Nothing gets volleyball players hyped like hearing the theme song from ‘Haikyu!!’.
If you watched the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, your gamer ears would have probably picked up a few familiar tunes that were played during the historic event. Given the legacy of the host country, it shouldn’t surprise us to hear Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium roar with the adrenaline-filled theme songs from Final Fantasy, Monster Hunter, and Chrono Trigger as a way to welcome both athletes and audiences alike.
This is a pretty awesome move to get people to turn their heads, but Japan still managed to outdo itself. In a bid to increase athletes’ morale after the lack of a supportive audience inside stadiums, Tokyo has turned to blasting anime theme songs in fitting sporting events that match the atmosphere.
90s kids probably got a kick out of watching the women’s 3×3 basketball competition when they heard BAAD’s ““Kimi ga Suki da to Sakebitai” – also known as the opening theme from “Slam Dunk” – echo around the arena.
Meanwhile, during the equestrian competition, a version of “Blue Bird,” the opening theme of Naruto Shippuden, without the vocals blared as jockeys raced to the finish line.
If you haven’t binged Attack on Titan yet, this is your sign: “Guren no Yumiya,” also known as AoT’s opening theme song, was played fittingly during the archery match of the Games between the United States and Indonesia.
Two tracks from Demon Slayer were heard inside Olympic venues as well. Once, during Mexican gymnast Alexa Moreno’s floor exercise routine:
And again, during a boxing match between Japan and Tunisia, where the anime’s opening theme song was played:
And finally but perhaps the most appropriate song use so far in the Olympics, SPYAIR’s “Imagination,” the opening theme of Haikyu!!, echoed inside the court as Japan battled Venezuela in the women’s volleyball bout.
Granted, anime theme songs are played in abundance wherever you are in Japan. But hearing them resonate inside large stadiums that are yet to boom with cheers from the bleachers just makes watching the Games much more enjoyable.