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

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.

One Week Friends

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

Episode 10

One Week Friends 一週間フレンズ。

Each episode of One Week Friends reiterates the extent to which the animation team has done their homework. In particular, Seiseki-Sakuragaoka Station (聖蹟桜ヶ丘駅) is depicted at many times over the course of a day, showing changes in use patterns and lighting, and capturing information from multiple angles and vantage points. The end purpose is different, but the approach isn’t unlike that of an urbanism field study.

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。

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。

One Week Friends 一週間フレンズ。

Fujimiya and Yamagishi settle in for a talk at the riverside embankment (土手 dote), the archetypal setting for exposition of school age turmoil and angst.

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。

One Week Friends 一週間フレンズ。

One Week Friends 一週間フレンズ。

Love Live! School Idol Project

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

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@lovelivesukufes made a pilgrimage to Kanda Myōjin and Ueno Park in Tokyo for Episode 10.

Episode 10

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

Hatsumōde (初詣), the first temple or shrine visit of the new year, at Kanda Myōjin (神田明神)

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

Honoka goes for a morning run, returning to the steps that lead up the hill to the shrine.

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

Shinobazu Pond (不忍池) in Ueno Park (上野公園)

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

The street in front of Homura is relatively narrow and doesn’t carry through traffic, allowing them to appropriate part of the sidewalk (the red zone painted on the edge of the street) for the mochi pounding demonstration.

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

A great thing Love Live! has done through both seasons has been to illustrate how historic sites like Kanda Myōjin aren’t cordoned off and sealed away, but are pieces of living history and public space that are fully open and accessible at all hours of the day. They are a unique feature of urban fabric in Japan.

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

Akihabara UDX (秋葉原UDX)

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

Mekakucity Actors

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

Episode 9

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

The episode opens with what almost resembles a Norman Rockwell depiction of post-WWII wealthy America suburbia. The compact Fiat-esque automobile is the only thing a little off. American cars were way bigger! The settings in Mekakucity are already pretty strange, but this is almost more jarring by its sudden appearance.

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

We later return to this contemporary urban residential neighborhood that has appeared many times, but I’m just now noticing the crane-topped towers in the background, which look a lot like the ones that appeared in Episode 2 and are based on a location in Dalian, China.

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

Two extremes: In this frame, the sidewalk is almost non-existent, just a narrow shoulder created by a paint line. Counter-intuitively, in Japanese residential neighborhoods this tends to work quite well. Narrow streets drop car speeds and make drivers more cautious. In very low traffic streets, pedestrians and cyclists just use the entire width, only needing to make way when a car is passing.

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

In this and the following frame, wide promenade style sidewalks are walled off with a protective rail on one side and trees on the other.

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

The arches are part of a pedestrian plaza connected with Odaiba Seaside Park (お台場海浜公園 Odaiba-kaihinkōen), though this scene is so abstracted it looks more like an Atari 2600 game.

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

Daikanransha (大観覧車)

Mekakucity Actors メカクシティアクターズ

Brynhildr in the Darkness

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

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@Minky_j made a pilgrimage to Matsumoto and Suwa, Nagano Prefecture for Episode 9 and Episode 10, including Episode 11 preview.

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Karuizawa and Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture for Episode 8 and Episode 9.

Episode 10

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

The scenes of Lake Suwa (諏訪湖) in this and previous episodes all come from the Suwa (諏訪), Nagano Prefecture section of the coastline.

Brynhildr in the Darkness 極黒のブリュンヒルデ

The File of Young Kindaichi Returns

(金田一少年の事件簿R Kindaichi Shōnen no Jikenbo Ritānzu)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Episode 10

The File of Young Kindaichi Returns 金田一少年の事件簿R

Other than the first couple of episodes set in Hong Kong, Kindaichi has turned out to be a no-show in terms of urbanism. This whodunit appears to prefer use of indoor settings to keep the variables of the crime scenes limited, but hopefully the pedestrian street and outdoor cafe seating that popped up briefly this week is a sign that, now back in Tokyo, we’ll finally see characters interacting with the larger environment in these last few episodes.

The File of Young Kindaichi Returns 金田一少年の事件簿R

The File of Young Kindaichi Returns 金田一少年の事件簿R

 

Special Items

@aqcuaria made a pilgrimage to Mikuni in Sakai, Fukui Prefecture for the second PV to Glass Lip.

@lidges (post) and @thuporn (post) made pilgrimages to Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture for a recently released OVA addition to Tamayura: More Aggressive.

@kortoku made a pilgrimage to Tokyo Station for Haikyū!!

@teo_imperial made a pilgrimage to Akihabara, Tokyo for No Game No Life.

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to Shinjuku, Tokyo for Episode 9 and Episode 10 of selector infected WIXOSS.

@ye_bi_su made a pilgrimage to Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture for Wake Up, Girls!

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Osaka for Smile PreCure!

@momokomint made a pilgrimage to Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture for Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai.

@Bf109K1 made a pilgrimage to the former town of Kasumi, now part of Kami, Hyōgo Prefecture for Air.

@paffue made a pilgrimage to Kimobetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture for Kita e. ~Diamond Dust Drops~.

@Minky_j made a pilgrimage to Ukiha, Fukuoka Prefecture for Sora no Otoshimono.