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
Okada Mari interview
Anime News Network published an interview with screenwriter Okada Mari, the creator behind many popular anime series, including anime pilgrimage community favorites Anohana and Kokosake. Okada gives detailed answers across a range of topics and gives particular attention to the considerations that go into using a real location as a basis for settings. The most interesting part is that she considers location hunting both an aid to production and a constraint on creativity. Using photographs of a real place makes layouts straightforward for artists, but she also feels compelled to not deviate from realism, such as replacing a field with wild grass. She mentions anime pilgrims as one reason for this, seeming to imply that they have an expectation of a high level of fidelity and a work must generally honor this.
Hakodate Love Live! event
Hokkaidō Shimbun published an article about an organized Love Live! Sunshine!! anime pilgrimage event in Hakodate April 27-28, including a location map, special preparations by local businesses expecting heavy visitor numbers, and local volunteers who assisted the city with accommodating the estimated extra 4,000 visitors at the beginning of the Golden Week holiday.
(ウマ娘 プリティーダービー Uma Musume Puritī Dābī)
Nasu (那須), Tochigi Prefecture
Shibuya scramble crossing (渋谷スクランブル交差点)
(あまんちゅ！〜あどばんす〜 Amanchu Adobansu)
(踏切時間 Fumikiri Jikan)
Kame No. 17 crossing (亀第17号踏切) in Kameido 8-chōme, Kōtō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
The two trains that pass through during the episode are quite special. They are 8000 series cars like all Tōbu Kameido Line (東武亀戸線) services, but where almost all trains on the line use the standard blue and white livery, two-car set 8577 features throwback orange and yellow that was carried by 7300 and 7800 series trains between 1958 and 1964. (continued below)
Two car set 8568 features throwback green and white carried experimentally by one 7860 series train in the 1950s. So good, so nerdy. I love it!