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.
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Mito swimming beach (三津海水浴場)
Near Nagahama bus stop (長浜バス停)
(ニューゲーム Nyū Gēmu)
A manga-fied rendering of the Chūō-Sōbu Line (中央・総武緩行線), representing Aoba’s fatigue-induced haze, slowly yields to the show’s typical photorealism as she wakes up and realizes she is about to miss her stop.
Asagaya Station (阿佐ヶ谷駅)
IC transit card swipe
Though she relies on a moped after transferring to her new school in Shizuoka, Futaba would walk home with friends on their evening commute from school in Tokyo.
Trains and buses have appeared in the Shizuoka primary setting, but the students have relied on their teacher’s private vehicle for transportation in several instances.
Product placement for the foot bath at the roadside station
Atami (熱海), Shizuoka Prefecture
Itō Marine Town
(甘々と稲妻 Amaama to Inazuma)
Media and General Interest
Sankei Shimbun published an article about the recent spate of pop culture media that feature locations in Gifu Prefecture as part of their settings. Shinkai Makoto film Kimi no Na wa. uses parts of Hida, children’s animated film Rudolph and Ippaiattena includes elements from Gifu City, and upcoming feature film Koe no Katachi, directed by Yamada Naoko and produced by Kyoto Animation, will showcase Ōgaki. The article also mentions Hyōka (Takayama) and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (Shirakawa-gō), previous works with Gifu settings, and resultant pop culture tourism.
ITmedia Online published an article referencing the Sankei Shimbun piece and discussing additional context, tracing pop culture tourism to Gifu Prefecture over the past 20 years, beginning with creation of a manga library in Hida in 1995. Gifu was one of the earliest regions to recognize the phenomena of manga and anime pilgrimage, and to see them as something that could be co-opted for the purpose of town revitalization.
Gifu Shimbun published an article about a recent advance screening of Koe no Katachi and early pop culture tourism to Ōgaki, Gifu Prefecture.
Kimi no Na wa.
CINEmadori published an interview with Tanji Takumi, art director for Kimi no Na wa., as well as work on Shinkai Makoto films Byōsoku Go Senchimētoru and Hoshi o Ou Kodomo. In the interview, Tanji talks about the process of creating the setting for the new film, from location hunting, to color palette, to selecting places, patterns and objects that reflect the characters and link them to their environments.
animate Times published a long interview with Shinkai, in which the creator discusses how, for his generation, images of Shinjuku are representative of Tokyo more broadly, hence the area’s frequent appearance in his films.
Chunichi Shimbun published an article about the use of Hida, Gifu Prefecture as a model for part of the film setting.