The 2020 Olympics are set to take place in Tokyo, and we can expect to see our fair share of anime awesomeness during the opening and closing ceremonies, and hopefully during the events. Well, anime fans are drooling at the mouth in anticipation of awesome merch and products to come because of the worldwide event. The Tokyo 2020 Official Online shop has started taking orders for some new character designed clothing items that were recently unveiled, and the characters they chose may surprise you.
The Japanese merchandise features a group famous fictional characters from Japan, but among the list there are no Nintendo characters involved. That means the world renown Italian plumber Mario will not be making an appearance, and neither will the adorable Electric-type Pokemon Pikachu. This is surprising because of the recent boom of popularity that the Pokemon franchise received worldwide because of the augmented reality game Pokemon Go.
The clothing line currently includes hats and shirts that feature a collection of popular anime characters, such as Sailor Moon, Astro Boy, Dragon Ball’s Son Goku, One Piece’s Luffy, Naruto, Crayon Shin-chan, some magical girls from Pretty Cure, and Yo-Kai Watch’s Jibanyan. In the merchandise the characters are standing in front of walls of text which all end with “Ganbare Nippon” which means Go for it Japan, which is Japan’s standard cheer for international sporting competitions.
There is most likely a method behind the reason there is no Nintendo or Pokemon recognition in the Japanese official gear, and it seems that this Character Design Series is targeting the Japanese audience. With the Olympic Games still three years away, there is not much of a market for foreign sport fans to be buying official gear and souvenirs. So it could be assumed that the characters picked were hand picked for Japanese fans, by Japanese fans.
With all that being said there is still hope for Nintendo fans, as there is a possibility of more characters showing up later in the international merchandise and promotions. Who knows, maybe Pikachu will make an electrifying appearance in an event, but hopefully not a swimming one.
Visit the Tokyo 2020 Official Online Shop Here