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.
(田中くんはいつもけだるげ Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Mihara (三原), Hiroshima Prefecture
Green paint marks the grade level pedestrian shoulder.
The streets in Ohta’s neighborhood are only wide enough for one car lane and narrow shoulders.
The temple and the neighborhood scene later in the episode come from the same location in Chigaki (千垣), Tateyama (立山), Toyama Prefecture.
(ふらいんぐうぃっち Furaingu Uitchi)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Ebisu also contributed to an article about pop culture tourism for Flying Witch in a local community publication:
— 夷（ゑびす）@ふらいんぐうぃっち探訪 (@ye_bi_su) May 27, 2016
Taishō Roman Kissa-shitsu (大正浪漫喫茶室)
FUGETSUDO (風月堂), non-extant coffee shop and counterculture icon in Shinjuku
The loss of third places like FUGETSUDO was emblematic of the receding from visible civic engagement of groups and individuals willing to be different or take a stand against the status quo, and the gradual corporatisation of pop culture and life in general in Japan after the 1960s. The loss of Kachoudo in Concrete Revolutio similarly denotes the end of acceptance of superhumans, a shift precipitated largely by collusion between government and large media companies to censor and manipulate information. I’ve been wondering if this shift from the social upheaval and vibrance of the post-war period to the stability but relative banality and stagnation of the recent few decades is what this show is really about.
Shinjuku Golden Gai (新宿ゴールデン街)
Yoyogi Kaikan (代々木会館), now abandoned
This feels a bit like Ōtemachi (大手町), Chiyoda Ward, the epicenter of Japan’s large journalism and financial institutions.
The facade behind the robots is perhaps the Nihon Building (日本ビルヂング).
Former headquarters of Dentsu (電通本社ビル) from 1967 to 2002, in Tsukiji, Chūō Ward
(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?)
This week’s eyecatch: Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens, Greece
Media and General Interest
ASCII published an article about pop culture tourism to Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture for Girls und Panzer.