22 Aug 2016 4:27 PM +00:00 UTC

Japan's Prime Minister Closed Out The Olympics as Mario

Japan is already raring to host the 2020 Olympics video-game style, as the closing ceremony in Rio for the 2016 Olympics proved. Japan's Prime minister, Shinzo Abe, showed up dressed as the famous Nintendo character Mario in order to hype up the audience for the next Olympics, which will take place in Tokyo. You can see the full moment in the tweet below:

Japan is definitely not shying away from their pop cultural contributions to the world in promoting the Olympics. The Prime Minister's appearance was preceded by a video that was filled to the brim with video game and anime references. It included Pac-Man and Hello Kitty. There was also some references to anime the rest of the world might not be as familiar with, most notably Doraemon, Japan's longest running anime.

Mario's cameo was good news for Nintendo. It made stocks jump 3.5% in Tokyo, CNN reports. Nintendo spokesman Yasuhiko Minagawa says the appearance was the Tokyo Organizing Committee's idea. On the event, he says "It was a great honor that Mario appeared at the Rio Olympic closing ceremony to play a role of bridging to the Tokyo Olympics while people all over the world are watching." However, he notes that Nintendo is not an official sponsor of the Games.

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You can definitely expect more anime and video-game based hype as the Olympics approaches. There is already official olympics merchandise featuring iconic anime heroes like Sailor Moon, Goku from Dragonball Z, Naruto, Astro Boy, Luffy from One Piece, Crayon Shin-Chan, Jibanyan from Yo-Kai Watch and Cure Miracle and Cure Magical from Mahou Girls Precure. Whew!

I'm definitely excited for all the nerdery that is sure to accompany the 2020 Olympics. What about you? Does this get you hyped?

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