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
Kamiichi Ōkami Kodomo event
A series of events in Kamiichi, Toyama Prefecture from July 23 to September 4 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki, announced previously, is now underway. An official website with detailed schedules and access information is now live. Events and exhibitions under the theme Furusato Kamiichi Monogatari (ふるさと上市ものがたり) are being held at the Kamiichi-machi Cultural Training Center (上市町文化研修センター), Nishida Museum (西田美術館), and Hana no Ie (花の家). There will be a screening of the film and talk show with director Hosoda Mamoru (細田守), who is a Kamiichi native, on August 11. Media coverage: Kita Nippon Shimbun 1 (alternate), Toyama Shimbun, NHK, Hokuriku Shin’etsu Kankō Navi, Kita Nippon Shimbun 2. Photos: tweet 1, tweet 2
Chichibu Anohana event
A new movie theater, United Cinemas Unicus Chichibu (ユナイテッド・シネマウニクス秩父) will open in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture on July 29. The theater will screen Gekijōban Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. (Anohana film version) from July 29 to August 31. During that period, the Chichibu Anime Tourism Executive Committee (秩父アニメツーリズム実行委員会) will organize a campaign to commemorate the screening with original goods for the first 1,000 people to purchase Anohana admission tickets, and a stamp rally. News release: Chichibu Anime Tourism Executive Committee. Media coverage: Comic Natalie, Crunchyroll News
Sakuragaike Quest tree cleanup
There has been a schedule change for upcoming Sakuragaike Quest (桜ヶ池クエスト) events. Routine logging of sick trees and brush cleanup around Sakuragaike in Nanto, Toyama Prefecture scheduled for July 30 and September 24 have both been cancelled. A cleanup scheduled for November 19 has been moved to October 29. Sakuragaike Quest was formed as a response to P.A.Works series Sakura Quest, with the primary goal of fundraising for tree planting in the area to create the dense clusters of cherry blossoms depicted in the fictional work, which modeled its setting on multiple areas in Nanto. P.A.Works president Horikawa Kenji serves on the Sakuragaike Quest board as chairman of the executive committee.
Amagasaki Nintama Rantarō promotion
Nintama Rantarō, an anime adaptation of manga Rakudai Ninja Rantarō by Amagasaki native Amako Sōbē, will mark the 30th anniversary of its broadcast premiere in 2023 April. Although the series does not incorporate backgrounds modeled on places in the city, characters take their names from Amagasaki locations, and fans of the series consider these seichi. The presence of fans, known as “Ninkura-san” (忍クラさん), short for Nintama Cluster (忍たまクラスター), is well known in Amagasaki, but to commemorate the anniversary, extra efforts are being made to reach out to visitors. A tour and fan meetup was organized on July 23. To coincide with this, on July 23 and 24 a bakery offered special breads that incorporated the colors and patterns from characters’ clothing, and a ryokan offered gifts to patrons who had come for the event. Media coverage: Kōbe Shimbun
Iwanuma Bakuten promotion
Kahoku Shimpō published an advertorial piece about efforts to promote tourism to Iwanuma, Miyagi Prefecture through the TV series Bakuten!! Through official cooperation with the production committee, Iwanuma has installed character panels, produced and distributed a “seichijunrei map,” and published a promotional video that overlays characters on images of the city. The series’ theatrical film sequel Eiga Bakuten!! premiered July 2. Media coverage: Kahoku Shimpō
Current Season Pilgrimage
@Deep_adultweet made a pilgrimage (post 1, post 2) to Sumiyoshi, Kōtō Ward; Kinshi, Yokokawa and Oshiage, Sumida Ward; Udagawachō, Shibuya Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Lycoris Recoil OP, Episode 1 through Episode 4.