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
Lucky Star mikoshi
WebNewtype published an article about the Lucky Star mikoshi and anime fan participation at the 2017 Hajisai at Washinomiya Jinja in Kuki, Saitama Prefecture.
(サクラクエスト Sakura Kuesuto)
After a very brief period of dwelling on the implications of the pending absorption of Manoyama into a larger nearby city, for the most part the cast, even long-term Manoyama residents, seem to accept the news without protest and continue with business as usual. As is frequently the case, and as is pointed out through the dialog, this kind of change is primarily administrative. Having infrastructure and certain public services managed out of a central office does not necessarily translate to a loss of local culture in the absorbed areas. The lack of vibrancy in downtown Manoyama is the much more dire and immediate threat to its culture, a threat which would exist regardless of the presence or absence of the town merger plan. One wonders what the purpose was of introducing this plot twist so late in the story.
The television producer from earlier comes to warn the tourism board about a new proposal from his network to be involved with the festival revival, fearing that the head producer will once again co-opt Manoyama for his own purposes.
In the subsequent meeting, though Yoshino is willing to push back and offer alternatives, Kadota unilaterally decides he doesn’t want any outside interference. Manoyama will revive its festival on its own terms.
Though a broadcast television platform would have had definite upsides, the tourism board continues to make use of web-based media and communications platforms to get its messages out.
Kumano is inspired by the new bakery moving into the shōtengai to consider setting up a second restaurant business along the same street.
Cleaning up the festival grounds unexpectedly reveals a record of the architects and builders of the reservoir, including Sandal’s great grandparents.
The festival procession begins at Jōhana Station (城端駅)
The mikoshi is carried through the shōtengai.
Inami (井波), Nanto
Kadota proposes that a sister city agreement with the city of Sandal’s great grandparents may help stave off the absorption of Manoyama.
(ニューゲーム!! Nyū Gēmu!!)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Other Current Season Pilgrimage
@ts_kobaya made a pilgrimage to Waseda, Shinjuku Ward; and Akihabara (Soto-Kanda), Chiyoda Ward (both Tokyo Metropolis); and Minamiurawa, Minami Ward, Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture for Nana Maru San Batsu.