'Dragon Quest' at Olympics opening ceremony? Game theme, 'Evangelion'-connected song heard coming from stadium

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Almost as soon as Tokyo was announced as the host city of the 2020 Olympics, there’s been speculation about what kind of music will be played at the opening ceremony. Guesses for the musical accompaniment have ranged from songs by idol groups and boy bands all the way to bona fide J-pop royalty like Hikaru Utada and Namie Amuro, and now some signs are pointing to the possibility songs that will be very familiar to video game and anime fans.

The opening ceremony will be held at the National Stadium, and with the start of the Games not far off, rehearsals are already being held. Since  the stadium is an open-topped structure located in downtown Tokyo, some passersby have been able to pick out familiar melodies leaking from the building, as with the video here where the unmistakable main theme of role-playing video game series "Dragon Quest" can be heard.

Meanwhile, some other social media users have posted about hearing “Tsubasa wo Kudasai” while walking past the stadium during rehearsals. Originally written in 1970, “Tsubasa wo Kudasai” (which translates to “Please Give Me Wings”) has become one of Japan’s most enduring folk songs, but a cover of it, sung by voice actress Megumi Hayashibara, is heard during a pivotal moment of 2009’s "Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance" movie, forming a solid connection between the song and the anime franchise in the minds of many otaku.

That said, “Tsubasa wo Kudasai” has nearly 40 years’ worth of non-anime context as an uplifting song that’s easy for a crowd to sing along to, so it wouldn’t be an unusual selection for a non-anime event like the Olympics. The "Dragon Quest" theme, though, is a video game anthem through and through. Still, it’s a dramatic and rousing tune, and the Tokyo Olympics organizers have already shown a willingness to lean into the international popularity of Japanese pop culture, most dramatically when then-prime minister Shinzo Abe cosplayed as Super Mario at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Olympics. But on the other hand, "Dragon Quest" composer Koichi Sugiyama has arguably become as known overseas for his controversial political views as his music, which could make the piece a risky choice for an event that will draw global viewership.

There’s also the possibility that neither the "Dragon Quest" theme nor “Tsubasa wo Kudasai” will be part of the opening ceremony, and are simply being used for acoustics checks, seeing as how they’re both songs that the average Japanese person has heard many, many times and so has a pretty good mental image of how they’re supposed to sound. With no official announcement of the program yet made, it looks like we’ll have to wait until the ceremony actually takes place on July 23 to find out what music will be played, and also whether or not "Sailor Moon" will have anything more to say to the competing athletes.

Source: JinTwitter/@a_la_nozo

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© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Please Give Me Wings. So that I can get the hell out of Tokyo.!!!

during the Olympics

1 ( +4 / -3 )

...Because Manga and Anime cannot possibly catch the communicative virus spreading through the rest of the world? lol. I'd ask the mayor what she thinks about all this childish fixation with the phony, but...she's still "convalescing" from "stress.

Put Detective Conan, along with Inspector Gadget, on the COVID case, and double-quick! That'll do the trick.

~Japan, Japan, The Fantasy Land~ "No, you don't have to worry here, because bad things happen only over there!" (all rights reserved)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Nobody. Cares.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Well if you can't make the games actually about friendship between countries, victory over the pandemic, recovery from the disaster in Tohoku or even acceptance of other countries you can always make it about pop culture. Not exactly premium grad appeals but organizers have to work with what little is left.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Oh, goodie! Yet another manga comic Olympic representation by Japan. Who will Suga be dressed as?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is a recipe for embarrassment.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I will be washing my hair that night.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So this replaces the needed focus on Tohoku. How incredibly evil of the organizers.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Can the ojisans think anything other than stereotype Japan stuff?

J-pop royalty like Hikaru Utada and Namie Amuro,

Again Japanese stuff few outside Japan have ever heard of and appeals to very few non Japanese.

They should look for groups that have a far bigger international following and I don't mean just in Asia.

Heck as X-Japan to do a reunion thing, get baby metal, One OK Rock, even Band Maid, lovebirds and Maximum the Hormone are better known today than the above.

Really want a show, go with Wagakki band, heck Amy Lee of Evanescence teamed up with them in concert, incredible blending of traditional and modern and even anime.

Drop the formula j-pop junk.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Again Japanese stuff few outside Japan have ever heard of and appeals to very few non Japanese.

They should look for groups that have a far bigger international following and I don't mean just in Asia.

Pineapple, pen, etc, or Arashi or dig up one of the members from ex-SMAP. Or some schoolgirl group. And don't forget, cameo from Abe in a Mario costume.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is going to be hilarious. I have no faith at all it will be classy or spectacular, just what my grandfather thinks people will appreciate, but for an international audience. Hilarious

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Such a lack of imagination. The global populace, bar a few nerds, will be rolling their eyes and tuning out.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Dragon...the devil's favorite pet. Evil all around.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nice article that gives us a peek under the curtain...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Sugiyama is a total loon. Embarrassing to have such a backwards and small minded bigot representing the Olympics.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Holy cringe.. I'm getting some serious secondhand embarrassment

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It just gets worse. I’m embarrassed for them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hang on... I thought it was supposed to be PPAP and AKB, with Abe jumping out of a can as Mario. Did those trends die already?

And I can just see interviews:

Interviewer: So, what did you think of the opening ceremonies and theme song of Dragon Quest?

Foreign Athlete: What's that?

Interviewer: It's world famous! Like the expression 'mottainai' that everyone in the world uses.

Foreign Athlete: What? Anyway, it was okay, I guess. I wasn't really listening because I thought I heard BTS somewhere.

Interviewer: (in Japanese) We don't need foreign input anyway. Let's ask a Japanese athlete.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well, this was accurate... They just played the Dragon Quest theme. I'm sure some Kotaku folks are gonna be mad since the original composer made some homophobic remarks in the past.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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