New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

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.

Media and General Interest

Yahoo! News Japan published an article about sustained pop culture tourism interest to Washinomiya and other locations in Saitama Prefecture for Lucky Star, on the tenth anniversary of the original broadcast of the anime adaptation. It points out local municipality fan engagement strategies that are becoming commonplace now were path-breaking when Washinomiya began experimenting with them years ago.

Sakura Quest

(サクラクエスト Sakura Kuesuto)

Episode 20

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Tokyo Metropolitan Television (東京メトロポリタンテレビジョン) headquarters in Kōjimachi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo Metropolis

[Credit: @ssslocation, Twitter]

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

Hokuriku Shinkansen (北陸新幹線)

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Yoshino’s proposal to hold a formal closing ceremony for the disused school is actually a pretense for what turns out to be a very effective strategy to build stakeholder support for reviving the building as a public commons.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Cafe used as third place

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sandal becomes the team’s first test subject, converting one of the classrooms for use as an art studio.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Going through Maki’s father to present the closing ceremony proposal to the board of education for approval at first seems just a formal courtesy, but it’s also the first step in building a relationship with a group of community leaders that the tourism board will likely interface or work together with going forward.

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

The closing ceremony achieves two straightforward but important objectives. First, by inviting alumni and former teachers to reunite at the school, the tourism board brings together people who have both emotional connections to the space, and who are now grown members of the community with the means to impact what becomes of it, either through votes or resources.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

Then, the send-off program features groups who would directly benefit from use of the space.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

By the time the taiko drummers and community theater group have taken their bows and Yoshino reveals her true intention, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that the stakeholders she has gathered in the audience would be supportive of the plan. It’s a feel good story, but also shrewd marketing and communications.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

A mysterious benefactor pays for the costly repair of the drum needed for the festival revival. Yes, Yoshino, there is a Santa Kurō.

Sakura Quest サクラクエスト

New Game!!

(ニューゲーム!! Nyū Gēmu!!)

Episode 7

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

Juichi-ya (十一屋) in Sumida, Sumida Ward, Tokyo Metropolis

[Credit: @ssslocation, Twitter]

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

Izakaya used as third place

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

Denny’s Minami-Asagaya shop (デニーズ南阿佐谷店) on Nakasugi-dōri (中杉通り), Suginami Ward

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

Famiresu used as third place

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

Nakasugi-dōri and Ōme-kaidō (青梅街道) intersection in Asagaya Minami (阿佐谷南)

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

Minami Asagaya Suzuran-dōri Shōtengai (南阿佐谷すずらん通り商店街)

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

Ōme-kaidō

New Game!! ニューゲーム!!

Future Season Pilgrimage

@taiyaki0628 made a pilgrimage to Uji, Kyoto Prefecture and Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture for promotional material for Gekijōban Hibike! Euphonium ~Todoketai Melody~.

Other Current Season Pilgrimage

@anime_pq made a pilgrimage to Kashima, Chōshi and Asahi (all Chiba Prefecture) for Uchiage Hanabi, Shita Kara Miru ka? Yoko Kara Miru ka?

@ssslocation made a pilgrimage to Ginza, Chūō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Re:CREATORS Episode 17.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@fragments_sue made a pilgrimage (post 4) to Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture for Tsuki ga Kirei.

@rimatai made a pilgrimage to Tokyo Station and Kyoto for Tsuki ga Kirei.

@ktism1228s made a pilgrimage (post 6) to Uji, Kyoto Prefecture for Hibike! Euphonium 2.

@taiyaki0628 made a pilgrimage to Komazawa Olympic Park in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Kizumonogatari II Nekketsu-hen.

@11922911Rinngo made a pilgrimage to the Tenkaippin original shop in Ichijōji Tsukidachō, Sakyō Ward, Kyoto for Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabukome wa Machigatteiru.

@11922911Rinngo made a pilgrimage to the 2017 Nara Tōkae lantern festival in Nara, Nara Prefecture for Kyōkai no Kanata.

@fureshima2223 made a pilgrimage to Komoro, Nagano Prefecture for Ano Natsu de Matteru.