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
Ōarai Garupan seichijunrei
ASCII published an article about seichijunrei to Ōarai, Ibaraki Prefecture for Girls & Panzer.
(田中くんはいつもけだるげ Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Mihara (三原), Hiroshima Prefecture
Green paint marks the grade level pedestrian shoulder.
The streets in Ohta’s neighborhood are only wide enough for one car lane and narrow shoulders.
The temple and the neighborhood scene later in the episode come from the same location in Chigaki (千垣), Tateyama (立山), Toyama Prefecture.
(ふらいんぐうぃっち Furaingu Uitchi)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Ebisu also contributed to an article about seichijunrei for Flying Witch in a local community publication.
Taishō Roman Kissa-shitsu (大正浪漫喫茶室)
(コンクリート・レボルティオ～超人幻想～ Konkurīto Reborutio: Chōjin Gensō)
FUGETSUDO (風月堂), non-extant coffee shop and counterculture icon in Shinjuku
The loss of third places like FUGETSUDO was emblematic of the receding from visible civic engagement of groups and individuals willing to be different or take a stand against the status quo, and the gradual corporatisation of pop culture and life in general in Japan after the 1960s. The loss of Kachoudo in Concrete Revolutio similarly denotes the end of acceptance of superhumans, a shift precipitated largely by collusion between government and large media companies to censor and manipulate information. I’ve been wondering if this shift from the social upheaval and vibrance of the post-war period to the stability but relative banality and stagnation of the recent few decades is what this show is really about.
Shinjuku Golden Gai (新宿ゴールデン街)
Yoyogi Kaikan (代々木会館), now abandoned
This feels a bit like Ōtemachi (大手町), Chiyoda Ward, the epicenter of Japan’s large journalism and financial institutions.
The facade behind the robots is perhaps the Nihon Building (日本ビルヂング).
Former headquarters of Dentsu (電通本社ビル) from 1967 to 2002, in Tsukiji, Chūō Ward
(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?)
This week’s eyecatch: Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens, Greece