In 2009, Hokkaido University’s Imai Nobuharu wrote a detailed paper discussing the ins and outs of anime tourism and how it might be tied in with traditional cultural events. It’s a good paper, near as I can tell, and it goes in some interesting directions, breaking out statistics, comparing and contrasting the Washinomiya shrine and Disneyland, and exploring the terminology which has developed around anime tourism.
The whole paper is extremely long and translating all of it would take a good chunk of time, but my eyes were drawn to a particular footnote on page 14, which discusses 1990s examples of pre-modern anime-driven tourism and the etymology of the term 聖地巡礼 (Seichi Jyunrei, or Holy Land Pilgrimage in English) which has come to refer to otaku tourism.
If there’s one thing I love about anime, it’s the rich casts of characters it so often fields. If there’s a two and a three, it’s the late-90s late night boom era and the compelling narratives out there just waiting to be pieced together. Recently, the latter two aspects led me to Sentimental Journey, a 1998 adaptation of the Sentimental Graffiti dating sim franchise and the directorial debut of Big O helmsman Kazuyoshi Katayama. Said Katayama narrative would make the show part of a fun narrative either way, either as a “Kiddy Grade/Shingo Suzuki-esque nurturing talent” type or a “before they were known, they were still great” type. It still makes it more fun that the series ends up being the latter sneaky-great type, as solid an argument for the dating sim adaptations of that era as anything not named To Heart.
I’m a strong believer in the value of 20 minutes of time. Between work, the anime I do watch, the fact that I do play games on occasion, and my ongoing quest to find the next To Heart*, I’ve got plenty of venues to bank my time. There’s no real reason to keep watching a show, even if I’m enjoying it a little, if it doesn’t have at least an upside of being an 8/10 product. What follows is a list of Summer 2013 shows I dropped more or less because of their lack of realistic upside.