Haruhi's high school doesn't appreciate otaku visits - Japanator
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Haruhi's high school doesn't appreciate otaku visits

5:30 PM on 04.16.2010

Josh Tolentino

Managing Editor

It's usually a boon for a local destination to be selected by some famous anime studio to serve as a background locale. The town of Washimiya and its shrine, which served as the backdrop for Lucky Star, is a shining example of the profit "otaku tourism" can bring.

Unfortunately, not all of that attention is positive, as the staff of a high school in Hyogo prefecture found out. The alma mater of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya author Nagaru Tanigawa, Nishinomiya high school was also used as a visual template for the Haruhi TV series. Otaku found out, and naturally began making pilgrimages to this undoubtedly holy place.

Unlike shrines though, high schools aren't tourist sites. They're high schools. And having crowds of fans stalking the grounds and snapping pictures isn't conducive to the proper development of Japan's youngsters.

Eventually the school was forced to place a message on its website stating that it would no longer tolerate "outsiders trespassing on school property." Though Haruhi-ists were left unmentioned, but it's relatively clear just who the message was directed at. After all, there is also a message on the same site encouraging viewers to check out the music video for "Yasashii Bokyaku" (embedded below), the theme song for the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya movie, which also used the school as a backdrop.

Oh, man. I can just imagine some folks trying to break into the school at night and writing alien symbols on the baseball field, Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody-style.

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