Welcome to this week’s review of notable instances of transit, place and culture as rendered in anime currently broadcast in Japan and simulcast internationally via the web. For a detailed outline of the approach, please refer to the explanation in the inaugural issue. Links to streaming sources are included when available, though not all may have current episode available at the time this column is published.
(境界の彼方 Kyōkai no Kanata)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
This week’s episode jumps back and forth in time. Location-wise, we see a good number of flashbacks to previous episodes, but also a key new scene. The episode opens in the past, with Mirai responding to Izumi’s summons.
Update 2013/12/09: Hopefully we didn’t send anyone on a wild goose chase to Inotani Station (猪谷駅) in Toyama, where we originally thought this station to be. It’s actually Ōboke Station (大歩危駅) on the Dosan Line (土讃線) in Miyoshi, Tokushima Prefecture.
Update 2013/12/09: We also have learned that the train is based on the “Moonlight Kōchi” (ムーンライト高知) service which was operated by JR West from August 1989 to January 2009. This was a special night train between Kyoto and Kōchi that used the DE10 diesel locomotive on the unpowered segment between Tadotsu Station (多度津駅) and Kōchi Station (高知駅). For the most part, it ran limited runs during and around peak travel periods, though there were regular weekend services at one point. The Moonlight Kōchi would have passed by (but not stopped at) Ōboke Station, near the Kōchi end.
The segue out of the scene is your clue that this is the train you see Mirai riding and which moves across the horizon in the opening credits.
The remainder of the episode is mostly fleeting images from the past and from Akihito’s dream. Here is Kashiharajingū-mae Station (橿原神宮前駅) in winter—
—and again in the summer.
Izumi receives Mirai when she arrives in Nara for the first time. This is the south exit of Yamato-Saidaiji Station (大和西大寺駅).
Two past scenes with Mirai and Izumi at the PINOCCHIO cafe on Sanjō-dōri (三条通) in Nara
Before leaving Okinawa, we get a few shots of Shuri Castle (首里城) as Kaiki and Senjougahara conclude their discussion.
Once back in Tokyo, Kaiki starts out in the west. Here is the Sunroad Shōtengai (サンロード商店街), part of a cluster of dense pedestrian development adjacent to Kichijōji Station (吉祥寺駅) in Musashino, Tokyo Metropolis.
Update 2013/12/11: Aya! A second false identification in the same issue! This isn’t Musashi-Sakai Station as previously thought, but Shakujii-kōen Station (石神井公園駅) in Nerima, Tokyo Metropolis. The blog 異常感想注意報 has the scoop.
Once outside, the system of elevated pedestrian walkways over the bus rotary is a shift to Mitaka Station (三鷹駅). Mitaka and Kichijōji are both stops on the Chūō Line (中央本線), while Shakujii-kōen is on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line (西武池袋線).
Update to the update 2013/12/17: The underpass and the row of arches are neither Yūrakuchō, as I originally thought. @rimatai has the clear winner identified in Kanda (神田), Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, along the Chūō Line track between Kanda Station and Ochanomizu Station. Prevously, @Newyork0201 identified the narrow arches (not pictured here) at Kichijōji Station. Kaiki is in two places at the same time.
Update 2013/12/09: Thanks to @paffue (post) we know that this waterside promenade is not in Tokyo, but actually made up of seaside locations from Otaru and Hakodate in Hokkaido Prefecture. However, the cut of the bridge and traffic ramps (below) remains unidentified. Never underestimate the ability of Monogatari to throw location curveballs!
I’m following Galilei Donna, but it’s not on my review list for the weekly so I missed this in the last round. It’s more or less a fluff episode, but we get some more coverage of recently very popular Kyoto.
A walk along the Kamo River (鴨川)
An extensive visit to Fushimi Inari Taisha
The interesting part for me was really the second half of the episode. Though we’re in an alternate near future, Shijō Kawaramachi (四条河原町), the intersection at the heart of modern downtown Kyoto, looks more or less the same as it does here and now.
Hazuki is on Shijō Bridge (四条大橋) when she encounters the air pirates.
The awning in the background on the right is the entrance to Ponto-chō (先斗町).
(ホワイトアルバム2 Howaito Arubamu 2)
The opening scene shows a main street with wide sidewalks and storefronts on both sides, and a pedestrian overcrossing in the distance. I’m stumped as to whether it’s an actual place in Tokyo, so chip in if you recognize it!
A train passing through the neighborhood at night is a transitional device used to move the scene to Haruki’s apartment. It’s been used in previous episodes and happens a second time in this one.
After Tōma’s performance, the three meet at a cafe.
Outside, a wide sidewalk is separated from the street by trees and shrub beds.
Haruki and Setsuna take their usual walking route along the river embankment (土手 dote) near Kōnodai Station (国府台駅). As noted earlier by visitors (here and here), some construction work that began in November and is scheduled to run until March 2014 has complicated pilgrimage efforts for the time being.
Haruki stops in the Shinjuku (新宿) central business district to purchase a gift on the way to Setsuna’s home.
The Chūō-Sōbu Line (中央・総武緩行線) really gets put through its paces in this show, covering not only its own route, but also shown in areas that would be covered by the Keisei Main Line and Kawagoe Line.
Fan Pilgrimage Update
In the background is the five story pagoda at Tō-ji (東寺). On the street we see the Kyoto City Tram (京都市電), first built and operated by the Kyoto Electric Railway and later absorbed by the Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau. The network was the first commercial electric streetcar in Japan, opening in 1895 and operating until 1978, when the system was decommissioned to prioritize automobile traffic. This specific segment would have been part of the city loop line.
A few new angles of the Sekisui-in (石水院) at Kōzan-ji (高山寺)
The plan to escape by reactivating the train commences.
In the series of drawings that accompany the narration of the plan, we see that the intended escape vehicle is the iconic 201 series EMU train painted in Chūō Line orange, which was retired from service on October 17, 2010.
Update 2013/12/11: Third time’s a charm? The launch point is not Musashi-Sakai Station, but Higashi-Koganei Station (東小金井駅), one stop further west.
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Hikage takes a phone call from Renge while navigating through Shibuya Station (渋谷駅) in Tokyo. Above is the enclosed pedestrian bridge connecting the west side of the station with Shibuya Mark City complex, which includes the Keio section of the station, the terminal of the Keio Inokashira Line (京王井の頭線).
Hikage and classmate head toward the Inokashira Line gate.
A second stop at Shuri Castle (首里城) this week, as the seniors go on a class trip to Okinawa.
I believe this is the Makishi Public Market (牧志公設市場).
Meanwhile back in Sabae, Mitsuki and Hayato make a stop in the shōtengai for glasses repair.
@fureshima participated in promotional events in Hannō, Saitama Prefecture tied to Yama no Susume. I believe this was the same event @kakuretajigen shared earlier in November. @fureshima covered additional events that took place in the first week of December.
@fureshima updated, with the help of a friend, a previous pilgrimage to Mount Tenran in Hannō, Saitama Prefecture for Yama no Susume. The missing image? The ever elusive shot of Mount Fuji not obscured by clouds or fog.