Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

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

@ye_bi_su made one final Kyoto pilgrimage for Episode 13, wrapping up a full season of incredibly detailed looks at the mishmash of historic world heritage sights and modern urban core that give the city its rich flavor. This fastidious attention to both the big picture and minutiae of the built environment that is common to anime pilgrimage (聖地巡礼 seichijunrei) is something I find endlessly fascinating. I hope that I can eventually understand it enough to bring the knowledge to bear in finding ways get the general population engaged with urban issues.

@kbt_tigers1985 made a pilgrimage to Kyoto for Episode 9.

The final map:


View Larger Map

Episode 13

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

In the final episode, we get one last romp around the Kawaramachi area, the heart of Kyoto’s modern downtown. Here is looking west at Gion-Shijō Station (祇園四条駅) and Shijō Bridge (四条大橋) from Minami-za (南座).

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Shijō Bridge

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Lanterns mark the entrance to Ponto-chō (先斗町)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Intersection of Shijō-dōri (四条通) and Kiyamachi-dōri (木屋町通)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Headed south on Kiyamachi-dōri

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Toriyasa (鳥彌三), or Sansuiro as it’s called in the show

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

From Donguri Bridge (団栗橋)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Kiyamachi-dōri, to the south of Shijō Bridge

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Intersection of Kiyamachi-dōri and 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

Intersection of Shijō-dōri and Kawaramachi-dōri (河原町通)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The front of Kyoto MARUI (京都マルイ)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Moving west along Shijō-dōri, toward Teramachi-dōri (寺町通)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Now at Shijō-dōri and Gokomachi-dōri (御幸町通)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Though I digested a steady stream of interesting urban spaces during the few months I lived in Tokyo, it was a brief visit to Kyoto, and this area specifically, that I think kick started my interest in and affection for shōtengai. Wandering the awnings and open store fronts that line many of the main streets in Kawaramachi, as well as the famous Teramachi Kyogoku Shōtengai (寺町京極商店街) and other shopping arcades, I sensed that I had discovered the case study that proved there were viable alternatives to my uninspiring, suburban/exurban American upbringing.

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Hatsumōde at 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

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

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Kamo River (鴨川)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Demachi Bridge (出町橋)

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

The Eccentric Family 有頂天家族

Genshiken Second Season

(げんしけん 二代目 Genshiken Nidaime)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Episode 13

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

This season of Genshiken goes out with a bang. Normally limited to movement between the university in Hachiōji and either Akihabara or Tokyo Big Sight on the opposite side of the city, in this final episode the club plans a day trip to an historic site and hot spring town in Yamanashi Prefecture (山梨県). The day begins with everyone meeting at Tachikawa Station (立川駅).

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

They wait for the 10:00 limited express train to Kōfu (甲府). This special service operated by East Japan Railway Company is called Kaiji (かいじ).

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

In a momentary bout of densha otaku mania, Sue jumps around the platform, photographing the wayfinding aids, clocks and other transit minutiae. Seriously, who does that?

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Takeda Shrine (武田神社)

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

After finishing the afternoon at the shrine, they make their way to Isawa-onsen Station (石和温泉駅) to unwind at a hot spring ryokan. This is the largest hot spring town in Yamanashi Prefecture.

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Second Season げんしけん 二代目

Gatchaman Crowds

(ガッチャマンクラウズ Gatchaman Kurauzu)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to the east entrance of Shinjuku Station for Episode 12.

Episode 12

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

The series wraps with a final showdown in Tachikawa, with most of the action focused on the central business district surrounding Tachikawa Station (立川駅) and Tachikawa-Kita Station (立川北駅).

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

A call to arms goes out across GALAX, with users waiting for trains at Shinjuku Station (新宿駅) receiving and responding to the message.

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

I was stumped for a moment on this one, then I realized this is the very newly built section of Shibuya Station (渋谷駅) that connects the recently opened Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line with the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line at a new underground platform. Can’t say that the background art for Gatchaman Crowds wasn’t meticulously researched.

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

Wayward CROWDS are taken to task by helper CROWDS outside the east entrance to Shinjuku Station.

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

Gatchaman Crowds ガッチャマンクラウズ

With Berg Katse safely contained, all is well in Tachikawa.

Beyond the Boundary

(境界の彼方 Kyōkai no Kanata)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@seki_saima was the first out of the gate with a full pilgrimage to Kashihara and the prefectural capital of Nara (also called Nara) covering Episode 1.

@ssslocation was also on the trail, spotting locatinos from the Episode 1 OP.

Opening Credits

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

There was a good deal of chatter in anticipation of this show, along with preliminary pilgrimage activity starting as soon as the previews were released. Among the Fall 2013 crop, this looks to be at the top of pile for shows to watch for interesting locations and high quality background art. Right off the bat, we start with the main credits showing students using public transit and walking on the commute to school. The school and several other primary settings are located in Kashihara (橿原), Nara Prefecture.

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Train-wise, we’re looking at several of the Kintetsu (近鉄) lines that serve Nara Prefecture.

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Students cross one of several grade level railroad crossings (踏切 fumikiri) near Kashiharajingū-mae Station (橿原神宮前駅). The school is modeled on real life Seishin Gakuen Secondary School (聖心学園中等教育学校), nearby.

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Mirai either lives near or transfers at Yamato-Saidaiji Station (大和西大寺駅), in Nara (奈良), the prefectural capital.

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

This shot isn’t far from that station, in Nara’s Saidaijikensha Ward (西大寺検車区). With most shows set in cities or relatively urbanized areas, Google Street View has made the work of planning, confirming and exploring anime locations a relatively low-risk affair. While Nara is mostly covered, Kashihara is almost entirely off the map—a true adventure.

Episode 1

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

This is Sanjo-dori (三条通), a main street near Nara Sation (奈良駅). There is a single, one way lane for traffic, but it is primarily a wide pedestrian street. The Mexican restaurant uses the Saizeriya (サイゼリヤ) here as it’s visual model.

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Yamato-Saidaiji Station (大和西大寺駅)

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Details on this location are still fuzzy. A few people have found it, but the information they’ve reported back isn’t helping to place it on a map.

Update 2013/10/08: The seichijunrei crowd on Twitter seems to be having a good laugh at my apparent confusion over what’s going on here. ^_^ What I think is happening is that the locations of some private, residential areas are not made explicit, out of consideration for the privacy of the people who live there. (When you try to do research in a language you only barely understand, it is easy to miss the subtleties. Fortunately, I seem to have acquired a small group of people who will diligently pounce on my mistakes—the best way to improve!)

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

In this shot of the park, you can see the strange sculpture used in the key visual.

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Looking forward to this one.

Golden Time

(ゴールデンタイム Gōruden Taimu)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Episode 1

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

Banri exits Kudanshita Station (九段下駅), late for his university entrance ceremony, held at the Nippon Budōkan (not pictured).

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

Entrance to Kitanomaru Park (北の丸公園)

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

The school itself uses Hosei University (法政大学), just down the street, as its model.

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

The Chūō Main Line (中央本線) skirts along the west edge of the campus, between the school and the sotobori (外濠), remains of what had been the Edo Castle moat.

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

Obligatory shot of not just Tokyo Skytree or Tokyo Tower, but both!

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

Ichigaya Station (市ヶ谷駅)

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

Nagi no Asukara

(凪のあすから)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Opening Credits

Nagi no Asukara 凪のあすから

P.A. Works’ (Tari Tari, RDG Red Data Girl, Uchōten Kazoku) offering for the fall season is an interesting twist, with settings both on land and above the water.

Correction 2013/10/08: I had originally written that the setting was based on Mihara, Hiroshima Prefecture, but seem to have made an error and misheard part of the dialog. Sorry about that! We’re back to waiting to figure out if the setting is based on any real world location or purely a created place.

Nagi no Asukara 凪のあすから

Nagi no Asukara 凪のあすから

Nagi no Asukara 凪のあすから

Episode 1

Nagi no Asukara 凪のあすから

Nagi no Asukara 凪のあすから

Nagi no Asukara 凪のあすから

Nagi no Asukara 凪のあすから

Nagi no Asukara 凪のあすから

Nagi no Asukara 凪のあすから

Hikari’s older sister operates a market in the city.

Nagi no Asukara 凪のあすから

One thing that’s interesting in the underwater animation is that buoyancy is largely ignored. Generally, characters walk through the environment and conventions of land based, gravity dependent life, such as stairs and ramps, have just been moved underwater. Schools of passing fish are at times the only things that distinguish this environment from the other.

Nagi no Asukara 凪のあすから

Nagi no Asukara 凪のあすから

Coppelion

(コッペリオン Kopperion)
Watch: HuluViz Anime

Episode 1

Coppelion コッペリオン

Post apocalyptic Tokyo. Coppelion, students genetically engineer to tolerate whatever now renders the old capital inhabitable, traverse the ruins in search of survivors.

Coppelion コッペリオン

Looks like a pachinko parlor.

Coppelion コッペリオン

Coppelion コッペリオン

This was once a shōtengai.

Coppelion コッペリオン

Coppelion コッペリオン

A Tokyo Metro station

Coppelion コッペリオン

Coppelion コッペリオン

Coppelion コッペリオン

Coppelion コッペリオン

Coppelion コッペリオン

Key visual

Coppelion コッペリオン

Tokyo Tower

Coppelion コッペリオン

Rainbow Bridge

Coppelion コッペリオン

Coppelion コッペリオン

Coppelion コッペリオン

This one could go either way in terms of interest among the pilgrimage clan. On the one hand, it’s a special challenge to pick out recognizable landmarks and neighborhoods that have been degraded to this extent. On the other hand, it is “just” Tokyo, and there are many interesting shows with unusual locations, competing for pop culture tourism this season. We shall wait and see!

Day Break Illusion

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

Episode 13

Day Break Illusion 幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽

In the season closer, just a few last glimpses of Nagasaki (長崎).

Day Break Illusion 幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽

Nagasaki Electric Tramway (長崎電気軌道)

Day Break Illusion 幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽

Day Break Illusion 幻影ヲ駆ケル太陽

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

@ngwrb made a pilgrimage to various locations around Tokyo Prefecture and Kanagawa Prefecture that appear in the series: Akihabara, Iogi, Kichijōji, Chūō University, Mukōgaoka-Yūen, Senshu University Ikuta campus, updates to a previous pilgrimage to Tama as well as a new one, and similar for Tachikawa (updated, new).

Tamayura: More Aggressive

(たまゆら〜もあぐれっしぶ〜 Tamayura Mo Aguresshibu)
* Not available for international simulcast

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@habusan released an encyclopedic catalog of every location that appears in Episode 1 through Episode 6.

@sky_dj_ made a pilgrimage to Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture for Episode 6.

@ngwrb made a pilgrimage to Onomichi for the previous season, Tamayura: Hitotose.

Special Items

This week, the seichijunrei (聖地巡礼) community was all atwitter (e.g. here and here) over the discovery of a new website aimed at foreigners, that promotes anime pop culture tourism in Japan. Visit Japan is a subsection of the site Tokyo Otaku Mode. The site promotes a wide variety of pop culture products. The Visit Japan feature is divided into three sections: Seichijunrei, what otaku use to refer to manga and anime pilgrimages, as well as touring Akihabara and attending otaku special events.

@ts_kobaya made a video pilgrimage to Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station, Shinjuku Gyoen, Sendagaya Station and a ride on the Yamanote Line for Makoto Shinkai’s Kotonoha no Niwa:

@ngwrb dug into archives to show how both the Tama Toshi Monorail and Shonan Monorail are pulled into Infinite Stratos 2.

@lidges updated a previous pilgrimage to Iwami, Tottori Prefecture with scenes from later episodes of Free!

@sky_dj_ made a pilgrimage to Tenjinbashi-suji Shōtengai in Osaka for Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!

@ngwrb made a pilgrimage to Seiseki-Sakuragaoka in Tama, Tokyo Prefecture for Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya.

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Kusu, Ōita Prefecture for Fantasista Doll.

@ngwrb made a pilgrimage to Nara, Nara Prefecture for Danganronpa.

@paffue made a pilgrimage to Koganei, Tokyo Prefecture and Ogikubo, Suginami Ward, Tokyo for Yuyushiki.

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Fukuoka for Yuyushiki.

@paffue made a pilgrimage (posts 1, 2 and 3) to Ōarai, Ibaraki Prefecture for Girls und Panzer.

@Bf109K1 made a pilgrimage to Matsue and other nearby locations in Shimane Prefecture for the manga source material of Saki Achiga-hen episode of Side-A.

@ngwrb made a pilgrimage to Tokyo Metropolitan University in Hachiōji, Tokyo Prefecture for Kamisama Dolls.

@ngwrb made a pilgrimage to Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture for Lucky Star.

@ngwrb made a pilgrimage to Izumo Yashiro Station in Okuizumo, Shimane Prefecture for Nekogami Yaoyorozu.

@paffue made a pilrimage to Sapporo for Chō Soku Henkei Gyrozetter.