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
Kan’onji Yuyuyu dōjinshi event
Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru dōjinshi circles and fans gathered for Yusha-bū Kokoroe 15 (勇者部心得、じゅうごーっ！), the latest installment of Yūsha-bu Mankai (勇者部満開)—a fan-organized exchange event and dōjinshi spot sale—on March 20 at High Staff Hall (ハイスタッフホール) in Kan’onji, Kagawa Prefecture. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4
— リジス (@lidges) March 20, 2021
Yuyuyu character birthday
Fans of Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru traveled to Kan’onji, Kagawa Prefecture on March 21 to attend birthday celebrations for the titular character at Michi-no-eki Toyohama (道の駅とよはま). Photos: tweet 1
— リジス (@lidges) March 21, 2021
Tamako Market character birthday
A fan-organized birthday celebration for Tamako Market character Asagiri Shiori is tentatively planned for April 3 or 4 at the Kamogawa delta (鴨川デルタ) in Demachi, Kyoto. More details will be announced this weekend.
Usagiyama Dai Bazaar 5
The fifth and final convening of the Usagiyama Dai Bazaar (うさぎ山大バザール5)—a fan-organized Tamako Market oriented dōjinshi spot sale and cosplay event—was originally scheduled for 2020 March but postponed indefinitely due to Covid-19. It has been rescheduled for 2021 May 3 at the usual location, the DeMachi (Deまち) event space at Demachi Masugata Shōtengai in Kyoto. Those interested to participate can register here, with additional information submission for dōjinshi circles to be submitted here. After the main event concludes at 16:00 there will be a social gathering, called a naorai (直会), where participants can bring their own food and drink, and continue conversations. And if you’ve still not had enough Tamako, there is an overnight lodging session (うさぎ山大バザール合宿交流集会) at Toshigata Cottege Kyoto (都市型コテージ) from the evening on May 3 to the following morning, for which interested participants can register here.
Takehara Tamayura discussion
An online talk event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Tamayura series and looking back at fan engagement in Takehara, Hiroshima Prefecture was held January 30, featuring director Satō Jun’ichi (佐藤順一), Takehara mayor Imai Toshihiko (今榮敏彦) and Takehara Tourism Association vice president Horikawa Daisuke (堀川大輔). Though the live event was restricted to members of the Takehara Fan Club (たけはらファンクラブ), a recording is now available on YouTube.
The first half of the hour long talk was detailed discussion on the history of real locations and events in the city, and the process of location hunting and incorporation into the setting of the work, including the okaerinasai script in the pavement at the train station entrance, Shōkei no Michi bamboo lantern festival, and cherry blossoms at Bamboo Joy Highland. They transition into answering questions from fans and sharing stories about their favorite places and activities. Satō visits periodically and particularly enjoys eating takenoko (bamboo shoots) when they are harvested in the spring. Everyone agrees the views of the Seto Inland Sea from the mountains behind the city are pretty great.
Hibike! Genki ni Ōen Project
Hibike! Genki ni Ōen Project (響け！元気に応援プロジェクト) is a volunteer group based out of Kyoto Bunkyō University in Uji that plans local events for Hibike! Euphonium fans. The group has been around for a while, since the first season broadcast in 2015, but recently launched a YouTube channel. So far, they have published a series of introductions to local businesses and landmarks, including Bar Kaguya, Keihan Uji Station, Uji Bridge, Daikichiyama, and most recently O-niku Dining Kiku. If you are sensitive to motion, you may want to look away during the “walking” segments of the videos. Someone get them a gimbal!
Kyoani Music Festival
Kyoani Music Festival (京アニ音楽祭) was formed in 2019 in the wake of the arson attack on the studio, with the intent to bring together musicians in performance sessions of music from Kyoani series in a show of support. The first convening was a live event at former Toyosato Elementary School in 2019 November. The plan had been to continue with in-person meetings like this, with a second session planned for 2020 July, but this was disrupted by the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic. Organizers instead arranged for online recording sessions, where each person would record remotely and the sound files would be combined and mixed later. The first online session was compiled in 2020 August, the second session in 2020 December, and release of new material is planned for a live streamed online event on 2021 April 18 from 13:00 to 15:00 JST. A similar live streamed event was held previously in 2020 November.
Ube Evangelion seichijunrei
Evangelion fans are making pilgrimages to Ubeshinkawa Station and other locations in Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture, which appears in new film Shin Evangelion Gekijōban and is the birthplace of director Anno Hideaki. Media coverage: Asahi Shimbun
Kimetsu no Yaiba seichijunrei
The buzz around Kimetsu no Yaiba pilgrimage has mostly subsided, but there are still a few mentions from time to time. The content of these pieces has been discussed previously. Media coverage: Abema Times, Kumamoto Nichi Nichi Shimbun
Studio Ghibli locations
Numan published an article introducing locations thought to have inspired the settings of Studio Ghibli films, including Yakushima, Kagoshima Prefecture and Shirakami-Sanchi mountainous area in Akita and Aomori Prefectures (Mononoke Hime); Dubrovnik, Croatia (Kurenai no Buta and Majo no Takkyūbin); Zakynthos, Greece (Kurenai no Buta); Kushiro marshlands in Kushiro Prefecture (Omoide no Marnie); Yamatechō, Yokohama (Kokuriko-zaka Kara); and Dōgo Onsen in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi). To my knowledge, Dōgo Onsen is the only one of this list that has been officially confirmed, but I could be wrong. Media coverage: Numan
Miyagi Bakuten!! location
Futabanet Manga Plus published an introduction to upcoming spring anime series, including Bakuten!! The piece mentions that the work is set in Miyagi Prefecture and is part of Fuji TV’s Zutto Ōen. Project 2011+10… (ずっとおうえん。プロジェクト 2011+10…), which aims to support local revitalization through anime tourism in locations impacted by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Media coverage: Futabanet Manga Plus
Nanto Cafe Trian True Tears collaboration
Hokkoku Shimbun published an article about the True Tears collaboration menu at Cafe Trian in Nanto, Toyama Prefecture, covered previously. Media coverage: Hokkoku Shimbun
Anime Seichi 88 Walker 2021
Anime Seichi 88 Walker 2021 (アニメ聖地88Walker 2021), the new edition of the Anime Tourism Association guides published under Kadokawa’s Walker series, was released March 23.
(ゆるキャン△ SEASON2 Yurukyan Season 2)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
The famous treehouse designer alluded to is Kobayashi Takashi (小林崇), who is from Higashiizu but known worldwide for his projects.
The art departs from real life significantly here. The actual location is far more urbanized. The vehicles are passing though the location that would be the Matsuzaki Chūgaku Iriguchi intersection (松崎中学入口交差点), along the Naka River (那珂川) in Matsuzaki (松崎町), Shizuoka Prefecture. [Credit: @QgrlVszS4b2Ordg, Twitter]
Nishina Fishing Port (仁科漁港) in Nishina
Cape Koganei (黄金崎)
Horse Rock (馬ロック)
Sawada Park (沢田公園) in Nishina
(のんのんびより のんすとっぷ Non Non Biyori Nonsutoppu)
Former Takahashi Shōten (高橋商店) in Kosuge, Katsushika Ward, Tokyo Metropolis
Other Current Season Pilgrimage
@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage (updated post, new post) to Saitama City, Toda and Hannō, Saitama Prefecture; Ikebukuro Station and aboard the Seibu Railway Limited Express Laview for Jaku-Chara Tomozaki-kun Episode 10 and Episode 11.