Kotoura-san 琴浦さん

Welcome to this week’s review of notable instances of transit, place and culture as rendered in anime currently broadcast in Japan and simulcast internationally via the web. For a detailed outline of the approach, please refer to the explanation in the inaugural issue. Links to streaming sources are included when available, though not all may have current episode available at the time this column is published.

Tamako Market

(たまこまーけっと Tamako Māketto)
Watch: Anime Network

Google Map Update

New locations added and tallies updated.

Fan Pilgrimage Update

This week saw a rather remarkable (to me, at least) sequence of events during and after the episode 6 broadcast. During the 1:00am Kyoto broadcast, whoever had access to the Twitter account for the Masugata Shōtengai (桝形商店街), @kyoto_masugata—the real life shopping arcade that is the model for Usagiyama Shōtengai—started live tweeting observations about places that appeared. Immediately after the broadcast, @kaga_ywyk set out on a “real-time” pilgrimage, tromping around Kyoto in the cold and dark, tweeting the new locations that appeared in the episode as he found them. I’m not sure what was more astounding, him running around at 2:00am or all of the people on Twitter staying up to follow along and egg him on. The next day, others pilgrims local to Kyoto went to confirm those locations by the light of day. I did a double take when I saw that the Masugata Shōtengai was communicating with several of them via Twitter, helping with directions and place identification. But it gets even better. Several out-of-town pilgrims made their way by train to Kyoto on Friday afternoon and evening. As they arrived in the city, they began communicating with each other via Twitter, realizing that they were all closing in on the same places. I didn’t catch whether it was preplanned, but a group of Kyoto locals and visitors, all Tamako Market fans, ended up converging at 喫茶 華波 ・ BAR 華波様楽, the bar/cafe in Masugata Shōtengai that was the inspiration for Tamako Market‘s Stars and Clowns (星とピエロ) record/coffee shop.

In my work with Third Place Media I try to find ways to jump start engagement between people in communities. I want to be able to open channels of communication so that local government, businesses and residents can all exchange useful information about their needs and interests. If need be, I produce materials like films, photo and written content to give them something to talk about and get the conversations started. I had a neat conversation with Erica Friedman (@Yuricon) several weeks ago about anime pilgrimages. We were trying to figure out what the triggers the behavior, as I think understanding that could be a powerful tool to incorporate into my approach. She pointed out that engaging with the work, be it manga, anime or other, is the essence of being an otaku. She continued, “If you can’t write or draw or make AMVs or cosplay, at least you can make a pilgrimage and see the actual location. It’s another way to connect to do more than just read/watch.” I added that there’s something about emotional ties to place that drives some of the incredibly dedicated pilgrimages we see.

It’s my heartfelt belief that everyone, ultimately, craves places imbued with meaning. This is why we travel somewhere like Kyoto, or Venice, or Cairo, or whenever we find something unique and interesting. I think that all communities can have their own magic. Perhaps not on the same scale of some famous neighborhoods and cities, but meaningful in local context. In order to pull those unique things out of the fabric of a community, people need to talk openly and often. I’m still very early in figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Ultimately, I think a combination of live events, marketing and social media will be the baseline approach, but if I find something out there that can light a fire under people and get them to jump into engagement activities without hesitation, I’m going to run with it as far as I can. It’s probably not feasible to have every neighborhood shopping district made into an internationally popular animated show, but watching all of this activity in Kyoto unfold spontaneously, in real time, pretty much blew my mind. I’m still twitching. Let’s move onto the show.

Episode 6

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Tamako washes the neighborhood bodhisattva.

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

She notices that in the heat of summer, footfall in the shōtengai drops to nearly nothing at midday.

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

At the bath house, she proposes a “chilling” haunted house as a promotional event to attract people to the arcade.

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Plans are refined at Stars and Clowns, the record shop/cafe.

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

The bath house’s unused storage space is donated to the cause.

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

An announcement is made over the PA in the shōtengai to donate cardboard and other needed materials.

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

The adults begin to see mysterious and chilling sights, such as will-o’-the-wisps in the shōtengai and a bloody salaryman on a pedestrian overcrossing over the canal.

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Advertisements for the haunted house go up.

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

The event is successful. The genuinely frightened shop owners spreading their own fears around the neighborhood increases interest in the haunted house.

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

At the after party, Kanna reveals that she had contrived the “ghost” sightings.

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Her plan is hatched at the intersection of Imadegawa-dōri and Teramachi-dōri.

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

Tamako Market たまこまーけっと

This overcrossing is just north of Fujinomori Station (藤森駅).

Mangirl!

(まんがーる! Mangāru!)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Episode 7

Mangirl! まんがーる!

An unexpected entrant this week, Mangirl! (portmanteau of manga and girl) is a series of manic, 3 minute shorts based on a 4-koma comic strip about a group of young women trying to launch a manga magazine. This episode has them barreling across Japan to research settings for incorporation in pieces drawn by their star mangaka.

Mangirl! まんがーる!

The itinerary is loaded with famous venues across the country, as well all of the transit choices needed to get to them.

Mangirl! まんがーる!

They start out leaving Tokyo on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen (東海道新幹線) bound for Kyoto.

Mangirl! まんがーる!

Kyoto Station (京都駅)

Mangirl! まんがーる!

Teradaya Inn (寺田屋). The building is reachable by Chūshojima Station on the Keihan Main Line. This is the same station that appeared last week in Tamako Market.

Mangirl! まんがーる!

Kobe Naval Training Center (神戸海軍操練所)

Mangirl! まんがーる!

The Indiana Jones style route map features a Shinkansen instead of airplane. The animator has conveniently included the “N700” model number on the side of the cars. This leg is Kobe to Hiroshima, so Sanyō Shinkansen (山陽新幹線).

Mangirl! まんがーる!

Tomo no ura (鞆の浦)

Mangirl! まんがーる!

Night bus to Kagoshima (鹿児島)

Mangirl! まんがーる!

Shiobitashi Onsen (塩浸温泉)

Mangirl! まんがーる!

Mangirl! まんがーる!

Shofuku-ji (聖福寺) in Nagasaki (長崎)

Mangirl! まんがーる!

One of the lines of the Nagasaki Electric Tramway (長崎電気軌道)

Mangirl! まんがーる!

Kōchi (高知)

Da Capo III

(〜ダ・カーポ III〜 Da Kāpo III)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Episode 6

Da Capo III 〜ダ・カーポ III〜

Lots of time in the Sakura Shōtengai this week. Kiyotaka runs into Sakura while shopping.

An astute observer, Twitter user @yutonyanBT, discovered these signs indicating the pedestrian only hours for a street in Onomichi that are an identical match to those in this show. While I wasn’t able to do much digging, I did pull up these blog posts (1 and 2) from a fan pilgrimage to Onomichi for the 2005 anime Kamichu! Though the croissant-shaped island in Da Capo III is clearly made-up, many of the scenes in the show bear striking resemblance to photographs of Onomichi.

Da Capo III 〜ダ・カーポ III〜

Da Capo III 〜ダ・カーポ III〜

Da Capo III 〜ダ・カーポ III〜

Later, Ricca engineers some quality time with Kiyotaka with an evening stroll in the shōtengai.

Da Capo III 〜ダ・カーポ III〜

Da Capo III 〜ダ・カーポ III〜

Da Capo III 〜ダ・カーポ III〜

Da Capo III 〜ダ・カーポ III〜

Da Capo III 〜ダ・カーポ III〜

Da Capo III 〜ダ・カーポ III〜

Da Capo III 〜ダ・カーポ III〜

Da Capo III 〜ダ・カーポ III〜

Da Capo III 〜ダ・カーポ III〜

Da Capo III 〜ダ・カーポ III〜

Da Capo III 〜ダ・カーポ III〜

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

(さくら荘のペットな彼女 Sakura-sō no Petto na Kanojo)
Watch: CrunchyrollAnime NetworkHulu

Episode 18

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou さくら荘のペットな彼女

Sorata, Nanami and Mashiro walk to Suimei High School to check Yūko’s entrance exam result.

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou さくら荘のペットな彼女

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou さくら荘のペットな彼女

I have a hunch that Suimei might be modeled after the Ikuta campus of either Meiji University or Senshu University, but haven’t been able to determine if that holds any water.

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou さくら荘のペットな彼女

In a flashback, Jin and Fūka argue at a playground as train passes overhead.

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou さくら荘のペットな彼女

Later, they’re on the pedestrian overcrossing above the train right-of-way.

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou さくら荘のペットな彼女

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou さくら荘のペットな彼女

Everyone walks back to Sakura Dormitory.

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou さくら荘のペットな彼女

Amnesia

(アムネシア Amuneshia)
Watch: CrunchyrollAnime Network

Episode 6

Amnesia アムネシア

The Heroine meets Ukyō on a pedestrian overcrossing in Ikebukuro.

Amnesia アムネシア

Ikki speaks with the Heroine while standing beside the tracks of the Toden Arakawa Line (都電荒川線) in front of her apartment.

Amnesia アムネシア

Amnesia アムネシア

The staff of Hitsuji no Meido is headed again on the retreat to Shinano (信濃), Nagano Prefecture. In this iteration, they take not the Shinkansen but a long distance bus, departing from the terminal at Shinjuku Station (新宿駅).

Amnesia アムネシア

Amnesia アムネシア

Blast of Tempest

(絶園のテンペスト Zetsuen no Tenpesuto)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Episode 18

Blast of Tempest 絶園のテンペスト

Hakaze battles Hanemura in Yokohama (横浜), specifically the Minato Mirai (みなとみらい21) central business district on the bay. The crescent shaped building is part of the InterContinental Hotel. The Ferris wheel is Cosmo Clock 21.

Blast of Tempest 絶園のテンペスト

Yoshino is on the bullet train. This is the 700 series train, most likely the Tōkaidō Shinkansen (東海道新幹線).

Blast of Tempest 絶園のテンペスト

Blast of Tempest 絶園のテンペスト

The skyscraper on the right is the Yokohama Landmark Tower (横浜ランドマークタワ), the third highest building in Japan.

Kotoura-San

(琴浦さん)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Episode 6

Kotoura-san 琴浦さん

Kotoura takes everyone back to her home town for summer vacation. It’s a reprise of the earlier trip on the San’in Main Line (山陰本線) to Kotoura-chō (琴浦町) in Tottori Prefecture.

Kotoura-san 琴浦さん

Kotoura-san 琴浦さん

Kotoura-san 琴浦さん

“Kotoura Station” modeled on Urayasu Station (浦安駅)

Love Live! School Idol Project

(ラブライブ! Rabu Raibu!)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Episode 6

Love Live! School Idol Project ラブライブ!

As part of a competition to determine the group’s leader, everyone goes to Akihabara (秋葉原) to pass out promotional flyers. Check out my in-depth photo-essay on Akihabara, published yesterday.

Love Live! School Idol Project ラブライブ!

Love Live! School Idol Project ラブライブ!

Love Live! School Idol Project ラブライブ!