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
Hokuto Super Cub event
Fans of Super Cub traveled to Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture for the April 9 talk event kicking off the stamp rally organized by the Hokuto Anime Tourism Council (北杜アニメツーリズム協議会), covered previously. The rally, which includes locations in Hokuto and Nirasaki, will run until May 8, and participants who complete it receive an original sticker. Media coverage: Yamanashi Nichinichi Shimbun. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4, tweet 5, tweet 6, tweet 7, tweet 8
— 北杜アニメツーリズム協議会【公式】 (@HAC_hokutoanime) April 9, 2022
Sunrise Festival 15 (サンライズフェスティバル15)—commonly referred to as SunFes! (サンフェス！)—was held April 10 at Miyako Messe in Kyoto. This is a fan-organized dōjinshi event targeting Hibike! Euphonium derived contents. Several butaitanbou-sha circles exhibited publications. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2, tweet 3, tweet 4, tweet 5
— セキ (@seki_saima) April 10, 2022
Takayama Yonezawa lecture
Yonezawa Honobu (米澤穂信) will give a lecture at the Takayama Citizen Cultural Center (高山市民文化会館) in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture on June 2. The lecture will be free and open to the public, though to apply for participation, interested parties must send a round-trip postcard with their full name, address and telephone number, and if desired the names of up to three companions, to the Takayama City Cultural Association (高山市文化協会) by May 10. Yonezawa is a native of Takayama and author of the Kotenbu series, which is set in the city and was the basis for Kyoto Animation series Hyōka. He received the 2022 Naoki Prize for his most recent novel, Kokurōjō. Media coverage: Gifu Shimbun, Chūnichi Shimbun
War contents tourism
Routledge published War as Entertainment and Contents Tourism in Japan, edited by contents tourism researchers Yamamura Takayoshi (山村高淑) and Philip Seaton, on March 29. The book examines the transition of war from being traumatic to entertaining in the public imagination and works of popular culture, and the transition of visiting war-related sites from being an act of mourning or commemoration to one of devotion or fan pilgrimage. It includes chapters on Tōken Ranbu, Golden Kamuy, Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni, Hotaru no Haka, Kantai Collection and Shingeki no Kyojin.
Anime tourism TV special
BS TV Tokyo broadcast special program Anime Ōen Tourism (アニメ応援ツーリズム) on March 30. This featured multiple female voice actors introducing anime locations in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture and Minobu, Yamanashi Prefecture. It also promoted the Kadokawa owned commercial development Tokorozawa Sakura Town, which includes facilities managed by the Anime Tourism Association. Media coverage: Anime Recorder, Comic Natalie
Odaiba Love Live promotion
Two Tokyo rail lines, the Rinkai Line (りんかい線) operated by Tokyo Waterfront Area Rapid Transit (東京臨海高速鉄道), and New Transit Yurikamome (新交通ゆりかもめ), will collaborate with Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Dōkōkai on a marketing promotion. Posters are on display at all stations on each line, and additional deployments are planned. Media coverage: Crunchyroll News
Writing for Yahoo News Japan, contents tourism researcher Kawashima Tarō (河嶌太郎) published an introduction to Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Dōkōkai and the various marketing promotions that have taken place around the Odaiba area of Tokyo in collaboration with various commercial facilities and transit operators, which began in earnest during the first season of the anime adaptation in 2020 fall. Some promotions have continued in the intervening time and more are planned for the second season, which premiered last week. He notes the use of some locations which no longer exist in real life, such as Ōedo Onsen Monogatari and Venus Fort, but which can continue on through the background art. Shiokaze Park had previously been inaccessible due to accommodations for the Tokyo Olympics, but fans can now enter for the first time.
Wakayama Summer Time promotion
There was additional reporting on the ceremony appointing Kofune Ushio, the main character of upcoming series Summer Time Rendering, as the first “Wakayama City Anime Tourism Ambassador” (和歌山市アニメ観光大使) on March 24, covered previously. The new information this article adds, and it’s a big deal, is that Wakayama City has produced a map of locations that appear in the series, they are calling it a “seichijunrei map” (聖地巡礼マップ), and it includes seven locations on Tomogashima. The map has been available for download from the Wakayama City website since January. The article also includes a direct quote from mayor Obana Masahiro (尾花正啓), “It would be great for people to get to know the charm of Wakayama City through subculture as a new axis interwoven with its culture, natural resources, and history.” Media coverage: Yomiuri Shimbun
Comment: The declaration of intention to engineer anime pilgrimage is essentially complete at this point. Did it occur to anyone involved that when corporations and government push something, it is no longer subculture?
Yokosuka Shenmue promotion
There was additional reporting on the Shenmue × Yokosuka Animation Commemorative Project (シェンムー×横須賀 アニメ化記念プロジェクト), a promotional campaign that will run from April 23 to June 26, covered previously. Media coverage: Yokosuka Keizai Shimbun, Shōnanjin
Anime Seichi 88 Walker 2022
Kadokawa published Anime Seichi 88 Walker 2022 (アニメ聖地88Walker2022), a guide based on the list of anime pilgrimage locations chosen by the Kadokawa led Anime Tourism Association (アニメツーリズム協会), on March 25. To promote the publication, the Association will host a talk event, which it is calling Seiyū Anime Seichigatari (声優アニメ聖地語り voice actor anime seichi stories), with voice actor Tokui Sora (徳井青空), who is a tourism ambassador for Minamibōsō, Chiba Prefecture and contributed to the 2022 edition of the guide, on May 21.
Arukikata Jojo guide
Travel guide series Chikyu no Arukikata (地球の歩き方) will publish a special guide to locations used in JoJo no Kimyō na Bōken on July 14. The guide covers areas in Sendai, the United Kingdom, Italy, Hong Kong, Singapore, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United States and Mexico, and includes an interview with mangaka Araki Hirohiko. News release: Gakken Holdings. Media coverage: Comic Natalie, Animage Plus, Netorabo, Famitsu.com, Dengeki Online, Pouch
Current Season Pilgrimage
@ad_motsu made a pilgrimage (updated: post 1, post 2) to Daiba, Minato Ward; Aomi, Ariake, Shinonome and Toyosu, Kōtō Ward; Harumi, Chūō Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Dōkōkai Season 2 OP and Episode 2.