Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

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.

SPECIAL NOTE: The weekly review will be on break for the next two weeks. I will post a catch-up edition that covers the missed weeks on November 2 (November 9 latest). I will be in Japan doing more ethnographic research on transit-oriented development and public space. Some of the places I’m traveling to have been used as settings for several recent anime, so I may slip in a bit of seichijunrei while I’m at it.

Beyond the Boundary

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

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@seki_saima (post) and @kbt_tigers1985 (post) made pilgrimages to Nara and Kashihara for Episode 2.

@katoyuu (post), @kbt_tigers1985 (post), @nobucafe (post), @FateViVid (post), @lidges (post 1 and 2) and @kai881 (post) made pilgrimages to Nara and Kashihara for Episode 1. It was a busy week in Nara Prefecture.

@ts_kobaya made a video pilgrimage to Nara, Kashihara and Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward:

In his post, @lidges notes that a representative of the residents’ association asked that the name of the combined residential and shopping complex not be shared openly, as it is a private location. He asks other pilgrims to be mindful of their behavior when visiting and to strive for good relationships with local communities during visits. All of the posts above refer to the area either using its fictional name Hananodera (花野寺) from the story, a general description such as “Mirai’s apartment” or simply “a certain place” (某所). While I did eventually find it, I’ll adopt a similar convention here and not reveal the precise location.

Episode 2

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

This week picks up again with Mirai battling the youmu at her apartment complex.

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

The complex is a good example of mixed use development, with a shōtengai nestled in between apartment buildings.

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

Similar to the above, Akihito’s apartment building is based on a real private residence in the area and its location has been intentionally left vague.

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

This narrow street that abuts the railroad tracks, as well as the grade level crossing (踏切 fumikiri) at one end, are between Kashiharajingū-mae Station (橿原神宮前駅) and the school. The coffee/photography shop that is a front for the youmu appraiser is the only piece you won’t find here. The exterior and interior of the Setagaya Ward, Tokyo branch of the cafe Jashumon (邪宗門) was used as the visual model. The cafe is to the south of Shimokitazawa, close to Sangen-jaya Station and Setagayadaita Station.

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

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

Seishin Gakuen Secondary School (聖心学園中等教育学校)

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

Plaza in front of the train station

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Kashiharajingū-mae Station (橿原神宮前駅)

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

The gyudon shop has been situated in the Higashimuki Shōtengai (東向き商店街) that runs between Sanjō-dōri (三条通) and Kintetsu Nara Station (近鉄奈良駅) in Nara, but the real location is actually an eye-wear store.

Meganebu!

(メガネブ!)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@hiroina_7916ltd made a pilgrimage to Sabae, Fukui Prefecture for the PVs and OP.

Opening Credits

Meganebu! メガネブ!

Meganebu! is upfront about its use of Sabae (鯖江), Fukui Prefecture as its setting. The theme of the show (guys who love their glasses) isn’t coincidental. Sabae is one of Japan’s largest eyeglass frame manufacturers.

Meganebu! メガネブ!

The opening credits features both Fukutetsu Series 200 (left) and Series 770 trains, the two light rail models used on the Fukui Railway Fukubu Line (福井鉄道福武線). Here the Series 200 stops at Nishi-Sabae Station (西鯖江駅).

Meganebu! メガネブ!

Meganebu! メガネブ!

Ending Credits

Meganebu! メガネブ!

The ending credits consist almost entirely of photographs from around the city, with a few animated elements painted on.

Meganebu! メガネブ!

Meganebu! メガネブ!

Meganebu! メガネブ!

Meganebu! メガネブ!

Meganebu! メガネブ!

Meganebu! メガネブ!

Meganebu! メガネブ!

Meganebu! メガネブ!

Fukui Prefecture Industrial Promotion Center (福井県産業振興施設), also known as the Sun Dome Fukui (サンドーム福井)

Meganebu! メガネブ!

Meganebu! メガネブ!

Meganebu! メガネブ!

White Album 2

(ホワイトアルバム2 Howaito Arubamu 2)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@tachikichi made a pilgrimage to the embankment along the Edo River where it passes through Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture for Episode 1.

Episode 1

White Album 2 ホワイトアルバム2

@tachikichi discovered this cut, taken from the embankment (土手 dote) along the Edo River in Ichikawa (市川), Chiba Prefecture, just to the north of Kōnodai Station (国府台駅).

White Album 2 ホワイトアルバム2

According to the transcript of the visual novel, this shōtengai is near the train station that appears in the following scene.

White Album 2 ホワイトアルバム2

White Album 2 ホワイトアルバム2

White Album 2 ホワイトアルバム2

In the visual novel and anime, the station is named Minamisuetsugu (みなみすえつぐ), which doesn’t exist in real life. The E231-900 series train with yellow stripes suggests this is based on the Chūō-Sōbu Line (中央・総武緩行線). There are many shōtengai adjacent to nearby stations on this line, so perhaps one out of Ichikawa Station, Koiwa Station or Motoyawata Station was used as the model.

White Album 2 ホワイトアルバム2

White Album 2 ホワイトアルバム2

White Album 2 ホワイトアルバム2

White Album 2 ホワイトアルバム2

At the time of the White Album 2 visual novel releases in 2010 and 2011, Tokyo Skytree (東京スカイツリー) was still under construction, as depicted here.

Golden Time

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

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@sky_dj_ (post) and @gonta0822 (post) both made pilgrimages to Hōrai Bridge (蓬莱橋), Guinness world record holder for longest wooden walking bridge, in Shimada, Shizuoka Prefecture for Episode 1.

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo for Episode 1. He also shared several videos related to the setting that he found on YouTube. The first two are pilgrimages to the Hōrai Bridge, the third is a promotional video made by the university.

@habusan has started what will become his repository for pilgrimages related to the show.

Episode 2

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

Banri’s apartment building

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

University club meet-and-greet events are held at an izakaya (居酒屋), a quintessential Japanese third place.

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

Hongo-dori (本郷通り) bridge crossing the sotobori (外濠) near Ochanomizu Station (御茶ノ水駅)

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

Kōko waits on the station platform

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

Hosei University (法政大学) front gate and plaza

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

Golden Time ゴールデンタイム

Unnamed street between the university and sotobori

Non Non Biyori

(のんのんびより)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

There has been much discussion about the possibilities for Non Non Biyori pilgrimage destinations, but the picture is not yet clear. One location that has been definitively confirmed by @hauyashi (post) and previously (here and here) is Ogawa, Saitama Prefecture, the location of the school house that served as the model for the show. The surrounding area, however, is not consistent with the show background art.

There was an early theory, though now mostly abandoned, that the overall setting was Tsuyama, Okayama Prefecture. This was based on an image of Chiwa Station used in the cover for volume 2 of the manga, which @aqcuaria went to investigate last summer. As of Episode 1, there is not enough information to conclusively establish location.

Opening Credits

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

Clues in the opening include a bridge span over a creek bed—

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

—and glimpse of a train in the distance.

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

Episode 1

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

The first episode establishes the premise of the Tokyo transfer student adjusting to rural life, leading to her classmates’ reflection on their own sense of place (and whether they even acknowledge the reality that their farming village is very much in the “country”).

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

The village is not entirely bereft of signs of modern civilization. There are buses, which the students use in their commutes to and from school.

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

Non Non Biyori のんのんびより

The local students struggle with how to describe the state of urbanization (or lack thereof), but when they miss their planned bus home and have to wait two hours for the next, the inconvenience that they associate with being truly “in the country” is hard to dismiss.

Monogatari Series Second Season

(〈物語〉シリーズ セカンドシーズン)
Watch: DaisukiCrunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@sky_dj_ made a pilgrimage to the Sugaharashirokita Bridge in Higashiyodogawa Ward, Osaka for Episode 14.

@paffue made a pilgrimage to Kushiro, Hokkaido Prefecture for Nisemonogatari Episode 1.

Episode 14

Monogatari Series Second Season 〈物語〉シリーズ セカンドシーズン

This week, more of the stylized renderings of urban textures that are characteristic of Monogatari. Often easy to miss as the fly past in rapid succession, there are often entire neighborhoods available for exploration to anyone with a DVR and the patience to step through scenes frame-by-frame.

Monogatari Series Second Season 〈物語〉シリーズ セカンドシーズン

In one of the sequences, the sharp eyes of @sky_dj_ caught the Sugaharashirokita Bridge (菅原城北大橋)  in Higashiyodogawa Ward, Osaka.

Monogatari Series Second Season 〈物語〉シリーズ セカンドシーズン

Monogatari Series Second Season 〈物語〉シリーズ セカンドシーズン

Monogatari Series Second Season 〈物語〉シリーズ セカンドシーズン

Monogatari Series Second Season 〈物語〉シリーズ セカンドシーズン

Monogatari Series Second Season 〈物語〉シリーズ セカンドシーズン

Coppelion

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

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@sky_dj_ made a pilgrimage to Suita, Osaka Prefecture for the manga source material.

Opening Credits

Coppelion コッペリオン

Looking out from the plaza in front of the east entrance to Shinjuku Station (新宿駅).

Episode 2

Coppelion コッペリオン

Coppelion コッペリオン

Tokyo Racecourse (東京競馬場) in Fuchū (府中)

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

Arpeggio of Blue Steel

(蒼き鋼のアルペジオ Aoki Hagane no Arupejio)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Episode 1

Arpeggio of Blue Steel 蒼き鋼のアルペジオ

From time to time, and certainly more often than in American popular culture, manga and anime touch on scenarios where cities and countries suffer the consequences of climate change and sea level rise, requiring adaptation or abandonment during future generations. PSYCHO-PASS was the most recent show to include some elements of this, though it was not too severe and resided squarely in the background. In Arpeggio of Blue Steel climate issues, including conflicts they induce, take center stage. (Above: Tokyo’s Sumida and Arakawa wards are completely submerged.)

Arpeggio of Blue Steel 蒼き鋼のアルペジオ

Arpeggio of Blue Steel 蒼き鋼のアルペジオ

Arpeggio of Blue Steel 蒼き鋼のアルペジオ

Arpeggio of Blue Steel 蒼き鋼のアルペジオ

Yokosuka (横須賀), Kanagawa Prefecture

Arpeggio of Blue Steel 蒼き鋼のアルペジオ

Arpeggio of Blue Steel 蒼き鋼のアルペジオ

Nagasaki (長崎)

Special Items

A blogger has compiled a selection of this season’s anime and described, when available, the pilgrimage locations available for each.

@ye_bi_su (post), @sky_dj_ (post) and @etesuke (post) made pilgrimages to the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, which appears in promotional material for the January 2014 premiere of Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha.

@paffue made a pilgrimage to Tokyo Station and Ueda, Nagano Prefecture, including a Shinkansen trip, for Mamoru Hosada’s film Summer Wars.

@sky_dj_ made a pilgrimage to Kakegawa, Shizuoka Prefecture for Yūsha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shūshoku o Ketsui Shimashita.

@kbt_tigers1985 made a pilgrimage to Kure and Mihara, Hiroshima Prefecture for Tamayura: More Aggressive. @habusan was in the same area, but focused on the Ondo-no-seto strait.

@Beetle787 updated two previous pilgrimages to Sapporo and Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture for Servant x Service.

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Tachikawa for later episodes of Gatchaman Crowds.

@lidges made a pilgrimage to Tottori and Yazu, Tottori Prefecture, and Kyoto for Free!

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Sakura, Chiba Prefecture for Kiniro Mosaic.

@paffue made a pilgrimage to Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture for Yuyushiki.

@Beetle787 made a pilgrimage to Kumamoto for Hentai Ōji to Warawanai Neko.

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture for Kamisama Hajimemashita.

@fureshima updated a previous pilgrimage to Komoro, Nagano Prefecture for Ano Natsu de Matteru.

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture for Miyakawa-ke no Kūfuku (spinoff of Lucky Star).

@sky_dj_ made a pilgrimage to Mount Osore in Aomori Prefecture and Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto for Jigoku Shōjo.