Am I still here? Yes. Yes, I am.
If you’re, for some reason, wondering where I’ve been in the last week, I’ll tell you. On my sofa, watching television. More specifically, the Olympics.
Now, I’m not a sporty person. Not in the least. Especially when it comes to participating. However, when it comes to spectating, I’m suddenly the most sport-passionate person you’ll know. There’s something about the Olympics that’s different, though. You get to watch sports that you wouldn’t normally watch. For example, as I’m writing this, the Men’s Road Cycling Time Trial is on and I’m certainly not one to watch cycling events. I can’t even remember seeing the Tour de France, for example, on the TV. Ever.
This isn’t the first Olympics I’ve experience whilst being a fan of anime. Back in 2012, when London were hosting (woo!), I was extremely active within the Hetalia fandom. As much as I’m still a fan of Hetalia, I’m not as extreme as I used to be.
But this year, I’ve been thinking: what if there was an Anime Olympics? And no, I’m not talking about the web TV Show. I’m talking about if anime characters competed in the Olympics. I’ve been thinking of who would be in my dream team and I’ve decided to share it with you guys.
Because it’s the first in the Olympic events in alphabetical order, we’ll start with archery. I may be a little biased here, but who else am I going to put in my Olympic Dream Team for archery other than my favourite school idol, Umi Sonoda? Just because she’s a school idol doesn’t mean you get to underestimate her! Umi is not only talented on stage, she’s also an active member of the Archery Club and is very talented at traditional dancing and kendo as well. You go, girl!
To find someone, or some people, who played this next sport was a little tricky. It caused some vigorous Google searching to occur and then I remembered. One of the first anime I watched featured it, even if it was very briefly. The sport? Badminton. The anime? The one and only Fruits Basket. Yes, Tohru, Yuki, Kyo, Momiji, Hatsuhara, Arisa and Saki all plan an afternoon game of badminton in an attempt to cheer up Yuki in episode 13, although perhaps their (or, more specifically, Saki’s) rule of “the first person to collapse of exhaustion loses” and Yuki’s lack of knowledge of the sport isn’t perhaps beneficial.
For boxing, I’ve gone for, arguably, another quite impractical character. To deliver those punches, I’ve selected none other than the astonishing character that is Saitama from One Punch Man. He’s certainly dedicated to his training, which consists of 100 push-ups, sit-ups, squats and running for 10km every day, and his punches do…well, their job, I guess? One thing’s for sure, though, he’d have an epic entrance if he used the OP of the show by JAM Project. ONE PUUNNNNNNNNNCH!
Now, this one isn’t canon. Not in the slightest. But, bear with me, because it works. For the equestrian events, I’ve picked Roderich Edelstein from Hetalia. Those who know me from the Hetalia fandom will not be surprised, admittedly, but I do love this theory. Personally, I think the aristocrat would be a great rider. Sure, okay, he’s not an outdoors person and gets lost easily, attributes that wouldn’t normally suit a rider, perhaps. But he’s Austria! His capital is Vienna! Vienna! The city where the renowned Spanish Riding School is. The Riding School which shows off their Lipizzaner horses in gala performances, performing demanding movements such as pirouette, passage and piaffe and the most difficult jumps to what? That’s right. Classical music; another one of Roddy’s favourite past times.
Also, he has a riding crop. I’m probably pushing it by this point, but hey- it’s a theory I like and I’m sticking to it. Welcome to the team, Roddy!
Onto Gymnastics now and who else could I pick, really, but the one and only Shou Tokugawa from Cheer Danshi!? He’s certainly good at what he does, the cheerleading squad in complete awe of him when they go to watch him during gym class, and he even offers to teach them how to do things properly. Not only that, but he’s a complete dork who’s in love with a chipmunk mascot and we need that sort of dorkiness on this team.
Going to an Olympic sport that I don’t particularly enjoy watching now – Table Tennis. How can one pick an Olympic team and not include Table Tennis when there’s Ping Pong: The Animation? So, to include even a sport that I don’t completely understand as to why it’s in the Olympics, I’ve picked Yutaka Hoshino to represent Team Anime in Table Tennis.
Now, for the next four sports I’m going to mention, I honestly think it’s quite predictable as to who I’m going to pick, so I’m not going to spend ages explaining why and I’m literally just going to mention who they are. For Basketball, I’ve picked Seirin High’s basketball team from Kuroko no Basuke. For Football, I’ve picked Seiseki High School’s football team from DAYS. For Volleyball, I’ve picked Karasuno High’s volleyball club from Haikyuu!. These teams really need no introduction.
However, I do have two more sports I want to mention. For Swimming, I’ve picked the obvious choice of Iwatobi High School’s swimming club from Free! – again, another obvious choice. That being said, I want to suggest something else. I’ve picked Iwatobi High School’s swimming club from Free! but I’m excluding Rei Ryuugazaki from that.
Why have I excluded Rei? Actually, for a very good reason. For those who have seen Free!, you will know that swimming isn’t Rei’s first sport. For those who haven’t seen Free!, let me tell you, Rei is first introduced as a member of the athletics team. Because of this, I’m selecting Rei to be a competitor in the triathlon for Team Anime. All he’d need to do is perhaps work on his cycling, after all.
Of course, this is not the full list of the Olympic sports. Sports such as handball aren’t exactly well-represented when it comes to anime and manga. This list isn’t exactly accurate either in some places. But hey, it’s a post relevant to current affairs and it took a while to think of some of these.
Now, it’s your turn! Who would make your Dream Team for the Olympics if you could only use anime and manga characters? Let me know in the comments below!