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Zoo wandering... 
2nd-Jun-2008 01:45 pm
Why do manga I read or toku I watch seem to have date(s) taking place in a zoo? I can't decide whether this is something I miss in the Japanese culture, or it's just mere coincidence that young Japanese couples seem to like going out to zoos. Anyway, I don't even know how to start looking up this information since it seems so specific.


I might be missing something I've seen, but here is the list of series off the top of my head...

Tokusatsu: (I try to mark out specific instances anyway.)

Ultraman Tiga:episode 30 - Daigo and Rena's date, which she asked him since episode 25.

Ultraman Nexus: Komon and Riko - recurring in the few early episodes, I believe. (Spoilers for episode 26+) And that place Ren works at, is that a zoo? I can't remember, though I'm leaning more toward it being an amusement park. But whatever that place is, Ren and Mizuho don't really go on a date anyway.

Kamen Rider Den-O: I think episode 42, but don't quote me on it.

Mahou Sentai Magiranger: Episode 47, I think. Urara and Hikaru (with the rest of the family stalking following them). (Added September 26, 2009)

Manga: (I mark these out too, even though I wonder if anyone is familiar with any of these manga.)

Yume Made KISS: volume 2, episode 5: Yume and Kijinosuke (no idea of the spelling). And not really count since they actually date elsewhere, but Arisu and Kanoko do come to the same zoo, too, if only briefly.

Boku to Kanojo no XXX: volume 4, few episodes toward the end. Momoi (Akira) and Senbongi.

(Special note: These two manga contain my favorite element: gender-switching. And I'll be pleasantly surprised if anyone reading this has ever heard of Yume Made KISS before.)

(And this one is kind of not really related, but I'll put it in anyway since I'm just reminded of it...)
Otomen: Asuka and Ryo's first date is, I believe, in volume 1, chapter 4, at Zoo Need World (sorry, I think it's more of an amusement park, but with that name I could not resist), where Asuka spends time playing a hero and stops a rampaging bull (ah, Zoo Need World has a bull, so it might sort of qualify as a one animal zoo?). (Added March 23, 2011)

The thing I like is, these series do not just put the characters in the zoo (for whatever reason) and have them uninterested in their surroundings. The characters all seem to have fun, which is the reaction I normally expect out of people when they go to the zoo. I think their use of the zoo as almost a character in itself is probably one of the reasons these series stand out in my mind (as in, I have no trouble recalling them for this list).

P.S. I list the names only if at least one character in the pairing is the protagonist of the series (sorry, Yuto (not main character from Den-O)). I usually list the male name first, but in some case, I list the female name first if she is the protagonist and the male is not (or not yet known to be one).
Clear Water
Comments 
(Deleted comment)
2nd-Jun-2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but while zoos and amusement parks seem to be similar (as you say: fun places to do something together), the strange thing is I've never really noticed any date (not of random characters) taking place at an amusement park at all. I mean, I still can't identify any series (toku, drama, or anime) in particular that has an amusement park date.

Anyway, I totally forgot about the amusement park until you brought it up, so thanks. :)
(Deleted comment)
2nd-Jun-2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you. It has been entirely too long since I've last seen an episode of KKJ or of Sailor Moon. ^^; The other series I haven't yet seen, so I might start watching it.

And don't worry about not remembering more series. It's weird that I keep obsessing over this topic, but I can't seem to let go of it for some reason. ^^;
2nd-Jun-2008 01:18 pm (UTC)
Hana Yori Dango (at least, the live-action) had a zoo-date too in season 2.
I never really noticed the zoo thing... so your question is a good one. Maybe check popularity of zoos in Japan?
2nd-Jun-2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
Hana Yori Dango (at least, the live-action) had a zoo-date too in season 2.

Oh, I still haven't finished season 1. (I can't remember where I downloaded the first episode from, so no idea where to look for the rest. ^^;) But glad to know that I have a zoo-date in season 2 to look forward to, at least. :)

Maybe check popularity of zoos in Japan?

Ah, that's a good idea, thanks.
23rd-Mar-2011 10:58 pm (UTC)
Wow, I had no idea so many series have people going to the zoo... Lol, it occurs to me that one of the reasons why live-actions series have people going to the zoo is that it's easier to film things at a zoo, as compared to a cinema or a restaurant - one doesn't have to create a special set or make the lighting.

But then again, in manga that would not matter... Maybe it's just a Japanese culture thing.

Also, on a completely unrelated note, you mentioned it before that you like gender-switching in your series. What does that include, exactly? Girls magically changing into boys and vice versa, or also things like crossdressing and stuff?
24th-Mar-2011 05:59 am (UTC)
And there might even be more series with Zoo dates (or going to the zoo) I don't yet know about. :)

Yes, good point about not having to do anything special to film live-action scenes at a zoo (but so is an amusement park (if the characters are only shown walking around), and now I keep confusing these two places ^^;;).

Perhaps it is really in a Japanese culture. Or maybe the manga artists just want to be different and not use amusement parks all the time. (That is, if they think an amusement park and a zoo are the same/interchangeable. ^^ Probably because sometimes the animals and the rides are in the same park.)

Oh, for me, gender-switching (or, as I usually refer to it, genderbending) only includes the first part of what you said and not the crossdressing part. I have a rather long entry not exactly on this subject but probably give more info toward the end here. Or if you can wait, I might be able to write up a better and more direct response. ^^;; Anyway, I'm happy you asked about it, since I don't really see many people interested or curious.
24th-Mar-2011 09:18 pm (UTC)
There probably are, we can't know everything...

I guess there is also the cute factor - animals are cute, and there is nothing all that cute in amusement parks, so the film makers can use animals to make the whole thing more kawaii~ XDD

Lol, but it's not all that different if everyone uses zoos instead of amusement parks ;DD

I see, I'll take a look at that entry :) But I can always wait ;D Lol, well, one of the reasons I asked was because I was wondering if I could find another good argument to convince you to watch Gintama - they have crossdressers there XDDD
25th-Mar-2011 06:47 pm (UTC)
I agree that the animals are probably there to make the scenes look cute. XD But I think the amusement park mascots could also be cute. Although I have to admit that in my reading/watching experience, those mascots usually look far from cute (and animals could be less than tame, too). ^^;;

Yeah, perhaps that is true. It's most likely just a part of Japanese culture (at least in fiction) that I probably should not try too hard to find reasons for. ^^;;

Ah, crossdressers alone are usually not enough to convince me to watch a series, but I already said I would watch Gintama, so I will. :) It would most likely be a while before I could start, though, since I'm still behind on other weekly shows I follow.
25th-Mar-2011 08:42 pm (UTC)
Lol, well, there were cute mascots in Nexus, right?

But you know, I think it might be a part of the Japanese culture also because the Japanese admire nature - you know, stuff like rock gardens or all those paintings of nature... Admiration of zoo animals is just a part of that.

I know, but I want you to want to watch it ;DDD
26th-Mar-2011 06:07 pm (UTC)
There were? Oh, right, they were dressing up in cute animal costumes at that amusement park in the new arc. :) (If that is not what you mean, feel free to correct me.)

That is true--admiration of nature seems to be an important part of Japanese culture. And that seems only natural since Japan is a beautiful country with many natural (and even partially man-made (yes, like Japanese gardens)) wonders for people to admire, though I admit it would make me happy if younger generations actually go to the zoo to admire nature and not only because it's simply one of the places to hang out and have a good time.

It's not that I don't want to watch it, exactly. But not having watched it (nor know much about it, and I prefer not to know until I watch for myself), I don't really have anything to contribute. In any case, I'll get to Gintama in my own pace, hopefully sooner rather than later. ^^
26th-Mar-2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
Yes, that was the moment I was talking about :D Wow, you really know the series well, you remember even such tiny details :D I thought it was kind of funny - a hero who turns into Ultraman has to dress up as a fluffy animal XDD

Hmm, good point, not many of those who go to the zoo, actually care about nature so much... But we can always hope they will care about nature a little bit more after seeing all those interesting animals :)

Lol, don't mind me, I just like it so much that I sometimes get too enthusiastic with advertising it XDD It will be ok whenever you watch it :D
27th-Mar-2011 05:07 pm (UTC)
The friend got kid stepping on his foot (and he was going hit that kid), so I remember. ^^;; And while Ren might be the only Ultra host who had dressed up as a fluffy animal, I wouldn't rule out several others (who are also good with kids, I mean) if they were given a chance. :)

Perhaps those who go to the zoo might care more if the animals were allowed to roam free, the way they were in nature and wilderness, but doing that in town probably isn't practical. But, yeah, I hope they will care about nature either way. :)

I hope I didn't sound too annoyed about that. It's fine to be enthusiastic, and I would be enthusiastic with you if I had something to contribute. :)
27th-Mar-2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
Mirai would totally dress up as a fluffy animal if he had a chance XDD

Lol, that would be something like a safari then, not a place for peaceful dates XD

No, not at all :) I suppose I was a little annoyed with myself that I keep bringing it up, even though I know you don't have anything to say about it at the moment XD
28th-Mar-2011 04:07 pm (UTC)
Yes, Mirai, totally. :) I also have a few others in mind, but I think perhaps only Mirai shares more similarity with Ren other than being good with kids.

Well, perhaps some couples might feel a zoo is too peaceful and want a more adventurous date in a safari. It's all my guess, however, since I haven't actually seen any date like that (the closest one is the hero(?) and the heroine (and all their friends) in an African savanna). ^^;;

Actually, I first brought up Gintama , though I didn't know it at the time (we were talking about Sakomizu and then the Urashima Taro effect came up and then you mentioned you just watched an anime episode about it), so don't worry about it too much. ^^
28th-Mar-2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I also noticed they have somewhat similar personalities...

Wow, in which series did they have that sort of expensive date? XDD

Oh, ok then :)
29th-Mar-2011 05:37 am (UTC)
Nah, it's not a romantic date at all. I was thinking of safari and then the characters all gathering in a savanna in Africa was the only thing that came to mind at the time. Sorry that I kind of misrepresented it. ^^;;
29th-Mar-2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
Well, it's still a pretty fun adventure, even though there is nothing romantic about sitting there in the heat and dust and with a lot of insects XDD

BTW, are there many insects in your city? I somehow get the impression that in those southern countries there has to be lots of them DDD:
30th-Mar-2011 07:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah. And seeing lots of animals in the wild. Also, it's a change of scenery for the characters to go to Africa. :)

Well, yes, I suppose there are lots of insects in my country since it's hot (tropical weather). They are more in the countryside, though, which isn't where I live. Personally, if one lives in the city, I think only mosquitoes are real trouble, but they don't seem to be many around at this time, probably because the weather is getting unusually cold here. Kind of hope the cold weather stays (as well as little to no mosquito) for as long as possible...
31st-Mar-2011 12:23 pm (UTC)
But it's still probably too expensive to do in live action series, so they have to do the next best thing and go to the zoo XDD

Oh, good to hear that there are not too many of the nasty creatures in the city, I can't stand insects >_< How cold is cold, by your standards?
31st-Mar-2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, there is the budget consideration. :) So I guess it isn't surprising that the series I was thinking of was anime, not live-action...

Well, I'm not sure, but perhaps about less than twenty degree celsius? I think that's probably summer weather for other countries not near the equator, though.
31st-Mar-2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that makes sense :D

Wow, that is pretty much summer weather, yeah XDD I would not want to be in your country when it's summer there XD
1st-Apr-2011 06:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's normally very hot here in the summer (which is now), but, with this cool weather we are having, I actually forgot that it is summer. ^^;;
1st-Apr-2011 11:32 pm (UTC)
Lucky you, in that case :D We are still waiting for spring to begin properly...
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