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
Love Live! Sunshine!! seichijunrei seminar
Shizuoka Shimbun Eastern Japan Bureau Deputy Chief Hashizume Mitsuru (橋爪充) and Seichikaigi representative director/“seichijunrei producer” Kakizaki Shundō (柿崎俊道) will present a seminar on Love Live! Sunshine!! seichijunrei phenomena in Numazu, held at the Ichibanchō Incubation Center in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo on September 24. Hashizume is responsible for the paper’s regular coverage of anime pilgrimage.
Anime is now used to create tourism opportunities in regional areas, but is it merely tourism?
There are three stories this week reporting on the recent trend of using anime to create tourism opportunities in regional areas, often places where traditional tourism assets do not exist.
Jiji.com focuses on works by Kyoto Animation and credits the studio for laying the groundwork for this trend, though doesn’t mention that, unlike other rights holders, the studio does not actively promote seichijunrei.
Iwate Nippō includes a quote from Kyoto Bunkyō University professor Katayama Akihisa (片山明久 @bsaku0214), pointing out that fans are diverse, and that many do not just follow third party tourism guidance but create their own purpose for visiting. (Katayama-sensei was holding back. He’s long been a fan and dear friend of the Butaitanbou-sha Community. He knows how deep we get into this.)
Net IB News has the most nuanced take, using Karatsu, Saga Prefecture as a case study to show how some visitors that discover the city through Zombie Land Saga and earlier works become repeaters, returning for casual visits on weekends. The differentiation between these repeaters and local residents disappears, and social interaction patterns through fan-to-fan and fan-to-local exchange become established.
Girls & Panzer themed Ōarai guide
Ōarai Fibel Neu 2.0: Ōarai Garupan Travel Guide 4 (大洗フィーベルNEU 2.0 大洗ガルパン・トラベル・ガイド4), an update of a mook introducing restaurants and shops in Ōarai, Ibaraki Prefecture, will be published September 3. Media coverage: Otasuke
Anohana stamp rally in Chichibu
Seibu Railway and Chichibu Railway, collaborating with the Chichibu Anime Tourism Executive Committee (秩父アニメツーリズム実行委員会) and Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai., will hold a stamp rally to mark ten years of Chichibu being a seichi—though Anohana premiered in 2011, so I’m not sure about that math. The city also plans to solicit fans to help fund the handmade fireworks at this year’s Ryūsei Matsuri. Media coverage: Rail Lab
Future Season Pilgrimage
Current Season Pilgrimage
@fragments_sue made a pilgrimage to Nakano, Nakano Ward; Shibakōen, Minato Ward; Tamagawa, Setagaya Ward; Denenchōfu, Ota Ward (preceding all Tokyo Metropolis); Kosugimachi, Nakahara Ward, Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture for Fruits Basket (2019) Episode 13 through Episode 18.
@krissy297_ph made a pilgrimage to Machida; Shimokitazawa and Kyōdō, Setagaya Ward; Shibuya Station in Shibuya Ward (preceding all Tokyo Metropolis); Fujisawa and Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture for Given.
Past Season Pilgrimage
@lidges made a pilgrimage to Todoroki hon Taki (轟本滝), one of the Todoroki 99 Waterfalls (轟九十九滝) in Kaiyō; and Ōtodoro no Taki (大轟の滝) in Naka (both Tokushima Prefecture) for Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru: Yūsha no Shō.