Fruits Basket フルーツバスケット

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

Anime Seichijunrei “Book” Spot Sale 2
The second Anime Seichijunrei “Hon” Sokubaikai (アニメ聖地巡礼“本”即売会) was held May 25 at Tokyo City Eye Performance Zone, again featuring traditionally published and self-published books and magazines about anime pilgrimage, and talks by prominent contents tourism researchers and writers. The intention of this event is to both create an opportunity to gather this content together outside of Comiket, and provide a venue for exchange between researchers, fans and other seichijunrei stakeholders. This second convening featured talks by contents tourism researcher Okamoto Takeshi (岡本健), Kanda Myōjin head priest Kishikawa Masanori (岸川雅範), and the release of Seichikaigi Compilation 3 (聖地会議 総集編3), a bound volume including issues 13 through 18 of Seichikaigi, the business-oriented anime pilgrimage periodical published by event organizer Kakizaki Shundō (柿崎俊道). I’m hoping that, as with the previous event, attendees will publish reports in the coming days about topics that were discussed.

One topic that seems to have come up (here, here) was the use of voice actors to promoted limited-time seichijunrei-themed events. Voice actors as marketing hooks generate strong interest, but engagement is limited to the event itself, mostly between organizers and attendees, and effect on the location is transient. Voice actors usually commit only to one-off appearances, so these campaigns are generally not scalable. By contrast, using a location’s intrinsic features and resources has less predictable drawing power, but when successful is potentially longer-lived and able to create deeper levels of engagement among fans and local residents.

Usagiyama Dai Bazaar 4
Usagiyama Dai Bazaar 4 (うさぎ山大バザール4) will be held June 1 in the DeMachi (Deまち) event space at Demachi Masugata Shōtengai in Kyoto. This is a Tamako Market dōjinshi sale and fan exchange event in the shopping arcade that was the main setting of the series.

Anime tourism panel discussion
Panel discussion Leaders in Anime Tourism (アニメツーリズムの牽引者たち) will be held June 11 at the Ichibanchō Incubation Center in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. Seichikaigi representative director/“seichijunrei producer” Kakizaki Shundō (柿崎俊道) will open the session with a brief talk on seichijunrei trends, then moderate a discussion about locations that promote themselves through multiple associated creative works, featuring Hanaoka Ryūta (花岡隆太), public relations/planning manager of the Natsumachi Omotenashi Project (なつまちおもてなしプロジェクト) in Komoro, Nagano Prefecture, and Nakajima Manabu (中島学), from the Chichibu Anime Tourism Executive Committee Secretariat (秩父アニメツーリズム実行委員会事務局), at the Chichibu City Industry and Tourism Department. Media coverage: Dream News, Anime Anime

Current Season Pilgrimage

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Denenchōfu, Ōta Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Fruits Basket (2019) Episode 8.

@Roan_Inish made a pilgrimage to Asakusa and Kappabashi, Taitō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Sarazanmai Episode 7.

@krissy297_ph made a pilgrimage to Asakusa and Kappabashi (Matsugaya), Taitō Ward; Azumabashi, Mukōjima and Oshiage, Sumida Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Sarazanmai Episode 1 through Episode 7.

@tianlangxing made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Asakusa, Kappabashi and Azumabashi for Sarazanmai Episode 6.

@yomikatajiyu made a pilgrimage to Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture for Nobunaga Sensei no Osanazuma.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@kimamanidance made a pilgrimage to Mita and Minamiazabu, Minato Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Ren’ai Zunōsen.

@krissy297_ph made a pilgrimage to Shinbashi, Minato Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Ren’ai Zunōsen.

@donko824 made a pilgrimage (updated post) to  Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture for Seishun Buta Yarō wa Bunny Girl-senpai no Yume o Minai.

@habusan made a pilgrimage (updated post) to the Kanhasshū observation platform and Takayama Fudōson in Takayama, Hannō, Saitama Prefecture for Yama no Susume Third Season.

@Nagatoyukito5 made a pilgrimage to Ikaho Onsen in Shibukawa, Gunma Prefecture for Yama no Susume Third Season.

@krissy297_ph made a pilgrimage to Tokyo Dome City in Kōraku, Bunkyō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Tsuki ga Kirei.

@dotproducer made a pilgrimage to Tokyo inner wards and Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture for Kizumonogatari.

@hiro_senritu made a pilgrimage to Karatsu, Saga Prefecture for Yūri!!! on Ice.

@mikehattsu made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2, post 3, post 4, post 5) to Ōarai, Ibaraki Prefecture for Girls & Panzer (TV) and Girls & Panzer Gekijōban.

@kbt_tigers1985 made a pilgrimage to Marugame, Kagawa Prefecture for Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru.

@kimamanidance made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2) to Kyoto for K-On!