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.
(たまこまーけっと Tamako Māketto)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Fair warning/cop-out: I did a bit more background digging than usual for this week’s events, putting me well out of range of my low Japanese listening and reading ability. While I think I’ve gotten the gist, I’ve most likely lost much of the nuance. If you’re looking at the source material to which I’ve linked and find glaring misinterpretation, please let me know ^_^
NHK Kansai area stations included a story in the Thursday morning news broadcast (*4/20/13 – Sorry that NHK seems to have broken this link. Lame!) about Tamako Market pilgrimages to sites in Kyoto on which the show setting is modeled. It mentions some plans to direct tourism marketing funds to anime production groups for the purpose of creating maps and other materials that would assist pilgrims in finding locations used as models in shows. Kyoto Animation (Tamako Market, Chūnibyō, K-On!) studios are, not surprisingly, located in Kyoto, so many bits and pieces of city neighborhoods have been worked into productions over the years. But because the places are not as easily recognizable to the national audience as are neighborhoods in Tokyo, many viewers may be unaware that they’re actually seeing real places they can visit. Fan reaction was interesting. While many were just happy to see their hobby singled out for special treatment, some wondered what was the use of extra funds to promote something that many will do anyway. For location spotters, recognizing the setting of a show as a real place and then trying to find it is part of the challenge. @high__k has been particularly vocal on these points. He points to existing tourism literature available in Kyoto that does a bit of this already, in a blog post from @los_endos_. For me, someone who puts himself in the position of figuring out what towns and cities can do to increase interest and engagement, it was immensely instructive to follow the thought process on both sides.
Kiyotaka Moriwaki (@mk_pai) is Senior Curator of the Kyoto Film Archive at the Museum of Kyoto. He’s also an anime fan. He’s been active in Twitter chatter regarding Tamako Market and helped organize a special screening of the K-On! film last weekend, which was well attended. K-On! and Tamako Market are both KyoAni productions and have a number of similarities, so there is a fair amount of overlap in the fandom. My Twitter feed more or less exploded last Friday evening/Saturday morning from all of the back and forth between kindred spirits meeting for the first time while waiting in the queue to enter the theater.
(Photo of Tamako and Moriwaki-san by @kaga_ywyk)
Generally, the goal of people who photograph their anime pilgrimages is to capture the real place exactly as it’s presented in the show, with identical angles, positions and times of day. It’s not as common to see photos of the people doing the pilgrimage themselves, but @Yamatonomiya was in Kyoto last week and stopped to take a few candids of the fun.
There is a notebook in Demachi Masugata Shōtengai (出町桝形商店街) for fans to log that they’ve come to visit.
The owner of the Sagaki (さが喜) fish shop that is the model for the show’s Sashimi (さしみ) has been getting high marks for his (and his wife’s) warm reception of Tamako Market pilgrims.
Looking for Dera on the river delta.
This is the owner of Ikawa Toy. The shop is the model for Tokiwa-dō (トキワ堂), the toy store run by Midori’s grandfather.
@ye_bi_su posted a pilgrimage that focuses on many of the locations that appear in the later episodes. I was just about to head to bed last night when @paffue released his pilgrimage post. Last, but certainly not least, @lidges updated his two previous pilgrimage posts after his visit last weekend: Fujinomori Station area, shōtengai area. He published a new short post to cover the river delta. He also posted this photo of the street where Tama-ya and RicecakeOh!Zee would be, showing a large construction site abutting the shōtengai.
…which is the perfect segue into the first screen capture for…
Show wise, it was a light week, allowing all of the local location spotters a reprieve for this weekend. Here is Mochizo and Tamako talking late at night across the lane.
This isn’t the first time Midori has sought out solace from Kunio, the proprietor of record shop/cafe Stars and Clowns (星とピエロ).
Kanna, Shiori, Tamako and Dera at the southeast corner of Imadegawa-dōri and Teramachi-dōri.
(ラブライブ! Rabu Raibu!)
Headed out of town for a retreat, the idol group departs from Tokyo Station. The scene is set in the north dome (there is a south one, too) of the Marunouchi Building, which comprised the original 1914 station. The domes are the most visible outcome of a five year long, 50 billion yen construction project to restore the Marunouchi Building to its original state, prior to sustaining heavy damage during World War II.
Clicking on any of the photographs will pull up the high resolution version at my Flickr page:
Shinkansen seat availability and ticket purchasing kiosks
The brick wall and frosted glass are the entrance to the Tokyo Station Gallery, an art exhibition space opened in 1988.
I did a full photo essay of Tokyo Station as part of a recent project about transit oriented development.
(さくら荘のペットな彼女 Sakura-sō no Petto na Kanojo)
Mashiro is running away to save Sakura Dormitory, but everyone wants her to stay. Sorata runs through the shōtengai en route to the train station, asking if anyone has seen her.
She went that way!
The pivotal scene, encompassing the entire second half of the episode, takes place at Mukōgaoka-Yūen Station (向ヶ丘遊園駅).
This fumikiri is just south of Gakushūinshita Station (学習院下駅).
Fan Pilgrimage Update
We see a few new angles of the greenway that flanks the canal running through town.
The game is afoot as they search for a criminal at the covered shōtengai in the heart of the town.
(俺の彼女と幼なじみが修羅場すぎる Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru)
Eita accompanies Chiwa and others for a shopping trip to the retail development around the train station.
Episode 49 (Tadaima Episode 10)
The humble kotatsu is a fixture of the Minami-ke franchise. In this episode, Haruka forces a moratorium on using the heating element under the table to save money on the power bill. References to being “eco-friendly” are tongue-in-cheek, a way to save face as they scrimp and save, not an actual sense of contributing to the greater environmental good. Minami-ke is a comedy, so it would be strange if that wasn’t the treatment. To be honest, if we had accurate and transparent pricing of resources like energy and water in more places around the world, and that made more people change (reduce) consumption out of personal motives, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing!