Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid S 小林さんちのメイドラゴンS

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

Lucky Star character birthday
Most character birthday celebration events in Washinomiya and online for Lucky Star Hīragi twins Kagami and Tsukasa took place on Sunday July 4, covered previously, but the actual birthday on July 7 was also marked in smaller ways. July 7 was the final day for the Tanabata bamboo branches and paper strips placed outside the Kuki City Chamber of Commerce Washinomiya Branch. At the edge of the parking lot between the building and street, the large Lucky Star 10th anniversary illustration banner was displayed alongside the Lucky Star mikoshi (らき☆すた神輿), which had been brought out of storage for the first time in almost two years. The placement meant that the Olympic torch passed just in front them on its way through the city (Video: tweet 1; Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4). Lucky Star themed snack bar Jungle Kinenbi (ジャングル記念日) also hosted a party on July 7.

WebNewtype published a summary of highlights from the livestream and Kuki mayor Umeda Shūichi (梅田修一) wrote a short blog post about the events of July 4.

Chichibu cleanup
Forty-two volunteers, including many Anohana fans, some in costume, participated in the weeding, cleaning and litter pickup around the old Chichibu Bridge (旧秩父橋) on July 11. (Though the tourism division tweeted that “over 50 people participated,” I’m going with the more conservative count reported by the news organization.) Media coverage: Chichibu Keizai Shimbun. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3

@Fu_a_ri_ reports that reinforcement work on the bridge is scheduled for October. The main structure will remain intact, but the flower beds and tile patterns may change.

Kyoani memorial
July 18 will be two years since the arson attack on Kyoto Animation Studio 1. The company had planned to hold a memorial event, but decided this is impracticable due to Covid-19 concerns. It will instead host an online memorial, as it did in 2020, which will be available at the official Kyoani YouTube channel, beginning at 10:30 JST with a moment of silence at 10:35.

Shōjōke-in (清浄華院), a Buddhist temple adjacent to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, will hold a memorial service from 9:45 to 10:30. This temple has carried out memorial services to mourn victims of large fires in Kyoto since the late Edo period, and did so for Kyoto Animation in the aftermath of the attack. Shōjōke-in, assisted by volunteers, held services every seven days, beginning one week after the attack, until the 49th day, and additionally on the 18th of every month for the year following the fire. Media coverage: Kyoto Shimbun 1, Kyoto Shimbun 2, Kyoto Shimbun 3

Zonsaga community exchange
Waiwai!! Container 2 (わいわい!!コンテナ2) is a temporary prefab building setup on a vacant lot near Mutsugorō Plaza (656広場) in Saga City, Saga Prefecture meant to function as a community meeting place, but also hosts a small library and can be used for club activities and pop up shops. Beginning June 8, facility management has sent out public calls for visitors to decorate the windows of the container with illustrations related to Zombie Land Saga. The ink in the markers used to draw on the windows fades in direct sunlight, so the intention is to periodically clear the existing drawings and have different people refresh them with new ones. Media coverage: Saga Keizai Shimbun

Kōchi Ryū to Sobakasu no Hime seichijunrei
Some anime pilgrims have already visited locations in Kōchi City, Ochi and Ino, Kōchi Prefecture for the PV to upcoming Hosoda Mamoru film Ryū to Sobakasu no Hime. Ochi is preparing a special bus service to the Asao submersible bridge (浅尾沈下橋) in anticipation of more visitors after the July 16 premiere. Media coverage: Kōchi Shimbun

Hokuto Super Cub locations
A reporter for Bike no News visited Backhaus Inno Yatsugatake-ten (バックハウス インノ 八ヶ岳店 ) in Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture, the model for Beurre, the bakery run by Eniwa Shī’s family in Super Cub. Media coverage: Bike no News

Kawagoe anime architecture
There was additional reporting about the book Kawagoe Buildings: Modern Architecture (川越の建物 近代建築編), published May 31, covered previously. Media coverage: Saitama Shimbun

Takayama Jujutsu Kaisen bus
There was additional reporting on the Ryōmen Sukuna set ticket (両面宿儺セットきっぷ) being offered by Nōhi Bus (濃飛バス) in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture from June 21 to November 30, covered previously. Media coverage: Mainichi Shimbun

Zonsaga location guide
Shōbunsha will publish Zombie Land Saga Traveler’s Guide (ゾンビランドサガ トラベラーズガイド), which will include information on anime locations, tourism sites and recommended courses, on July 29. Media coverage: Mantanweb, Saga Keizai Shimbun

Seichijunrei dating
Matchmaking app Tapple (タップル) is running a Seichijunrei Date Campaign (聖地巡礼デートキャンペーン), intended to help users find others with similar interests, from July 8 to 21. Media coverage: Press release

Future Season Pilgrimage

@ye_bi_su compiled historic photographs of locations in Kyoto used as the basis for the setting of Kyoto Animation commercial “Meiji,” which is essentially an early preview of 20 Seiki Denki Mokuroku.

Current Season Pilgrimage

@york21c made a pilgrimage to Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture; Nihonbashi-Ningyōchō, Chūō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon S Episode 1.

@ad_motsu made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Yoyogi Park and Harajuku (Jingūmae), Shibuya Ward; Omotesandō (Jingūmae, Kita-Aoyama), Shibuya Ward and Minato Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Love Live! Superstar!! Episode 1.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@fureshima2223 made a pilgrimage to Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture for Super Cub.

@kimamanidance made a pilgrimage to Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture for Super Cub Episode 6.

@hiro_senritu made a pilgrimage to Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture; Kai, Yamanashi Prefecture for Yuru Camp Season 2.