Written by: Allysa Malicdem
Published on: August 4, 2021 at 7:31 PM PHT (GMT+8)
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics kicked off with its opening ceremony last July 23, welcoming all participating countries and athletes. Alongside the grandeur, the games became more festive with the music accompanying each sporting event. Various themes from anime series and video games filled the sports arenas in accordance with the sporting event.
The parade of athletes during the opening ceremony was graced by soundtracks from video games such as Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Monster Hunter and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Here is a list of some anime themes played and used during the various sporting events:
1. ARCHERY: Attack on Titan’s 'Guren no Yumiya' by Linked Horizon
Shingeki no Kyojin’s first opening theme was played during the archery competition between Indonesia and the United States. The said soundtrack literally translates to “Crimson Bow and Arrow”, and thus has an evident vibe fitting for the event. This can also be referenced to a scene in the installment’s second season (EP 2 “I’m Home”) where one of the Scouts, Sasha Blouse, encounters and shoots a titan on her hometown. Sasha made use of a bow and arrow to save a girl chased by a titan. Talk about accuracy!
2. BASKETBALL: Slam Dunk’s 'Kimi ga Suki da to Sakebitai' by Japanese rock band BAAD
The opening theme of the hit basketball anime series Slam Dunk graced the court during the women’s 3x3 basketball tournament. That hit a pang of nostalgia and excitement!
3. BOXING: Demon Slayer’s 'Gurenge' by LiSA
Kimetsu no Yaiba’s much popular opening theme accompanied the boxing match between Japan and Tunisia.
4. EQUESTRIAN: Naruto Shippuden’s 'Blue Bird' by Japanese pop rock band Ikimonogakari
Considered one of the most popular anime songs of all time, Naruto Shippuden’s third opening theme 'Blue Bird' was played during the equestrian match. The elegant guitar instrumental matched the event.
5. GYMNASTICS: Demon Slayer’s 'Demon Slaying Corps'; Tokyo Revengers’ 'Cry Baby' by Japanese pop band Official HIGE DANdism
During the women’s qualifiers, Mexican gymnast Alexa Moreno surprised the crowd with her floor routine accompaniment of the track 'Demon Slaying Corps' from Kimetsu no Yaiba. Some fans also claimed and heard the opening theme of Tokyo Revengers during the men’s qualifying round.
6. JUDO: Ghost in the Shell’s 'Making of a Cyborg' by Japanese composer and arranger Kenji Kawai
The soundtrack was played during the under 48-kg women’s judo finals between Japan’s Funa Tonaki and Kosovo’s Distria Krasniqi. The folkloric vibe of the song which used an ancient form of Japanese language mixed with Bulgarian harmony mimics the nature of judo as an art.
7. VOLLEYBALL: Haikyuu’s 'Imagination' by Japanese rock band SPYAIR
The first opening theme of the volleyball anime series Haikyuu emulated the fierce atmosphere of the game during the rally between Japan and Venezuela. Another soundtrack, 'Phoenix' by Japanese rock band Burnout Syndromes, was also heard during the event.
The Tokyo Olympics did exert an extra effort in spicing up the games with background music that definitely caught on the atmosphere of every sporting event. Anime fans and video game enthusiasts were pumped, as much as the athletes were, to have heard iconic soundtracks from some of the favorites. The games sure know how to heighten the feels of everyone!
Sources: Various sources | Twitter