Stars Align 星合の空

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

Masugata mochi pounding
Anime fans attended this year’s Usagiyama Mochitsuki Taikai (うさぎ山餅つき大会), held October 14 at Demachi Masugata Shōtengai in Kyoto. Masugata is the location model for fictional Usagiyama Shōtengai from Tamako Market. The small scale event, held for the past several years around the time of the October 10 character birthday of Mochizō, gives participants an opportunity to try their hand at pounding rice for making mochi, the traditional confection that features in the series.

Ryūsei Matsuri
Anime fans attended this year’s Ryūsei Matsuri (龍勢まつり), held October 13 in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture. The festival is notable for its handmade fireworks, which were featured in Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai.

Anime, manga and other pop culture contents fans attended this year’s Anitamasai (アニ玉祭), held October 14 in Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture. Though the festival is comprehensive, it is an outgrowth of the prefecture’s successes engaging seichijunrei fans of Lucky Star, Anohana, Kamisama Hajimemashita, Yama no Susume and other series. The program typically includes presentations on regional development through contents tourism, including this year. Media coverage: Dream News

Masugata Shōtengai Kyoani support
Asahi Shimbun published an article about the Kyoto Animation support badges at Demachi Masugata Shōtengai in Kyoto, covered in the previous Weekly.

Current Season Pilgrimage

@Roan_Inish made a pilgrimage to Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture for Sora no Aosa o Shiru Hito yo.

@ye_bi_su made a pilgrimage to Kyoto for Hōkago Saikoro Club Episode 1.

@tianlangxing made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Minami-rokugō and Yaguchi, Ōta Ward, Tokyo Metropolis; Kanagawa Prefecture for Hoshiai no Sora Episode 1.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Takada, Toshima Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Z/X Code reunion Episode 1.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Asakusabashi, Yanagibashi and Asakusa, Taitō Ward; Kanda-Sakumachō and Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Kandagawa Jet Girls OP and Episode 1.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Sakuragichō, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture; Machida, Tokyo Metropolis for Ore o Suki nano wa Omae dake kayo OP and Episode 1.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Kamimarukotenjin-chō, Nakahara Ward, Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture for Ahiru no Sora OP.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Ōtamachi, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture for Kono Oto Tomare! OP.

@lidges published archive images from Rome, Italy for Watashi, Nōryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne! Episode 1.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@kimamanidance made a pilgrimage to Shiba Park in Minato Ward; Ginza, Chūō Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Tenki no Ko.

@laquari_ made a pilgrimage to Maxell Aqua Park in Takanawa, Minato Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Yagate Kimi ni Naru.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Actpal Uji in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture for Hibike! Euphonium Season 2.

@laquari_ made a pilgrimage to Uji, Kyoto Prefecture for Hibike! Euphonium Season 1 Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7, Episode 8, Episode 9, Episode 10, Episode 11 and Episode 12.

@kimamanidance made pilgrimages to (post 1, post 2) Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture; (post 3) Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture; (post 4) Shibuya Ward and (post 5, post 6) Kanda, Tokyo Metropolis for Monogatari series.

@Surwill made a pilgrimage (post 2) to Tokyo for Chihayafuru.

@yomikatajiyu made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2, post 3, post 4, post 5, post 6, post 7, post 8, post 9, post 10, post 11, post 12, post 13, post 14, post 15) to Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture for Tamayura: Hitotose.