olympics

Rio throws final Olympic party; Tokyo governor accepts flag, Abe turns into Mario

38 Comments
By PETER PRENGAMAN and MAURICIO SAVARESE

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38 Comments
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Abe does a Boris, then. Just as trustworthy.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I'm no Abe fan, but come on. It was all in good fun! Creative idea at that.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

He found his role.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

the video was absolutely horrible,,,, and mario is like ultracheeze..

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Oh no, another (Abe) joke.

Well, as long as people get something to laugh .......

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

You just knew Dear Leader was going to insist on upstaging both the Tokyo Governor, and the solid performances of the Japanese athletes. Talk about a Glory Hunter!

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Should have dressed up as Kuribo (Goomba).

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The video was pretty good actually, just the whole mario ending could've been left out and it would've been perfect.

For the people interested: http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/21/12580456/watch-mario-olympics-japan-tokyo-prime-minster

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Abe was NOT the right choice.When he appeared it was like...."Uh?"

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

How embarrassing

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Nice presentation by the TOC, but seriously couldn't Abe find a better suit?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Because nothing will WOW the world as much as Prime Minister Abe showing up.

It was a great idea, but there was no need for Abe to have been used in such a dramatic way. They should've just kept it as Mario.

Maybe it was decided that Abe was the most recognisable Japanese face (human) worldwide. Can anyone come up with a top 3 of Japanese people who would be recognisable around the world?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Can anyone come up with a top 3 of Japanese people who would be recognizable around the world?

Watanabe Ken Suzuki Ichiro Takeshi Kitano

I bet most people who live outside of Asia and are not familiar with world politics, would not know who Abe is.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@HollisBrown

Watanabe Ken Kyarupamyupamyu Sora Aoi (well maybe mostly china)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@papigiulio I had to google the last one...thank you! I will also add Sonny Chiba to my list.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's obvious that some people will complain about everything and anything. This is the Olympics. It's supposed to be about teamwork, fun, competition, fun, individual achievement, fun, sport, fun, international cooperation, and fun. During the opening ceremonies, the national teams arrive in individual groups, but they enter the closing ceremonies as an all encompassing group of friends. Yes, people can get along. If they're willing to, at the very least, try.

The fact that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a personal appearance at the closing ceremony in Rio is an indication that the highest levels of the Japanese government will support the upcoming Tokyo games. Hooray for Japan, hooray for Tokyo, and hooray for the athletes.

(On second thought, maybe the haters, whiners, and complainers simply need to take a nap?)

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Yoko Ono is the only one i could come up with.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Not an Abe fan but I agree with @Strangerland - good fun. Though, transporting from Shibuya to Rio, is just comparable, but not really the same as the British Queen coming to the Olympics by parachute.

I suppose now Abe has to find a role for the 2020 Olympics. Would his term be up by then? Maybe he could replace one of his predecessors, Mr Mori.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'm no Abe fan, but come on. It was all in good fun! Creative idea at that

That is precisely how he wanted it to look. The cool, funky PM who admires Mario. A distraction from the uglier side. The question is, if Abe identifies himself with Mario, does that mean he's ok with dodging turtle shells?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I'm no Abe fan, but come on. It was all in good fun! Creative idea at that

That is precisely how he wanted it to look. The cool, funky PM who admires Mario.

Oh, you're right. He should have instead gone off on a rant about the Chinese and the senkaku islands and wanting to revise the constitution, right? That would have been really appropriate for the Olympic's closing ceremony, right?

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

That would have been really appropriate for the Olympic's closing ceremony, right?

Not at all. But those who have known him as a Prime Minister, know better. He wanted to project an image in the closing ceremony.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Seems as if Abe-san were imitating Queen Elizabeth when she did the bit role in the James Bond episode during the opening of the London Olympics. Thing is, everybody knows Queen Elizabeth. Wonder how many actually know about Abe-san? Anyway, the whole filmed thing for the Rio closing ceremony was neatly done. A good idea. However, Abe-san shed his Mario uniform too quickly. It was hard to see Mario morphing into Abe-san atop the green opening connecting Tokyo and Rio via the center of the world.

Then when the musical finale to the closing ceremony started, NHK cut it off abruptly and went into other Olympic-related things.

Anyway ... four years from now all of this will be happening right here in Tokyo. Hang on ... these are going to be an exciting four years leading up to 2020.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Not at all. But those who have known him as a Prime Minister, know better. He wanted to project an image in the closing ceremony.

And? So? Is there something wrong with that? Is this something that other representatives of countries have not done in closing ceremonies?

As I said, I'm no Abe fan, but you seem to be criticizing for the sake of criticism, rather than through anything actually done wrong.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Can anyone come up with a top 3 of Japanese people who would be recognizable around the world?

Hayao Miyazaki, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takeshi Kitano? And also Ichiro Suzuki, Godzilla Matsui, Kyari-Pamyu Pamyu, Baby Metal, etc...

They should have chosen one of these three maybe but that would have given away the 2020 OT Director. 'Mario' didn't have to be Abe but without that performance he would find no place to show his presence in the ceremony.

As a Japanese national, I was 'okay' with the performance but didn't really 'like' it. It should have been Governor Koike but she is less well-known compared to 'superman' Abe. Ichiro probably didn't take the offer to do 'Mario', and Director MIyazaki hates Abe so... Abe himself was the only choice we had. Poor us.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

"Can anyone come up with a top 3 of Japanese people who would be recognizable around the world?"

"Watanabe Ken Suzuki Ichiro Takeshi Kitano"

Yes to Ken Watanabe. No to Ichiro ( the majority of the world has no knowledge of baseball ). I doubt Takeshi Kitano would be recognizable to most.

I'm not dissing Japan here. Japanese characters like Mario, Godzilla and Pokemon are more well known around the world. Even my 75-year-old mum knows Pokemon because she bought the cards for her grandkids.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hayao Miyazaki, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takeshi Kitano? And also Ichiro Suzuki, Godzilla Matsui, Kyari-Pamyu Pamyu, Baby Metal, etc...

I don't think any of those people would be recognizable world-wide. Miyzakai may be recongizable to a lot of people by name, but not by face. Baby Metal is probably the next closest, and that's only to a specific genre of people.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Ken Watanabe would have been a better choice for Mario. Or Hiroyuki Sanada.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Haters will be haters, the posts on this article are both predictable and expected. Too bad though since it all seemed to be in good taste, creative, and set the stage for Japan's hosting of the 2020 Olympics. I'm not an Abe fan, but he did a good job here!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Seems that Super Mario Abe sequence has been trending on the interwebs

https://www.siliconrepublic.com/trending/super-mario-shinzo-abe-rio-2016-summer-olympics-tokyo

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe we should change "Abenomics" to "Super Marionomics"?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Look at his swollen face. Is he exhausted or just suffering from jet lag? Anyway, Let those haters who know nothing but criticize and fool just carry on. Imagine how difficult it would be for Obama, or Xi Jinping、national leaders of super powers, to play this much of crown. He is devoting himself to the success of Tokyo 2020. Japan should be proud of Abe Mario Shinzo. Cheap dignity means nothing.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Nice ending ceremony. A lot of fun and colour.

But - as some will know - I'm not a great Abe fan - and knew his decision to go to Rio could only be about image making.

And it was. But if he had to be there - surely he could have added a little pizzazz to the role. The dour stunned mullet gig lacked all the energy of the character of Mario. Talk about mis-casting. My wife almost choked on her grilled Saba tonight when she watched the news.

Sure it's politics - grab the limelight when you can - but at least play the part. Unfortunately Abe thinks coolness can be decided by a committee's consensus - not.

Actually I think the 2020 Olympics stand a good chance of being Great - weather dependent - just needs the politicians to not use it for their own aggrandizement.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Some guys are taking it too seriously. Abe may not be a popular face outside Asia, but everybody understood during the ceremony that he is the current Prime Minister. And, come on, it was about having fun and showing in few minutes what Tokyo has to offer in 2020 - which they accomplished very well.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Prerecorded ? Kudos to Abe san taking part, as a whole, Abe san looked uncomfortable

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Googles "Abe Mario" images

and got a bunch of pictures of Mary.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

well done tokyo. can't wait till the time. like the idea of abe and mario.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A character from a computer game. Is that all a great country like Japan can aspire to?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This thread is reeking of bitterness by posters who aren't happy that Abe pulled off something enjoyed by the rest of the world.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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