The Irregular at Magic High School: Reminiscence Arc 魔法科高校の劣等生 追憶編

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

Hatsumōde
With Covid-19 cases in Japan still a concern, new year visits to shrines (初詣 hatsumōde) have not returned to pre-pandemic levels of attendance and many formal events at shrines and temples continue to be minimized or cancelled. But in general the mood was a little lighter than a year ago. Washinomiya Jinja has been a perennial favorite, but was of special significance this year as its new torii had recently been completed after long absence since it collapsed over three years earlier. Media coverage: Saitama Shimbun

Iwakiyama Jinja and Gankisan Jinja (Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture – Flying Witch): tweet 1, tweet 2

Washinomiya Jinja (Kuki, Saitama Prefecture – Lucky Star): tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4, tweet 5, tweet 6, tweet 7, tweet 8, tweet 9, tweet 10, tweet 11, tweet 12

Kanda Myōjin (Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo Metropolis – Love Live!): tweet 1, tweet 2

Onden Jinja (Jingūmae, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis – Love Live! Superstar!!): tweet 1

Kumano Jinja (Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture – Tsuki ga Kirei): tweet 1

Ushioda Jinja (Tsurumi Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture – Senpai ga Uzai Kōhai no Hanashi): post 1

Kamo Jinja (Ōmihachiman, Shiga Prefecture – Uma Musume Pretty Derby): tweet 1

Shimogamo Jinja (Kyoto – Uchōten Kazoku): tweet 1

Agata Jinja (Uji, Kyoto Prefecture – Hibike! Euphonium): tweet 1

Uji Jinja (Uji, Kyoto Prefecture – Hibike! Euphonium): tweet 1

Ujigami Jinja (Uji, Kyoto Prefecture – Hibike! Euphonium): tweet 1

Sayama Jinja (Ōsakasayama, Osaka Prefecture – Bokutachi no Remake): tweet 1

Nishinomiya Jinja (Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture – Suzumiya Haruhi): tweet 1

Hirota Jinja (Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture – Suzumiya Haruhi): tweet 1, tweet 2

Arasuna Jinja (Iwami, Tottori Prefecture – Free!): tweet 1

Kannon-ji (Kan’onji, Kagawa Prefecture – Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru): tweet 1, tweet 2

Hatsuhinode
Catching the first sunrise of the new year (初日の出 hatsuhinode) from a favorite anime location requires a little more precision planning than a shrine visit, but many seichijunrei-sha do this as well.

Minobusan (Minobu, Yamanashi Prefecture – Yuru Camp): tweet 1, tweet 2

Asagiri Kōgen (Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture – Yuru Camp): tweet 1

Fukude coast (Iwata, Shizuoka Prefecture – Yuru Camp): tweet 1

Bentenjima Seaside Park (Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture – Yuru Camp): tweet 1

Kumiko bench, Ajirogi no Michi (Uji, Kyoto Prefecture – Hibike! Euphonium): tweet 1

Haruhizaka (Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture – Suzumiya Haruhi): tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4

Naoshima (Kagawa Prefecture — Summer Pockets): tweet 1

Marugame Castle (Marugame, Kagawa Prefecture – Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru): tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4

Comiket 99
Comic Market 99 (コミックマーケット99) was held December 30-31 at Tokyo Big Sight in Ariake, Kōtō Ward. Despite the reduced number of days, attendance cap, general admission fees, vaccine proof or PCR test requirement, and various other measures taken to mitigate Covid-19 spread, to be able to hold this key event again was a milestone for many in the effort to claw back some sense of what life was like before the pandemic. As had become the norm in the few years leading up to the last event, Comiket 97 in 2019, seichijunrei and butaitanbou oriented dōjinshi were well represented. In some cases, the disruption gave an opportunity to creators who had originally planned to exhibit at Comiket 98, which was postponed, then cancelled, to add to or refine works before finally publishing at this event. The item of most interest to me is Seichi Migration (聖地移住), a book by Ebisu (夷 @ye_bi_su) that includes interviews with anime fans who have emigrated to seichi, a critical analysis of various regional revitalization efforts based on anime works, and some of the content of his in-process master’s thesis at Kyoto University.

Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4, tweet 5, tweet 6, tweet 7, tweet 8, tweet 9, tweet 10, tweet 11, tweet 12, tweet 13

Minobu Yuru Camp event
Yamanashi Prefecture PR distribution channel Yamanashi ni Ikou (山梨に行こう @CIHchihousousei) published a video (part 1, part 2) featuring footage of events and interviews with participants at the most recent Illumination Camp (イルミネーション・キャンプ), the overnight camping meetup organized by the Gojōgaoka Activation Promotion Council (五条ヶ丘活性化推進協議会) at former Shimobe elementary and junior high schools in Minobu, Yamanashi Prefecture on 2021 December 18 and 19, covered previously.

Tamako character birthday
A fan-organized Tamako Market character birthday for Kitashirakawa Tamako hosted by Shin Keihan (しんけーはん @shinkeihan6350) was held December 31 at S.O.U./Violet and Claire in Demachi, Kyoto. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3

Usagiyama Mochitsuki Taikai 2022 Shinshun
The next Usagiyama Mochitsuki Taikai (うさぎ山餅つき大会) will be held February 5 at 12:00 in DeMachi (Deまち) event space at Demachi Masugata Shōtengai (出町桝形商店街) in Kyoto. This is a Tamako Market fan-organized mochi pounding event hosted by Shin Keihan (しんけーはん @shinkeihan6350). It is often scheduled in the fall to coincide with a Mochizō character birthday celebration, but this next meetup is being held around lunar new year (新春), for no reason in particular. Interested participants must register in advance here. Attendance is limited to 15 and attendees must agree to mask wearing, social distancing, and providing contact information to the organizer for the purpose of communication after the meetup in the case of a suspected infection.

Asahina Mikuru tobadashi rebuilding
Tesra (テスラ @tesra1141) completed work on Mikuru-chan “Unit 2″—a rebuild of the tobidashi based on the original template—and delivered her to Cafe Dream (珈琲屋ドリーム) in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture on January 5. Welcome back! Photos: tweet 1

Current Season Pilgrimage

@fragments_sue made a pilgrimage to Motobu, Uruma, Nanjō, Yomitan, Nago and Kuroshima (Taketomi), Okinawa Prefecture for Shiroi Suna no Aquatope Episode 21 through Episode 24.

@626shin made pilgrimage to Yomitan and Naha, Okinawa Prefecture for Shiroi Suna no Aquatope Episode 20.

@teo_imperial made a pilgrimage to Ushioda Jinja in Tsurumi Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture for Senpai ga Uzai Kōhai no Hanashi Episode 11.

@shira_ry made a pilgrimage to Tokyo Station in Marunouchi, Chiyoda Ward; Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi honten in Chūō Ward; Ueno Park in Taitō Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Taishō Otome Otogibanashi.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@ad_motsu made a pilgrimage to Cape Sata in Minamiōsumi, Kagoshima Prefecture for Super Cub.

@niceboathime made a pilgrimage to Kōfu, Yamanashi Prefecture for Super Cub.

@niceboathime made a pilgrimage to Kai, Yamanashi Prefecture for Yuru Camp Season 2.

@niceboathime made a pilgrimage to Takasaki and Shibukawa (post 1, post 2) Gunma Prefecture for Yama no Susume Third Season.

@ad_motsu made a pilgrimage to Atami, Itō and Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture for Amanchu!

@niceboathime made a pilgrimage to Yamanashi City, Yamanashi Prefecture for Yuru Camp.

@Roan_Inish made a pilgrimage to Harumi, Chūō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Kizumonogatari.

@niceboathime made a pilgrimage to Kamishihoro, Tokachi Subprefecture, Hokkaidō Prefecture for Girls & Panzer Gekijōban.

@kimamanidance made a pilgrimage to Dōgenzaka and Yoyogi Park, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Idolmaster.

@kimamanidance made a pilgrimage to Ōmiya Ward, Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture; Udagawachō, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Idolmaster: Xenoglossia.

@harumukotan made a pilgrimage to Jinbōchō, Chiyoda Ward; Takashimaya Shinjuku in Sendagaya, Shibuya Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Read or Die.