After School Dice Club 放課後さいころ倶楽部

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.

2019 Fall Season Overview

Welcome back to a new season of anime settings and background art! I’m a few hours away from heading out the door on two weeks of pilgrimage, meetings and other things in Japan, so this overview will be just the facts.

This season, the review will follow the same pattern as the previous three. I won’t single out any series for detailed analysis each week. Media and general interest, and reports on pilgrimage activity will continue as always. If something exceptional arises in a particular show, I may include a special section to cover it.

Sora no Aosa o Shiru Hito yo (CloverWorks) is an Okada Mari screenplay that returns us to her familiar setting of Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture. The film premiered October 11.

Hōkago Saikoro Club (Liden Films) is set in Kyoto, and appears to be the most popular broadcast series among butaitanbou-sha this season.

Hoshiai no Sora (Eight Bit) includes settings based on Minami-rokugō and Yaguchi, Ōta Ward; Kamata, Setagaya Ward (preceding Tokyo Metropolis); and Totsuka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. Director Akane Kazuki was also creator and director of Noein, a popular seichijunei inducing series set in Hakodate.

Chihayafuru 3 (Madhouse) returns with a new installment of its three main settings, Fuchū, Tokyo Metropolis; Awara, Fukui Prefecture; and Ōmi-jingū in Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture; as well as event venues and competing schools at other locations sprinkled in for good measure.

Z/X Code reunion (Passione) includes a scene at Fujimizaka and Hinashizaka, two photogenic slopes in Takada, Toshima Ward, Tokyo Metropolis, before moving to its main setting in Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture.

Kanadagawa Jet Girls (TNK) includes scenes in Asakusabashi, Yanagibashi and Asakusa, Taitō Ward; Kanda-Sakumachō and Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda Ward (preceding Tokyo Metropolis); as well as Ojikajima and Madarajima, Nagasaki Prefecture.

Babylon (Revoroot) includes scenes in Ochanomizu, Sakuradamon and Hibiya Park, Chiyoda Ward; Kamimeguro, Meguro Ward (preceeding Tokyo Metropolis); and Miyamae Ward, Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Ore o Suki nano wa Omae dake kayo (Connect) includes scenes in Machida, Tokyo Metropolis and Sakuragichō, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Ahiru no Sora (Diomedéa) includes scenes in Kamimarukotenjin-chō, Nakahara Ward, Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Kono Oto Tomare! (Platinum Vision) includes scenes in Ōtamachi, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture; and Kushiro, Hokkaidō Prefecture.

Rifle is Beautiful (3Hz) includes scenes in Koganei, Tokyo Metropolis.

Watashi, Nōryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne! (Project No.9) includes scenes in Rome, Italy.

Keishichou Tokumu-bu Tokushu Kyouaku-han Taisaku-Shitsu Dai-Nana-ka -Tokunana- (ANIMA&CO.) includes scenes in Motoazabu, Minato Ward; Jiyūgaoka, Meguro Ward; and Shinagawa Station (all Tokyo Metropolis).

Chūbyou Gekihatsu Boy (Studio Deen) includes scenes in Mitaka, Tokyo Metropolis.

Media and General Interest

Shōkei no Michi
Anime fans were in attendance at this year’s Shōkei no Michi (憧憬の路)—Path of Longing—held October 26-27 in Takehara, Hiroshima Prefecture. The festival features thousands of bamboo lanterns and is depicted in depth in the Tamayura series.

Current Season Pilgrimage

@ye_bi_su made a pilgrimage to Kyoto for Hōkago Saikoro Club Episode 4.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage to Kyoto for Hōkago Saikoro Club OP and Episode 1 through Episode 4.

@kbt_tigers1985 made a pilgrimage to Kyoto for Hōkago Saikoro Club Episode 2.

@miyaken46 made a pilgrimage to Kyoto for Hōkago Saikoro Club OP and Episode 1.

@nadukari_h made a pilgrimage to Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture for Chihayafuru 3 Episode 1.

@sky_dj_ made a pilgrimage to Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture for Z/X Code reunion Episode 1.

@Roan_Inish published archive images of Jakotsu-yu in Asakusa, Taitō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Kandagawa Jet Girls Episode 3.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@hiro_senritu made a pilgrimage to Takaomachi, Hachiōji, Tokyo Metropolis for Re:Stage! Dream Days.

@kimamanidance made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2, post 3) to Nakahara Ward and Takatsu Ward, Kawasaki; Kōhoku Ward, Yokohama (both Kanagawa Prefecture) for Koi wa Ameagari no Yō ni.

@Surwill made a pilgrimage to Takaosan in Hachiōji, Tokyo Metropolis for Yama no Susume.