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Some Studio Ghibli Theme Park Guests Have Found a Way To Ruin the Experience for Everyone

This is why we can't have nice things.

San and Ashitaka in Princess Mononoke.
(Studio Ghibli)

Studio Ghibli is well known for its classic and family-friendly movies, and that has extended to its beautiful new theme park. Unfortunately, the park guests are another story, taking the wholesome sweetness of Ghibli and making it gross.


Viral photos showing men suggestively touching statues of female Studio Ghibli characters at Japan’s Ghibli Park drew strong backlash from the public and government officials. #japan #japanlife #japantiktok #studioghibli #ghibli #ghiblistudios #ghiblipark #aichi #aichiprefecture #aichijapan #anime

♬ original sound – VICE World News

Videos and photos have surfaced showing some male guests at the Studio Ghibli park groping female statues’ chests. Other images showed them taking upskirt photos of Marnie from When Marnie Was There (who was 12 in the movie, by the way).

The park itself had no comment initially, but backlash reached all the way to the Governor of the Aichi prefecture, Hideaki Ōmura, who stated, “Frankly speaking, posting photos like that on social media is very inappropriate… From adults to children, people go to Ghibli Park to enter the Ghibli world and enjoy themselves. Clearly this action disturbed many people… For those who come to the park to do this kind of thing, I would much prefer them not to come at all. Of course, we need to take harsher measures against this kind of behavior. This is basically destruction of property.”

He indicated that “firm and strict” action would be taken against those who misbehave at the park.

Some argued that the backlash was excessive, as no one was hurt by the actions of the guests. However, others argued that “if your first response to a female form that can’t say no is to sexualize it [then] something is wrong with you.”

It’s especially upsetting considering Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder of Studio Ghibli and director of some of its best movies, is famous for writing complex female characters with respect and care for their stories. It’s one of the reasons the park has so many female character statues in the first place.

Of course (or rather, unfortunately), this behavior isn’t exclusive to the Studio Ghibli park by any means; former Disney Park cast members have shared their experiences of being sexually harassed by guests. The sexual behavior towards statues of underage girls also reminded me of the Wall Street Bro vs the Fearless Girl statue in NY.

Let’s hope that the threat of consequences will keep perverts and molesters in check so the rest of us can enjoy the park in peace.

(featured image: Studio Ghibli)

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Kimberly Terasaki is a Creative Writing graduate, fanfiction author, and intersectional feminist. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan. She appreciates all constructive criticism and genuine discussion.