Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Welcome to this week’s review of notable instances of public transit use and urban design, as well as discussion of place identity and culture, through anime currently broadcast or screening in Japan and simulcast internationally via the web. This review also documents seichijunrei (聖地巡礼 holy land pilgrimage) and butaitanbou (舞台探訪 scene hunting), which are pop culture tourism and place-based engagement induced by the use of real locations in show settings.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

(小林さんちのメイドラゴン Kobayashi-san Chi no Meidoragon)

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@ssslocation made pilgrimages to Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture and Higashi-Nihonbashi, Chūō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Episode 10 and Episode 12.

Episode 12

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Motoara River (元荒川) and Shin-Heiwa Bridge (新平和橋) in Koshigaya (越谷), Saitama Prefecture

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Rules are a little looser in a shōtengai compared with a contemporary supermarket, though Japan in general is not really a bargaining society, in the way that almost everything is open to negotiation in a place like China. It’s telling how close Tōru feels with the shopkeepers in the arcade that she tries to haggle over the price of chicken.

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Higashi-Nihonbashi (東日本橋), Chūō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Ningyōchō Station (人形町駅)

IC transit card swipe

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Tōbu Skytree Line (東武スカイツリーライン)

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Maybe I’m reading too much into things, but I think Maidragon has been trying to say something about individuals who don’t conform to social norms, particularly around creating a family, rather exercising agency to surround themselves with people that bring meaning to their lives.

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

As Kobayashi considers her evolving relationship with Tōru and the other dragons, the camera looks around the inside of the train car. One one side there is an advertisement for some sort of pill you can take to deal with the stressful world.

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

On another panel, there is a message encouraging people to start families and have children. Anyone who’s been paying attention to the forces behind Japan’s declining birthrate can tell you that these issues are linked. Between long work hours and stressful work environments, disappearing job security, and persistent lack of childcare resources, people are turning away from the perceived restrictions of marriage and burden of raising children, replacing them with interests, hobbies and friendships (platonic and romantic). As time passes, there is less and less reverence for the hetero-normative nuclear family model held up as the exclusive path to success and happiness.

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Higashi-Nihonbashi

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Koshigaya Station (越谷駅)

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Kobayashi has mastered the advanced commuter skill of waking up from a snooze just at the moment one arrives at one’s train stop.

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Coffee shop used as third place

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid 小林さんちのメイドラゴン

 

Special Items

Media and General Interest

Hirosaki Keizai Shimbun published an article about withdrawal of Flying Witch marketing collateral from transit vehicles and public places around the city at the end of the designated license period.

Three years after the original broadcast, P.A. Works officially recognized Kumano, Mie Prefecture as a model for the setting of Nagi no Asukara:

The discovery of the Kumano locations in Nagiasu and ongoing unofficial fan engagement events held there during the intervening time are the work of @kai881.

Future Season Pilgrimage

@touyoko_com made a pilgrimage to Fujisawa and Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture for the PV to film Kimi no Koe o Todoketai, premiering 2017 August.

@touyoko_com made a pilgrimage to Nanto, Toyama Prefecture for the PV to Sakura Quest.

@fureshima made a pilgrimage to Kichijōji, Musashino and Inokashira Park in Mitaka (all Tokyo Metropolis) for an advance screening of Hinako Note Episode 1.

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to Ikebukuro, Yoyogi and Ginza (all Tokyo inner wards) for the PV to Re:CREATORS.

Other Current Season Pilgrimage

@Roan_Inish made a pilgrimage to Takeshiba, Minato Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for the 3-gatsu no Lion second cour OP.

@Alice_myhobby made a pilgrimage to Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture for Gabriel DropOut Episode 4.

@Surwill complied a Street View tour of locations in Kita Ward and Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for BanG Dream!

@Surwill compiled a combined Street View tour and on-location pilgrimage to the Akihabara commercial district in Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Akiba’s Trip.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@kbt_tigers1985 made a pilgrimage to Uji, Kyoto Prefecture for Hibike! Euphonium 2.

@touyoko_com made a pilgrimage to Asagaya, Suginami Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for New Game!

@yamagishi made a pilgrimage to Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture; Rome, Vatican City and Venice, Italy; Mont Saint-Michel and Paris, France for Strike Witches.