Angels, Tourists Descend on Gabriel Dropout's Setting City

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

Hamamatsu, Shizuoka is one of the latest cities in Japan to capitalize on its status as an anime setting and pilgrimage site. The city is the setting of Ukami's Gabriel DropOut manga, and the series' television anime adaptation debuted in January. The city is collaborating with the anime to release sightseeing maps that highlight locations in the anime. The collaboration also launched an official website.

The map's featured locations include JR Bentenjima Station, the large red torii gate in Bentenjima, the Hamamatsu Castle ruins, JR Hamamatsu Station, and Hamamatsu Municipal Library. The city first printed 3,000 copies of the Gabriel DropOut maps, but fans quickly snatched them up. The city then printed and additional 10,000 maps to keep up with the demand. A city representative said the response was unexpected.

Hamamatsu began a one-year licensing agreement with the anime in March. The city's mascot character Shuse Daimyo Ieyasu-kun appears with characters from the anime on posters and maps. The promotional images feature the Bentenjima neighborhood beside Lake Hamamatsu. Characters in the anime visit the Bentenjima area to bathe in the sea.

Original manga creator Ukami is a resident of Hamamatsu. Ukami's story centers on an angel girl named Gabriel White who attends a human school to further her education. She gets engrossed in a web game and becomes a good-for-nothing angel.

Another recent anime to give rise to pilgrimage sites is Makoto Shinkai's your name. film. The film's success has helped Hida, Gifu earn more than 18.5 billion yen (about US$164 million).

Source: The Shizuoka Shimbun via Yaraon!

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