The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

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.

The Eccentric Family

(有頂天家族 Uchōten Kazoku)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

It’s looking that @ye_bi_su will be the standard bearer for Uchōten Kazoku pilgrimages. Episode 1 (post) was an overdose of Kyoto neighborhoods, so much so that I hadn’t thought anyone could cover it so exhaustively and before the next episode had even aired. I was wrong. ^_^ Even other notable location spotters were expressing deference.

Episode 1

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

P.A. Works is known for high production value anime with richly detailed settings, many based on real life locations. Many watchers, including your reviewer, had anticipated another solid offering in their newest release, but I don’t think anyone was quite prepared for what we saw in the first episode of Uchōten Kazoku. Fans of Tamako Market will find many Kyoto locations familiar, especially as the nexus of action occurs around the very same Demachi neighborhood adjacent to the Kamo River delta. There are also many new places, particularly in the Gion (祇園) district. All of it is tied together with crisp pacing that packs a large amount of territory into a 23 minute episode while not feeling rushed.

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Shijō-dōri (四条通り)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Hyakumanben intersection (百万遍交差点), the crossing point of Imadegawa-dōri and Higashiōji-dōri

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Imadegawa-dōri. Note the large “大” on the mountain side. This is one of the sites of the kanji fires that are lit as part of Kyoto’s Daimonji (大文字), the festival that brings summer Obon (お盆) celebrations to a close.

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Intersection of Kawabata-dōri and Imadegawa-dōri

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Look familiar? This is the approach to the Demachi Masugata Shōtengai (出町桝形商店街前) along Imadegawa. Better known to Tamako Market fans as Usagiyama Shōtengai.

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

In Uchōten Kazoku, the covered shopping street is recreated faithfully, with very little embellishment.

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Kamo River (鴨川), Demachi Bridge (出町橋) crossing

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Demachiyanagi Station (出町柳駅)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Kamo River riverwalk, from the vantage point of Shijō Bridge (四条大橋)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Shijō Bridge

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Kamo River, near Shijō Bridge

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Shijō Kawaramachi (四条河原町)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Kyoto Station (京都駅)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Kamo Bridge (賀茂大橋)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Shijō-dōri

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Hanami-koji (花見小路), a popular part of Gion. This is where most visitors go hoping to spot what they refer to as geisha (geiko in Kyoto dialect), though what they usually mean are maiko (geiko apprentices, the ones that wear the elaborate kimono, hair and makeup).

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Rokudō Chin’nō-ji (六道珍皇寺)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Ebisu River hydropower plant (関電夷川発電所)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Yasaburō’s younger brother hands him a coupon for the Demachi Masugata Shōtengai.

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Here is the shōtengai, in all its glory. I do get the feeling that much of the background art may have began as tracings of photos. While it doesn’t have the eerie rotoscoped feel of last season’s Aku no Hana, the small details are too true-to-life to have been recreated from a blank sheet.

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

You might know this street.

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The greengrocer in the background is the location where the Tama-ya shophouse was grafted into the neighborhood for Tamako Market.

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

You can see the small shrine behind the compact car.

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Just in case you needed help, they included a map of the neighborhood, showing the co-op, shōtengai and other locations that appear to comprise the center of activity.

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Intersection of Kawabata-dōri and Shijō-dōri. On the right is the entrance to Gion-Shijō Station (祇園四条駅) on the Keihan Main Line (京阪本線).

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Along the Kamo River, near Shijō Bridge

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Teramachi Kyogoku Shōtengai (寺町京極商店街)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Shijō Bridge

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Benten flies to the gabled roof of Minami-za (南座), the premiere Kabuki theater house in Kyoto.

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Tōkasaikan (東華菜館)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Minami-za

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Kawabata-dōri

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Near the approach to Shimogamo Shrine

Opening Credits

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Even the credits are loaded up with plenty of Kyoto places. I’ll just indicate the ones that aren’t obvious or don’t appear above.

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Shiunzanchoho-ji (紫雲山頂法寺), commonly referred to as the easier to pronounce Rokkaku-dō (六角堂)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Nanzen-ji (南禅寺)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Ponto-chō (先斗町)

Ending Credits

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Nagisa Park (なぎさ公園) on the shore of Lake Biwa (琵琶湖)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Hyakumanben intersection (百万遍交差点)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Shin Kyogoku Shōtengai (新京極商店街)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Shimogamo Shrine

Well, that was both fun and really exhausting! While I enjoy a virtual tour of Kyoto as much as the next otaku, hopefully the breakneck exposition will lead into a regular groove of places that we can look at a bit deeper. Need to ice my wrist now.

Kinmoza!

(きんいろモザイク Kin’iro Mozaiku)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@kibaichi was in Sakura, Chiba Prefecture to see Keisei-Usui Station (post) and nearby Narashino for Mimomi High School (post), covering Episode 1 and ED/OP credits.

@ssslocation got some of the first photos from the same locations.

Fosse Farmhouse, located just outside Bath, England is the model for the Cartalet home in Episode 1. The bed and breakfast is operated by Caron Cooper, who spends part of each year in Japan, teaching British cooking techniques and tea etiquette.

Episode 1

Kiniro Mosaic きんいろモザイク

Much of the first episode sets up the relationship of Shinobu and Alice, during Shinobu’s brief exchange in England. There are a handful of depictions of public space and transportation in London.

Kiniro Mosaic きんいろモザイク

Kiniro Mosaic きんいろモザイク

Kiniro Mosaic きんいろモザイク

Obligatory shot of Piccadilly Circus

Kiniro Mosaic きんいろモザイク

Shinobu departs to the countryside on high speed rail, via Paddington Station.

Kiniro Mosaic きんいろモザイク

Kiniro Mosaic きんいろモザイク

Kiniro Mosaic きんいろモザイク

Kiniro Mosaic きんいろモザイク

Back in Japan, so far we have an axis of two stations on the Keisei Main Line (京成本線). Here is Keisei-Usui Station (京成臼井駅), surrounded by a small commercial district and town of Sakura (佐倉), Chiba Prefecture, which appears to be where some of the girls live.

Kiniro Mosaic きんいろモザイク

We also have Narashino (習志野), the location of the school, which is reached by Mihomi Station (実籾駅). Though I’ve not stopped in either place, I do take the Keisei Main Line into Tokyo from Narita Airport whenever I travel to Japan. I’ve often been on the train when students are commuting to or from school, one of many reminders of how different life is here, compared with the US.

Kiniro Mosaic きんいろモザイク

Kiniro Mosaic きんいろモザイク

Day Break Illusion

(幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽 Gen’ei o Kakeru Taiyō)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@code_bk201 made a pilgrimage to Nagasaki for Episode 1.

Episode 1

幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽

While the story—something to do with tarot cards, mahō shōjo, Italy?—isn’t something that I find too engaging, the setting of Nagasaki is somewhat uncommon for anime. This one will stay in the weekly hopper so long as it doesn’t get too annoying ^_^

幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽

Nagasaki Chinatown (長崎新地中華街)

幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽

幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽

Ōura Church (大浦天主堂)

幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽

Meganebashi (眼鏡橋), lit. Spectacles Bridge, said to be the oldest stone arch bridge in Japan.

幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽

Nagasaki Electric Tramway (長崎電気軌道)

幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽

幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽

幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽

幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽

幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽

Silver Spoon

(銀の匙 Gin no Saji)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

Both @Beetle787 (new post) and @paffue (updated post) commented on the message to viewers at the end of Episode 1 (see below).

Episode 1

Silver Spoon 銀の匙

Silver Spoon is one of two shows set in Hokkaidō (北海道) this season. Protagonist Hachiken attends an agricultural school, based on the real life Hokkaidō Obihiro Agricultural High School (北海道帯広農業高等学校), which becomes the Ōezo Agricultural High School (大蝦夷農業高等学校).  Ezo (蝦夷) is an old name for the native inhabitants of Hokkaidō.

Silver Spoon 銀の匙

Silver Spoon 銀の匙

Silver Spoon 銀の匙

Great swooping hills covered with farm plots is a commonly referenced image of the northernmost prefecture.

Silver Spoon 銀の匙

Silver Spoon 銀の匙

The card at the end of the episode definitely caught the attention of location spotters. It stresses not once, not twice but three times that the story is a work of fiction. Sandwiched in the middle is the admonition not to try to visit the agricultural school for risk of catching diseases from animals. Interesting to see that the production team anticipated this kind of behavior. Will be more interesting to see how brave the pilgrims will get. ^_^ Hopefully, we’ll have more of Obihiro to see beyond the campus.

Servant x Service

(サーバント×サービス)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@paffue made a pilgrimage to Shiroishi Ward, Sapporo (ward office facade) and Suginami Ward, Tokyo (government office interior and shots of city from the roof) for the PV, OP and Episode 1.

Episode 2

Servant x Service サーバント×サービス

Servant x Service has the fingerprints of Working!! (one of my favorites) in many areas, including being nominally set somewhere in Hokkaidō (北海道). Like its predecessor, the vast majority of the story is told inside the workplace, so there may not be so much for us to look on a regular basis. That said, check out the pedestrian overcrossing. Then check out the zebra crossing just down the street from it. Often pedestrian infrastructure is immensely helpful, but sometimes it’s just a public works project to empty out a budget.

Servant x Service サーバント×サービス

Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club

(岩鳶高校水泳部)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

A group of location spotters that I’ve started referring to as the A Team, the anime pilgrimage superstars, made the trek to Iwami, Tottori Prefecture for Episode 1.

@lidges – A thorough pilgrimage post, as per usual.

@nobucafePilgrimage post, also good. Nobu doesn’t post often, but always does a thorough and polished job when he does.

@kbt_tigers1985Pilgrimage post, emphasis on tight shots and details.

@ts_kobaya – Video pilgrimage:

Tamayura: More Aggressive

(たまゆら〜もあぐれっしぶ〜 )

*Unfortunately, it’s looking less and less likely that this show will be picked up for international simulcast (the OVA and first season weren’t either). While there are other ways to watch it, I’m thinking not to include screen capture analysis unless an authorized distributor emerges. I don’t demonize fansubbers (this was how I got into anime to begin with, and for many markets this is still the only way for people to watch it). I do want to promote legal streaming options.

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@Bf109K1 made a pilgrimage to Takehara, Hiroshima Prefecture for the previous season Tamayura: Hitotose, as well as the PV for the current Tamayura: More Aggressive. He made many observations about what things in the town had changed in the few years since the Hitotose broadcast.

@lidges also made the pilgrimage to Takehara, locating scenes from the new season Episode 1, as well as the OVA and Hitotose.

@ngwrb made a pilgrimage to Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture for Episode 1.

@626shin made a pilgrimage to Yokosuka for Episode 2.

A Certain Scientific Railgun S

(とある科学の超電磁砲(レールガン) Toaru Kagaku no Rērugan)
Watch: Funimation

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@shira_ry made a pilgrimage to Tama and Tachikawa for Episode 13.

 

Special Items

@shira_ry made a pilgrimage to Kichijōji Station and surrounding neighborhood in Musashino, Tokyo Prefecture for Brothers Conflict.

@ngwrb made a pilgrimage to Shin-Kamagaya Station in Kamagaya, Chiba Prefecture for Ro-Kyu-Bu! SS.

@MatsuYan made a pilgrimage to Tanashi Station in Nishitōkyō, Tokyo Prefecture for Fantasista Doll.

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Tatebori Station in Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture for Chihayafuru 2.

@tianlangxing made a pilgrimage to Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture for Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai.

@ngwrb made a pilgrimage to Yokohama for Shinryaku! Ika Musume.