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
Yuyuyu character birthday
Michi-no-eki Toyohama (道の駅とよはま) in Kan’onji, Kagawa Prefecture will mark the June 12 birthday of Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru character Miyoshi Karin with a display and special parfaits from June 5 to June 13. Some fans have already visited. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2
Lucky Star character birthday
Kuki City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Washinomiya Branch (久喜市商工会鷲宮支所) will organize events to mark the July 7 birthday of Lucky Star characters Hīragi Tsukasa and Hīragi Kagami scheduled July 4 and July 7. There are few details available at this time, and the content and schedule are subject to change in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Cafe Dream Tanabata
As part of this year’s Tanabata celebrations at Cafe Dream in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture, the cafe will offer official Suzumiya Haruhi collaboration stickers to visitors from June 26 to July 31. Haruhi tie-up goods with local businesses were not possible before 2019, when rights holder Kadokawa finally acknowledged the use of Nishinomiya as the basis for the setting of the series. This year’s stickers will be printed locally by Hyōda Printing Industrial Arts (兵田印刷工芸), which has been involved in past tie-ups. Meanwhile, in-shop decoration preparations by fans are underway. Tanabata is celebrated July 7. Cafe Dream sets out bamboo branches and paper strips for writing wishes in front of the shop on that day.
Yuwaku Bonbori Matsuri postponed
The tenth Yuwaku Bonbori Matsuri (第10回湯涌ぼんぼり祭り), which was already postponed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will again be postponed this year. Yuwaku Onsen Tourism Association (湯涌温泉観光協会) plans to finally hold the event in 2022 October. The festival began as a fictional event in P.A.Works series Hanasaku Iroha, was then recreated as a promotional event in Yuwaku, and was ultimately turned over to local organizers as part of the studio’s regional revitalization efforts.
Kyoani Music Festival
Kyoto Animation announced it will hold its fifth fan appreciation event at the Rohm Theater in Kyoto on November 20 and 21. In the past, these events have included large exhibitions of work materials from past series and panel discussions, or a combination of these and live music performances. The events planned for 2019 Fall were replaced with a public memorial service in the wake of the arson attack on the studio. This new event will be a concert series only, and is being called Kyoani Music Festival: Inspiration for the future (KYOANI MUSIC FESTIVAL ―感動を未来へ－). Though the omission of the exhibitions means there will likely be little in the way of visual content, including background art displays, I would wager that most fans, butaitanbou-sha and otherwise, are just happy to see one more sign of life moving forward again for the staff. Media coverage: Animate Times, Oricon News, Comic Natalie, Anime News Network, Crunchyroll News
Zonsaga background art
Studio Pablo is a background art studio that has provided materials for many series, including popular pilgrimage inducing works Aku no Hana, Flip Flappers and Sarazanmai. Staff that worked on art setting for Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 8 and Episode 9, the Saga Jihen story, published a blog post about the process of location hunting, with many interesting details about the places used. Though Saga Jihen is set in the Meiji era, there are many remnants of streets, buildings, stone markers and other urban features that survive today.
Jashin-chan Obihiro collaboration
Obihiro announced it has reached its target of 33 million yen in furusato nōzei receipts for a fund to collaborate on production of a Obihiro-hen episode of upcoming series Jashin-chan Dropkick X. The supplementary budged proposal incorporating this plan was approved at the June city council regular meeting. The third season of the Jashin-chan anime adaptation is planned to include four such episodes featuring local tourism tie-ins following a general crowdfunding campaign and city-specific funding through the hometown tax system. Media coverage: Tokachi Mainichi Shimbun, Crunchyroll News*
* Note: Crunchyroll News misattributes 200 million yen as the Jashin-chan production fundraising target. This is actually the entire collected proceeds from multiple sources for the Commerce and Tourism Fund (商工観光基金) between 2020 November and 2021 March. The analogous Jashin-chan Kushiro-hen target was 30 million yen.
Shizuoka Yuru Camp maps
Three new Shizuoka Prefecture location maps for Yuru Camp have been released. A Hamamatsu map, distributed by the Hamamatsu City Tourism and City Promotion Division (浜松市観光・シティプロモーション課), includes locations from the live action drama second season. A Fuji City map includes locations from the anime second season. An Ōi River basin area map, created by Ōi River Basin Tourism Business Executive Committee (大井川流域観光事業実行委員会), distributed by the Shimada City Tourism Association (島田市観光協会) and Kawanehon-chō Machizukuri Tourism Association (川根本町まちづくり観光協会), includes locations from the manga volumes 10 and 11. Media coverage: Shizuoka Shimbun 1, Shizuoka Shimbun 2, Shizuoka Shimbun 3
Osaka Josee Tora locations
Osaka Metro Nine, a tourism promotion website produced by Osaka Metro, published a brief introduction to Osaka locations featured in Josee to Tora to Sakana-tachi.
Future Season Pilgrimage
Current Season Pilgrimage
@hamutane_ume made a pilgrimage to Saga City, Imari and Ureshino, Saga Prefecture for the Saga Jihen music video. All three of these articles by Ume contain extensive background discussion about the locations and historical figures associated with them.