When Hiroshi Hase, former pro-wrestler and now Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, was invited by Bushiroad’s president Takaaki Kidani to attend the μ’s Final Love Live! concert, he was hit by something of an epiphany. “This is what Japan’s proud anime culture is all about, and shouldn’t we express it!?” he wrote in a blog, and he’s now thinking that bringing Love Live! to the Tokyo Olympics might be the best way to “spread this heat to the world.”
Hase (right) with Kidani (left) at μ’s Final Love Live!
Since the concert on March 31st, Hase has professed himself a proud Love Live! “Liver”, and to “roll out the Cool Japan strategy with Japan as the dispatcher of manga, anime, games and characters”, he proposed that the idol anime franchise could be part of either the Summer Olympics’ opening or closing ceremony. Livers’ reactions on Twitter weren’t wholly supportive, with some saying the concerts “are only exciting because people who like Love Live! go”, and others describing the idea as “reckless” and inappropriate for the event.
Although being linked with the Cool Japan initiative might not be thought of fondly by many of its fans, there’s no denying that Love Live! has become a firm example of worldwide unity in the love of Japanese culture. Portraying Japan and its connection to the watching world at the Olympics without touching on anime would be neglecting the most passionate aspect of this unity, and the Bushiroad franchise, more than many others, seems primed to be placed at the centre of this celebration.