Those responsible for taking inappropriate photos at Ghibli Park have apologized for their behaviour.
As reported by Comic Book, a group of parkgoers released a statement in response to the controversy regarding their inappropriate social media posts. The perpetrators collected a collection of erotic images throughout the park, showing them cuddling with character statues and taking pictures of them wearing skirts, then sharing them on social media. They recently explained their actions at a press conference: “Taking these photos is beyond the scope of an actual joke. We caused a lot of suffering to people. We try not to cause any bad behavior in the future.”
Photos of these parkgoers sexually harassing and degrading depictions of underage characters from Ghibli cartoons caused a stir throughout February and March, with that the Japanese government will step in and promise to crack down on such behavior. Hideaki Omura, governor of Aichi Prefecture – where the park is located – commented on the matter at the time of posting, saying: “Ghibli Park is a place for adults and children to have fun while experiencing Ghibli movies. . I don’t want people who do things that make a lot of people uncomfortable to come to the park.”
The park itself and the Ghibli company have not released any statements regarding the controversy. However, Omura expressed a willingness to accept their apology and wish to leave the whole incident in the past. It’s unclear if the perpetrators will face punishment for their actions, such as being charged with a crime or being banned from the park.
The studio itself also recently faced controversy of its own when the company’s co-founder, Toshio Suzuki, was embroiled in a scandal that saw him embezzled company money to give to his girlfriend mine. Besides, the company has continued to thrive with new products and achieved much success with the opening of the park.
Ghibli Park opens to the public in November 2022, two years after its original planned opening date of 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It gives attendees the chance to experience the world of Ghibli, with models and attractions from some of their most popular films, such as My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away. The park has multiple sections, with areas currently open including “Ghibli’s Great Warehouse”, “Hills of Youth”, and “Dondoko Forest”. In addition, there are two areas that are still unopened, “Mononoke Village” and “Valley of the Witches”.
Tickets to the park are available on the website. Additionally, Studio Ghibli’s catalog of movies is available to stream on HBO Max.