Tokyo to Host the 2020 Summer Olympics…oh LAWDY

So. If you were listening in to our podcast on September 10th, you’ll notice, towards the end, we discussed Tokyo’s awarding of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. It took all of a few minutes before we (and the article) noticed that the anime Akira also had, as its backdrop, the 2020 Summer Olympics; hell, the big confrontation between Tetsuo and Kaneda takes place in a still-under construction Olympic Stadium. I, offhandedly, suggested that the opening ceremonies include a remake of that final battle.

That offhand suggestion got us thinking. In the closing ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 games and the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 games, the two host nations devolved into making fun of their own  quintessential Canadianness and Britishness. And that’s when the gears of the Nightmare Machine that is my imagination started to turn, and I got to thinking…

Just what would the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic opening ceremonies look like?

Okay, I’ll admit, they’d use more than enough traditional Japanese art and culture exhibition, with more than enough respect paid to the feudal era and the samurai lifestyle. And of course, they would use imagery from the atoic bombings at the tail end of WWII and the earthquake/tsunami/meltdown clusterfuck of the spring of 2011, more than likely to evoke a sense of determination and the desire to rebuild and persevere in the face of adversity. But it would be after that when the gears would shift so harshly that they threaten to blow out the transmission.

It would suddenly transition into something very bright and colorful…something involving the Super Sentai franchise. You are now imagining a massive choreographed routine where everyone is dressed as the various Rangers from the series. And your goddamn right Big One would be front and center. By this time they’d be into the 44-45th anniversary of the franchise, so the potential for how outrageous it could be is very high. Needless to say a dance-off between the various Rangers and the Kamen Riders would be inevitable, the original tearing ass around the stadium on a motorcycle before a climactic clash with Big One that ends with a huge burst of light (deliberately left inconclusive).

Obviously, another very Japanese genre is giant mech. However, I’m not naive enough to think that giant robots would be technologically feasible in less than a decade (but then again we as a species went to the moon roughly six decades after devising the ability to fly to begin with, so this is a realistic if not pessimistic estimation on my part). But just THINK of the parade of giant mecha on display! Massive set pieces designed to awe and wow an international crowd! A parade consisting of Eva 00, Gigantor, Wing Zero Big O, the Gurren Lagann…their pilots riding atop them like they’re hanging off the bough of a ship like Gilligan in the last episode of Gilligan’s Island.

From there would be a huge calvacade of characters from anime and manga going back over 50 years, a who’s who of Japanese popular culture. It immediately sounds like an implausibly awesome fanfiction. Ninjas from Naruto and pirates from One Piece in a danceoff? Alright! A battle of wills between Joe Yabuki and Kenshiro? Sure, why not? Magical girls casting wondrous “spells” for the delight of all? Of course (but only if girl!Ranma tries to mug for the cameras with the Sailor Senshi, much to the derision of the latter)!

The parade of nations would be escorted by one or more characters from any given anime, video game, or manga, and it would be completely at random just to keep things fair…though I imagine Greece and Japan, the first and last entrants respectively would get their choices.

And of coure, the time would come for the lighting of the torch. Now the entire thing revolves around whoever would have the honor of lighting it to cosplay with the flame in hand, but if it’s gone this far, I don’t see how implausible it would be. And since there would be lots of flight involved, the wire crews would be working overtie for this. The last three would be, in order, Son Goku, flaring up to Super Saiyan and even making the flame turn the same golden yellow glow for a brief momemtn. He’d hand it off to Satoshi, who would take off on the back of his Lizardon, a massive robotic puppet that would shoot off flames because of course it would. And finally, high above the stadium, he’d hand it off to Astro Boy. He’d fly off first, then fly over the stadium like a meteor, passing right over the cauldron, making the flame ignite in a very spectcular display.

This is a billion dollar idea, JOC. Get at me.

Ari Rockefeller

When he is not training Pokémon and being the very best, the Master of the Written Word churns out convention, video game, anime and movie reviews like clockwork. No one is more productive and dangerous with a pen and paper (or, in this case, a keyboard).

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