9 Anime Idols Amping Up Japan’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics
The 2020 Olympics in Japan are getting a nerdy revamp with nine iconic anime characters serving as ambassadors for the global event. Many beloved faces will be appearing on the Olympics merchandise, some of which is already on sale.
But which anime characters are so well-loved that they’ve received this prestigious opportunity? Find out below (and also check out the merchandise where they appear at the end!)
1. Astro Boy
Astro Boy is loved for his strong sense of justice, extreme intelligence, innocence, and 100k horspower strength. Of course, his laser eyes, hip-mounted machine guns, and super-strength hearing add to his awesomeness. He’s been an anime icon since 1952, and so definitely deserves a spot as an ambassador for the 2020 Olympics!
A brash and hot-blooded ninja who refuses to go back on his word–for any reason. Naruto believes that any obstacle can be overcome with enough hard work and determination.
Like many Olympians, Naruto believes any obstacle can be overcome with enough hard work and determination, which makes him a perfect ambassador for Tokyo 2020. His hot blood and refusal to go back on his word make him a fan favorite (plus his awesome ninja powers!)
3. Monkey D. Luffy – One Piece
Luffy is characterized by an insatiable desire to become the King of Pirates (which is funny, because he can’t swim). His fight to the top and to make his dreams come true, even while overcoming his limitations—rubber band arms—make him a respectable Olympic ambassador.
4. Jibanyan – Yo-Kai Watch
Jibanyan will stop at nothing to defend his master. We all suspect this strong desire is what pushed him to carry on, even after death. His deathless perseverance (and body!) burn bright like the flame of the iconic torch, earning him a spot among the Tokyo 2020 ambassadors.
5. Goku – DragonBall Z
Goku’s feats of strength and courage definitely represent the spirit of the Olympics. As the first in a millennium to reach his supreme, Super Saiyan state, Goku leads anime fans everywhere toward real-world feats of physical prowess at Tokyo 2020.
6 & 7. Pretty Cure (PreCure) – Asahina Mirai and Izayoi Riko
With a thread of friendship and assistance running through the (many arcs) of the Pretty Cure series, Asahina Mirai and Izayoi Riko bring magic and kindness to the list of Olympic ambassadors. These two magical girls help bring a little extra light to the sometimes grueling gauntlet that is the Olympic arena.
8. Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon is among the most iconic anime figures of all time, easily recognized by even non-anime fans. This is in no small part to the $1.5 billion worth of merchandise that was sold in only the first three years—and that was in the ‘90s!
Now, hardcore Sailor Moon fans can flesh out their collection even further with merchandise from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where Sailor Moon is an ambassador. She’ll be appearing on hats, fans, t-shirts, lunch boxes, and more.
9. Shinnosuke “Shin” Nohara – Crayon Shin Chan
Shin Chan is a strange and comedic anime that became more widely known in the U.S. after it began appearing on late-night Adult Swim. Although not all of his jokes translate well to English, the overall funny air of the show stuck well in many countries.
As an ambassador for Tokyo 2020, Shin reminds us to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes, even when the stakes are high.
Now, to see them all together!
Check out some of the merchandise for sale on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics website—items that are sure to become collectible in years to come.