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As nations gather in Tokyo for the summer Olympics, a group of Japanese artists have shown their support by creating anime characters based on the participating countries' flags.

The World Flags project was launched in 2018 by artist Kamaya Yamamoto together with others artists whom he had worked with. They hope to promote cross-cultural understanding through iconic Japanese elements of anime and samurai.

The artists design each character based on national flags, culture and iconic symbols. The characters also have stats and a small bio of strengths and weaknesses, just like in a video game.

For example, Guyen — the Vietnamese character — has fortune-telling as a special skill and his favorite food is phở. His weak point, however, is schedule management.

The project runs a Twitter page where they introduce the characters. Based on the feedback from the community, the artists might make modifications when necessary. The representative of Spain, Iniesta, for example, was originally designed as a bullfighter, but was later remade into a flamenco dancer due to comments that bullfighting is now controversial in the country. 

Right now there are 84 characters on their website, with more to come in the future. The project is also working on a manga where all the characters come together to protect the world from an alien invasion

 

Argentina

Australia

Bangladesh

Belgium

Chile

Canada

Finland

Germany

Japan

Korea

Malaysia

Madagascar

Mexico

Mongolia

New Zealand

Panama

The Philippines

Russia

South Africa

Singapore

Switzerland

United States

[Illustrations via World Flags project]

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