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Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony Verdicts and Reviews


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17 hours ago, FYI said:

But that would've added even more cost to the already extra cost of postponing for a year. Putting screens up on all the seats just to have a virtual audience? I know a lot of TV talk shows are doing that with their studio audiences these days. But that's nothing compared to trying to cover a huge Olympic stadium like that. The manpower alone to do that would've been too much for an already overburdened & very exhausted Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee.

Do it the old fashioned way with cardboard cutouts. You could have paid homage to frontline workers worldwide by having their likeness where the spectators would have been.

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I'm still struggling to join all the dots with this ceremony. It really felt as if the plans kept being changed, and what we ended up with was a few random elements from the original, ripped out of their contexts, interspersed with hastily-devised new performances.

 

Speaking of dots, here's my favourite video so far of the drones:

 

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5 hours ago, Nacholympic said:

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

 

5 hours 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!!!!

While I agree with this in principle, but do you honestly believe that the IOC will even give that a second thought, though? An organization so accustomed for decades to graft & pillaging everywhere they go? Hardly. At best, they'll just give Japan an "atta boy" & move on. And when they get back to Lausanne, they'll only say to themselves - "thanks for being our suckers" - & call it a day. Since the IOC only "honor" themselves.

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Some thoughts on the opening ceremony:

It's hard to compare the ceremony to others due to the covid situation - however it did seem to fall a little flat.

Far too gloomy throughout. I think the approach should have been to start off with something serious or sadish and then launch into a fun and high energy show. This is the Olympics - it is a chance for people to enjoy themselves for a few weeks and have a distraction from covid. As tough as things are, it's ok to have a little fun every so often.

Having Osaka as the cauldron lighter does seem like a strange and slightly commercialised decision. From what I've read, she has lived in the US since the age of 3?

I've seen that people have been praising the drone show, and while it was cool - I was hoping for so much more. At this point, I think most of us have seen similar drone shows (on TV at least). With Japan being such a techy country, I was hoping to see a huge drone show on a scale never seen before, with exciting colours and incredible shapes. So to only have a short and fairly small display of the Tokyo 2020 logo and the globe was really disappointing.

I'm curious to know what they would have planned if the ceremony went ahead in a 'normal world' last year. Understandably they did need to slim the ceremony down, however, I think they went a little too far.

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Finally watched it... I'm glad I read reactions prior, because I went in with -10 expectations.

We got very excited at the beginning. The countdown provoked all the awe I was hoping to feel from Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The treadmill sequence was slightly confusing but we felt swept by the music. The beginning's focus on Japanese elements kept us hooked. While it felt a bit clunky and one beat too slow, I was ready and excited to reject the negative consensus.

Unfortunately, the artistic segment seemed to abruptly end, then went to the longer-than-ever Parade, and sadly just never quite recovered. There were further little moments of delight and beauty, but the whole production felt uncomfortably disjointed and unfocused. It left me the feeling that some really smart people individually came up with these different scenes, but there was a dispassionate bureaucrat in charge who was unqualified or uninterested in tying everything together into a singular artistic vision. Further, the tone of the ceremony felt like a misfire. I understand wanting to respect the COVID crisis, but the ceremony shouldn't leave one feeling more sad after watching than beforehand.

Don't get me started on Imagine. Enough words have already been said about that.

Rio was austere to a fault, but it seemed vastly more focused, inspired, and that the team had something they genuinely felt was important and interesting to say to the world. For Tokyo, I don't agree with the COVID excuse, because both teams had to start over (one for budget cuts, two for COVID) multiple times and at approximately the same time-scale of mere months before showtime.

My thought was to give Tokyo a 100% free pass, but the more I read about the behind-the-scenes; the more I see the "how" behind the misfire, the more sour I feel about the whole affair. Japan really deserved better. So I guess in conclusion, 2016 and 2020 are, in my view, the what-to-do and what-not-to-do of producing ceremonies under tight circumstances. I just wish we could hit the reset button and see Brazil and Japan present themselves to the world at their peak readiness.

Afterward, my partner and I watched Athens 2004 again and that cheered us up.

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Well, I watched all Opening ceremonies from Sarajevo 1984 until yesterday - and I have to say I was kind of disappointed. The whole show made me very aware that these Games are not Olympics like we are used to know, but substitute Games...

There were some nice ideas for the segments - like the pictograms segment, but like Olympic2004 has already said it - after the first five you got it and it became boring to watch the last 45 ones... The film crew was "nice" as well, but somehow it didn't fit in the flow of the show...

There was just one segment which I really enjoyed: I liked it, how the logo was formed in the centre of the "crowd" of athletes.

Naomi Osaka looked more like she just came from the dentist than that she was chosen to lit the Olympic Flame...

 

Edited by Citius Altius Fortius
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21 minutes ago, Citius Altius Fortius said:

Naomi Osaka looked more like she just came from the dentist than that she was chosen to lit the Olympic Flame

Yes, I think she's going to have an interesting career. She clearly just wants to play tennis really well, but she's surrounded by people who want her to be their mascot.

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Long time no see. Glad to be back. 

What a sh*t opening ceremonies. 

I'm gonna pop off a bit here, but I'm frankly over every single thing being about COVID. Was the pandemic horrible, yes, but should we talk about it every five seconds? No. This opening ceremonies was like if in 1948, London decided to make their entire opening ceremonies about memorializing WW2. 

As many have said, some artistic segments were nice. Overall, however, I found it to be disorganized and stale. 

I understand that the pandemic is still raging and that it has changed the world dramatically, but the Olympics are meant to be a moment where we come together as a global community not to mope and sulk, but to celebrate the best of human achievement. 

Regardless of how you feel about individual elements from this ceremony or COVID, I think we can all agree that what Tokyo's ceremonies lacked were a sense of celebration. Sure, COVID hit us hard, but we're still here, the world is still turning, and the athletes of the world are still ready to reach faster, higher, stronger--together. 

This may be doomer of me to say, but I can't help but shake the feeling that last night we watched the death of the Olympics. They died, not to the sound of thunderous applause, but to the eternally cringe "Imagine" and faint echo's of loud protests emanating from outside the stadium; where the real spectators were allowed to gather.

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Well...I think i'm ready to finally write a review about it. Last night I was extremely depressed, in all honestly. I guess that's what the expectation of waiting so many years for an Olympics edition you longed for so much only to have whatever we saw last night does to you.

Anyway.

I perfectly understand the Covid situation we're still living in and that it was going to downgrade these ceremonies in scale no matter white. Whoever, while Covid is an excuse for some stuff, it is certainly not an excuse at all for things like lack of vision and disjointed segments which you can tell from a mile they were done at last second. Its as if they had no idea of what they wanted from us. For some brief moments like the sticky men doing the pictograms, it felt like they wanted to bring the goofiness/fun of the 2016 handover, but in others it felt like I was watching Nagano 98 ceremonies all over again, with so much seriousness and lack of celebration feel. I have nothing against making a remembrance of the pandemic which changed the lifes of so many, but making your whole ceremony about it when most of your watchers are trying to escape from this dreadful reality to have a moment of hope and peace was not the way to go.

Then again, when all of the members of the creative team got replaced over the course of a year, many of them even at last second such as the music composer and the third director this ceremony had, I guess the obvious final result was going to be this disjointed mess. For a country which is known for innovating, they had a big chance of using technology in order to make up for the lack of use of mass performances of actors because of the pandemic fears. The drone show could had been that chance, but they blew it with the most cringest, stereotypical song you could had chosen and which only old boomers with one feet in the grave care about.

The parade of nations was the best moment for me. Being a huge fan of vidya and its music, it was a pleasure to my ears to hear songs from Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, Nier and even Romancing Saga being played as the athletes marched in. Also many of the athletes brought the happiness which this ceremony needed so desperately. The uniforms of the placards holders were quaint. You love them or you hate them.

Kabuki segment, like most of you have already said, was a complete disaster, ruined by that piano performance. And it also felt extremely short, a complete waste of potential.

The cauldron design was pretty good and elegant, typical Japanese style. A lot of people in certain websites are angry about Naomi Osaka for lightning the cauldron because of the color of her skin and for not being japanese enough, but in an event which has always been a representant of Globalism, it wasn't really much of a shock nor surprise for me. The only thing which upset me was that she didn't looked like she really wanted to be there. Also, the use of Bolero for the last lap of the torch was anticlimatic, and a song which I relate much more with France than Japan.

I know many people want me to be less rough on this because of the Pandemic, but lets all be honest. This, at the end of the day, is a commercial product, and it must be judged as one. They had a whole year to make a consistent show but were much more busy in their internal feuds and Cancel Culture. The fact the Japanese government handled this catastrophically by refusing to accept the western trials of the Vaccines thus leading to a laughably low percentage of vaccinations added more salt to the wound....no wonder why Abe resigned last year. Since the Games were his vanity project after all, he didn't wanted to be remembered as the PM who screwed up the Olympics, so now all the fault will fall into Suga.

Anyway, I guess my review was kind of disjointed, too....but considering the ceremony we're talking about, I think its very appropiate. I give it a 4/10. The worst opening ceremony i've seen in my entire life, alongside Nagano, except for its closing (ironic that two of the worst openers of an Olympics happened in one of the countries I simp for the most). Some have hopes for the closing ceremony, but lets be honest: do you guys really think after last night we should expect something from this team?

Hopefully, the Paralympics ceremonies are much better done.

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4 minutes ago, Ikarus360 said:

Well...I think i'm ready to finally write a review about it. Last night I was extremely depressed, in all honestly. I guess that's what the expectation of waiting so many years for an Olympics edition you longed for so much only to have whatever we saw last night does to you.

Anyway.

I perfectly understand the Covid situation we're still living in and that it was going to downgrade these ceremonies in scale no matter white. Whoever, while Covid is an excuse for some stuff, it is certainly not an excuse at all for things like lack of vision and disjointed segments which you can tell from a mile they were done at last second. Its as if they had no idea of what they wanted from us. For some brief moments like the sticky men doing the pictograms, it felt like they wanted to bring the goofiness/fun of the 2016 handover, but in others it felt like I was watching Nagano 98 ceremonies all over again, with so much seriousness and lack of celebration feel. I have nothing against making a remembrance of the pandemic which changed the lifes of so many, but making your whole ceremony about it when most of your watchers are trying to escape from this dreadful reality to have a moment of hope and peace was not the way to go.

Then again, when all of the members of the creative team got replaced over the course of a year, many of them even at last second such as the music composer and the third director this ceremony had, I guess the obvious final result was going to be this disjointed mess. For a country which is known for innovating, they had a big chance of using technology in order to make up for the lack of use of mass performances of actors because of the pandemic fears. The drone show could had been that chance, but they blew it with the most cringest, stereotypical song you could had chosen and which only old boomers with one feet in the grave care about.

The parade of nations was the best moment for me. Being a huge fan of vidya and its music, it was a pleasure to my ears to hear songs from Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, Nier and even Romancing Saga being played as the athletes marched in. Also many of the athletes brought the happiness which this ceremony needed so desperately. The uniforms of the placards holders were quaint. You love them or you hate them.

Kabuki segment, like most of you have already said, was a complete disaster, ruined by that piano performance. And it also felt extremely short, a complete waste of potential.

The cauldron design was pretty good and elegant, typical Japanese style. A lot of people in certain websites are angry about Naomi Osaka for lightning the cauldron because of the color of her skin and for not being japanese enough, but in an event which has always been a representant of Globalism, it wasn't really much of a shock nor surprise for me. The only thing which upset me was that she didn't looked like she really wanted to be there. Also, the use of Bolero for the last lap of the torch was anticlimatic, and a song which I relate much more with France than Japan.

I know many people want me to be less rough on this because of the Pandemic, but lets all be honest. This, at the end of the day, is a commercial product, and it must be judged as one. They had a whole year to make a consistent show but were much more busy in their internal feuds and Cancel Culture. The fact the Japanese government handled this catastrophically by refusing to accept the western trials of the Vaccines thus leading to a laughably low percentage of vaccinations added more salt to the wound....no wonder why Abe resigned last year. Since the Games were his vanity project after all, he didn't wanted to be remembered as the PM who screwed up the Olympics, so now all the fault will fall into Suga.

Anyway, I guess my review was kind of disjointed, too....but considering the ceremony we're talking about, I think its very appropiate. I give it a 4/10. The worst opening ceremony i've seen in my entire life, alongside Nagano, except for its closing (ironic that two of the worst openers of an Olympics happened in one of the countries I simp for the most). Some have hopes for the closing ceremony, but lets be honest: do you guys really think after last night we should expect something from this team?

Hopefully, the Paralympics ceremonies are much better done.

There is even a petition to have MIKIKO's plan for the closing ceremony.

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2 minutes ago, WD96 said:

There is even a petition to have MIKIKO's plan for the closing ceremony.

Good luck with that lmao.

No one with actual talent and reputation wants to be involved in this steaming hot pile of garbage. Only Squeenix and Namco were kind enough to allow them to use their songs for the parade of nations.

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1 minute ago, Ikarus360 said:

Good luck with that lmao.

No one with actual talent and reputation wants to be involved in this steaming hot pile of garbage. Only Squeenix and Namco were kind enough to allow them to use their songs for the parade of nations.

Most petitions usually don't work but sometimes they do. I can understand why they made a petition on this. Most fans wanted a closing ceremony with a fun tone (as a means to cheer people up during these troubling times). They also wanted MIKIKO to come back for closing ceremony. I could image if MIKIKO's idea was used for the opening ceremony. You had to understand that there is still hope. I saw MIKIKO's idea and you know what, that describes Japan's global impact (which is one of themes for the closing ceremony). I know you are gonna to say MIKIKO might have her reputation ruined but her idea can go on without her and I know you are going to say that not going to happen. But, people acutally wanted a closing ceremony that tells more about Japanese culture and history. I understand why the organizers wanted a opening ceremony to be somber.

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3 hours ago, Ikarus360 said:

Well...I think i'm ready to finally write a review about it. Last night I was extremely depressed, in all honestly. I guess that's what the expectation of waiting so many years for an Olympics edition you longed for so much only to have whatever we saw last night does to you.

Anyway.

I perfectly understand the Covid situation we're still living in and that it was going to downgrade these ceremonies in scale no matter white. Whoever, while Covid is an excuse for some stuff, it is certainly not an excuse at all for things like lack of vision and disjointed segments which you can tell from a mile they were done at last second. Its as if they had no idea of what they wanted from us. For some brief moments like the sticky men doing the pictograms, it felt like they wanted to bring the goofiness/fun of the 2016 handover, but in others it felt like I was watching Nagano 98 ceremonies all over again, with so much seriousness and lack of celebration feel. I have nothing against making a remembrance of the pandemic which changed the lifes of so many, but making your whole ceremony about it when most of your watchers are trying to escape from this dreadful reality to have a moment of hope and peace was not the way to go.

Then again, when all of the members of the creative team got replaced over the course of a year, many of them even at last second such as the music composer and the third director this ceremony had, I guess the obvious final result was going to be this disjointed mess. For a country which is known for innovating, they had a big chance of using technology in order to make up for the lack of use of mass performances of actors because of the pandemic fears. The drone show could had been that chance, but they blew it with the most cringest, stereotypical song you could had chosen and which only old boomers with one feet in the grave care about.

The parade of nations was the best moment for me. Being a huge fan of vidya and its music, it was a pleasure to my ears to hear songs from Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, Nier and even Romancing Saga being played as the athletes marched in. Also many of the athletes brought the happiness which this ceremony needed so desperately. The uniforms of the placards holders were quaint. You love them or you hate them.

Kabuki segment, like most of you have already said, was a complete disaster, ruined by that piano performance. And it also felt extremely short, a complete waste of potential.

The cauldron design was pretty good and elegant, typical Japanese style. A lot of people in certain websites are angry about Naomi Osaka for lightning the cauldron because of the color of her skin and for not being japanese enough, but in an event which has always been a representant of Globalism, it wasn't really much of a shock nor surprise for me. The only thing which upset me was that she didn't looked like she really wanted to be there. Also, the use of Bolero for the last lap of the torch was anticlimatic, and a song which I relate much more with France than Japan.

I know many people want me to be less rough on this because of the Pandemic, but lets all be honest. This, at the end of the day, is a commercial product, and it must be judged as one. They had a whole year to make a consistent show but were much more busy in their internal feuds and Cancel Culture. The fact the Japanese government handled this catastrophically by refusing to accept the western trials of the Vaccines thus leading to a laughably low percentage of vaccinations added more salt to the wound....no wonder why Abe resigned last year. Since the Games were his vanity project after all, he didn't wanted to be remembered as the PM who screwed up the Olympics, so now all the fault will fall into Suga.

Anyway, I guess my review was kind of disjointed, too....but considering the ceremony we're talking about, I think its very appropiate. I give it a 4/10. The worst opening ceremony i've seen in my entire life, alongside Nagano, except for its closing (ironic that two of the worst openers of an Olympics happened in one of the countries I simp for the most). Some have hopes for the closing ceremony, but lets be honest: do you guys really think after last night we should expect something from this team?

Hopefully, the Paralympics ceremonies are much better done.

Thank you for this review..... you nailed it perfectly :) 

I have the same feelings about the ceremony

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5 hours ago, mr.bernham said:

 This may be doomer of me to say, but I can't help but shake the feeling that last night we watched the death of the Olympics. They died, not to the sound of thunderous applause, but to the eternally cringe "Imagine" and faint echo's of loud protests emanating from outside the stadium; where the real spectators were allowed to gather.

If the Olympics survived a terrorist attack, a city which couldn't even finish the main venue in time and two massive boycotts, they can survive this. But heads need to roll inside the IOC asap. Time for them to wake up and realize that less and less people care for the Olympics and, not only that, but are becoming extremely hostile to their very existence. No more excesive costs, no more overdemands to the hosts, and no more irrelevant/unnecesary events which no one watches and just adds more burdens to the cities.

Part of me is praying that FIFAgate 2.0 happens in the IOC in the very near future.

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A quick question apologies if previously mentioned.

When the combined piano and Kabuki performance took place was the camera supposed to be directed at the piano for most of the time or was that a mistake? We got only a few seconds to a minute or so from the the performer and most of the piano performance but this did not make so much sense?

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If Japan wants to bid for the Olympic Games again, they could try Nagoya. Nagoya made a bid for the 1988 Olympics but lost to Seoul so why not give Nagoya a second attempt.

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22 hours ago, Ikarus360 said:

Kabuki segment, like most of you have already said, was a complete disaster, ruined by that piano performance. And it also felt extremely short, a complete waste of potential.

I actually quite liked it in my opinion.

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Osaka seems like the next obvious choice really. Being it's Japan's second largest city, & they also made an attempt at the 2008 Olympics, which ultimately went to Beijing. But something tell me if Japan really wants to bid again, particularly if it's mainly about the "what could've been", then Tokyo again is the only answer to that.

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On 7/24/2021 at 3:30 AM, JMarkSnow2012 said:

I'm still struggling to join all the dots with this ceremony. It really felt as if the plans kept being changed, and what we ended up with was a few random elements from the original, ripped out of their contexts, interspersed with hastily-devised new performances.

 

Speaking of dots, here's my favourite video so far of the drones:

I feel like this is likely what happened. I also heavily suspect the creative team was undercut by politics (throwing the baby out with the bath water at the slightest of controversy).

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Queen's "Teo Torriatte" was played on one of the ceremony's last video-montages and that was a pleasant, yet somewhat unexpected, moment for me. I didn't remember that this particular song had some lines sang in japanese.

But it made me think of how Rio 2016 ceremonies didn't have songs perfomed in english (except for that horrible Olympic single presented at the closing because of "IOC wanted to") and that didn't make those shows less enjoyable ou relatable for the International audiences, I guess

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