Saga Prefecture is trying to revitalize its economy the anime way. Not only have they been producing two original anime to make the prefecture attractive to people all over Japan, but they’ve also started a collaboration with TV anime Yuri on Ice! They started the collaboration event ‘Saga on Ice!’ on 6 March 2017. At the two venues of the event in Saga and Tokyo the response to the project was overwhelming, with a packed venue on the first day.
In Tokyo, the ‘Saga on Ice ~Meiji Jingu Gaien Stadium Ice Skate Rink~’ will be held for a limited time only from 6 March – 12 March 2017. On opening day, fans were lining up outside the venue, proving how successful the event was going to be. The venue had cardboard cutouts of the characters where fans could take pictures.
One of the special presents the visitors received was a map of Yuri on Ice locations that one can find in Karatsu City. One of the visitors said, ‘I planned on visiting the locations from the anime in real life, but I couldn’t find much info about them online. Now that I have this map, I will go to Karatsu!’ It is a present that will help tourists who plan on visiting Saga prefecture.
From 6 March – 7 May 2017, a special collaboration event will be held in Karatsu. 15 restaurants will give out collaborative goods, such as postcards and coasters. In the city, visitors can find original posters and life size cardboard cutouts that will greet the fans while they are hunting down the locations of their favorite anime in real life. On the first day of the event, a special opening stage will be held at JR Karatsu station. The mayor of Karatsu, Tatsuro Mine, said about this project, ‘This will make it possible for Hasetsu and Karatsu to connect! I hope people will like Karatsu as much as they liked Hasetsu in the anime.’
When the life sized cardboard cutouts were revealed, about 100 fans who had come from all over Japan applauded. In the end, they took a commemorative photo with all the attendee, mimicking a pose from the anime.
‘Saga on Ice’ Tokyo
Event period: 6 March 2017 – 12 March 2017
Venue: Meiji Jingu Gaien Stadium Ice Skate Rink
‘Saga on Ice’ Saga
Event period: 6 March 2017 – 7 May 2017
Venue: Karatsu City, Saga Prefecture
（c）はせつ町民会/ユーリ!!! on ICE 製作委員会