Owarimonogatari 終物語

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 off for the next three weeks while I’m in Japan. In addition to my usual urban walks, I have planned a seichijunrei trio of Hibike! Euphonium, Chūnibyō and K-On!, and will attend both days of the Kyoto Animation and Animation Do special fan event Watashitachi wa, Ima!! I’ll also meet with friends from the butaitanbou community (BTC) and, hopefully, squeeze in some much needed R&R.

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s Investigation

(櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Episode 1

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Outside of Hakodate and Greater Sapporo, Hokkaidō Prefecture tends to get short shrift with regard to use in anime settings, so it’s always interesting to me when something new comes along. Protagonist Shōtarō calls out the explicit use of Asahikawa (旭川)—the landlocked, second-largest city in the prefecture—as the main setting at the beginning of the first episode.

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Asahiyama Zoo (旭山動物園)

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Mashike (増毛), Hokkaidō Prefecture

[Credit: @lidges, Twitter; @teo_imperial, post]

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation 櫻子さんの足下には死体が埋まっている

Owarimonogatari

(終物語)
Watch: CrunchyrollDaisuki

Episode 2

Owarimonogatari 終物語

After last week’s brief departure from past norms, director Shinbō slips back into customary Monogatari textures. This facility appears to be new to the series—

Owarimonogatari 終物語

—while use of the Nagoya Congress Center (名古屋国際会議場) as Naoetsu High School is an old favorite.

Owarimonogatari 終物語

At the episode halfway point, Araragi and Ougi suddenly jump through a sequence of frames that alludes to some of the masterworks of Dutch graphic artist M. C. Escher (1898-1972). The first frame is a reference to Other World (1947).

The Monogatari franchise is known for hiding all sorts of things in its visual content and wordplay. Obscure locations are the most tangible of these Easter eggs, but references to more erudite subjects and abstract concepts are also there as inside jokes for the subset of viewers sharp enough to pick them up. While the Escher bit could be considered in line with this trope, it’s also significant that Escher was a pioneer—if not the pioneer—of the perspective warping, use and abstraction of urban textures from multiple geographies, and incorporation and mutation of architectural styles from multiple cultures that is the Monogatari animated works’ stock-in-trade. Perhaps this is Shinbō/Shaft’s nod to the grandfather that inspired the creation of the franchise’s many settings over the years.

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Sky and Water I (1938)

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Not really sure, but the brick-walled aqueduct looks a little like the focal point of Waterfall (1961)

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Relativity (1953)

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Print Gallery (1956)

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Back to the “real” world of Monogatari

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Concrete Revolutio

(コンクリート・レボルティオ~超人幻想~ Konkurīto Reborutio: Chōjin Gensō)
Watch: FunimationDasuki

Episode 2

Concrete Revolutio コンクリート・レボルティオ~超人幻想~

A very Shōwa-looking candy shop

Concrete Revolutio コンクリート・レボルティオ~超人幻想~

Concrete Revolutio コンクリート・レボルティオ~超人幻想~

Kachidoki Bridge (勝鬨橋), crossing the Sumida River in Chūō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis

[Credit: @shira_ry, Twitter]

Concrete Revolutio コンクリート・レボルティオ~超人幻想~

Concrete Revolutio コンクリート・レボルティオ~超人幻想~

Shōtengai

Concrete Revolutio コンクリート・レボルティオ~超人幻想~

Concrete Revolutio コンクリート・レボルティオ~超人幻想~

Concrete Revolutio コンクリート・レボルティオ~超人幻想~

Concrete Revolutio コンクリート・レボルティオ~超人幻想~

Concrete Revolutio コンクリート・レボルティオ~超人幻想~

Concrete Revolutio コンクリート・レボルティオ~超人幻想~

K Return of Kings

Watch: HuluViz Media Neon Alley

Episode 2

K Return of Kings

K Return of Kings

K Return of Kings

K Return of Kings

Rainbow Bridge (レインボーブリッジ) on steroids and, based on location context from the first season, located further south and connecting to a non-existent island in Tokyo Bay

K Return of Kings

K Return of Kings

Ending Credits

K Return of Kings

Shibuya (渋谷) scramble crossing

K Return of Kings

Noragami Aragoto

(ノラガミ ARAGOTO)
Watch: Funimation

Episode 2

Noragami Aragoto ノラガミ ARAGOTO

Noragami Aragoto ノラガミ ARAGOTO

Noragami Aragoto ノラガミ ARAGOTO

Noragami Aragoto ノラガミ ARAGOTO

Noragami Aragoto ノラガミ ARAGOTO

Extended scenes set at the river embankment (土手 dote) in this episode.

Noragami Aragoto ノラガミ ARAGOTO

 

Special Items

@buzz_tawagoto made a pilgrimage to Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture for Love Live! Sunshine!! A media format and release date has not yet been announced.

@habusan updated his Field Guide for Chichibu and Yokoze, Saitama Prefecture for Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterun Da.

@nobucafe made a pilgrimage to Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture for YuruYuri San Hai!

@SSEBTBM883 made a pilgrimage to Nagoya and Minamichita, Aichi Prefecture for Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider.

@anitabi1 made a pilgrimage to Tama, Tokyo Metropolis for Rakudai Kishi no Kyabarurii.

@touyoko_com made a pilgrimage to Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture for Charlotte.

@kai881 made a pilgrimage to Katsuragi, Wakayama Prefecture for Non Non Biyori Repeat.

@fragments_sue made a pilgrimage to Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture for Non Non Biyori (both seasons).

@BloodRambo made pilgrimages to (post 1) Setagaya Jashumon in Daita, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis; (post 2) Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture and Fushimi Ward, Kyoto; and (post 3) Nara and Kashihara, Nara Prefecture for Gekijōban Kyōkai no Kanata I’ll Be Here: Mirai-hen.

@lidges made a pilgrimage to Sōbetsu, Hokkaidō Prefecture for Sora no Method.

@ago_star made pilgrimages (post 1, post 2, post 3) to Sapporo, Tōyako and Toyoura, Hokkaidō Prefecture for Sora no Method.

@cairn_07 made a pilgrimage to Otaru, Noboribetsu, Tōyako and Hakodate, Hokkaidō Prefecture for Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb.

@yomikatajiyu made a pilgrimage to Nanto, Toyama Prefecture for True Tears.