This theme park is being seriously condemned by the general public.
Warning: this article will discuss crimes that may be considered to be deviant/sexual in nature.
The Walt Disney Company has helmed international theme parks like Anaheim, California’s Disneyland Resort, Orlando, Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort, and the associated Magic Kingdom. Under the same Disney Parks umbrella is the Disneyland Paris Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Shanghai Disney Resort, and the Tokyo Disney Resort. However, beloved Disney are not the only animation company with highly immersive, detailed theme parks out there.
As we covered previously, the theme park run by beloved Disney rival animation studio, Studio Ghibli’s Ghibli Park, has had a few incidences of “sexual crimes” on its grounds, as of late. The Studio Ghibli theme park is owned and operated by Ghibli Park Co. under the Oscar-winning animation studio, home of renowned Japanese film director Hayao Miyazaki. Studio Ghibli and Disney actually have a shared history — with The Walt Disney Company distributing Ghibli films on some systems internationally — but the talented film studio maintains its canon of works and operates outside of Disney control.
Based in Koganei, Tokyo, Japan, Miyazaki’s studio have produced many a beloved Studio Ghibli film, from My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989), Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001), Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), to Ponyo (2008), and beyond — that have revolutionized the animation industry for decades. Paired with Joe Hisaishi’s moving musical compositions, these animated films have soared to international recognition and beyond, encompassing gorgeous and uniquely styled visuals in worlds of both fantasy and the everyday. Recently, however, news surrounding this theme park and its owner Studio Ghibli has not been as favorable, with fans canceling the theme park, and Government officials having to look into implementing counter-measures against crimes of a sexual nature that are occurring in the family-friendly Park.
Related: “Notice: Your Life is Over”, Fans Warn “No Morals” Guest Trespassing at Disney Park
Why is the Government stepping in to deal with “sexual crimes” at the Ghibli Park?
This park since opening stands as a potential rival to even Universal Studios Japan and Disney’s Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea Parks, having been rather well-received as an immersive and wholesome experience. Recently, the Studio Ghibli theme park has had Guests “sexually assaulting” their underage theme park characters’ photo-op figurines, taking lewd pictures where grown men grope the breasts of 13 year-old characters, and take photos up the characters’ skirts. Unfortunately, the Ghibli Park is in hot water after not expressing any direct condemnation of the recent activities that have occurred at the theme park. Instead, they have come forward with a “no comment” response — resulting in severe backlash from both fans and the Government alike.
As Mainichi News covered, Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura expressed his anger regarding the “inappropriate photos of characters” taken at Ghibli Park that were being posted on the internet, including “people touching the breasts of statues”. As the Studio Ghibli Park is located within Nagakute City, the theme park falls under the governance of Aichi Prefecture, and under Omura’s responsibility. Speaking on the issue, he stated that “firm action” will be taken:
It is extremely regrettable. We will take firm action because it (Ghibli Park) is located within the prefectural park.
Additionally, he expressed the intention to request the Park’s operating company, Ghibli Park Co., to “immediately stop any inappropriate behavior by visitors”, if such acts are detected.
Why is the public canceling the Ghibli Park?
The general public have taken to the internet to seriously express their disappointment and upset at Park management — particularly as the theme park is touted to be family-friendly and a Park aimed at children and adults alike — not unlike Disney.
@goshuinchou expressed deep disdain for the theme park’s “no comment” stance, with a tweet that went viral, garnering over 100K likes:
(translated) Ghibli Park, what is no comment?! It should be, “Even though you’re a Guest, it cannot be forgiven”, right?
— 幣束 (@goshuinchou) March 8, 2023
Other users including @dontoverlookha1 exhibited shock about the “no comment” response from management, condemning the “sexual crimes” photoshoot. They also brought up the disturbing fact that authority figures in “positions of responsibility” are so ready to stay silent, ignoring situations like this — which could lead real “victims of sexual violence” to be similarly ignored:
(translated) Huh… I was shocked when the management said “no comment” about the photo shoot at Ghibli Park that reminded me of sexual crimes. Can’t you imagine that there are fewer and fewer places where victims of sexual violence can go safely because those in positions of responsibility are silently overlooking them?
— 大学のハラスメントを看過しない会 (@dontoverlookha1) March 3, 2023
Overall, Studio Ghibli’s reputation as “Japan’s Disney” is being seriously tarnished of late. The decision from Park management to ignore an issue as heavily discussed and condemned as this is baffling to say the least. Hopefully, something can be done about these disturbing actions taking place in front of children who just want to have fun at a theme park for the day.
Do you think the Ghibli Park should be canceled for its choice to give “no comment”? What do you think of the Government response? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
The Studio Ghibli theme park called Ghibli Park (not to be confused with the Studio Ghibli Museum), houses five iconic areas – Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, Witch Valley, Princess Mononoke Village, Dondoko Forest, and Youth Hill – all locations based on the Studio Ghibli films, now available for visitors to roam freely. Studio Ghibli fans will love to immerse themselves in every attraction at this new Ghibli Park. The unique park is located at World Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park (sometimes Aichi Expo Memorial Park) in Nagakute city near Nagoya, about three hours by train from Tokyo.
Those interested in the new Ghibli Park tickets may purchase and reserve theirs on the Park’s official website.