Japan is home to some of the world’s most dynamic and vibrant cultures, as seen by the exhibits during the current 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Land of the Rising Sun is also recognized for being the birthplace of anime and manga. As nine famous anime characters as the ambassadors for the Olympics, it was natural for anime to be an essential part of the Olympics. Here are some of our favorite anime references at the Olympics.
Miltiadis Tentoglou went up to the center of the platform. He then lowered his hand to the ground as the rest of his body stayed upright when he was presented at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
While some may see Tentoglou’s stance as him being grateful for the chance to compete in the Olympics, any One Piece fan will recognize it as Luffy’s ‘gear second’ in the anime. It’s a strength and speed-boosting ability. Well, it was no wonder that he went on to win gold. And it was one of the best anime references in the event.
— DRareguy (@DRareguy) July 26, 2021
Payton Ottherdal imitated Franky, a cyborg in Luffy’s pirate group from the anime. As he neared the final match in the shot put on August 5, Ottherdal, who is known for his powerful hitting, posed like Franky. He was even overheard shouting Franky’s catchphrase “SUPEEEERR!”.
Demon Slayer, Haikyu!!, Slam Dunk and Ghost in the Shell music were heard throughout archery, women’s basketball, and men’s volleyball bouts. According to fans, the organizers also played an acoustic version of Naruto Shippuden’s third opening song Blue Bird at a horse-riding event.
The organizers also played Attack On Titan’s first season theme song, Guren no Yumiya, at an archery tournament on July 24. It is one of the highest-rated anime of all time.
Team Netherlands’ windsurfer Kiran Badloe is channeling Avatar Aang in Tokyo 💨
— ESPN (@espn) July 24, 2021
Meanwhile, a Mexican synchronized swimming duet also paid tribute to the series by sporting swimsuits featuring Avatar. The elements of water, earth, fire, and air were present on the backs of their costumes, which are essential to the story.
Another athlete, Massimo Stano of Italy, earned the gold medal in the 20km race walk at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He celebrated with Luffy’s Gear 3 pose, another one of the anime references, which he revealed was for his daughter. However, That didn’t stop the One Piece crew from expressing their gratitude as well.