Demon Slayer Theme Song Closes Out Tokyo Olympics

Demon Slayer fans watching the closing ceremonies to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were treated to a live, instrumental performance of a very familiar song.

The closing ceremonies for the controversy laden 2020 Tokyo Olympics were set to a ska-influenced performance of "Gurenge," the opening theme for the first season of the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba anime. The popular anime theme was original performed by singer/songwriter LiSA, who also previously provided the themes for anime such as The Irregular at Magic High School and Sword Art Online. "Gurenge" peaked at number 2 on Billboard Japan's Hot 100 rankings and was also the first song by a female artist in Japan to surpass over 1 million paid downloads.

The performance of "Gurenge" caps off an Olympics that featured many other references to Japanese pop culture. The opening ceremonies featured a medley of music from several popular Japanese video games, including Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Sonic the Hedgehog and Nier. Throughout the event, many athletes referenced their favorite anime and video games, from a shot-putter donning a One Piece pose, to a coach carrying around a Legend of Zelda figure as a good luck charm. Several of the manga industry's most acclaimed creators, including Sailor Moon's Naoko Takeuchi, contributed illustrations to the games' official program guide. Leaked documents revealed that video games and anime were supposed to have an even more pronounced presence at the event, as the game's originally planned opening ceremonies were supposed to feature an appearance by Nintendo mascot Mario and more.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba is set to continue its domination of mainstream pop-culture when the second season of the anime premieres on Funimation sometime before the end of 2021.  Earlier this year, the first movie in the franchise, Mugen Train, was released in theaters and broke records in both Japan and the United States. The final chapter of Koyoharu Gotouge's manga was recently published, bringing to a close the story that began in 2016. In the five years since the manga was originally released, Demon Slayer has grown into one of the biggest anime and manga franchises in the world, with over 150 million copies of the manga in circulation. As of December 2020, Demon Slayer was estimated to have generated over $2 billion USD in sales across the franchise's lifetime.

The first season of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba is available for streaming on Netflix, Hulu and Funimation. The Mugen Train movie is currently streaming on Funimation.

Source: Twitter


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