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Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony Verdicts and Reviews


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As a huge JRPG nerd, the parade track list was way too short. Couldn't they have secured more music? In the end, with the creative direction passing hands so many times, it seems no one wanted to take ownership. Everything just felt phoned in. I am so disappointed in Japan.

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What i liked about the ceremony:

1. The opening video

2. The drones

3. The parade of athletes music

4. The cauldron design

5. The pictograms - the concept and first few

 

What i disliked about the ceremony

1. The first artistic segment: it was way too sad and boring even for a covid type piece

2. Imagine, i like the song in general but it was long and random

3. The pictograms - after the first few it was long and boring

4. The speech by Thomas Bach

5. The torch relay in the stadium, too long and slow

In general i knew things would not be the same as before but this surprised me with how messy and puzzling it all was. the production was very low, even taking into account the covid.

I was expecting something more visually simple yet stunning, making the most of Japanese culture and technology but it was just not executed well.

 

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1 hour ago, Faiyez said:

As a huge JRPG nerd, the parade track list was way too short. Couldn't they have secured more music? In the end, with the creative direction passing hands so many times, it seems no one wanted to take ownership. Everything just felt phoned in. I am so disappointed in Japan.

I don't have confirmation but Nintendo, much like a lot of other japanese companies, also wanted to save face and reputation and decided to distance themselves from the Olympics, hence why there was not a single Nintendo song in the whole parade.

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Well, i fell asleep soon after the parade of nations started last night (sorry parade fans, I’m with Baron on this one. Tedious. Having seen them all since Montreal, I’m just over them in a big way).

So just caught up with rest this morning.

Anyway, don’t know what to say really. Glad I caught it, but I’ll never watch it again. Weird. Austere. Some nice moments, but nothing wow. 

I guess it was a delicate balance doing an opening ceremony for the COVID era. Considering that, they probably got the tone right, but it’s always gonna be a bid sad to think of what could have been. That’s fricken COVID for you.

It’s almost like a dare to China to even think of going bombastic next year. But it’s China, I doubt they’ll know how NOT to be bombastic.

Just a thought on Olympic OCs in general. I know the traditions and formalities are important, but i think they’re starting to get burdened by just how many set pieces they are obligated to include. For a while now, I think it’s been the closing ceremonies that have been shining more.

i liked the cauldron.

 

Edited by Sir Rols
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"Worst Opening Ceremony Ever" - Comic Book Guy

Really, with the world depressed by Covid, they should've used the occasion for a fun. uplifting ceremony to make people feel happy for a few hours but instead went for the depressing, dire, self-loathing, self-pity angle

Could've had a ceremony with Taiko drums beating out, samurai's and ninja's running around. Sumos fighting Pokemons, Super Mario & Yoshi getting disembowled by Godzilla, Iron Chefs, Sushi, F&F Tokyo Drift, J-Pop, Anime, Manga, Cosplay, Geishas, Origami etc etc etc

But in the end we got a depressing mess to make us feel how bad the world is at the moment and ended with a woke BLM loving American girl lighting the flame

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3 minutes ago, Gonzo said:

and ended with a woke BLM loving American girl lighting the flame

The Olympics have always been about globalism. If they're mad now because a POC person lit the cauldron then don't host the Olympics next time. You knew what was going to come with the package you bought.

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Australia did the woke POC thing with Cathy Freeman 20 years ago

Naomi-san should not have lit the flame not because she is a BLM loving American girl, it's because she is not really Japanese and is only using the country for commercial personal gain. It was a major insult to those Japanese Olympians that have come before her (some of whom too also are bi-racial)

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13 minutes ago, Gonzo said:

Australia did the woke POC thing with Cathy Freeman 20 years ago

Naomi-san should not have lit the flame not because she is a BLM loving American girl, it's because she is not really Japanese and is only using the country for commercial personal gain. It was a major insult to those Japanese Olympians that have come before her (some of whom too also are bi-racial)

Obviously, they did NOT consult you.  Try again next time.  

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30 minutes ago, baron-pierreIV said:

Obviously, they did NOT consult you.  Try again next time.  

The only funny thing you've ever said on these boards.

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Everything that could've gone wrong, went wrong.

The kabuki segment ruined for that awful piano secuence.

Drones where fantastic but too short

Imagine, i'm starting to hate that song. Even they could have used Hana Wa Saku, but they took the easy way.

The first part of OC, horrible.

 

Clearly, there was a lack of creativy and direction. 

 

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After some hours I can give my final veredict:

-          First of all, we have to understand that this ceremony can’t be compared with all the previous ones. It’s a unique and extraordinary situation. So I can assure that this ceremony is a ceremony in isolation of the Olympic history.

-          This ceremony may be a transitional one. Since now on, Olympics will have moderation and simplicity in their organization (we can exclude of this to Paris 2024) and ceremonies won’t be as big as we could see since Barcelona until London. Rio was the first one to give a strong message of austerity by making a good ceremony with less than half of the budget of the previous ones. And that worked! It was followed by PyeongChang that made good ceremonies but nothing compared with the extravanaza we could see in Sochi.

-          Keep in mind, despite all the criticism, we saw an historical Opening Ceremony.

-          Nevertheless, I still blame on lack of organization. We all understand the current times do not allow gathering people on rehearsals.  Anyway the lack of mass choreographies, this could have been replaced by technology display and even with stronger projections on the floor.

-          On the other hand, I know this “lack of organization” is the answer of the bad, very bad Japanese pandemic management by the government. Just one month ago we were not absolutely sure if these games were going to be possible or not.

-          So, this was a total gloomy ceremony, in mourning mode. As the organization said “we have nothing to celebrate”… and the language of the ceremony was like that: sad and even with a painful language. We have never seen something like that. And probably we won’t.

-          So Sorry for Japan they wanted to impress us, and the best performance of them we’ll have in mind will be the handover segment in Rio de Janeiro. I still think Japan deserves a new chance to show the world what they really are. Probably they will add the list of “Olympics here, never again” behind Quebec, Greece or Brazil.

-          The core of the ceremony was reactivated this time: the parade of nations. What the ceremony didn’t give, the joyful and spontaneity of the athletes did. So beaitful to see, among others, the Ireland delegation saluting volunteers in the Japanese way, the Argentina delegation marching with such happiness (maybe still celebrating their Copa America tittle), the funny and festive entrance of the Portuguese flag bearers and the happiness of the France delegation, backflip included. This need to be continued on the forthcoming parades… (and the reduction of delegations, too)

-          Summarizing: an historical ceremony, the simplest ever… an isolated ceremony.

-          And what COI should never forget: Japan saved their lives!!!

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13 hours ago, zigzag said:

Not much to say here but I like the pictogram segment and the flame being that tall, also someone should ban 'Imagine' from all future ceremonies, it's peak cringe, I hate it, Also @Ikarus360 keep your hopes lit ma mate, Japan still has Aichi-Nagoya Asiad in 2026, let's hope they'll redeem themselves there

I forgot to say: The pictogram segment was the best one. Not in a scale for a Olympic Ceremony, but good and creative!

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1 minute ago, Nacholympic said:

I forgot to say: The pictogram segment was the best one. Not in a scale for a Olympic Ceremony, but good and creative!

Yeah. I know everyone might said that this won't happen but I do hope MIKIKO's plan will be for the closing ceremony instead.

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11 hours ago, Go Europe said:

 

Overall the balance was significantly skewed towards the memorial than to a celebration but I feel that the victories over the next days may change the atmosphere and the closing ceremony should be more optimistic and celebratory. 

Honestly. I expect something ever more downside for the closing.

We haven't seen the drone show that was leaked some days ago.

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10 hours ago, Ikarus360 said:

SPOILER: They won't. Bach made sure of it.

I think totally the oposite. The IOC must pay honor FORVER to Japan. I will repeat and I will do it every time when necesary: This country saved their asses!!!!

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1 minute ago, Nacholympic said:

I think totally the oposite. The IOC must pay honor FORVER to Japan. I will repeat and I will do it every time when necesary: This country saved their asses!!!!

The mascots right now after watching the ceremony:

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6 hours ago, Gonzo said:

Really, with the world depressed by Covid, they should've used the occasion for a fun. uplifting ceremony to make people feel happy for a few hours but instead went for the depressing, dire, self-loathing, self-pity angle

Could've had a ceremony with Taiko drums beating out, samurai's and ninja's running around. Sumos fighting Pokemons, Super Mario & Yoshi getting disembowled by Godzilla, Iron Chefs, Sushi, F&F Tokyo Drift, J-Pop, Anime, Manga, Cosplay, Geishas, Origami etc etc etc

I agree with you there. I guess the OC was fitting with the times. You could say that the ceremony itself took a minimalist approach given the Japanese 'less is more' design aesthetic.  Let's hope they do something what you said for the Closing Ceremony. 

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2 hours ago, Nacholympic said:

I still think Japan deserves a new chance to show the world what they really are.

I kinda hope so.

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7 hours ago, Gonzo said:

 Yoshi getting disembowled by Godzilla

:(

:P

(I do wonder if the closing ceremony has a different, stable creative team so may well be better - especially if they decided to go all out on the memorial at the opening so they don't need to do that again. Higher hopes for the Paras too, especially if infections go down enough to allow spectators, the Paralympic opening ceremony outshining the Olympic one isn't too unusual lately - maybe because there's less protocol?)

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