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
Uji Eupho collaborations
Hibike! Euphonium fans traveled to Uji, Kyoto Prefecture on March 19 for two concurrent activities, the Keihan Electric Railway (京阪電気鉄道) one-day only promotional event anchored at the Historical Park of Tea and Uji Town (お茶と宇治のまち歴史公園), and the launch day of the Hibike! Euphonium Shōtengai Fest (響け！ユーフォニアム商店街フェスタ) promoting shopping districts in Uji, which will run from March 19 to April 17. In addition to content details covered previously here and here, the shōtengai group announced it will add the promotion cloth banners hanging around the shopping district as prizes for completing its stamp rally. The banners will be taken down and given to winners after the campaign has ended.
— みか探〜みかん探訪記〜 (@mikantanbouki) March 19, 2022
Yuyuyu character birthday
March 21 is the character birthday for the titular Yūki Yūna of Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru. Because this timing has coincided with Covid-19 induced restrictions on travel and events in 2020 and 2021, it has been three years since the last time many were able to celebrate the day with face-to-face gatherings in Kan’onji, Kagawa Prefecture.
Fans held a private party at Wakamatsuya (ワカマツヤ) in the evening on March 20. Wakamatsuya is a popular lodging for fans staying in Kan’onji on pilgrimages, and has a Yuyuyu paraphernalia corner in the hotel lobby. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4, tweet 5
The highway rest area Michi-no-eki Toyohama (道の駅とよはま) is marking the birthdays of Yūki Yūna and Tōgō Mimori (April 8) from March 19 to April 10 with a combined display and special dessert item, sakura and ramune ice cream that incorporates the characters’ colors. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2
The head monk at Kannon-ji (観音寺) tweeted a note marking the birthday. He watches the show and occasionally participates in butaitanbou for the series. Yuyuyu fans are always welcome at the temple.
— リジス@C101 12/31東オ24b (@lidges) March 21, 2022
Manoyama Research Society
The eighth convening of the Manoyama Research Society (間野山研究学会) will be held April 17 at Nanto City Creator Plaza (南砺市クリエイタープラザ), also known as Sakura Crea (桜クリエ), and online. The academic conference takes its name from the fictional city in P.A. Works series Sakura Quest, is based in Nanto, Toyama Prefecture (the real-world model of that series and location of P.A. Works studio), and organizes events that discuss contents tourism and regional revitalization. The April meeting is open to the public, with registration required for both onsite and online participation, and a fee of 2000-2500 JPY depending on venue choice and affiliation. The themes of this meeting will include continued challenges resulting from Covid-19, and sustainable development of contents tourism, including future anime seichi, addressed through research presentations, reports and general discussion.
Iwatsuki Kisekoi seichijunrei
There has been a surge in seichijunrei to Iwatsuki Ward, Saitama City coinciding with the broadcast of Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi o Suru. Visitors are gathering at the doll shops that cooperated in production of the work, as well as bookstores that sell comics. Media coverage: Nihon Keizai Shimbun
Takayama Hyōka location
Chūnichi Shimbun published an article about the use of cafe Bagpipe (バグパイプ) in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture as a setting in the anime and live-action film adaptations of Yonezawa Honobu (米澤穂信) debut novel Hyōka. It appears to be the first in a planned series of articles about locations attributable to works by the Takayama native author, who received the 2022 Naoki Prize for his most recent novel, Kokurōjō. Media coverage: Chūnichi Shimbun
Takayama Sukuna exhibition
Hida Great Limestone Cave (飛騨大鍾乳洞) in Nyūkawa-chō, Takayama, Gifu Prefecture setup an exhibition of information panels about Ryōmen Sukuna (両面宿儺). Fans of Jujutsu Kaisen have been making pilgrimages to the cave, where the mythological figure is said to have lived, and other locations in Takayama. Media coverage: Gifu Chan
Ōtsuchi Misaki no Mayoiga promotion
Ōtsuchi-chō Tourism Exchange Association (大槌町観光交流協会) in Iwate Prefecture released a one hour YouTube video promoting tourism to the city through anime content. The first part introduces locations used in Misaki no Mayoiga. The film is one of several anime works under Zutto Ōen. Project 2011+10… (ずっとおうえん。プロジェクト 2011+10…), itself part of broader efforts by Fuji TV to support disaster recovery in the Tōhoku region following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The second part features Otsuchi Kai Monogatari, a short PR anime, followed by interviews with people who worked on the series and tourism promotion. Media coverage: Iwate Menkoi TV
Saga Zonsaga manhole covers
A second phase of installing manhole covers featuring Zombie Land Saga characters in Saga Prefecture has been announced. The initial phase that began in 2021 April developed and installed covers in six cities that feature in either the first or second season of the anime. The second phase, beginning in 2022 May, will expand the project to seven more cities, Taku, Takeo, Ogi, Kanzaki, Yoshinogari, Arita and Shiroishi. Of the cities planned for the second phase, some appeared in Zombie Land Saga Revenge, the second season, while others have not appeared in the series before. A third phase covering the remaining seven cities, Kiyama, Kamimine, Miyaki, Genkai, Ōmachi, Kōhoku and Tara, is planned to follow. When the third phase is complete, the project will include all 20 cities and towns in the prefecture. Media coverage: Saga Shimbun, Mantanweb, Famitsu.com, MyNavi News, Dengeki Online, Crunchyroll News
Geidai Blue Period manhole covers
Taitō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis installed a manhole cover featuring characters from Blue Period near the rear entrance of the Tokyo University of the Arts Painting Building (東京藝術大学絵画棟) in Uenokōen 11-ban. News release: Taitō Ward. Media coverage: Animage Plus
Current Season Pilgrimage
@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage (updated post 1, post 2) to Udagawachō, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis; Higashinakachō, Urawa Ward, Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture for Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi o Suru Episode 11.
@626shin made a pilgrimage to Honchō and Atagochō, Iwatsuki Ward; Sakuragichō, Ōmiya Ward (preceding Saitama City); Shim-Misato Station in Misato; Yashio City Abandoned Hospital Studio (all preceding Saitama Prefecture); and Dogenzaka, Udagawachō and Shibuya, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi o Suru Episode 8 through Episode 10.
Past Season Pilgrimage
@fragments_sue made a pilgrimage to Tokyo inner wards; Narita Aiport in Chiba Prefecture; Yokohama, Kamakura and Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture for Full Moon o Sagashite. The article includes extensive discussion of scenes with locations that are ambiguous or still undetermined.