As most everyone knows, The Tokyo Summer Olympic Games had to be pushed back a year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, and while the games have been fit to bursting with controversy, there were apparently several plans for the event that included an extremely meta-reference to Akira. In a released document, it seems that the Olympics weren’t only going to make some big references to Akira, but also had many other anime references, as well as a reference to video game platformer Super Mario, in the Summer Games that take place in Japan this time around.
According to a 280-page proposal document, discovered by the publication of The Weekly Bunshun, the red bike from Akira was set to make its way to the venue, with the creator of the anime, Katsuhiro Otomo, drawing a scene that was the reverse of the one he had come up with for the original manga story. For those who might not be familiar, Akira takes place in Neo-Tokyo, a new version of the city that is looking to pick up the pieces after an apocalyptic event involving the titular character and their psychic abilities. In the legendary film, the city was looking to hold the 2020 Summer Olympics there, with a number of citizens demanding it be shut down, in a series of events that are eerily similar to what is happening today.
On top of this metaphysical reference, the Games were also planning to have performances of the theme songs from both Dragon Ball Super: Broly and Parasyte, with a digital version of Nintendo’s Mario also making an appearance. Of course, the plans had to change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with many companies bowing out and several plans having to be scrapped as a result.
This isn’t to say that anime and video games haven’t found their way into this year’s games, as franchises like Haikyu and Pokemon have each been included in unique ways. With the games currently taking place, it will be interesting to see if any other pop culture references are made from the world of anime and video games before the 2021 Summey Olympics come to a close.
What do you think of the original plans for the Tokyo Summer Olympics? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of the Olympics.