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.
(ホワイトアルバム2 Howaito Arubamu 2)
Happy new year! While most anime were either on break or finished their runs around the year end, a handful of last episodes gave us some parting gifts for 2013. In White Album 2, we get more trains crossing the Edo River—
—and into Kitahara’s neighborhood.
Tōma’s “walk of shame” is not a walk, but a train ride.
We’re again taken for a trip on the Narita Express (成田エクスプレス).
Only this time its Haruki and Setsuna chasing after Kazusa.
Throughout the series, the Chūō-Sōbu Line appropriates the train bridge belonging to the Keisei Main Line, as the Narita Express does here. (In the visual novel, the actual Keisei livery is used.) The Keisei Skyliner, which would use this bridge, is the direct competitor of East Japan Railway’s Narita Express.
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Though most of the episode is taken up by Kaiki’s confrontation with Sengoku Nadeko, there are a handful of neighborhood shots and an Easter egg or two for good measure.
I bet someone out there knows where this is.
Kaiki walks the torii at Fushimi Inari Taisha one last time.
This frame comes from Kifune Shrine (貴船神社) in Sakyō Ward, Kyoto.
There was some conjecture, but no one is quite sure about the whereabouts of this yet.
(ゴールデンタイム Gōruden Taimu)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
@ssslocation has been quietly making pilgrimages to various locations that have appeared throughout the season, with photograph sets covering Episode 1, Episode 2 through Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7 through Episode 11, and Episode 12.
Keio University PhD candidate Mariko Hanafusa is studying the role of anime pilgrimage (聖地巡礼 seichijunrei) in regional and local revitalization, specifically looking at activity in the Johana district of Nanto, Toyama Prefecture related to the 2008 series True Tears.
The Sakurano Department Store branch in Sendai is hosting an exhibition that introduces seichijunrei and associated regional/local tourism opportunities for several recent popular anime. Sendai will likely be the host of seichijunrei visitors this winter, as the city features in the setting for Wake Up, Girls!
@tianlangxing made a pilgrimage to Tsudanuma Station and surrounding neighborhood in Narashino, Chiba Prefecture; the Sasazuka neighborhood and some nearby locations in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, for the advance broadcast of Episode 1 of Buddy Complex. The show will begin its wide broadcast 2014 January 5.