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 holy land pilgrimage) and butaitanbou (舞台探訪 scene hunting), which are pop culture tourism and place-based engagement induced by the use of real locations in show settings.
Media and General Interest
Natsumachi Omotenashi Project (なつまちおもてなしプロジェクト, NOP) public relations/planning manager Hanaoka Ryūta (花岡隆太) and Seichikaigi representative director/“seichijunrei producer” Kakizaki Shundō (柿崎俊道) will give a seminar about how Komoro, Nagano Prefecture has parlayed its success responding to seichijunrei for Ano Natsu de Matteru and creating opportunities for sustained interest with the NOP, into other types of contents tourism, including cycling event Granfondo Komoro (グランフォンドKOMORO), at the Ichibanchō Incubation Center in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo on April 2.
Saga Shimbun published an article summarizing the lecture on Western style architecture in Karatsu, Saga Prefecture and its use in the setting of Zombie Land Saga, given by architect Nakamura Kyōichi (中村享一) and Cygames producer Takenaka Nobuhiro (竹中信広) on March 2. Professor Okamoto Takeshi told me one of the more interesting points to come out during the talk was that Karatsu is the birthplace of many well-known architects, including Tokyo Station designer Tatsuno Kingo.
Anime News Network published an article by Kim Morrissy translating and digesting an interview with Yama no Susume director Yamamoto Yusuke and chief animation director Matsuo Yūsuke, in which they discuss the use of reference photographs taken during location hunting for storyboarding and creating background art, creating the series’ intimate cinematography, and achieving a balance between realistic and creative rendering of scenes. An interesting note is that Yamamoto described staff as initially hesitant to using photographs for layouts and art, subsequently warming up to it as general attitudes in the industry shifted. By my observation, when the first season was broadcast in 2013, extensive use of photographs was already widely practiced.
Saga Shimbun will reissue a special edition of its Zombie Land Saga pilgrimage guide March 14.
Japan Walker Travel released detailed itinerary options for an official Yurucamp themed event, scheduled for May 11-12. Though billed as a camping tour, it’s actually a day of events featuring series voice actors with overnight stay on the grounds of Motosu High School, accompanied by a marketing push for Coleman camping equipment. The four tour options are for differentiating participants that will arrive by chartered bus or private car, will sleep in outdoor tents or the gymnasium, and who require guidance for setting up camping equipment. Media coverage: Anime Tourism Association, Comic Natalie, Anime News Network
Asahi Shimbun published an article about the University of Yamanashi and Yamanashi Chūō Bank Management Consulting survey, covered previously in the weekly, measuring the economic effect of Yurucamp in Yamanashi Prefecture, estimating 85 million yen in proceeds from five formal fan events held between 2018 April and November.
A few butaitanbou-sha exhibited publications at SunFes 7 in Kyoto on March 10. This is a dōjinshi event specifically targeting Hibike! Euphonium derived contents. Ebisu (夷, @ye_bi_su) offered his Uji/Hibike! Euphonium volume, which includes an interview with Moriwaki Kiyotaka, curator of the Kyoto Film Archive and location hunting collaborator with Kyoto Animation:
— 夷（ゑびす）@聖地移住本制作中 (@ye_bi_su) March 10, 2019
Current Season Pilgrimage
@Surwill published a Street View tour and archive images of multiple locations in Tokyo inner wards, Nishi-Tokyo and Tama (Tokyo Metropolis); Kamakura and Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture for Domestic na Kanojo.