Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

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.

2016 Winter Season Overview

Welcome to season premiere week and the first weekly review of 2016! I don’t plan to permanently move the publish date to later in the week. Subsequent issues should be back to Tuesdays. I’d like to say the reason for this week’s delay is that there is a massive amount of dense material to work through. While that’s true, this is looking to be a season of great content and diversity, the real reason is more that a month of middle-of-the night feedings and diaper changes has about caught up with my body. Thanks for your patience as I get my bearings.

At the top of the pile, the usual suspects all have new works featuring meticulously researched settings and high production value artwork. Musaigen no Phantom World (Kyoto Animation) takes us to Kamakura and Fujisawa, but may hopefully move away from the typical seaside areas that predominate when the Shōnan coast appears in pop culture media. Haruchika (P.A. Works) is set in Shimizu Ward, Shizuoka, close enough to Tokyo for weekend warriors, but a location that does not often appear in anime. Bokumachi (A-1 Pictures), called Erased in English, starts out in Tokyo and Chiba, but I believe jumps to Hokkaidō after the sudden plot shift at the end of the first episode.

Two other series I’ll be allocating priority for weekly review. Shokomeza (Project No.9) is a great surprise, going to Kanazawa Ward, Yokohama with some very detailed settings. I’m also curious to see what comes out of Rakugo Shinju. Studio Deen isn’t quite in the same league as the big three with regard to production, but Shōwa era urban settings are a nice contrast to the contemporary ones we’re used to seeing.

In the second tier, Dagashi Kashi is a rural setting in Chiba Prefecture. Active Raid is this season’s Rail Wars, but with its railfan/law enforcement activity based out of Kichijōji Station instead of Tokyo Station. Prince of Stride: Alternative is parkour in Tokyo. Last, but not least, Durarara!!x2 Ketsu brings the concluding third cour of its second season, set as always in Ikebukuro. These should all be good and fun too, but for time reasons, I’ll generally cover highlights, rather than a deeper dive.

Other series that may be of interest but I won’t cover week to week include Bubuki Buranki (Tokyo), Sekko Boys (Tokyo) and Nijiiro Days (Sapporo).

Myriad Colors Phantom World

(無彩限のファントム・ワールド Musaigen no Fantomu Wārudo)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@gromit1446 made pilgrimages to Kamakura and Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture for the second PV and OP/Episode 1.

@rimatai (post), @qqbb5at9k (updated post) and @ssslocation (gallery) made pilgrimages to Kamakura and Fujisawa for the OP and Episode 1.

@buzz_tawagoto made pilgrimages to (post 1) academy model; and Kamakura and Fujisawa for the OP and Episode 1.

@ts_kobaya made a video pilgrimage to Kamakura and Fujisawa for Episode 1:

Opening Credits

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Kyoto Prefecture Former Head Office (京都府庁旧本館), just to the west of the Imperial Palace in downtown Kyoto. This was a bit of a red herring, convincing even some core butaitanbou practitioners that the setting would be Kansai based. The first episode suggests otherwise.

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Other locations in the PV and marketing materials pointed instead to the Shōnan coast. The first confirmation we see comes right in the OP, with Yuigahama (由比ヶ浜) beach in Kamakura (鎌倉), Kanagawa Prefecture. This section is near Hase Station (長谷駅) on the Enoshima Electric Railway (江ノ島電鉄) (Enoden). Many Enoden stations, or their catchment areas, appear in the OP and Episode 1. Enoden is a popular fixture broadly across pop culture media, not just anime, and the rail operator’s management actively promotes its use in new works.

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

North of Yuigahama Station (由比ヶ浜駅)

[Credit: @yudetarou304, Twitter]

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Intersection near Koshigoe Station (腰越駅)

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Enoshima Station (江ノ島駅)

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Jūmai Bridge (拾枚橋), Nishi-Kamakura Station in the background

Episode 1

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Near Nishi-Kamakura Station

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Haruhiko rushes to catch the train on his morning commute to school.

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Nishi-Kamakura Station (西鎌倉駅), on the Shōnan Monorail (湘南モノレール) Enoshima Line (江ノ島線)

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

No Suica, or any other melons for that matter, accepted here.

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Koshigoe Library (腰越図書館)

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Ryūkō-ji (龍口寺) is the only Fujisawa (藤沢) location in Episode 1, but others appeared in prior marketing materials.

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Myriad Colors Phantom World 無彩限のファントム・ワールド

Haruchika – Haruta & Chika

( ハルチカ 〜ハルタとチカは青春する〜 Haruchika: Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru)
Watch: FunimationHuluDaisuki

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@habusan (updated Field Guide) and @ye_bi_su (post) made pilgrimages to Shimizu Ward, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture for the OP and Episode 1.

@sakuyaoi has created a detailed Google Map of the area:

Episode 1

Haruchika - Haruta & Chika ハルチカ 〜ハルタとチカは青春する〜

Shimizu South High School (清水南高等学校) in Orido, Shimizu Ward, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture

Haruchika - Haruta & Chika ハルチカ 〜ハルタとチカは青春する〜

Haruchika - Haruta & Chika ハルチカ 〜ハルタとチカは青春する〜

Haruchika - Haruta & Chika ハルチカ 〜ハルタとチカは青春する〜

Haruchika - Haruta & Chika ハルチカ 〜ハルタとチカは青春する〜

Near the Hagoromo no matsu iriguchi (羽衣の松入口) intersection in Miho (三保), Shimizu Ward

Haruchika - Haruta & Chika ハルチカ 〜ハルタとチカは青春する〜

Opening Credits

Haruchika - Haruta & Chika ハルチカ 〜ハルタとチカは青春する〜

Shin-Shimizu Station (新清水駅) in Aioi-chō, Shimizu Ward is the terminus of the Shizuoka Railway Shizuoka–Shimizu Line (静岡清水線).

Haruchika - Haruta & Chika ハルチカ 〜ハルタとチカは青春する〜

Haruchika - Haruta & Chika ハルチカ 〜ハルタとチカは青春する〜

Haruchika - Haruta & Chika ハルチカ 〜ハルタとチカは青春する〜

Haruchika - Haruta & Chika ハルチカ 〜ハルタとチカは青春する〜

Haruchika - Haruta & Chika ハルチカ 〜ハルタとチカは青春する〜

Girls Beyond the Wasteland

(少女たちは荒野を目指す Shōjotachi wa Kōya wo Mezasu)
Watch: Hulu

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@522858A made a pilgrimage to Kanazawa Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture for the PV and Episode 1.

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to Kanazawa Ward for the PV.

@ts_kobaya made a video pilgrimage to Kanazawa Ward for Episode 1:

Opening Credits

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Kanazawa-Hakkei Station (金沢八景駅) on the Keikyū Main Line, Keikyū Zushi Line and Kanazawa Seaside Line in Seto, Kanazawa Ward, Yokohama. The protagonist’s apartment and many of the street scenes appear to come from this station’s catchment area. Some others may come from one stop north, Kanazawa-Bunko.

I usually avoid shows based on visual novels unless they’re a well regarded work, and I had never heard of studio Project No.9, so I was about to give Shokomeza a pass until I saw the butaitanbou discussion on Twitter light up after the broadcast.

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Keikyū Main Line (京急本線)

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Episode 1

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Kanazawa-Hakkei Station

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Kanazawa High School (金沢高等学校)

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

I think the ramen shop is in the Suzuran-dōri Shotengai (すずらん通り商店街) on the east side of Kanazawa-Bunko Station. Will double-check on that later.

[Credit: @ts_kobaya, Twitter]

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

This one shot only comes from Yokosuka (横須賀), Kanagawa Prefecture.

[Credit: @high__k, Twitter]

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Kanazawa-Hakkei Station

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Hakkeijima Station (八景島駅) on the Kanazawa Seaside Line (金沢シーサイド線)

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise (横浜・八景島シーパラダイス)

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Akihabara (秋葉原) commercial district, Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo Metropolis. Akihabara is done ad nauseum in anime, but there is a marked difference in this depiction. For one, the colors are less saturated, and less pure (those fluorescent and mercury-vapor lamps really do have a green chroma spike that makes stuff look kind of sickly and washed out). Real Akihabara is not as sparkly and colorful as most anime suggest. But the soundscape may be the best part of the scene. The din of crowd chatter mixed with electronic noise from advertisements is loud enough to notice, but distant enough from the speakers not to drown out their dialog. It gives a warm hum that establishes the sense of place, so similar to my own experiences of Akiba that I wonder if it isn’t a live field recording.

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Girls Beyond the Wasteland 少女たちは荒野を目指す

Erased

(僕だけがいない街 Boku Dake ga Inai Machi)
Watch: CrunchyrollFunimationHuluDaisuki

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to Iidabashi Station in central Tokyo; and Funabashi and Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture for Episode 1.

@paffue made a pilgrimage to Sapporo and Hakodate, Hokkaidō Prefecture for scenes from the manga source material.

Episode 1

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Iidabashi Station (飯田橋駅), Tokyo inner wards

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Nishi-Funabashi area, Funabashi (船橋), Chiba Prefecture

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Common play area on river embankment (土手 dote)

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Near Nishi-Funabashi Station

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Futamata (二俣), Ichikawa (市川), Chiba Prefecture

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Erased 僕だけがいない街

Funabashi Central Library (船橋市中央図書館)

Erased 僕だけがいない街

No surprises from A-1 in terms of art style. Looking forward to heading north, as suggested by the source material.

Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū

(昭和元禄落語心中)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Episode 1

Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū 昭和元禄落語心中

There are no landmarks I recognize in the first episode, but odds are it draws from Shōwa era neighborhoods in either Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka.

Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū 昭和元禄落語心中

Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū 昭和元禄落語心中

Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū 昭和元禄落語心中

Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū 昭和元禄落語心中

Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū 昭和元禄落語心中

Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū 昭和元禄落語心中

Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū 昭和元禄落語心中

Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū 昭和元禄落語心中

Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū 昭和元禄落語心中

Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū 昭和元禄落語心中

The bridge somewhat resembles present-day Temmabashi (天満橋) is Osaka, but there are many others that do, as well.

Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū 昭和元禄落語心中

Dagashi Kashi

(だがしかし)
Watch: FunimationHulu

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to Takeoka, Futtsu, Chiba Prefecture for Episode 1.

Episode 1

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

Takeoka (竹岡), Futtsu (富津), Chiba Prefecture

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

Rail viaduct for the JR East Uchibō Line (内房線)

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

Cafe used at third place

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

Dagashi Kashi だがしかし

You might think this was just a generic rural background, or if real, not specific enough for anyone to be able to locate it, right?

Wrong.

Active Raid

(アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係 Akutive Reido Kidō Kyōshūshitsu Dai-Hakkei)
Watch: Crunchroll

Opening Credits

Active Raid アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係

Composite image based on several locations in Onomichi (尾道), Hiroshima Prefecture

[Credit: @tesra1141, Twitter]

Active Raid アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係

Active Raid アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係

Active Raid アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係

Embellishment on Kichijōji (吉祥寺), Musashino, Tokyo Metropolis

Active Raid アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係

Episode 1

Active Raid アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係

Chūō Line (Rapid) (中央線快速)

Active Raid アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係

Active Raid アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係

Active Raid アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (東京都庁舎)

Active Raid アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係

Kichijōji

Active Raid アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係

Kichijōji Station (吉祥寺駅)

Active Raid アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係

Active Raid アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係

Active Raid アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係

Active Raid アクティヴレイド 機動強襲室第八係

Prince of Stride: Alternative

(プリンス・オブ・ストライド オルタナティブ Purinsu Obu Sutoraido Orutanatibu)
Watch: FunimationHuluDaisuki

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to the Shibuya central business district in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for the PV

Episode 1

Prince of Stride: Alternative プリンス・オブ・ストライド オルタナティブ

Shibuya (渋谷)

Prince of Stride: Alternative プリンス・オブ・ストライド オルタナティブ

Spain Slope (スペイン坂)

Prince of Stride: Alternative プリンス・オブ・ストライド オルタナティブ

Keio bus

Durarara!! X2 Ketsu

(デュラララ!!×2 結 Durarara!!x2 Ketsu)
Watch: Crunchyroll • HuluDaisuki

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@tianlangxing made a pilgrimage to Ikebukuro, Toshima Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for the OP and Episode 25 (Ketsu 1).

Opening Credits

Durarara!!x2 Ketsu デュラララ!!×2 結

Ikebukuro (池袋), Toshima Ward, Tokyo Metropolis

Durarara!!x2 Ketsu デュラララ!!×2 結

Durarara!!x2 Ketsu デュラララ!!×2 結

Durarara!!x2 Ketsu デュラララ!!×2 結

Durarara!!x2 Ketsu デュラララ!!×2 結

Durarara!!x2 Ketsu デュラララ!!×2 結

Durarara!!x2 Ketsu デュラララ!!×2 結

Episode 1

Durarara!!x2 Ketsu デュラララ!!×2 結

 

Special Items

Yomiuri Shimbun published an article about quality-of-life ranking of Iwami, Tottori Prefecture and mentions the town’s rising popularity subsequent to its use as the background for Kyoto Animation series Free!

A local tourism group in Asahikawa, Hokkaidō Prefecture is using Sakurako-san pop culture tourism to attract visitors during the 2016 Sapporo Yuki Matsuri, held in February.

@sky_dj_ made a pilgrimage to Arita and Takeo, Saga Prefecture for Yakusoku no Utsuwa Arita no Hatsukoi, a promotional anime to be used as tourism collateral for Saga Prefecture, directed by Nishimura Junji and written by Okada Mari, scheduled to premiere 2016 March.

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Bubuki Buranki.

@sky_dj_ made a pilgrimage to Hisakashima, one of the islands that comprise Gotō, Nagasaki Prefecture, for Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm.

@paffue made a pilgrimage to Atsubetsu Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaidō Prefecture for Working!!! special episode 14.

@nobucafe created a summary guide to Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture for the entire season of YuruYuri San Hai!

@SSEBTBM883 made a pilgrimage to Asahikawa, Hokkaidō Prefecture for Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru.

@SSEBTBM883 made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2, post 3) to Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture for Owari no Serafu Nagoya Kessen-hen.

@kortoku made a pilgrimage to Ōarai, Ibaraki Prefecture for Girls und Panzer der Film.

@ewi made a pilgrimage to Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture for Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda. (Kokosake).

@mi_kawana made a pilgrimage to Nara and Kashihara, Nara Prefecture for Gekijōban Kyōkai no Kanata I’ll Be Here: Mirai-hen.

@ewi made a pilgrimage to Uji, Kyoto Prefecture for the Hibike! Euphonium OVA.

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture for Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabu Kome wa Machigatteiru. Zoku.

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Toyama and Nanto, Toyama Prefecture for YuruYuri Nachuyachumi!

@MatsuYan made a pilgrimage to Nagareyama, Chiba Prefecture for Futsū no Joshikōsei ga Rokodoru Yattemita.

@touyoko_com made a pilgrimage to the Onsen Hotel Nakahara Bessō in Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture for Chūnibyō demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren.

@kai881 made a pilgrimage to Kumano, Mie Prefecture for Nagi no Asukara.

@fureshima made a pilgrimage to Ōme Station in Ōme, Tokyo Metropolis for Non Non Biyori.

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

@ngwrb made a pilgrimage to the Akihabara commercial district (Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda Ward) and Akiba Jinja in Matsugaya, Taitō Ward (both Tokyo Metropolis) for Steins;Gate.

@yomikatajiyu made a pilgrimage to Gobō, Wakayama Prefecture for Air.