The man pictured above is Tomoyuki Oka basking in the glow of winning the All-Japan Sambo Championships. Having excelled in the Russian grappling sport, he exhibits all the features of supreme manliness: a square hair-lined jaw, steely and dominant glare, burly muscles that dwarf his first place trophy (the Putin Cup), and a half-hearted effort at those “V” fingers that Japanese people usually pose with in pictures.
But wait a minute… What’s that under his sambovka?
Why, those appear to be the characters from the popular manga, anime, and game seriesLove Live! School Idol Project. In fact, in the accompanying message to his Tweeted photo, Oka acknowledges his fandom of the animated idol group.
“I won the All-Japan Sambo Championships!
Now, I’m not so angry I had to blow off Love Live! at SSA.
And of course the T-shirt I’m wearing, it’s Love Live!!”
Um… right! Well, Oka has good reason to be a little regretful, live Love Live! performances such as the ones on February 8 and 9 featuring the voice actors from the series are few and far between. The ones held at Saitama Super Arena (SSA) were sure to be a smash.
Good thing the gals were there with him in spirit through his T-shirt. Love Live! follows a group of schoolgirls who form an idol group. Viewers are able to vote online for their favorite characters which influences how they’re arranged and styled.
Luckily, after going back a little on Oka’s Twitter feed we learned that he was able to attend the Sphere concert only a few days earlier.
Sphere is another idol ensemble made up of voice actresses.
Oka is also a part of Bushiroad, a training ground for soon-to-be members of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. NJPW was purchased by Bushiroad a couple years ago. Bushiroad also puts out several trading cards games and video games such as Love Live! School Idol Festival. It’s unclear whether Oka’s love of Love Live! and other anime came before or after his relationship with Bushiroad.
Oka’s bittersweet victory earned him the love of netizens who retweeted his message about 4,000 times as of this writing. One commenter wrote, “I would have felt strange bumping into that guy at SSA [during a Love Live! event].” Others simply laughed.
I’m not sure why. Schoolgirl idol themed anime is the epitome of masculinity. And if you disagree, go talk to Tomoyuki Oka… because I’m too scared to.
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