Lycoris Recoil リコリス・リコイル

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

Petra Szemán’s Openings !!!
The ICC Annual 2022: Life/Likeness (ICCアニュアル2022生命的なものたち) exhibition, covered previously, is now underway at the NTT InterCommunication Center in Nishi-Shinjuku, Tokyo. The video work Openings !!! by artist Petra Szemán (@petra_szeman), in addition to playing at the exhibition, is available online with English and Japanese subtitles. This is a follow-up to their work from the 2021 exhibition, which explores the overlapping and intersecting of real and fictional worlds through seichijunrei for anime and games.

Kyoani Fan Music Festival
Kyoani Fan Music Festival—its Japanese title remains Kyoani Ongakusai (京アニ音楽祭), but in English it was renamed from Kyoani Music Festival, presumably to disambiguate itself from the official Kyoani event in 2021 November—was formed in 2019 in the wake of the arson attack on the studio, with the intent to bring together musicians in performance sessions of music from Kyoani series in a show of support. The first convening was a live event at former Toyosato Elementary School (豊郷小学校旧校舎群) in 2019 November.

The plan had been to continue with in-person meetings like this, but this was disrupted by the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic. Organizers instead arranged for online recording sessions, where each person would record remotely and the sound files would be combined and mixed later. Multiple sessions have been held in this manner, and a second full festival at Toyosato was finally held 2022 February 12 and 13. The third convening (第3回京アニ音楽祭) will be held at Toyosato on September 24 and 25. Performances on the second day will also be livestreamed on YouTube.

Ryūsei Matsuri
There are information corrections and updates for this year’s Ryūsei Matsuri (龍勢祭) in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture. When Weekly 481 was published, the Chichibu Kankō Navi website had not yet updated to reflect the current situation, and I misread the fireworks cancellation message that was from Reiwa 3 (2021) and the schedule from Reiwa 1 (2019) as being for 2022. The same page now indicates, and Asahi Shimbun reporting corroborates, that the fireworks are not cancelled, but the scale has been reduced from 30 rockets to 17, and the correct date is October 9. There are still no paid box seats or viewing areas for visitors. There also has been no update since the August 23 message indicating the “Anohana Ryūsei” (あの花龍勢) rocket will not be launched, so I assume this is still the case. Media coverage: Asahi Shimbun

Usagiyama Mochitsuki Taikai 2022 Fall
The next Usagiyama Mochitsuki Taikai (うさぎ山餅つき大会) will be held October 10 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), often scheduled in the fall to coincide with a Mochizō character birthday celebration. Interested individuals can register online in advance.

Oyama no Kisoba
Oyama Station Kisoba (小山駅きそば) was a stand-up soba shop on the Utsunomiya Line platform at Oyama Station in Tochigi Prefecture. It operated from 1950 to 2022 January 14 and was the last remaining of three shops at the station directly managed by noodle company Nakazawa Seimen (中沢製麺). The Ryōmō Line platform shop, which had closed earlier, appeared in Shinkai Makoto film Byōsoku Go Senchimētoru (5 Centimeters per Second) and was considered a seichi by fans.

The stand will reopen as Oyama no Kisoba (おやまのきそば) in a small shop in front of Ashikagashi Station in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture on September 1. The head of corporate planning at Ashikaga-based company Shiga Sangyō, and a longtime fan of Oyama Station Kisoba, spearheaded the initiative to relaunch the shop. Nakazawa Seimen will supply all the ingredients, and its president is directly supervising preparations for opening the new store. Media coverage: Tokyo Shimbun

Jashin-chan regional promotion survey
The Jashin-chan Dropkick Season 2 and Season 3 production committee, with the cooperation of professor and Hokkaido University Center For Advanced Tourism Studies (北海道大学 観光学高等研究センター) head Yamamura Takayoshi (山村高淑), is conducting a survey to collect opinions and impressions about the series’ five local government collaboration episodes, one each for Chitose, Obihiro, Kushiro, Minamishimabara and Furano. The survey is open to anyone and is available online.

Comment: I really like the last question in the survey: “This is quite blatant product placement, but is this within your range of tolerance? Please tell us your candid opinion.” At the risk of influencing anyone who might like to take the survey, the “quite blatant” aspect is a big part of what makes this acceptable, even fun, for me. It’s very similar to the approach of Zombie Land Saga, as if to say, “Damn right we are promoting a thing, so there!” Perhaps this framing only works well with shows like these, which can be irreverent and derive humor, mostly good-natured, at the expense of locals. It doesn’t take itself, nor the possibility that you the viewer might visit, too seriously. If a show is going to incorporate selling into its premise, I would much rather have something like this than a clumsy or heavy-handed attempt to conflate promoted tourism with spontaneously arising butaitanbou and seichijunrei.

Kan’onji Yuyuyu promotion
There was additional reporting on the Kan’onji, Kagawa Prefecture Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru stamp rally running from August 5 to September 4, unveiling ceremony for the installation of Yuyuyu tourist information audio content at Kotohiki Park (琴弾公園) on August 6, and tie-in stamp sets sold by Japan Post, covered previously here, here, here, here and here. Media coverage: Asahi Shimbun

Chichibu trilogy wrapping buses
Seibu Kankō Bus (西武観光バス) launched three wrapping buses on August 27, each one featuring illustrations from one work of the Chichibu trilogy—Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. (Anohana), Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda. (Kokosake), and Sora no Aosa o Shiru Hito yo (Soraao)—which will run tour routes through their respective anime locations in Chichibu and Yokoze, Saitama Prefecture. Media coverage: Yomiuri Shimbun

Current Season Pilgrimage

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage (updated: post 1, post 2) to Oshiage and Mukōjima, Sumida Ward; Akasaka, Minato Ward; Ōgibashi and Kitasuna, Kōtō Ward; Narita-Higashi, Suginami Ward; Yūhi no Oka in Renkōji, Tama (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Lycoris Recoil Episode 9.

@Deep_adultweet made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Atago, Minato Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Lycoris Recoil Episode 8.

@flyingbird1124 made a pilgrimage (updated: post 1, post 2) to Minami Ward, Sakura Ward and Ōmiya Ward, Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture for Yofukashi no Uta Episode 4 through Episode 8.

@ad_motsu made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Minami-Aoyama, Minato Ward; Kasumigaokamachi, Shinjuku Ward (both Tokyo Metropolis) for Love Live! Superstar!! Season 2 Episode 7 and Episode 8 PV.

@habusan made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Jingūmae and Yoyogi Park (Jinnan), Shibuya Ward; Minami-Aoyama, Minato Ward; Kasumigaokamachi, Shinjuku Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Love Live! Superstar!! Season 2 Episode 3, Episode 5, Episode 7 and Episode 8 PV.

@Deep_adultweet made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Kita-Aoyama and Minami-Aoyama, Minato Ward; Kasumigaokamachi, Shinjuku Ward (all Tokyo Metropolis) for Love Live! Superstar!! Season 2 Episode 1, Episode 3 and Episode 5.

@Deep_adultweet made a pilgrimage (updated: post 1, post 2) to Jingūmae and Yoyogi Park (Yoyogi-Kamizonochō), Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Love Live! Superstar!! Season 2 Episode 1 through Episode 5.

@Deep_adultweet made a pilgrimage to Kasuga and Kōraku, Bunkyō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Kanojo, Okarishimasu Episode 20.

Past Season Pilgrimage

@Deep_adultweet made a pilgrimage (updated post) to Tokyo Dome City (Kōraku), Bunkyō Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Dōkōkai Season 2 Episode 5.

@hiro_senritu made a pilgrimage (post 2) to Kōzushima, Ōshima Subprefecture, Tokyo Metropolis for Love Live! Superstar!!

@niceboathime made a pilgrimage (post 18, post 19, post 20, post 21) to Sakai, Fukui Prefecture for Glasslip.

@Roan_Inish made a pilgrimage to Igusa Hachiman-gū in Zenpukuji, Suginami Ward, Tokyo Metropolis for Monogatari Series Second Season.