Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

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.

Brynhildr in the Darkness

(極黒のブリュンヒルデ Gokukoku no Buryunhirude)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@Beetle787 made pilgrimages to Akihabara, Tokyo for Episode 7, and to Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture for Episode 4.

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Suwa, Nagano Prefecture for Episode 5 and Episode 6.

Episode 7

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

The travel in this week’s episode requires ignoring the real world distances involved. We start in Matsumoto (松本), Nagano Prefecture. Murakami and Kana plan to make a casual trip to Akihabara, Tokyo to pick up spare parts from the electronics market. This would be a minimum 3 hours trip each way, and that’s including use of the Nagano Shinkansen or Azusa limited express service.

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

Matsumoto Station (松本駅) is explicitly identified on the signage.

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

Shinonoi Line (篠ノ井線)

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

Akihabara (秋葉原)

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

Comic Toranoana (コミックとらのあな)

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

Akiba Duty Free’S location of electronics retailer Sofmap (ソフマップ)

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

Radio Center (ラジオセンター) is a labyrinth of electronics components vendors crammed under the viaduct entering Akihabara Station. This and other similar collectives began as post World War II black markets for electronics components, and are the reason for the nickname Akihabara Electric Town (秋葉原電気街). Neighboring market across the aisle Akihabara Radio Store permanently closed on 2013 November 13 (coverage here, here and here). I published a photo essay about Akihabara electronics markets as part of an urbanism research project.

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

Chūō-Sōbu Line (中央・総武緩行線)

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

Akihabara Denpa Kaikan (秋葉原電波会館)

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

Akihabara UDX (秋葉原UDX)

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

Chūō-dōri (中央通) is closed off to vehicle traffic every Sunday afternoon in a practice known as hokōsha tengoku (歩行者天国), lit. “pedestrian paradise”. However, I’m beginning to get the impression that when Akihabara appears in anime, it is always hokōsha tengoku!

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

One Week Friends

(一週間フレンズ。 Isshūkan Furenzu.)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@626shin made a pilgrimage to Tama for Episode 6 and to Hino (both Tokyo Metropolis) for Episode 7.

@dotproducer made a pilgrimage to Tama for the ED, Episode 2 and Episode 6.

Episode 7

One Week Friends 一週間フレンズ。

All of the neighborhood scenes in this episode are modeled on Minamidaira 8-chome (南平8丁目) in Hino (日野), Tokyo Metropolis. The torii in the first frame belongs to Hino’s Kumano Jinja (熊野神社). Kumano shrines are a type of Shinto shrine that enshrine the kami of the three Kumano mountains.

One Week Friends 一週間フレンズ。

One Week Friends 一週間フレンズ。

Minamidaira Station (南平駅)

One Week Friends 一週間フレンズ。

Hase runs to catch Fujimiya before she boards the train home.

One Week Friends 一週間フレンズ。

Prominent use of the Keiō Railway logo

One Week Friends 一週間フレンズ。

One Week Friends 一週間フレンズ。

One Week Friends 一週間フレンズ。

One Week Friends 一週間フレンズ。

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior

(僕らはみんな河合荘 Bokura wa Minna Kawai-Sō)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@allora1207 made a pilgrimage to Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture for Episode 4/6 and Episode 7.

Episode 7

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior 僕らはみんな河合荘

This week we’re introduced to a new design feature in Gifu City (岐阜市), this underground passage that facilitates pedestrian movement around an arterial road. As there are already zebra stripe crossings on the street, it would appear to be one of many public works projects that soak up budget surpluses but don’t actually add much value, similar to Japan’s ubiquitous pedestrian overcrossings. Like the overcrossings, this underground passage is not wheelchair accessible. In the episode, the dimly lit passage provides an opportunity for a sexual predator to trap and assault victims. Design like this is optimized for vehicle flow, not for the convenience and safety of pedestrians.

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior 僕らはみんな河合荘

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior 僕らはみんな河合荘

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior 僕らはみんな河合荘

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior 僕らはみんな河合荘

Mekakucity Actors

(メカクシティアクターズ Mekakushiti Akutāzu)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Opening Credits 2

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

Enemoto Takane (Ene)’s introductory episode gets its own set of opening credits. As in earlier episodes, the cityscape appears to draw elements from Odaiba (お台場), Tokyo. The first frame is Center Promenade (センタープロムナード), a section of Symbol Promenade Park (シンボルプロムナード公園). The very large park and pedestrian walk spans two islands of reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay, connecting with Ariake at its northeast end.

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

Pedestrian overcrossing

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

Elevated pedestrian walkway

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

Transit viaduct

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

Episode 6

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

Odaiba-kaihinkōen Station (お台場海浜公園駅)

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

Love Live! School Idol Project

(ラブライブ! School idol project Rabu Raibu! Sukūru aidoru purojekuto)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Akihabara and Hongō, Tokyo for Episode 4 and Episode 5.

Episode 7 (Season 2)

Love Live! School Idol Project ラブライブ! School idol project

Familiar territory this week, as training continues at Kanda Myōjin (神田明神).

Love Live! School Idol Project ラブライブ! School idol project

I’d kind of like to see a mashup of Love Live! and Rocky, where μ’s runs through the Italian Market, Benjamin Franklin Parkway and up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Love Live! School Idol Project ラブライブ! School idol project

Shrubs and shade trees between the sidewalk and road create enclosure along this commercial street.

Love Live! School Idol Project ラブライブ! School idol project

Love Live! School Idol Project ラブライブ! School idol project

Love Live! School Idol Project ラブライブ! School idol project

Love Live! School Idol Project ラブライブ! School idol project

Love Live! School Idol Project ラブライブ! School idol project

 

Special Items

@ye_bi_su made a pilgrimage to the Kamo River delta and Kyoto Station for the film Tamako Love Story.

@sanana373 made a pilgrimage to Shinjuku, Tokyo for selector infected WIXOSS.

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to Mitaka, Tokyo Metropolis for Mangaka-san to Ashisutanto-san to.

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Higashi-Koganei Station in Koganei, Tokyo Metropolis for Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san.

@Beetle787 made a pilgrimage to Sapporo for Gin no Saji.

@teo_imperial made a pilgrimage to Nerima Ward, Tokyo for Noragami.

@cairn_07 made a pilgrimage to Kōriyama, Fukushima Prefecutre for Mikakunin de Shinkōkei.

@LyricalCygnus made a pilgrimage to Izumo, Shimane Prefecture for Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha.

@Roan_Inish made a pilgrimage to Kiryū, Gunma Prefecture for Aku no Hana.

@lidges made a pilgrimage to Sendai Station for Kokoro Connect.

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Numabe in Ōta, Tokyo for Clannad.

@paffue made a pilgrimage to Okinawa for Accel World.