Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

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.

Sakura Quest

(サクラクエスト Sakura Kuesuto)

Episode 15

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Jōhana Station (城端駅)

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Jōhana Sakura Line (城端さくら線)

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

I skirted around this point in comments last week, but in this scene the dialog comes right out and addresses it: tension between minpaku operators and local residents is more acute when guests are non-Japanese. English loanword ‘inbound’ refers to foreigners in discourse on tourism in Japan. The show plays down the tension as the product of cultural differences and language barriers, though the reality—in which xenophobia also plays a role at times—is more fraught.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

It’s a wonderful plot turn and inflection point for Ririko’s growth that she, an outsider in her own culture, becomes the bridge between the community and the foreign guests investigating local legends.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Cafe used as third place

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Additional visitors joining the group already in Manoyama gives the tourism board an opportunity to trial using one of the city’s empty houses as a minpaku.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

In a quiet moment together, Lucia shows Ririko photos from her travels to different parts of the world.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

There are several municipalities called Sharapovo in Russia. Not sure which this is.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

The River Stour passing through Westgate Gardens in Canterbury, England

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Mandinka people in Senegal

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Shantangjie (山塘街) in Suzhou (苏州), Jiangsu Province, China

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia—otherwise known as the infinite horizon mirrored surface you see in every third anime series’ opening credits.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Anyone recognize this one?

I empathize a lot with Ririko, having had many similar thoughts and been through similar experiences growing up. It can be uncomfortable when others around you don’t understand why you have a strong drive to see what the world is like beyond the place where you were born. Meeting new people from other cultural and geographical backgrounds can bridge that support gap and open the door to many possibilities.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Jōhana Station

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

New Game!!

(ニューゲーム!! Nyū Gēmu!!)

Fan Pilgrimage Update

@SSEBTBM883 made a pilgrimage to (post 1) Minami-Asagaya and Wada, Suginami Ward; and (post 2) Chōfu and Shibuya (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Episode 1.

Episode 2

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

Asagaya Minami (阿佐谷南), Suginami Ward, Tokyo Metropolis

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

Did anyone figure out the eyecatch?

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

Other Current Season Pilgrimage

@anime_pq made a pilgrimage to multiple Tokyo locations for the Re:CREATORS second OP.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@yamagishi made a pilgrimage to Arima Onsen, Kōbe, Hyōgo Prefecture for Uchōten Kazoku 2.

@fureshima made a pilgrimage to Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture for Tsuki ga Kirei Episode 8.

@anime_pq made a pilgrimage to Shibuya, Tokyo for Fukumenkei Noise.

@ktism1228s made a pilgrimage to Uji, Kyoto Prefecture for Hibike! Euphonium 2.

@626shin made a pilgrimage to Kamishihoro, Hokkaidō Prefecture for Girls & Panzer Gekijōban.

@nadukari_h made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2, post 3) to Musashino, Tokyo Metropolis for Shirobako.

@Bf109K1 made a cycling pilgrimage to Kanagawa Prefecture for Yowamushi Pedal.