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

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: This review compresses the past four weeks into one review. Since some shows’ content was on the light side while I was away, the image count isn’t much higher than a normal review, though location identification and context information gets dense. Best enjoyed with a tall beverage of your choice! In particular, there were many interesting items pertaining to anime and pop culture tourism in mainstream media, so you may want to skip down to “Special Items” first, if that’s of interest.

Owarimonogatari

(終物語)
Watch: CrunchyrollDaisuki

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@sky_dj_ made a pilgrimage to the Konohana Bridge in Osaka for Episode 4.

Episode 3

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Classic Monogatari. When pressed for some sort of transition, traffic signals run amok will do nicely.

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Episode 4

Owarimonogatari 終物語

What begins as something that looks pulled straight from a Donkey Kong game, turns out to be actual pedestrian infrastructure.

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

The spiraling ramp connects the ground with the pedestrian lane of the Konohana Bridge (此花大橋) in Konohana Ward, Osaka. Truth is stranger than fiction.

Owarimonogatari 終物語

The covered, moving walkway comes from a different location, the Harumi Triton Bridge (晴海トリトンブリッジ) in Kachidoki, Chūō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis.

[Credit: @sky_dj_, post; @nanoexpTS2, Twitter]

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

There is a very striking change to grittier textures and more realistic (for Monogatari) backgrounds as Hanekawa and Araragi enter the low income housing blocks to find Oikura.

Update 2015/11/24: These apartment blocks come from Musashimuraya, Tokyo Metropolis:

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

This has appeared before in Monogatari Series Second Season, Episode 23. I can’t remember if any butaitanbou practitioner has found a definitive location match. I still think it’s supposed to be in Odaiba, Tokyo.

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Monument Valley in Arizona, United States, with what’s most likely a Mister Donut added. No sign of Shinobu, though.

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Throughout the argument sequence between Hanekawa and Ougi, Shōwa-looking roadsters cycle around in the backgrounds. The finally come together as the audience in a large theater at the apex of the fight. Symbolism, or just playful weirdness?

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Episode 5

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Even with its flat, stylized backgrounds, Monogatari uses extreme lighting, color and texture changes to make them feel like completely different places, sometimes from moment to moment. At times it seems more like commentary on the medium itself, a jab at formulaic adherence to color schemes and normative setting design, rather than something in service of the narrative.

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Episode 6

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

What passes for a plaza adjacent to the housing blocks is an almost alien, very sterile and unwelcoming barrens. What’s alarming is how many real public spaces in cities across the world that look and feel just like this.

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Without transitions, the trio relocate to other common spaces.

Update 2015/11/24: Higashimurayama Central Park (東村山中央公園) in Higashimurayama, Tokyo Metropolis:

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Hikarigaoka Park (光が丘公園) in Nerima Ward, Tokyo Metropolis. The two parks are blended together to create this scene, a common technique in Monogatari works.

[Credit: @shira_ry, Twitter]

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Update 2015/11/24: Higashimurayama Central Park (see embedded tweet above)

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

We’ve seen this neighborhood before, a side street off Meiji-dōri just north of Shibuya Station, in Episode 12 of Monogatari Series Second Season.

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Owarimonogatari 終物語

Bicycle parking at Naoetsu High School

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 3

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

Like Monogatari, Concrete Revolutio paints with simplified and stylized urban forms and textures. However, it remains more grounded in reality and, despite its fictional era names and fantasy premise, draws heavily from early and late Shōwa period imagery.

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~

Though not enough context to determine the station, this looks like the Chūō-Sōbu Line (中央・総武緩行線) 101 series (101系) trainset we saw in Episode 1.

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~

Empire State Building in New York, United States stands in for the enemy city in the cross-hairs of the powers that be. This is a work of fiction, right?

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

Toei Uzumasa Eigamura (東映太秦映画村) is both the Toei Kyoto studio for filming jidaigeki (period dramas) and a theme park open to the public. I asked Moriwaki Kiyotaka if he could confirm this location, as I’ve never been inside Eigamura. His reply: “It’s looks like it, but the bridge is a little different. The lantern stands are spot on, though.” Moriwaki would know. As curator of the Kyoto Film Archive, he’s probably spent more time on set and evaluated more films shot at the studio than most people on the planet.

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

Update 2015/11/11: Reader gones helped shed some addition light on this scene. The reason the second frame doesn’t quite look like Eigamura is because it isn’t. It’s actually Warp Station Edo (ワープステーション江戸), a jidaigeki studio operated by NHK in Tsukubamirai, Ibaraki Prefecture. Now we have to wonder, why go to the trouble of combining the two places.

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~

Common areas in a large rail and bus hub are appropriated by activists.

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~

This will become modern Shinjuku, or so we are told.

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

Episode 4

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

I’ve seen this bridge once in an old photograph, but can’t recall the name. I believe it is no longer extant, but at one point crossed the Sumida, Arakawa or Kanda river. If you can help out, let us know.

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~

Episode 5

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~

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

JNR Class EF81 (国鉄EF81形電気機関車)—I think.

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~

Episode 6

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

Sensō-ji (浅草寺) in Asakusa, Taitō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis

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~

Nippon Budōkan (日本武道館) in Kitanomarukōen, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo Metropolis

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~

Use of izakaya as third place. Under the rail viaduct, even better.

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~

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

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@SSEBTBM883 made a pilgrimage to Mashike, Hokkaidō Prefecture for Episode 1.

Opening Credits

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

Tea house Life Lapsang (ライフ・ラプサン) in Asashikawa, Hokkaidō Prefecture

[Credit: @hiphaist, Twitter]

Episode 2

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 remains the leader among shows aiming for photo-realism and real locations in background art.

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

Kōban (交番), local police substation

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

Tōkō Lavender Park (東光ラベンダー公園)

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

Yamashita Orthopedic Clinic (山下整形外科クリニック)

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

Episode 3

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

Limestone cave Green Park (鍾乳洞グリーンパーク) in Tōma, Hokkaidō Prefecture

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

Tea house Life Lapsang (ライフ・ラプサン) in Asashikawa

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

Asahikawa vista

Episode 4

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

Uniqlo Asahikawa Nagayama Powers shop (ユニクロ 旭川永山パワーズ店)

[Credit: @nandakaomo, Twitter]

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 reflects the reality of dependence on private automobiles for many parts of Japan beyond major cities. Despite the perception of the country as having widespread compact development and ample public transit, many areas struggle with the same sprawl and fossil-fuel dependence challenges as elsewhere.

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

Asahikawa Station (旭川駅)

The Perfect Insider

(すべてがFになる Subete ga F ni Naru)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Episode 5

The Perfect Insider すべてがFになる

It has been looking as if Subete ga F ni Naru plans to do the bulk of its storytelling indoors, but we got some interesting peeks at a real public space during a flashback scene in the most recent episode. This is Ōme Station (青梅駅) in Ōme, Tokyo Metropolis.

The Perfect Insider すべてがFになる

The Perfect Insider すべてがFになる

The Perfect Insider すべてがFになる

The Perfect Insider すべてがFになる

The Perfect Insider すべてがFになる

Nya Nya Magari (にゃにゃまがり Meow Meow… Bend/Curve?), an alley decorated with cat themed artwork

[Credit: @high__k, Twitter]

The Perfect Insider すべてがFになる

The Perfect Insider すべてがFになる

The Perfect Insider すべてがFになる

Ōno Hardware Store (大野金物店) Honchō 1-5-2 shop, in the center of Ōme

[Credit: @high__k, Twitter]

Noragami Aragoto

(ノラガミ ARAGOTO)
Watch: Funimation

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to Omotesandō, Ebisu and Shibuya Station area in Shibuya Ward; Ōizumi-gakuen Station and surrounding commercial district in Higashi-Ōizumi, Nerima Ward; Asakusanbashi, Taitō Ward; Bunkyō Civic Center in Kasuga, Bunkyō Ward; Ogikubu Station and surrounding commercial district in Suginami Ward; and Shinjuku 3-chōme, Shinjuku Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for the OP, Episode 1 and Episode 2.

@teo_imperial made a pilgrimage to Ōizumi-gakuen Station for Episode 1.

Episode 3

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

Noragami Aragoto ノラガミ ARAGOTO

K Return of Kings

Watch: HuluViz Media Neon Alley

Episode 3

K Return of Kings

Reused animation from the first season, here is the swanky suspended monorail the Ashinaka High School students take to their island campus.

K Return of Kings

K Return of Kings

K Return of Kings

Episode 4

K Return of Kings

Now that I see the map again, the coastline doesn’t look nearly as much like Tokyo Bay and the Shōnan area as it did in my mind. Probably best not to worry about it too much. In the K series, background fidelity takes a back seat to fun, fantasy and bishōnen. Now, if we only had some plot.

 

Special Items

Media

  • Kansai TV morning television program Ohayō Asahi desu (おはよう朝日です) ran a 10 minute segment on Hibike! Euphonium, with heavy emphasis on pop culture tourism to Uji, Kyoto Prefecture.
  • Asahi Shimbun published a notably comprehensive article that explains the basic premise of seichijunrei (pop culture tourism, lit. holy land pilgrimage), notes specific goals of an October 17 event to educate and link more local municipalities in Saitama Prefecture (already known as a holy land for several popular works) with anime production companies, and highlights several examples of works from A-1 Pictures and P.A.Works to illustrate potential outcomes from collaboration.
  • Mainichi Shimbun published an article about Komoro City’s public recognition from the Nagano prefectural governor for its efforts to drive regional revitalization and promote pop culture tourism for Ano Natsu de Matteru.
  • ZUU Online published a dense and statistics heavy ariticle (one page version) that attempts to capture the history and current scope of anime pop culture tourism, cities examples of especially notable sites such as Washinomiya Jinja for Lucky Star, and discusses intentions of the Visit Japan and Cool Japan initiatives to promote this activity to foreign tourists. It notes the 2013 partnership between Visit Japan, Expedia and website Tokyo Otaku Mode to promote tourism in general and seichijunrei specifically, though does not mention that the entire relevant section of the TOM website is now shuttered.
  • Kyoto Shimbun published an article about the Kyoto Animation and Animation Do fan event Watashitachi wa, Ima!!, held over 2015 October 31 and November 1. The article mentions fans were able to observe creation of real background art for upcoming works in the temporary studio setup in one area of the main hall. I wrote a report of my experience at the exhibition with plenty of photography here: Kyoto Animation and Animation Do Fan Event 2015.
  • Mainichi Shimbun published an article about the official map produced by the culture and tourism division of Sōka, Saitama Prefecture to promote pop culture tourism for Rēkan!

Musaigen no Fantomu Wārudo

  • @gromit1446 made a pilgrimage to Nishi-Kamakura Station in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture based on a pre-PV marketing image, and a casual reconnaissance walk around parts of Kamakura and Fujisawa subsequent to the PV release for Kyoto Animation’s Musaigen no Fantomu Wārudo, premiering 2016 January.
  • @habusan initiated the Field Guide at Butaitanbou Matome Wiki, using cuts from the PV to identify locations in Kamkura and Fujisawa.
  • @ssslocation made a pilgrimage to Kamakura and Fujisawa for the PV.

Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterun Da.

  • withnews published an article about pop culture tourism to Chichibu and Yokoze, Saitama Prefecture for Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterun Da., with particular attention to the fan exchange notebook left at a local temple, which came as a surprise to the supervising priest. The article explains that while Chichibu has long been accustomed to seichijunrei subsequent to Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. (produced by the same studio), it is a new experience for Yokoze.
  • Seibu Bus released a detailed map and timetable (PDF) explaining how to use its bus lines to visit the locations featured in the film.
  • @touyoko_com made a pilgrimage to Chichibu and Yokoze
  • @lidges made a pilgrimage to Chichibu and Yokoze
  • @habusan updated several iterations of the Field Guide to Chichibu and Yokoze
  • @MatsuYan made a pilgriamge to Chichibu and Yokoze

Other Pilgrimages

@habusan made a pilgrimage to Miho, Shimizu Ward, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture for the PV to Haruchika: Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru, scheduled to premiere 2016 January.

@nobucafe made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2) to Toyama City and Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture for YuruYuri San Hai!

@jo2_pushi (post) and @lidges (post) made pilgrimages to Takaoka for YuruYuri San Hai!

@shira_ry made a pilgrimage to the Rainbow Bridge and Daiba, Minato Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Hidan no Aria AA.

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture for Lance N’ Masques.

@gromit1446 made a pilgrimage to Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture for the end roll from the first and second of the Tamayura ~Sotsugyō Shashin~ films.

@makotomatic (post), @sagra_k (post) and @fragments_sue (post) made pilgrimages to Shōkei no michi, the annual bamboo lantern festival held in Takehara, Hiroshima Prefecture and depicted in depth throughout the Tamayura works. All posts feature exceptional photography.

@fureshima made a pilgrimage to Ranzan, Saitama Prefecture; and Ōtsuki Station and Fuji-Q Highland in Yamanashi Prefecture for SHIROBAKO.

@ngwrb made a pilgrimage to Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture for (post 1) Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works and (post 2) Fate/Zero.

@mikkatatsu made a pilgrimage to multiple locations in Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Hiroshima for Rolling Girls.

@ngwrb made a pilgriamge to Shima Onsen, Gunma Prefecture for Gugure! Kokkuri-san.

@mikkatatsu made a pilgrimage to Harajuku in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo.

@mikkatatsu made a pilgrimage to Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture for Kantai Collection.

@ktism1228s made a pilgrimage to Sōbetsu and Tōyako, Hokkaidō Prefecture, including images taken through the observatory telescope that appears in Sora no Method.

@teo_imperial made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2) to Mount Tanigawa for Yama no Susume Second Season.

@mikkatatsu made a pilgrimage to Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture for Captain Earth.

@gromit1446 made a pilgrimage to Uraga, Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture for Tamayura: More Aggressive.

@mikkatatsu made a pilgrimage to Shikinejima in Niijima, Tokyo Metropolis for Vividred Operation.

@fureshima made a pilgrimage to Komoro, Nagano Prefecture for the Ano Natsu de Matteru OVA.

@mikkatatsu made a pilgrimage to Jiufen, Taiwan, said to have inspired the settings for the Miyazaki Hayao film Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away).

@paffue made a pilgrimage to Obihiro and Taiki, Hokkaidō Prefecture for Kita e. ~Diamond Dust Drops~.

@mikkatatsu made a pilgrimage to the National Diet Library in Nagatachō, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Read or Die.

@mikkatatsu made a pilgrimage to Biei, Hokkaidō Prefecture for Figure 17 Tsubasa & Hikaru.