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 sacred site pilgrimage) and butaitanbou (舞台探訪 scene hunting)—on this website referred to collectively as anime pilgrimage—which are forms of place-based engagement induced by the use of real locations in show settings.
(中二病でも恋がしたい! Chūnibyō demo Koi ga Shitai!)
This week is packed with great examples of walkability and transit oriented development in Ōtsu (大津).
Yūta and Rikka’s commute to school includes a walk across the Seta River and through town via a portion of the Tōkaidō (東海道 East Sea Road).
High, solid railings separate the pedestrian lane from traffic.
The sidewalk continues into the central business district.
Snack break on the walking path under the Tōkaidō.
Looking east from the platform at Keihan Ishiyama Station (京阪石山駅).
Yūta sees Rikka off from Keihan Ishiyama Station on a trip to her hometown in Fukui Prefecture.
Keihan 700 series train
(サイコパス Saiko Pasu)
Ten episodes in and I’m finally noticing a very important background detail. The water under the elevated highways isn’t there intentionally, it’s the result of sea level rise. If you look closely you can see the ruins of a building jutting out from the water. I’m thrilled to see a realistic depiction of climate change adaptation in popular culture. Now, if I could only get my government to stop debating about whether or not the problem exists.
Low lying areas like Shinbashi (新橋) have been left to rot.
Here comes the water.
Old entrance to the subway. Interesting that the sign says 新新橋駅 (New Shinbashi Station), which doesn’t exist in present day.
Kōgami is lured into a trap, which turns out to be the defunct Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (銀座線).
A while back I griped at how, even in the setting of future Tokyo, it was disappointing to see still so many cars and elevated highways cutting through the city. But if you consider that rising sea levels will render many components of coastal urban infrastructure impracticable, especially subways, then the outcome is understandable, if unsatisfying.
(コード: ブレイカー Kōdo:Bureikā)
This week is all about the dote (土手). These are earthen embankments intended to provide flood protection. Here in Code:Breaker, as in many anime, it’s strongly associated with childhood, innocence and playfulness.
Hitomi comes to the dote to remind himself of the purpose of his sacrifice and personal peril.
Pursuing a criminal on the streets
Mourning the loss of a colleague at a cafe
Another criminal pursuit. This time in an underground passageway, most likely connecting a train station with buildings in the vicinity. It’s dark, but you can see the closed shutters of what would be assorted vendors during operating hours.
Did you get enough dote for the week?
Flashback to several years in the past. Ogami and Hitomi watch the construction of the Tokyo Skytree (東京スカイツリー) from a nearby bridge.
Look at that sidewalk.
Present day Tokyo Skytree
The Studio ALTA building
(神様はじめました Kamisama Hajimemashita)
Shibuya 109. This shot is also used in the end credits to Code:Breaker.
TV Tokyo headquarters in Toranomon
Nanami drags Tomoe to an amusement park. What Nanami wants most is to watch the city lights at night from up high with Tomoe. One of these weeks, I’ll dive into more background about Ferris wheels in Japan. If seeing these animated is something that tickles your fancy, I recommend watching Honey and Clover.
(となりの怪物くん Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun)
Yamaken walks up to the bus stop queue, only to hail a taxi, while playing through an inner monologue in which he can’t understand why he comes off as elitist.
Later, he pursues someone who appears to be Shizuku.
Haru sulks in the park, before he is encountered by Yamaken.
Haru waits under the bus shelter for Shizuku to finish cram school classes.
(好きっていいなよ。 Suki-tte Ii na yo.)
Megu treats other students to lunch.
Mei’s walk home from school
Counseling session in the neighborhood park