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Tachikawa the next Akihabara for anime fans

Tachikawa, an area in Tokyo's western reaches, has fans of anime seeing things.
Many are flocking to see the "real" locations that inspired scenes in their favorite television animation series.

Next to the Akihabara district of central Tokyo, the area around JR Tachikawa Station is most often used for background settings in "Toaru Majutsu no Kinsho Mokuroku" (Index of a certain magic) and its spin-off, "Toaru Kagaku no Cho-denjiho" (Railgun of a certain science), both animated TV series.

Devoted fans consider Tachikawa to be a "holy ground," snapping photos that they later post to their blogs along with descriptive comments.
The local chamber of commerce is also promoting the city through its links with the anime world.
Tachikawa Station is western Tokyo's busiest station on the JR Chuo Line. It is about 27 kilometers west of JR Shinjuku Station.

The anime is based on a series of books about a group of junior and senior high school students with psychic abilities in a fictional academic city in western Tokyo. The series has more than nine million copies in print.
Many background scenes featured in the anime, such as the monorail that runs across the city and the walkway in front of the station, look much like places near JR Tachikawa Station and Tama-Center Station, which is further down the Tama Toshi Monorail Line.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5B_nWQ3QS5U/SieeSufv5jI/AAAAAAAACj4/GiW9reMqZM4/s400/toarumajutsunoindexdsp2.jpg http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:EdzNoz5TX2y8QM:http://static4.animepaper.net/upload/thumbs/scans/Toaru-Majutsu-no-Kinsho-Mokuroku/%5Blarge%5D%5BAnimePaper%5Dscans_Toaru-Majutsu-no-Kinsho-Mokuroku_suemura(0.7)__THISRES__202658.jpg&t=1

Fans were drawn to visit Tachikawa Station after the TV series first began airing in 2008. Many make pilgrimages to photograph the area, comparing the reality to scenes envisioned from the book and anime series.
"So, this is it!" A 30-year-old man, his heart racing, stepped out of Tachikawa Station in early April.

By day, he works at a welfare facility in Tokyo's Itabashi Ward, but in his spare time, he blogs about his favorite anime series.
"Even though there are no characters from the anime around here, I feel great because it stimulates my imagination and brings me closer to the anime world," the anonymous blogger said.

He posted 10 photos on his blog, "Tabi to Rajio to Moe Kenkyu" (Journey, radio and research on moe). Moe refers to having strong feelings for a certain thing, such as anime or other imaginative works.
His blog receives about 50 hits from readers daily. He says he feels happy whenever readers click on the "applause" icon on his blog. A higher number of clicks shows how much they like what he writes.

His is just one of many similar fan blogs about the series on the Internet. Some feature maps with recommended spots for photographing scenes portrayed in the anime.
Like-minded fans post their comments, saying "I just visited Tachikawa" and "I was impressed."
The second season of "Toaru Majutsu no Kinsho Mokuroku" started airing in October, and the number of "pilgrims" seems destined to rise.

Meanwhile, the Tachikawa Chamber of Commerce and Industry has joined with Tachikawa-based action figure maker and distributor Kotobukiya Co. to promote the area to fans of the series.
"Anime is a fine regional resource," said Tatsuya Shibata, chief of the regional and industrial promotion section at the chamber of commerce.
"With Kotobukiya and many other anime shops located here, Tachikawa has always had a close association with anime. We'd like to bring in more visitors to revitalize the Tachikawa district," Shibata said.

By AS on Nov 13, 2010
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tag : Tachikawa, Anime



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