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 Mikoshi in Radio Washinomiya
For the second year, Yasakasai (八坂祭) in Kuki, Washinomiya Prefecture was cancelled as part of Covid-19 mitigation measures. But as happened last year, in lieu of the Lucky Star mikoshi involvement at the festival, fans who would normally participate and volunteer during the event will host Lucky Star Mikoshi in Radio Washinomiya (らき☆すた神輿 in ラジオ鷲宮), a livestream broadcast on Niconico, on September 5 from 17:00-20:00 JST.
Nanto Kuromukuro crowdfunding event
There was additional reporting about the crowdfunded printing of a novel sequel to Kuromukuro and events for donors in Nanto, Toyama Prefecture on September 19, covered previously. Media coverage: Hokkoku Shimbun
Yokosuka Slow Loop collaboration
Slow Loop is an anime adaptation of a manga series about fishing set in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, premiering 2022 January. The anime official site and Yokosuka Tourism Association (横須賀市観光協会) announced a marketing collaboration that will include posters in stores and shōtengai, and original goods. Media coverage: Comic Natalie, Anime News Network
Comment: The anime official site refers to Yokosuka with the neutral term “scene model” (舞台モデル), while the tourism association goes further and additionally uses the word “seichi” (聖地). I think this nuance is important. A “model” is an objective descriptor. A “seichi” is the term a fan uses to indicate, “I have decided this place is important to me.” When an organization with a commercial interest unilaterally calls something a “seichi” the term loses this meaning. It seems particularly tone-deaf when done so far in advance of the broadcast and in the context of the publicly communicated plan to use the series to stimulate tourism. I am still looking forward to this show and I hope it does well. But I wish rights holders and tourism organizations would be more sensitive to the interests of the subculture they are co-opting.
Kōchi Ryū to Sobakasu no Hime promotion
There was additional reporting about various promotional efforts for Ryū to Sobakasu no Hime in Kōchi Prefecture, covered previously here, here and here. Media coverage: Mainichi Shimbun, Kōchi Shimbun, Location Japan
(小林さんちのメイドラゴンS Kobayashi-san Chi no Meidoragon S)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Koshigaya (越谷市), Saitama Prefecture. Except where noted otherwise, the rest of the Maid Dragon locations in Episode 7 are in Koshigaya, either literally or notionally.
The dōjinshi spot sale is held in the TRC Second Exhibition Hall (東京流通センター第二展示場). This is not Comiket, though Comiket 31 to 33 were held here in 1986 and 1987. Comiket moved to Makuhari Messe and later Tokyo Big Sight as it grew in size. TRC hosts smaller spot sales focusing on specific dōjinshi niche, cosplay and indie music, as well as job fairs and product launches. More information: Niconicopedia
It’s another eventful day at the maybe real maybe not Oboruzuka Shōtengai. Even without the exchange between Toru and Elma there is an active story, the sum of all the movements and interactions of everyone else in the space. The shop staff and the people at the edge of the lane are mostly static, but the individuals and groups traveling through the shōtengai are fully animated characters. The sound design recreates the din of voices and close reflections in an arcade, creating the illusion that even the static characters are communicating with the staff or amongst themselves.
The day to night transition makes me stop to think about how important the work of the color designer is in creating an environment. In live action film, we just change the light source or wait for the sun to move. In animation, particularly with the almost complete absence of filters in Maid Dragon, each tone and its set of variations is chosen deliberately.
(白い砂のアクアトープ Shiroi Suna no Akuatōpu)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Komaka-jima (コマカ島) is a small uninhabited island about 2km off the coast of Cape Chinen and is popular among tourists. Ferries to the island and well-developed facilities on the beach and for scuba diving are all managed by the Chinen Marine Leisure Center (知念海洋レジャーセンター).
The rest of the episode returns to Azama Sun Sun Beach.
Other Current Season Pilgrimage
Past Season Pilgrimage
@Bf109K1 is making a cycling pilgrimage of the cross country journey in Super Cub Episode 12, traveling the route from Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture to Cape Sata in Kagoshima Prefecture, one section at a time. He previously published a butaitanbou article (butaitanbou 1) covering Hokuto to Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture, and companion piece (companion 1) about the experience of traveling the route on bicycle. He has now published a new article (butaitanbou 2) covering Ōtsu to Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, and companion pieces (companion 2, companion 3, companion 4, companion 5) covering Ena, Gifu Prefecture to Nagato, Yamaguchi Prefecture.