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 Regional Development School
There are two new free seminars in a series of online panel discussions from the Anime Regional Development School (アニメ地域おこし学校). A live stream featuring guest speaker Hamanaka Ryō (浜中良), founder of Anime-Poi Base Community, is scheduled May 14 at 20:00 JST. Hamanaka has worked on content incubation for various tie-up initiatives involving anime. A second live stream featuring guest Hanaoka Ryūta (花岡隆太), director of an onsen in Komoro, Nagano Prefecture, is scheduled May 15 at 11:00 JST. Hanaoka has been involved in regional revitalization and engagement efforts in Komoro for multiple pop culture works, including Ano Natsu de Matteru. As with the rest of this series, the talks will be hosted by “seichijunrei producer” Kakizaki Shundō (柿崎俊道) and Oda Yasuo (小田恭央). Oda is the CEO of SSS, the company that manages local character and vocaloid Tōhoku Zunko.
Google Earth seichijunrei
Anime Anime published an article of suggestions for using Google Earth for virtual seichijunrei, in light of recent reinstatement of state of emergency declarations in several parts of Japan. In comparing a virtual pilgrimage to an actual visit, the author makes a good point that the satellite images enable the user to see aerial views which would normally not be possible without a drone or helicopter, and to get close to facilities which would generally be off limits, such as schools. Media coverage: Anime Anime
Butaitanbou-sha frequently use Google Earth when scouting locations before a visit. They sometimes include satellite images in reports when there is no way to recreate the framing of a particular scene from the ground or publicly accessible observation decks.
Yuru Camp manga seichijunrei
DaVinci News published a set of recommended pilgrimage locations based on the Yuru Camp manga series. Media coverage: DaVinci News
Ōgaki PR anime
The fifth installment of Gakitabi! (がきたびっ！), a series of public relations animated shorts produced by Ōgaki, Gifu Prefecture, was released in 2021 March. However, like many other places, tourism admissions in the city dropped sharply and remain depressed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Media coverage: Yorozū News