Anime tie-up with Japanese onsen town causes public outcry, officials double-down on collaboration

Originally published on Sora News by

Backlash against Onsen Musume Project prompts a slinging match between feminists and otaku.

In Japan, a lot of real-world objects and places have been anthropomorphised into anime characters, creating perfect opportunities for promotional tie-ups and collaborations. One project, for instance, has transformed major hot spring areas in Japan into Onsen Musume, cute goddesses who also act as idols, competing with and against each other to become the best idol group in the country.

The Onsen Musume Project — endorsed as a Cool Japan company by the Cabinet Office to help promote tourism — has been working to revitalise hot spring regions since

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