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.
Media and General Interest
Edmonton Gundam locations
In what to my knowledge is a first, a non-Japanese newspaper published an article about real location use in anime, even including butaitanbou style side-by-side comparisons of screenshots with Google Street View images. The Edmonton, Canada edition of Metro notes use of Alberta’s capital in the most recent installment of the Gundam franchise, Kidō Senshi Gandamu Tekketsu no Orufenzu (Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans). The news outlet learned of the city’s appearance in the show through Canadian anime blogger @Nopybot (post 1, post 2). @nijimen (post 1, post 2) picked up on the story and includes more background information on the sequences. I personally prefer the headline from the original print edition, “Edmonton smashed by robots”.
Keitai Watch published an article demonstrating use of mobile app Butai Meguri to facilitate seichijunrei for Yama no Susume.
(無彩限のファントム・ワールド Musaigen no Fantomu Wārudo)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Shōnan Monorail (湘南モノレール) blended with fictional location
Bookends give a work a sense of completing a full cycle, and have appeared in several previous Kyoto Animation series. Like Yui’s slip and slide on the polished wood floor of her home in K-On!, or Kumiko adjusting her skirt hem in Hibike! Euphonium, Haruhiko’s return to Nishi-Kamakura Station (西鎌倉駅)—this time not running to catch the train, but on the platform with time to spare—subtly convey his growth as a person.
Kamakura (鎌倉), Kanagawa Prefecture
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Cafe used as third place
As with the train station in the previous episode, the bus shelter becomes a commons, in this case allowing Kokonotsu and Hotaru to share thoughts (and candy) as they wait out the rain.
Tokyo Tower (東京タワー)
Asakusa (浅草), Taitō Ward