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

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.

Beyond the Boundary

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

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@seki_saima made a pilgrimage to Nara and Kashihara for Episode 9, including the Episode 10 previews.

@nobucafe made a pilgrimage to Nara and Kashihara for Episode 8.

@gromit1446 (post) and @habusan (update) made pilgrimages to Jashumon cafe in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo.

@habusan also published what he calls a “field guide” for Jashumon, a detailed post that goes into the background of site, how to get there, how to contact the owner, etc.

@tsuruga_mega recreated the OP, replacing all of the cuts with images of various Kintetsu Railway trains that pass through the areas of Nara and Kashihara used in the show:

Episode 9

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Lots of action, though a light week for new locations. Here Mitsuki and Hiroomi rest in the aftermath of their battle with a youmu in the railyard at 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

Main road between Kashiharajingū-mae Station (橿原神宮前駅) and Kashihara Shrine

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

Fukada Pond (深田池)

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Residential neighborhood on the walk from Kashiharajingū-mae Station to the school. This and the next frame are new places for this week.

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

This canal runs north south just to the east of Yamato-Saidaiji Station. While the cut is new, a nearby shot appears in the series OP.

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Yamato-Saidaiji Station

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

The PINOCCHIO cafe on Sanjō-dōri (三条通)

Beyond the Boundary 境界の彼方

White Album 2

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

Episode 8

White Album 2 ホワイトアルバム2

Back to Setsuna’s favorite hideaway, a karaoke parlor modeled on the Cote D’Azur (コート・ダジュール) adjacent to Ichikawa Station (市川駅).

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

Minami-Furuya Station (南古谷駅)

White Album 2 ホワイトアルバム2

We didn’t see the IC card swipe itself, just Kitahara passing out of the ticket wicket, but I continue to like the frequency with which we’ve seen transit use behaviors depicted in anime this season.

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

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

When the three meet at the station to depart for their hot spring retreat, Kitahara is surprised to see that Tōma is waiting with a car. He recommends they take the train, but Tōma points out all of Setsuna’s luggage and insists that it would be less hassle to drive. I think the important point is that the use of the car is a choice, rather than a necessity. Though some very remote mountain inns and other points of interest are truly reachable only by car, you’d be amazed at how many places you can travel to without using one.

White Album 2 ホワイトアルバム2

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 Fushimi Inari Shrine, Yasaka Shrine, Shimogamo Shrine, the pagoda at Tō-ji and Gion district (all in Kyoto) for Episode 21. As he notes in his post, identifying all of the locations was a collaborative effort between him, @ye_bi_su, @los_endos_ and @aqcuaria. I happened to be looking at my Twitter timeline and caught the exchange in real time.

@shira_ry made  a pilgrimage to Toshima Ward, Meguro Ward and Ochanomizu, all in Tokyo, for Episode 17.

@sky_dj_ made a pilgrimage to the Enshūnada Seaside Park in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture for Episode 7.

Episode 21

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

Between Tamako Market, Uchōten Kazoku and Kyousougiga, the city of Kyoto has been a featured star among 2013 anime productions. Perhaps not wanting to be left out of the party, Monogatari, which frequently incorporates real but relatively obscure places, offered up an uncharacteristic serving of very well known historic sites from the former imperial capital in this week’s episode. In Kaiki’s opening monologue (above and below) he’s depicted at the path of torii at Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社).

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

At Fushimi Inari, the torii are surrounded not by bamboo but deciduous forest. It’s possible this cut is inspired by the famous bamboo forest in Arishiyama.

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

The inn where he stays looks rather temple-like, but thus far hasn’t been identified.

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

The jury is still out on this bell tower, as well.

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

Kaiki attends hatsumōde, the first shrine/temple visit of the new year. What he (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) refers to as “some famous shrine in Kyoto” is actually an amalgam of at least two of the most famous in the city. The gate and the first series of images comes from Yasaka-jinja (八坂神社) in the Gion district.

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

By @sky_dj_‘s account, some parts of the animated version, such as the main shrine in the frame above, don’t match what’s actually there with high fidelity, and are perhaps from a different location.

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

These stairs either come from some other location or are fabricated.

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

This appears to be a transition into Shimogamo-jinja (下鴨神社), a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the large sanctuary Tadasu no Mori behind the Kamo River delta.

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

The following cut is very clearly the pond in front of the Mitarai-sha (御手洗社) on the Shimogamo grounds.

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

This one isn’t clear.

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

In a transition back toward Gion, we make a quick stop at what is most likely the five story pagoda at Tō-ji (東寺), one of the most well known images of the city. It’s nowhere near any of the other locations but, hey, it’s a cartoon.

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

The last set of images before Kaiki leaves Kyoto come from the Gion district. The frames above and below haven’t been conclusively identified, but employ the machiya (町屋), traditional wooden townhouses characteristic of the area.

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

Though not a precise match, this frame bears some resemblance to the alley Hanami-kōji (花見小路), the most well known stretch of this area and a big tourist attraction.

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

The last frame comes directly from Ishibe-kōji (石塀小路).

Coppelion

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

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@habusan has updated his season guide wiki through Episode 8.

Episode 9

Coppelion コッペリオン

Trapped by spreading radiation, a partially broken down (but theoretically repairable) commuter train line becomes the central focus of the escape to safety.

Coppelion コッペリオン

Coppelion コッペリオン

Though this is work of fiction and clearly requires a heaping spoonful of suspension of disbelief, I think the use of the train, including knowledge of the line and station placement relative to their position, speaks to the significant role of transit in daily life in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Coppelion コッペリオン

Coppelion コッペリオン

In the future, we will have slick GUI for every adhoc analysis imaginable.

Coppelion コッペリオン

As preparations for the repair and escape commence, there’s a discussion over the fact that AC power from the generator can’t be applied directly to the train track, it has to be stepped down and converted to DC power at the transformer station. As with the above, I think this reflects an expectation of some awareness of the workings of public infrastructure among the general Japanese public (or at least the show’s target audience)—an expectation that is virtually absent among American popular culture producers.

Golden Time

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

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@626shin made a pilgrimage to Yomiuri Land in Inagi, Tokyo Metropolis for Episode 8

Kyousougiga

(京騒戯画 Kyōsōgiga)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@sky_dj_ made a Kyoto pilgrimage for Episode 6.

Non Non Biyori

(のんのんびより)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

The blog どんどん日記 made a pilgrimage to Ogawa, Saitama Prefecture; Minamiboso, Chiba Prefecture; Ōme, Tokyo Metropolis; and Katsushika Ward, Tokyo in a roundup of locations used as visual models for the show.

@kouhei15407 made a pilgrimage to Minamiboso for Episode 4.

Amidst all of the head scratching over whether the rural town in the show is based on any actual location, this clue discovered in the manga seems to suggest somewhere in Hokkaido.

 

Special Items

Pilgrimage regulars were curious about this recent find on Amazon.jp: a guide to seichijunrei/butaitanbou across Japan for 150 different series. There is some discussion as to whether the book used images or information taken from the blogs of the pilgrimage community without authorization or source citation.

@ssslocation was first on the scene with a pilgrimage to Yokohama for the PV of Amazing Twins, premiering December 2013/January 2014 depending on region.

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

@Roan_Inish made a pilgrimage to Isawa Onsen Station in Fuefuki, Yamanashi Prefecture for Genshiken Nidaime.

@sl_hakase made a pilgrimage to Tanashi Station in Nishitōkyō and Ogikubo Station in Suginami Ward, Tokyo for Fantasista Doll.

@Beetle787 made a pilgrimage to Keisei-Usui Station and surrounding area in Sakura, Chiba Prefecture for Kiniro Mosaic.

@Roan_Inish made pilgrimages to the Demachi Masugata Shōtengai and Nishiki-yu in Kyoto for Tamako Market.

@lidges made a pilgrimage to Kumamoto City and the New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido for Hentai Ōji to Warawanai Neko.

@habusan updated his “story guide” wiki for the second half of Tamayura: Hitotose.