The Tokyo Olympics just ended on Sunday, and for the closing ceremony, the organisers once again tapped into anime soundtrack – this time it’s Gurenge, the opening theme of smash-hit anime Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. But it’s not LiSA’s rousing rock anthem – it was an instrumental ska cover performed by none other than Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra.
If you’ve missed out on all the original anime and video soundtracks used during the opening of the Olympics and games, here is the list of songs to relive the moments of the games.
Parade of Nations video game songs
The opening of the Tokyo Olympics may be the most memorable for any retro game otaku. While everyone expected to have some sort of traditional Japanese music played, no one was expecting Japanese video game music.
Just check out the Parade, and see if you can catch all the video game soundtrack:
According to the Japanese news site Nikkan Sports News, there were 19 video game songs played in the lineup. Once you hear the entire lineup, it’s hard to imagine why the Games haven’t played them before!
When Greece entered the stadium first – as is the tradition – they’re accompanied by “Erdrick’s Theme” from Dragon Quest, an inspiring number that makes the athletes look larger than life. And the retro anthems kept coming – here’s the list to listen to:
- Final Fantasy IV “Victory Fanfare“
- Tales of Zestria “Sorey’s Theme”
- Monster Hunter “Proof of a Hero”
- Kingdom Hearts “Olympus Coliseum”
- Chrono Trigger “Frog’s Theme“
- Ace Combat “First Flight”
- Tales of Series “Royal Capital Majestic Grandeur”
- Monster Hunter “Wind of Departure“
- Chrono Trigger “Robo’s Theme“
- Sonic the Hedgehog “Starlight Zone“
- Winning Eleven (Pro Evolution Soccer) “eFootball walk-on theme”
- Final Fantasy “Main Theme“
- Phantasy Star Universe “Guardians”
- Kingdom Hearts “Hero’s Fanfare”
- Gradius (Nemesis) “01 ACT 1-1“
- NieR “Song of the Ancients“
- Saga Series “Saga Series Medley 2016“
- Soulcalibur “The Brave New Stage of History“
Anime soundtracks during the games
If you think game soundtracks were the only Japanese element to this year’s Games, you’d be wrong. They’ve also managed to add some popular anime opening songs as well! The best part is that most of them corresponded to the respective games.
Archery: During the archery match between Indonesia and the United States, the first opening song of Attack on Titan (“Guren no Yumiya” by Linked Horizon) was played.
Equestrian: During the equestrian portion, Naruto Shippuden’s “Blue Bird” (played on a guitar without the vocal) opening theme was played.
Volleyball: The volleyball match between Japan and Venezuela was accompanied by the theme song from volleyball anime, Haikyu!! called “Imagination” by SPYAIR. During the Japan and Canada game, another Spyair song from the anime was played: “I’m a Believer“.
Judo: The soundtrack from Ghost in the Shell accompanied the athletes during the Judo matches.
Basketball: The song that accompanied the Japanese female basketball players in the “Basketball 3×3” category is none other than the Slam Dunk opening theme, “Kimi ga Suki da to Sakebitai” by BAAD.
Gymnastics: Team Mexico got fans buzzing online when Alexa Moreno did her floor event to Demon Slayer‘s “Demon Slaying Corps”.
Had the Tokyo Olympics not be disrupted by the pandemic, it would’ve been an awesome Opening Ceremony with all the awesome Japanese pop culture references. Even with all the restrictions, the Japanese still managed to play on, making this year’s Games one of the most memorable in the history of the Olympics.