From Anime Poses To Cosplays: Here Are 12 Anime References That've Come Out Of Tokyo 2020

Which reference made you most excited?

Cover image via @_OtakusBR (Twitter) , Quara , Then24 , Fandom

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Editor's note: This story has been updated on 9 August to include more anime references that have emerged since the initial publication on 6 August.

1. Japan's men's volleyball team pulled off a Haikyu!! trick

Although Japan's men's volleyball team might be out of the Olympics, they won the Internet when they performed a move from Haikyu!! — a hit anime about volleyball.

When they were up against Canada on 26 July, Japanese athlete Ran Takahashi ran up to the net, faked a spike, before passing the ball to his team captain Yuki Ishikawa.

The series of moves ended with Ishikawa spiking the ball into the opponent's side, securing a point for Japan.

The technique was used by several characters in the anime.

2. Greek long jumper did a One Piece pose onstage during his introduction

When Miltiadis Tentoglou was introduced at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, he walked up to the middle of the stage and put his fist down on the ground while the rest of his body remained standing.

While others might see the pose as Tentoglou being thankful for the opportunity to compete in the Olympics, any One Piece fan would recognise it as the anime's main character Luffy's 'gear second' — an ability that increases his strength and speed.

He went on to win gold for his country. Prior to that, he confirmed with Greek press that his pose was indeed from the 22-year running anime, reported Kotaku.

3. USA shot putter screamed "SUPERRR" while he did One Piece's Franky's pose

After Tentoglou pulled off Luffy's pose, Payton Ottherdal imitated Franky from the anime, who is a cyborg in Luffy's pirate crew.

Known for being a hard-hitter and his catchphrase 'SUPERRR', Ottherdal posed like Franky as he entered the final match of shot put on 5 August.

He was even heard screaming Franky's catchphrase. After he did his stunt, One Piece's official Twitter account cheered Ottherdal for paying homage to the anime.

4. Here are more athletes striking anime poses

Brazilian canoe sprinter Isaquias Queiroz did the iconic 'Kamehameha' pose from Dragon Ball before he received his gold medal.

Russian Olympic Committee's (ROC) swimmer Kliment Kolesnikov posted a photo of himself doing a salute stance from Attack On Titan.

Italian athlete Massimo Stano bit his thumb to imitate Luffy's 'gear third' ability from One Piece right before he won gold medal in the 20km walk event.

Italy's cycling team pursuit squad performed a Ginyu Force pose from Dragon Ball after winning gold for the event.

5. Countries were led in with dramatic manga speech bubbles during the opening ceremony

During the Olympics opening ceremony on 23 July, placards for each country's name featured a manga speech bubble with lines protruding outwards — a common manga art style to present dramatisation.

A photo of Iceland's placard was captured by American non-profit news agency Associated Press (AP), and its coverage on the manga-style placard went on to make headlines around the world.

6. Gundam watched the Olympics too

Many people who have visited Tokyo would know that there is a giant Gundam model standing outside of DiverCity Tokyo Plaza in Odaiba.

With some of the Olympics' events being held there, more people in the world now know about the cool fact.

Kotaku published a photo showing triathletes taking a lap around the artificial island with Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn seen in the background. The men's climbing event was held in the vicinity too.

Yesterday, 5 July, the Gundam sighting during events gained more public attention after BBC had mistaken the Gundam model for a Transformer.

7. Attack On Titan's theme was played during the archery event

One of the highest-rated anime of all time, Attack On Titan's first season theme song — Guren no Yumiya, which can be translated into 'Crimson Bow And Arrow' — was played during an archery event on 24 July. reported that the theme song was played during a mixed team match between the United States and Indonesia.

8. Many anime theme songs were played at the Olympics too

According to HYPEBEAST, songs from Demon Slayer, Slam Dunk, Haikyu!!, and Ghost in the Shell were heard in archery, women's basketball, and men's volleyball matches.

Animehunch also reported that the acoustic version of Naruto Shippuden's third opening song Blue Bird was played during a horse-riding event too.

9. Olympics TV presenter cosplayed as Jiraya from Naruto

According to Animehunch, on the third day of the Olympics, a Japanese TV presenter showed up dressed as one of the characters from Naruto Jiraya-sensei.

Although not much information is available about the TV presenter who cosplayed Naruto's teacher in the anime series, fans worldwide were happy to see the character making an appearance at the Olympics.

Many manga and anime enthusiast portals reported about the TV presenter's cosplay, generating great fanfare in late July.

10. Dutch and Mexican athletes paid tribute to Avatar: The Last Airbender

Putting aside the argument about whether Avatar: The Last Airbender is an anime or not, Dutch windsurfer Kiran Badloe rocking arrow-shaped blue hair at the Olympics has to be included in this list as thousands of fans cheered Badloe for the fitting tribute.

As an athlete who needs to know the ins and outs of wind in the water sport, Badloe's Aang cosplay implies that he is a 'wind master'.

Additionally, Mexican synchronised swimming duo Nuria Diosdado and Joana Jiménez García also paid tribute to the series by donning swimsuits with elements unique to Avatar: The Last Airbender.

According to Popsugar, the outfits were designed by Mexican brand Gilling Activewear. They featured two koi fish: Tui and La, who are known respectively as the moon spirit and fish spirit in the Nickelodeon show.

The back of their outfits featured four symbols that are central in the series — water, earth, fire, and air elements.

11. Uzbekistan rhythmic gymnastics team put on Sailor Moon-inspired costumes

During the rhythmic gymnastics event on 7 August, Kseniia Aleksandrova, Kamola Irnazarova, Dinara Ravshanbekova, Sevara Safoeva, and Nilufar Shomuradova wore costumes that resembled the uniforms from Sailor Moon.

Each leotard has a ribbon design, which comes with a pair of red leggings. According to Nerdbot, the team was dancing to the anime's theme song Moonlight Densetsu during the event.

12. Demon Slayer's theme song was played during the closing ceremony

Before the world waved goodbye to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the organiser decided to give anime fans an official nod by playing LiSA's Gurenge — a theme song from Demon Slayer.

The ceremony's live band — consisting of drummers, trumpeters, and electronic guitarists, among others — performed the song while people danced to the tune.

In 2020, Demon Slayer won the Anime of the Year in the Crunchyroll Anime Awards. The song Gurenge — which can be translated to 'red lotus' — is about getting strong and staying together.

Here are more heartwarming and fun stories that have come out from #Tokyo2020:

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