief.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know who spiky-haired Son Goku of “Dragon Ball” is.
Born Kakarot, Goku is a male Saiyan (an endangered race of extraterrestrials) from Akira Toriyama’s best-selling manga. He is the adoptive grandson of Grandpa Gohan who was initially sent to Earth as an infant with the mission to destroy it. However, he lost all his memory as a Saiyan after hitting his head, causing him to later become Earth’s greatest defender, as well as the informal leader of the Z Fighters (aka Dragon Team). He can also transform into a great ape.
8. Cure Miracle and Cure Magical
Featured in “Maho Girls PreCure!” (literally translates as “Witch Pretty Cure”), Cure Miracle and Cure Magical are designed by Emiko Miyamoto. The 2016 Japanese anime series follows 13-year-old duo Mirai Asahina (Cure Miracle) and Liko Izayoi (Cure Magical) and their adventures as legendary magicians known as the Pretty Cures to fight dark magicians.
“Pretty Cure” is a magical girl anime meta-series created by Izumi Todo. Each series revolves around a group of magical girls who battle against evil forces.
What do y’all think about the ambassadors? Do you guys think that these characters should be in the line-up? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!