Nintendo pulled out of Tokyo 2020 Olympic opening ceremony, report claims •

Nintendo pulled out of Tokyo 2020 Olympic opening ceremony, report claims •

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony featuring a video game music suite – including tracks from Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts and Sonic the Hedgehog – but one editor was notably missing from the programming. Where was Nintendo? According to leaked documents, it appears there were once plans for the publisher to get more involved in the opening ceremony, with Nintendo songs included in the soundtrack and various Mario-themed shenanigans. .

The news arrives via Japanese media Shukan bunshun, who obtained several documents for the opening ceremony running from April 2020 to July this year. According to these plans, the event would have featured performances inspired by the “world of 8-bit video games” including Super Mario and Space Invaders, overseen by Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto.

A dial plan dated October 4, 2020 featured a proposal that would have seen the return of the chain pipes from the closing ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics … with a sort of twist. One graphic shows Lady Gaga entering a pipe, only to reappear as actress Naomi Watanabe (wearing a blonde wig and a red cap).

A music list dated June 16, 2021, meanwhile, included five songs from Nintendo that never made it to the event. The main theme of The Legend of Zelda, the opening of Pokémon and the tracks of Super Mario Bros. were apparently to be played during the entry walk of the athletes.

Shukan Bunshun also reports that Miyamoto at one point attended meetings about the Opening Ceremony and that Nintendo was to oversee the show. In the end, all of the music was removed – and Nintendo wasn’t present at the final ceremony. Shukan Bunshun suggests that cutting and modifying the content of the previously staged ceremony may have influenced Nintendo.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came out of a pipe during the closing ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.

As explained by the Japan time [paywall], the original proposal sent to the IOC (and leaked to Shukan Bunshun) detailed plans for the opening ceremony to be a celebration of Japanese pop culture, featuring the Akira bike, “Neo Tokyo” riffs and dancers in uniforms to represent stations. The IOC would have liked the plans proposed by choreographer Mikiko Mizuno and her team, but thanks to Covid-19 and a series of public relations disasters, things started to fall apart. Due to the one-year delay caused by the pandemic, a new Creative Director called Hiroshi Sasaki was recruited in December 2020. Sasaki reportedly deleted much of the content and dismissed Mizuno, who then left the team along with several other members. . In the spring of 2021, Sasaki was the subject of a scandal for suggesting that Watanabe should be dressed as “Olympig”, as a result of which he resigned his post.

The problems didn’t end there: On July 20, musician Keigo Oyamada resigned his post as composer for the ceremony after an interview aired in which he bragged about abusing his disabled classmates. Then last week, a day before the ceremony, show director Kentaro Kobayashi resigned after a skit surfaced online in which he made a Holocaust joke. And all this after the head of the Tokyo Games Organizing Committee, Yoshiro Mori, resigned in February for making sexist comments.

The Games themselves weren’t very popular in Japan either. Many Japanese believe that hosting the Games in the midst of a pandemic is dangerous to public health and too expensive to organize – all for an event spectators cannot attend. A Asahi Shimbun Poll found that 55% of those polled did not want the Games to take place, and protesters gathered outside the stadium during the opening ceremony to demand their cancellation.

With this combination of scandals and controversy over whether the Games should even take place, perhaps it’s no surprise that Nintendo has dropped this one.

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