July 23, 2021 8:48:51 am
As the excitement builds around the Tokyo Olympics, Google, too, joined the hype on Friday (July 23) with its latest doodle in a fitting tribute to Japanese culture. The doodle not only presents an immersive experience with a range of sports to play, it is accompanied by a short anime video featuring Lucky, a feline athlete, reminiscent of the ‘lucky cat’ or the maneki-neko, a popular figurine across Asia.
The Doodle Champion Island Games, designed in a retro style of animation, similar to the likes of Super Mario or Sonic, have a range of options that Lucky can master. Players can compete in real-time and help their team — red, blue, green or yellow — reach to the top of the world-wide leaderboard in different Olympics games like rugby, table tennis, skateboarding, archery, synchronised swimming, rock climbing and marathons. Lucky must defeat each sport champion and collect all seven sacred scrolls to win the games, along with multiple hidden challenges.
Each mini game comes with a characteristic opponent, which the makers have derived from popular cultural references in Japan. The characters and team mascots pay homage to folktales from the Hokkaido island in the north to the Okinawa island in the south. Lucky, too, is a calico cat which are popular across Japan.
The prelude to the games features a short anime, again a widely popular genre of TV shows and films that are based upon Japanese manga. Works of anime creators like Hayao Miyazaki, Osamu Tezuka, and Katsuhiro Otomo, among others are watched and loved across the globe.
The animation and the games have been designed by the Japan-based animation studio, STUDIO4°C.