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
At this late hour, it’s no longer much of a secret that on December 18 the official website for the Suzumiya Haruhi series includes an Easter egg or other unusual behavior to mark the day in Suzumiya Haruhi no Shōshitsu when Nagato alters the world. But only a small and hardy (masochistic?) contingent trek out to Haruhizaka in Nishishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture to stand in the cold and observe the world modification at 4:23 in the morning. This year, 38 people gathered at the slope. Haruhi superfans, we salute you. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4, tweet 5, tweet 6
— 西宮北高校が舞台！涼宮ハルヒ情報局 (@kitakoh_haruhi) December 17, 2021
Minobu Yuru Camp event
Yuru Camp fans gathered at former Shimobe elementary and junior high schools in Minobu, Yamanashi Prefecture on December 18 and 19 for an overnight camping meetup organized by the Gojōgaoka Activation Promotion Council (五条ヶ丘活性化推進協議会). This was the annual Illumination Camp (イルミネーション・キャンプ), at which participants are invited to decorate their tents and gear with Christmas lights. There was a gift exchange and a contest in which participants voted for the best light displays. This year, organizers arranged for photographer Narisawa Hiroyuki to teach a course on astrophotography (stars and nightscapes). The course was taught in the afternoon, then there was a viewing session using an astronomical telescope and night sky photography session in the evening.
Time-lapse video: tweet 1
— たかよでぃ△ (@takayody1000) December 18, 2021
Seichikaigi Expo 2021 Winter
There was reporting on topics and speakers for the Seichijunrei Anime/Manga National Zoom Tour (聖地巡礼 アニメ・マンガ全国 ZOOMめぐり) on December 26, part of Seichikaigi Expo 2021 Winter (聖地会議EXPO2021冬), covered previously. Media coverage: Dream News
Tamura Katsuhiro (田村勝弘 @katuhiro_tamura) performed a year-end deep clean of the club room at former Kaigake Elementary School (旧鎌掛小学校) on December 18. The school is an historic building in Hino, Shiga Precture and location model for Chūnibyō demo Koi ga Shitai! Photos: tweet 1
Washinomiya Jinja ema
Since 2008, the year following the broadcast of Lucky Star, anime fan volunteers have taken on the work of disassembling and burning the previous year’s votive tablets (絵馬 ema) at Washinomiya Jinja (鷲宮神社) in Kuki, Saitama Prefecture. This year, removal was done on December 19. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3
Asahina Mikuru tobidashi rebuilding
Tesra (テスラ @tesra1141) completed paint work on Mikuru-chan “Unit 2″ and finished with a clear top coat. He is evaluating alternative designs for the new stand. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2
飛び出しみくるちゃん 支柱関係を考え中(*´▽｀*) pic.twitter.com/4J2fYxdO8D
— テスラ (@tesra1141) December 22, 2021
Uji Eupho tobidashi
Go Guy Net published a short article about Hibike! Euphonium tobidashi in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture. Media coverage: Go Guy Net
Zonsaga TV special
TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting will air a special program on December 29 featuring a tour of several Zombie Land Saga locations in Kashima and Saga City, Saga Prefecture. Voice actor Hondo Kaede (Minamoto Sakura) provides narration for the special. Media coverage: Oricon News, Dwango JP News
(白い砂のアクアトープ Shiroi Suna no Akuatōpu)
Fan Pilgrimage Update
Chatan (北谷町), Okinawa Prefecture
Similar to other areas of the grounds of fictional Aquarium Tingaara, the loading dock zone draws on motifs and textures from Kaiyōhaku Park (海洋博公園), the large seaside park that includes Churaumi Aquarium in Motobu (本部町), Okinawa Prefecture.
Undetermined. There is a point just north of the rest area that vaguely resembles this cut here.
Undetermined. The curving path and manicured garden make me suspect Kaiyōhaku Park.