Hey, the Olympics (& Paralypics, too) are taking place in Tokyo! After being delayed from last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the quadrennial games are finally happening... Despite the pandemic still essentially looming over Japan as a whole, and competitors are being prevented from playing for smoking marijuana, and there won't be any spectators in the stands because of said pandemic still looming, which has resulted in some players pulling out of the games entirely... And this is arguably the lesser of the problems with the entire thing. "Citius, Altius, Fortius", indeed.
Huh, I was hoping for something a little more upbeat for an intro, so let's just move on to the point I wanted to make: Tokyo in 1964!
The last time Tokyo was home to the Olympics was back in the Summer of 1964 for the Games of the XVIII Olympiad, and those games were an important one for not just Japan, but the world as a whole. Internationally, this was the first time the Olympics were truly broadcast live, by way of satellite feeds, and were also the first time the games were aired in color, at least partially; it's also the first time South Africa was excluded due to apartheid, which stuck until 1992. For Japan, this was the country's chance to show how much it had changed since the end of World War II, with the only real remnant of that era being Emperor Hirohito (a.k.a "Emperor Showa") opening the games themselves. This was a peaceful Japan, & its various technological advancements, like the Tokaido Shinkansen & various tech that the Olympics would continue to use to this very day, helped give the country the feeling that it was ahead of the curve, in some regards. The 1964 Summer Olympics also received a documentary in the form of Kon Ichikawa's Tokyo Olympiad, often cited as one of the greatest sports documentaries ever made.
That leaves only one question: So how was life in Tokyo leading up to all of this?
Turns out anime studio WaoWorld & media production company Think Corporation wanted to answer that question, so the two came together (along with numerous other companies) to do so in an interesting fashion: Through anime. After an apparent 4.5-year production process, Showa Monogatari (literally "Showa Story") wound up being the final product, allegedly becoming the first anime ever aimed primarily at senior citizens & baby boomers, i.e. people who actually were alive back at that time; it was even called a "TV Manga", just like early anime at the time was. The first four episodes initially had an advance airing on Mie TV from December 30, 2010 to January 2, 2011, followed by a handful of other regional stations airing those episodes throughout January, & a compilation movie would debut in theaters later on January 29. After that, the full 13-episode TV series would receive a proper broadcast during the Spring 2011 season, where it received either a late morning, early afternoon, or prime time evening time slot, depending on the station. Showa Monogatari came out just before anime simulcasting had started to become fully standardized via Crunchyroll, so it unfortunately missed out on that boat, though it was given a full fansub (TV & movie), & its first episode did see some coverage on sites like ANN when it started airing in full. So let's see if this anime truly does give the viewer an idea of what life in Tokyo was like the last time the Olympics were held there, and if an anime aimed at "old people" can even appeal to younger audiences.