Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

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 Spring Season Overview

Welcome to season premiere week! 2016 Spring will be somewhat unusual but still interesting with regard to locations in anime. Usual suspects Kyoto Animation and A-1 Pictures are out of the, uh, picture. P.A. Works is taking the uncharacteristic direction of going with a mecha anime, Kuromukuro, but since it also features locations based on Toyama Prefecture (where the studio headquarters is located) and we generally love their artwork, we’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and see where they take us. Flying Witch (J.C. Staff) will be the show to watch for photo-realistic settings. It explicitly features the city of Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture in northern Tōhoku and has been anticipated by the seichijunrei-butaitanbou community (pop culture tourism) since the anime adaptation was announced. Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge (Silver Link) wasn’t on my radar until after the first broadcast, when a few Hiroshima residents took note of the city’s use, which happens surprisingly rarely in anime. Concrete Revolutio (Bones) returns for its second season of Technicolor Shōwa.

It’s my goal to make the weekly review a bit leaner than it has been. I’d like to pull it back toward more quality over quantity, as when I first began, but I also have a new, very small human at home that likes getting up at all hours of the night for crazy party time. Notwithstanding the circumstances, I do have two second tier review shows that I’ll include, so long as they have interesting content. Mayoiga (Diomedéa) is set in rural Yamanashi Prefecture, though since we’ve already found the titular “lost village” as of the second episode, I’m not sure how much more there will be to note. Netoge no Yome wa Onna no Ko Janai to Omotta? (Project No. 9) isn’t getting high marks (or any marks) for narrative or character depth, but since I was impressed with how the young studio handled background art in last season’s Shōjotachi wa Kōya o Mezasu, I’d like to see if there is more where that came from.

Other series that may be of interest but I won’t cover week to week include Kumamiko, Hai Furi, Sansha San’yō, Bakuon!!, Shonen Maid, Anne Happy, Space Patrol Luluco. I’ll report on butaitanbou activity for these shows as it comes up.

Flying Witch

(ふらいんぐうぃっち Furaingu Uitchi)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

Mainichi Shimbun (article 1, article 2), Kahoku Shinpō (article 3) and Mantanweb (article 4) published pieces on the official collaboration with transit operators in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, where the show is set. Promotional collateral includes vehicle wrappings and in-car announcements.

@ye_bi_su made a pilgrimage to Hirosaki for Episode 1. As with Wake Up, Girls!, Ebisu has offered himself up as the lead explorer and promoter of Tōhoku-based works. For those planning their own pilgrimage, he has created a Google Map identifying locations featured in the work with reference images to supplement his butaitanbou blog posts:

Episode 1

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

The establishing shot at the very opening of the first episode is the Ōu Main Line (奥羽本線) passing through farm plots, with mountains in the distance.

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

A JR train ticket is drawn with full detail.

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

In anime cliches, a mountain viewed from a passing train is often going to be Mount Fuji, but our Tōhoku setting here brings us past Mount Iwaki (岩木山).

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Hirosaki Station (弘前駅)

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

There is a high level of detail and accurate location names on signage in the station, in the bus rotary and on the buses. In conjunction with the broadcast, the Kōnan Railway (弘南鉄道), which shares the station with JR East and also operates area buses, has extensive promotional material installed in its facilities and vehicles, to both advertise the show and promote local tourism.

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

With public transit available, a witch need not rely solely on a broom for mobility.

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

The show sets out a large amount of compass establishing cuts, taking Makoto by bus from Hirosaki Station to her host home, then subsequently to multiple locations around the city, including historic points of interest. The whole package is subtle enough that you don’t get the sense you’re watching a tourism advertisement, but given the marketing collaboration, there is a good chance some of these choices were made deliberately with that intention.

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

North end of Fujimi Bridge (ふじみ橋)

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

National Route 28 (国道28号線), passing through Akudo (悪戸). This is close to Ringo Park, which appears later.

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Shimoyuguchi (下湯口)

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Shimoyuguchi bus stop (下湯口バス停)

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

The TV program is an on-location report from Hirosaki Apple Park (弘前市りんご公園).

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Kamisukisawa Bridge (紙漉澤橋)

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Aeon Town Hirosaki Hinokuchi (イオンタウン弘前樋の口)

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Ishiba Residence (石場家住宅) is an historic building adjacent to Hirosaki Park. Ebisu reports the sake seller that occupies this unit is hosting a seichijunrei notebook for pilgrims to record their visit.

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Hirosaki Gakuin Seiai Junior High School (弘前学院聖愛中学高等学校)

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Miyama Lake (美山湖) is in Nishimeya village (西目屋村), to the southwest of Hirosaki.

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Adjacent to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Camp Hirosaki (陸上自衛隊弘前駐屯地), which is near the school

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Hirosaki Park (弘前公園)

Opening Credits

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Kamisukisawa Bridge

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Shimoyuguchi intersection (下湯口交差点)

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Shinmei-gū (神明宮)

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Kamisukisawa Bridge

Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち

Shimoyuguchi bus stop

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless

(田中くんはいつもけだるげ Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

There are no butaitanbou blog posts for Tanakeda yet, but @terukichi84 and @summer_072 have been posting series of side-by-side images on Twitter since the broadcast. I used their information to confirm the locations that appear in the first episode.

Opening Credits

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Hiroshima Central Park (広島市中央公園)

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Hiroshima Chūō-dōri Shōtengai (広島中央通商店街)

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Cafe used as third place

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Hiroshima Hondōri Shōtengai (広島本通商店街)

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Fast food chain used as third place

Episode 1

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Hiroshima Motomachi High School (広島市立基町高等学校)

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Students walk home from school on the evening commute.

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Tanaka and Ōta take a meandering walk home, beginning at the west end of Hondōri Shōtengai, before the the arcade begins.

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Food truck

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Neighborhood park

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Hattendō (八天堂) honten in Mihara (三原), Hiroshima Prefecture

I was about to say all of the central Hiroshima locations that appear in the show could feasibly be traveled via foot, streetcar or bus, thus the setting appeared to be a “whole cloth” use of the city. Mihara is a 70 minute train trip from Hiroshima, so it seems more likely that this location is grafted in, rather than the pair making an evening trek for cream buns.

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless 田中くんはいつもけだるげ

Kuromukuro

(クロムクロ)

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@inoue1024 (post) complied information and images on the Kurobe Dam in Tateyama and Shin-minato Bridge in Imizu (both Toyama Prefecture) for Episode 1.

Episode 1

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

Many elements of the setting are fictional, but as the Kurobe Dam is used as the basis for the research facility, I’m hoping we’ll see at least a little bit of real world Tateyama (立山), Toyama Prefecture blended in.

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

In the real world, a ropeway and trolleybus link the dam with nearby areas.

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

This ride looks a bit snazzier.

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

IC transit card swipe. The trains and station architecture may be sleek and futuristic looking, but near-field communications chips in a convenient, wallet-sized card still rule the day.

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

Kurobe Dam (黒部ダム)

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

Ministry of Defense (防衛省) in Ichigaya, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo Metropolis

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

Shin-Minato Bridge (新湊大橋) in Imizu (射水), Toyama Prefecture

Kuromukuro クロムクロ

Concrete Revolutio

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

Episode 14

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

Yoyogi Kaikan (代々木会館) was used in the TV drama Kizudarake no Tenshi (傷だらけの天使), where it was called the “Angel Building” (エンジェルビル). It is now abandoned (廃墟 haikyo).

[Credit: @sivuchllow, Twitter]

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

We pickup where the first season left off, so more Shōwa-inspired streetscapes, trippy colors, socio-political turmoil and a non-linear plot. I’m hoping this all makes sense once it’s over, but I’ll continue to enjoy the scenery on the way.

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

Okinawa protest in Hibiya Park (日比谷公園), Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

[Credit: @sivuchllow, 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~

Izakaya used as third place

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

Chōfu Airfield (調布飛行場)

The Lost Village

(迷家-マヨイガ- Mayoiga)
Watch: Crunchyroll

Fan Pilgrimage Update

There are no butaitanbou blog posts yet, but @obsidiana_verde posted several side-by-side image comparisons from his visit to several of the locations. @high__k and @animeseichi continue their butaitanbou community service of tracking down locations with Google Street View and posting to Twitter. I used their information to identify the locations that appear in the first episode.

Episode 1

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

Hatsukari Parking Area (初狩パーキングエリア) on the Chuo Expressway in Ōtsuki (大月), Yamanashi Prefecture

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

Michi no eki Dōshi (道の駅どうし), a roadside rest area

At this point, the bus has already entered Dōshi village (道志村), Yamanashi Prefecture, where the subsequent bridge used in the show’s key visual is also located. Though the postal code uses the nomenclature “village” and the population is extremely small (1,865), the area is actually quite large (79.57 sq km). From a quick search, it appears to be a popular destination for camping and nature retreats.

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

Tsubaki Bridge (椿大橋) in the Tsubaki subdivision of Dōshi

Episode 2

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

There are no indications yet that anyone has found a location resembling the deserted village itself. It may be a fictional setting.

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

The Lost Village 迷家-マヨイガ-

And you thought there is never a girl online?

(ネトゲの嫁は女の子じゃないと思った? Netoge no Yome wa Onna no Ko Janai to Omotta?)
Watch: Funimation

Episode 1

And you thought there is never a girl online? ネトゲの嫁は女の子じゃないと思った?

The eyecatch leading into the second half of the episode uses a photograph of a train station platform, however the location isn’t discernible from the image.

And you thought there is never a girl online? ネトゲの嫁は女の子じゃないと思った?

Kashiwa (柏), Chiba Prefecture

[Credit: @high__k, Twitter]

And you thought there is never a girl online? ネトゲの嫁は女の子じゃないと思った?

Shin-Kashiwa Station (新柏駅)

And you thought there is never a girl online? ネトゲの嫁は女の子じゃないと思った?

And you thought there is never a girl online? ネトゲの嫁は女の子じゃないと思った?

And you thought there is never a girl online? ネトゲの嫁は女の子じゃないと思った?

Though the main cast first know each other only as avatars and net handles, by the second half of the episode they’ve already jumped from their virtual third place in the digital world to a real one in the physical world.

And you thought there is never a girl online? ネトゲの嫁は女の子じゃないと思った?

 

Special Items

Media and General Interest

@katoyuu compiled a simple but incredibly useful list of anime broadcast series and films beginning from 2000 that incorporate a real location in the show setting in some way. The list is organized by release year and links to the “Legwork” archive of butaitanbou blog posts.

Hibike! Euphonium

  • In advance of the April 23 premiere of the theatrical film summarizing the first season, there has been a surge in Eupho related activity in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture.
  • Keihan Electric Railway is running an official collaboration from March 31 to August 31 that includes marketing collateral in trains and stations, and a stamp rally.
  • Kyoto Shimbun published an article about a talk given by Takeda Ayano, author of the Hibike! Euphonium manga source material and herself an Uji native.
  • Kyoto Shimbun also published an article about pop culture tourism to Uji, including quotes from butaitanbou community member and Kansai branch manager @seki_saima.
  • Jōnan Shinpō published an article about the Keihan collaboration, Takeda talk, and a guided Eupho seichijunrei tour of Uji.

Mantanweb (article) and Netorabo (article) report Koe no Katachi release date has been announced for 2016 September 17. The theatrical film is directed by Yamada Naoko (K-On!, Tamako Market), produced by Kyoto Animation, and is set in Ōgaki, Gifu Prefecture.

Sanspo.com published an article about a possible ban on cosplay at the former Kamioka Elementary School in Daigo, Ibaraki Prefecture, an historic building and popular pop culture tourism destination for both live action drama Hanako to An and anime Girls und Panzer.

Future Season Pilgrimage

@yomikatajiyu made a pilgrimage to to Ōgaki, Gifu Prefecture for the Koe no Katachi manga version.

@Roan_Inish made a pilgrimage to Tsukuda, Chūō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for the key visual to Sangatsu no Lion, premiering 2016 October.

@tsumuri_f5 made a pilgrimage to Atami and Minamiizu, Shizuoka Prefecture for the manga version of Amanchu!, which will be adapted as an anime premiering 2016 July.

Other Current Season Pilgrimage

@lidges made a pilgrimage to Etajima, Hiroshima Prefecture for Hai Furi.

@kazupi made a pilgrimage to the Former Maeda Family Residence in Komaba Park, Meguro Ward; and Hatoyama Hall in Bunkyō Ward (both Tokyo Metropolis) for Shōnen Maid.

@ssslocation (gallery 1, gallery 2) made a pilgrimage to Meguro Ward, Bunkyō Ward, Ogikubu and other undisclosed locations for Shōnen Maid.

@Minky_j made a pilgrimage to Shingō village, Aomori Prefecture for the Bakuon!! manga source material.

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to Ogikubo, Kabukichō and Kōenji (all Tokyo inner wards) for Sansha San’yō.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@522858A made a pilgrimage to Kanazawa Ward, Yokohama for Shōjotachi wa Kōya o Mezasu.

@seitiikouka made a pilgrimage to Takeoka, Futtsu, Chiba Prefecture for Dagashi Kashi.

@kazupi made a pilgrimage to Los Angeles, California, USA for Aldnoah.Zero.

@R_ada_cchi made a pilgrimage to Sangenjaya, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo for The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls.

@mikkatatsu made a cherry blossom pilgrimage to Sangūbashi and Yoyogi Park in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Shinkai Maokoto film Byōsoku Go Senchimētoru (5 Centimeters Per Second).

@mikkatatsu made a pilgrimage to Shinjuku Ward, Minato Ward and Chuo Ward for Kon Satoshi film Tokyo Godfathers.