In the wake of the announcement of the cities of Paris, France and Los Angeles, California getting granted the opportunity to host the 2024 and 2028 summer Olympics, I decided to discuss something related to this nice, traditional event… not being related to sports. 😛
I’m pretty certain most people know what the Olympics are, but if you don’t, let me explain briefly. The Olympic Games are sporting events occurring during the summer (every four years) and the winter time (every two years) where thousands and thousands of athletes around the world compete in various events such as track and field, gymnastics, swimming and even the more popular sports like basketball, soccer/football and baseball. The summer and winter Olympics also take place in different cities and countries all over the world every time such as Brazil, France, China, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The traditional event is pretty popular around the world. According to the International Olympic Committee, last year’s olympic games in Rio de Janeiro had an average of 3.2 billion people watching at least a minute of coverage, but that’s only from television watchers. Going to the digital side of things, there were over 7.2 billion views on any official Olympic content, something the Committee hasn’t seen before in other years.
To connect everything to today’s topic, the next summer olympics will be held in Tokyo, Japan in 2020. With the loads of Japanese culture there, it wouldn’t be right if anime, manga and the musical culture wasn’t represented in any way.
So, it seems that the ambassadors of the Olympic Games will be extremely popular characters in anime/manga culture such as Son Goku, Naruto, Luffy from One Piece, Sailor Moon, Astro Boy, Shin-chan, Precure and Jibanyan from Yokai Watch (source).
The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games are also something most people watch around the world. Usually, musical performers that are included are from where the games are located that year, and Japan bursts with musical talent. There are already (probably unofficial) polls for people to vote on who you want and looking at the list, I barely know anyone, but there is an abundance of performers to choose.
So it’s been on my mind recently and being involved in the Love Live! fandom for a good amount of time that I saw people argue over this, could μ’s (the original group) and/or Aqours (the new group) perform in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?
I think we all know the huge popularity of Love Live!, not only in Japan, but in other countries like the United States. If this franchise is loved in a lot of countries and also very popular in Japan (the stadium the final μ’s concert was taking place in has one of the largest seating capacity out of all Japanese stadiums, and it was fully packed both days), you might be wondering, why wouldn’t this happen? Well, after gathering other people’s and my own arguments and retorts, I concluded that it won’t be easy to just gather up the gang of μ’s again, or get Aqours on stage in a popular event that’ll be seen worldwide.
I’m going to answer three questions today: should it happen?, could it happen? and would it happen?.
Should it happen?
Well, obviously being a Love Live fan, I believe it would be really nice and nostalgic to see μ’s back together again, singing a song or two or even the new Aqours performing. I bet you a bunch of people in Japan would be absolutely excited if μ’s came together again after a year of their disbandment, and even the foreign Love Livers.
Not only fans would get to experience this, but regular people either from Japan or not who are not usually shown this kind of music, could get to know what the Japanese idol culture is like, and I believe Love Live is one of the great examples to see. It’s fun, exciting and idol culture would be expressed in a good way with μ’s or Aqours performing.
Could it happen?
μ’s disbanded about a year ago, when the final concert ended. Ever since, we have seen nothing Love Live! related from the seiyuu unit, other than some of the voice actresses working together on different media projects. Some of the reasons because of that is, well, they decided to disband and that’s final, there’s no going back; the seiyuu want to go forward with their own careers, most of them are musical artists, e.g. Aya Uchida (the voice of Kotori) has an album coming out in September; and most importantly, their contracts have expired, making the ties to doing Love Live! related stuff being cut.
On the bright side, a Japanese politician Hiroshi Hase (the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology under current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe) actually attended the μ’s final concert and according to a popular sports source in Japan, even said he would consider inviting the group to perform at the opening or closing ceremonies of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, the possibility is pretty bleak after what I discussed in the last paragraph and later on.
Even though I’m saying μ’s probably won’t be participating at the Olympics performance, I’m not saying it’s impossible. Who knows, the seiyuu might be up for it and surprise, surprise, in three years we’ll be seeing “Snow halation” on our TVs.
Going over to the Aqours side, since they are the current group and are gaining a lot of popularity, the possibility of them performing at the Olympics is better than μ’s. However, I don’t know if their current popularity will be enough to be worth getting invited to an event that is seen all over the world. Aqours has been a group for little over two years, compared to the life of μ’s which was about six. Plus, they’re going up against some of the extremely popular J-pop idol groups such as AKB48, who even though has lost popularity over the years, a group that surely more people know than Aqours.
Would it happen?
I guess what it would really boil down to is the popularity of these two groups. Even though Japan loves their idols and Love Live! is a very popular franchise, there are many other much more known and loved groups than μ’s and Aqours such as AKB48, Morning Musume and Babymetal, three of the most popular Japanese idol groups, according to Fast Japan. Hell, Hatsune Miku would also be up there if they were to choose someone idol related for the opening or closing ceremonies, and she is pretty much known all over the world at this point.
After seeing the famous J-pop idol groups out there, I realized Love Live! only has a small piece of the idol pie. So, having a Love Live! group performing at the opening or closing ceremony, which by the way, will have other musical performances not only from idols but other Japanese musicians, will be hard to accomplish overall. I know the fanbase would be extremely happy to see this, but in reality, it probably won’t happen due to the much more popular idol groups in Japan, plus the conflict with the μ’s seiyuu unit.
But, they still have three years to decide and also three years for the Love Live fanbase to pray and hope.
Thanks to various websites for the sources and also the people on a post revolved around this topic at the Love Live subreddit for helping me creating this!
What do you think about all this? Is μ’s and Aqours worth putting in the Olympics ceremonies? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading! 😀