Thursday, May 8, 2008

Astro and Pikachu at the Olympic Games

These two anime icons just couldn't let Mario and Sonic have all the fun.

As part of Tokyo's bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Astro Boy and Nintendo's famous Pokemon Pikachu have joined forces to promote the TOKYO 2016 movement and encourage youth sports. The above photo depicts TOKYO 2016 president Shintaro Ishihara along with the two spokes-characters at the Tokyo International Anime Fair.

Pretty cool to see anime being used to promote such a big and important undertaking. Read all about how "Japanese Anime Heroes Wield their Superpowers for the Olympic Movement" at the TOKYO 2016 Applicant City website or click the link below to read it here.

Japanese Anime Heroes Wield their Superpowers for the Olympic Movement

Tokyo, 31 March 2008 - World-famous anime stars Astroboy and Pikachu stopped by to visit the promotional booth set up by TOKYO 2016, Japan's Bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, during the Tokyo International Anime Fair, the world’s largest anime exhibition, on 27-30 March.

Held at Tokyo Big Sight, which is the TOKYO 2016-proposed venue for fencing, handball and taekwondo, the Tokyo International Anime Fair welcomed 126,622 visitors and 289 companies during its four-day program.

TOKYO 2016 collaborated with anime companies during the fair to enlist their beloved anime icons in the effort to raise awareness of the Olympic movement and interest in sport among the youth. Astroboy, the superhero android of the popular anime series by the same name, and mice-like lightening-wielding Pikachu of the Pokémon (pocket monster) series, are animated heroes for countless millions of young people throughout the world. They are two of the best-known faces of anime, one of the most widely appreciated Japanese art forms in the world.

TOKYO 2016 decided to harness the power of anime because it is a centrepiece of Japanese youth culture. In turn, the nation’s youth are central to the Bid and its goals of providing a model sports culture for Japanese youth and a new legacy of sport for future generations. The Games in Tokyo would also serve as a springboard to vault the world deeper into the international sport and Olympic movements.

TOKYO 2016 CEO and Chairman Dr Ichiro Kono commented: ‘TOKYO 2016 is honoured to have been able to appear at this festival with the anime stars, who are treasured national icons beloved by youth worldwide. TOKYO 2016 aims to create an environment where the Olympic family and indeed the entire world would experience the excitement and entertainment of the Olympic Games framed by Japan’s distinctive culture. We will continue to engage Japan’s youth role models in an effort to inspire more and more young people, who are at the heart of our Bid, to participate in the international sport and Olympic movements, and help us bring the Games to Japan’.