Anime Thing Sells Out Tokyo Dome

Love Live! is a Japanese multimedia project developed by the animation studio Sunrise that revolves around a fictional group of school girls who become idol singers in order to save their school from bankruptcy.

Originally a comic, the project has since been adapted to music CDs, anime music videos, television series, feature films and video games. The concert version of Love Live! has become so big that it sold out Tokyo Dome on March 31. In attendance was Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Hiroshi Hase, who also happens to be a former professional wrestler.

Apparently, he’s a fan of the project, and was invited to the concert expressly by the president of Bushiroad, the company that publishes “Love Live! School Idol Festival.” Later, Hase compared the experience of seeing Love Live! to New Japan Pro Wrestling events.

“I want to spread this heat to the world,” he told reporters, and mentioned the project in relation to Cool Japan, a government scheme to make Japanese pop culture more familiar all over the world. In the end, he delivered a bombshell: He’d like Love Live! to be part of the opening or closing ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

According to the magazine R25, however, a lot of fans of Love Live! don’t like the idea, since they have a possessive feeling toward the project, and don’t think a wider, more general audience could suitably appreciate it. Another obstacle to an Olympic showcase for the project is Yasushi Akimoto, the creator and producer of top idol girl collective AKB48, who happens to be on the Olympics organizing committee. It’s not likely he’d favor Love Live! over his own charges if it came down to a duel.