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.
(ふらいんぐうぃっち Furaingu Uitchi)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
@ts_kobaya made a video pilgrimage to Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture:
Chito leads first Chinatsu, then later Makoto on a meandering tour of the neighborhood around their home, for the most part within the Shimoyuguchi (下湯口) area of Hirosaki. Though there is little plot development, it’s an interesting exercise in how animals, children and adults perceive the same space differently.
Shinmei-gū (神明宮) in Aoyagi Shimoyuguchi (青柳下湯口)
Kurobe Dam (黒部ダム)
Headquarters of the United Nations in New York City, New York
National Route 41
Seven Eleven Toyama Akada shop (セブン-イレブン 富山赤田店)
Toyama Airport (富山空港)
Hokuriku Expressway (北陸自動車道)
Fuchū (府中), Tokyo Metropolis
Bonnet bus (ボンネットバス)
Shinjuku Station (新宿駅)
Jiro and Wakamura talk about how this space in Shinjuku Station was a plaza one year prior, but has been converted into a mere passage area. Security personnel can be heard in the background, telling commuters not to loiter in the passage. It is a very interesting acknowledgement of the role of civic space in public protest and activism, which the powers that be in this case have decided must be dampened down.
Former headquarters of Dentsu (電通本社ビル) from 1967 to 2002, in Tsukiji, Chūō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Grade level railroad crossing (踏切 fumikiri)
(田中くんはいつもけだるげ Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge)
Ohta and Tanaka go grocery shopping on their afternoon commute home from school.
(ネトゲの嫁は女の子じゃないと思った? Netoge no Yome wa Onna no Ko Janai to Omotta?)
A new week, a new eyecatch. This one is about as non-specific as the previous. I think the director is just playing with us.
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Media and General Interest
Oricon Style published an unexpectedly thorough article explaining salient points and macro trends in seichijunrei (media-induced tourism specific to anime and manga). It illustrates the phenomena with several notable examples, then goes on to explain how municipalities that have deliberately used their connection to anime works to promote tourism and goods sales have generated some backlash among the core pop culture tourism fandom, whereas grassroots momentum from fan community initiated tourism has generally been of greater magnitude and had more lasting effects.
Director Shinkai Makoto has become the first Japanese creator named to the Variety magazine list “10 Animators to Watch” for 2016. The nod was mentioned in Oricon Style (article) and Netorabo (article). The list notes the unusually high level of detail and naturalism in background art, as well as immersion of characters in their environment, in Shinkai’s works.
Ure Pia Sōken published an article about pop culture tourism to Ōarai, Ibaraki Prefecture for Girls und Panzer.
animate Times, the blog of media and goods retailer animate, published a top 10 list of anime pilgrimage locations.
Information services company MyNavi published a top 20 list of anime pilgrimage locations.