Studio Ghibli Park Offenders Apologize Over Controversial Photos

Universal Studios Japan was once considered the premiere theme park when it came to honoring anime franchises, with the likes of Attack on Titan, Case Closed, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Jujutsu Kaisen, and Hunter x Hunter only acting as a few examples. Now, however, Studio Ghibli has opened a park of its own that sees several magical lands fashioned from some of their most legendary stories. Unfortunately, a recent controversy has some park-goers offering their apologies as lewd photos had made their way onto the internet, causing the Japanese government to respond.

The Studio Ghibli amusement park opened late last year in Japan, specifically in the Aichi prefecture. Helping to create new environments modeled after movies including the likes of My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and Howl's Moving Castle to name a few, the park itself has statues dedicated to some of the studio's biggest anime stars. The park has confirmed that it is looking to expand with new sections of the park and new attractions, including transforming modes of transportation to look like the legendary "Catbus", though a North American park is far from confirmed.

Studio Ghibli Controversy

Previously, the governor of Aichi prefecture had commented on the lewd photographs that had been shared in the park, stating the following, "Ghibli Park is a place for adults and children to have fun while experiencing Ghibli films. I don't want people who do things that many find offensive to come to the park," The photos had been making the rounds online since they were released in February earlier this year.

The trio responsible for the controversy apologized, thanks to a recent press conference, with the men behind it meeting with the Ghibli Park promotion department in an effort to make amends. Here's what they had to say, "Taking those photos went beyond the level of a practical joke. We've caused a lot of distress to everyone. We endeavor not to cause any mischief in the future." Ghibli itself has yet to comment on the matter, though the governor of Aichi, Hideaki Omura, stated that he would "earnestly accept the apology" while also stating that he "would like this to mark the end of this matter." 

Ghibli Park was originally planning to open in 2020, though the opening date was pushed back to 2022. Currently, tickets are also available to international anime fans that might have a trip to Japan planned in the future. It has yet to be seen if any amusement park in North America will take the same path as Universal Studios Japan and Ghibli Park by focusing a tad more on anime.