World famous anime stars Astroboy and Pikachu are the latest celebrities to support Tokyo’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The announcement was made during the Tokyo International Anime Fair, the world’s largest anime exhibition, held at Tokyo Big Sight March 27-30.
Tokyo Big Sight is the proposed venue for fencing, handball and taekwondo, should Tokyo host the 2016 Games.
The Tokyo International Anime Fair had 126,622 visitors and 289 companies represented during the four-day event.
In a media release Tokyo 2016 said it collaborated with anime companies during the fair to enlist their “beloved” anime icons 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 Pokemon 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 CEO and Chairman Dr. Ichiro Kono said in the media release, “Tokyo 2016 is honoured by the strong show of public support from the nation’s anime industry and their anime stars, who are treasured national icons beloved by youth worldwide. Tokyo 2016 aims to crease 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 that the heart of our bid to participate in the international sport and Olympic movements, and help us bring the Games to Japan”.