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.
The end of the season only manages to just explain why Jiro leaves the Superhuman Bureau, but leaves us with many more questions about where the fictional activism is going, and as many questions about its links to the actual activism and other social turmoil of postwar Japan. Fortunately, it will be back for another season in 2016, when I look forward to seeing where this all ends up.
One of my favorite points of the series thus far has been the clear use of disruption to public spaces and transit infrastructure as leverage to gain attention. Because these assets are important to the daily routines of Tokyo residents, taking control of them, or at least impacting their operation, is an effective way to get noticed.
Shinjuku central business district and Shinjuku Station (新宿駅) east entrance plaza
Yamanote Line (山手線)
Yoyogi Station (代々木駅)
Shinjuku Station (新宿駅)
Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, now the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, informally the Atomic Bomb Dome (原爆ドーム), was adjacent to the hypocenter of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima by the United States at the end of World War II.
Enola Gay, which delivered the weapon, meets a different fate in this universe.
Aioi Bridge (相生橋) is next to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, and was the intended target of the US bomber.
With Tokyo’s labyrinthian, unnamed streets and confusing address nomenclature, it has been a long-time practice to make handwritten maps to locate a destination, for oneself or others. This was probably more common back before everyone had a GPS enabled smartphone. Yato’s map includes the closest rail station for reference.
His status as a god of fortune notwithstanding, the new incarnation of Ebisu returns to his predecessor’s favorite famiresu for a simple but satisfying meal.
Former town of Mihonoseki (美保関), now part of Matsue, Shimane Prefecture
This use of the famiresu allows Yato to share memories about his friend, the previous incarnation of Ebisu, away from the prying eyes of caregivers and busybodies.
Ōizumi-gakuen Station (大泉学園駅) in Higashi-ōizumi, Nerima Ward
(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)
Asahikawa (旭川), Hokkaidō Prefecture
Reused animation from the first season, the monorail to Ashinaka High School brings us back to normal life, putting a bookend to cap the end of the second season. When this first appeared, based on temporal proximity in the action, I had thought the departure station might be based on the Keio section of Shibuya Station. Now I think it may not be based on anywhere in particular.
The very first volume of a collaborative publication by the Butaitanbou Community (anime pop culture tourism), 探訪路, is now for sale at Winter Comiket:
— ハブさん (@habusan) December 29, 2015