Tokyo 2020 Olympic Opening Ceremony featured videogame music, including songs from Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. However, one publisher was missing. Nintendo, where are you? Leaked documents reveal that Nintendo was once planning to get more involved in the ceremony’s opening. The soundtrack would have included Nintendo songs, as well as other Mario-related shenanigans.
Shukan Bunshun in Japan broke the news. They have obtained documents for opening ceremonies spanning from April 2020 through July 2019. These plans state that the event will feature performances inspired from the 8-bit world video games, including Super Mario, Space Invaders and Mario Kart. The opening ceremony would be overseen by Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s legendary Nintendo executive.
A composition plan that was dated October 4, 2020 included a proposal for the return of warp pipes to Rio de Janeiro Olympics’ closing ceremony. It had a slight twist. The graphic below shows Lady Gaga stepping into a pipe and then resurfacing as Naomi Watanabe, a comedian wearing a red cap and blonde hair.
The music list, which was dated 16 June 2021, contained five Nintendo tracks that were never played at the event. During the athlete’s entrance march, it was hoped that the main theme of The Legend of Zelda and the opening of Pokemon would be performed.
Shukan Bunshun reports also that Miyamoto attended one of the meetings regarding the opening ceremony and was supposed to oversee the performance. All the music was taken out, and Nintendo did not attend the closing ceremony. Shukan Bunshun believes that Nintendo might have been influenced by the changing and cutting of content from previously-arranged ceremonies.
According to Japan Times [paywall], the IOC received a proposal that included plans to celebrate Japanese pop culture. It was leaked to Shukan Bunshun and featured riffs from “Neo Tokyo” as well as Akira bikes. There were also dancers dressed in costumes to represent various train stations. According to reports, the IOC liked Mikiko Mizuno’s plans, along with her team of choreographers. However, Covid-19, a string of PR failures and other problems caused things to unravel. Hiroshi Sakaki, the new creative director was appointed in December 2020 due to the one-year delay caused by pandemic. Sasaki, according to reports cut much of content and left Mizuno out. After suggesting Watanabe be dressed up as an “Olympig”, Sasaki became the center of scandal in Spring 2021. He subsequently resigned.
After a controversial interview in which Keigo Oyamada boasted of abusing students with disabilities, the problems did not end there. On 20 July, Keigo Oyamada was forced to resign as composer. After a skit that he joked about the Holocaust was posted online, Kentaro Kobayashi, show director, quit last week. All this happened after Yoshiro, the Tokyo Games’ organising committee head, quit in February over sexist remarks.
Japan has not been a fan of the Games. Japanese citizens feel the Games being held during a pandemic is risky for their health and prohibitively expensive. A poll by Asahi Shimbun found 55 percent opposed to the Games’ continuation. Protestors also gathered at the venue during the ceremony in protest of their cancellation.
It’s not surprising that Nintendo decided to eschew this controversy and scandal surrounding the Games.
Publiated at Wed. 28 July 2021, 16:13.47 +0000