ANI-Reality: Sword Art Online S2

Yet another Sword Art Online blog post for the week! This comes from episode 25 of Season 2 of titled “Mother’s Rosario“.

Asuna is on a tour in Kyoto, there were a few places I’ve actually been to that Asuna went, but I just want to focus on this particular place.

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Asuna and the gang are visiting Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, in Kyoto, Japan.

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The Kiyomizu-dera Temple is an independent Buddhist temple located in Eastern Tokyo.  It’s actually a complex for several shrines and other points of interest; but this temple is the most popular on site.

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It’s surrounded by greenery and is so beautiful in all seasons. The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Oji, and Otsu cities) UNESCO World Heritage site. This temple was founded during the Heian period, and it’s present building (seen) was built in 1633, by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty.  The name is taken from the waterfall within the complex. Kiyomizu translates to “pure water” or “clear water”.

No nails were used to build this structure, and the main hall is one large veranda supported by tall pillars that protrude out over the hillside boasting great views of Kyoto. The large open spaces were built to be able to accommodate the mass amount of people on pilgrimage. Beneath the main hall is the Otowa waterfalls, which are divided into 3 streams; in which each stream’s water is supposed to have a different benefit: longevity, success at school, or a fortunate love life. Visitors can drink from the stream but it’s said that if you were to drink from all three you’d be considered greedy.

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In the map below, you’ll be able to see the location of this historic place. You’ll notice little symbols that will look kind of odd to you as they are similar to the swastika symbol. The symbol has a complex history, but in Japan you’ll frequently see these symbols to be an indicator of Buddhism; hence it is a Buddhist Swastika.


Thoughts on Kiyomizu-Dera Temple? Have you been able to visit this place before? Also, if there are any other anime’s you can suggest that might have some interesting architectural features either for my ANI-Reality or Fantasy Friday posts, please don’t hesitate to send them my way! I’m always looking for new shows to watch!

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[ANI-Reality]: Scepter 4 Headquarters

This post originally started off as an Fantasy Friday post, but as I continued to research it, it showed up to be based on an existing government building in Japan, forcing me to shift it to an ANI-Reality post.

There’s a few things about K or K: Project that I really love. Animation is probably at the top of the list because of it’s use of color and ephemeral qualities induced by the color palette. Story is kind of iffy but enjoyable nonetheless. Sound is great too, and the character’s are pretty awesome. Especially Munakata Reisi: The Blue King, which leads me to today’s topic ANI-Reality feature: Munakata’s domain, Scepter 4 Headquarters. 

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Munakata is in charge of the Blue Clan, Scepter 4, or it’s official name, “Tokyo Legal Affairs Bureau, Civil Registry Department, Annex 4”. This is where Scepter 4 resides and congregates before they are dispatched out to deal with any of the clans as well as manage a registry of those with supernatural abilities.

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The headquarters of Scepter 4 is actually a building that appens to be found in Yamagata City, in Yamagata Prefecture. The building is called the “Bunsyokan Yamagata”. It’s a typical Western-style building that is two stories high comprised of white bricks and a green roof. Western-style is often referred to as a European style in the architectural world. This was a typical style of the Taisho period spanning from 1912-1925. It’s been labeled an Important Cultural Property since 1986. The building houses an exhibition of cultural history of the Yamagata prefecture.

The first floor of Bunshokan has an assembly hall and two meeting rooms, 8 galleries where for rent that and various events are conducted. The Bunshokan also has a garden with a green lawn and flowers of various colors which serves as a space for relaxation.

After looking up the Taisho period, I can’t help but giggle that those of the Scepter 4 clan are inspired by the Taisho period; especially the types of clothes that they wear compared to what was worn back then as well.


I may have to add this to my bucket list of buildings to see! Have any of you had the opportunity to see such a place? What do you think of the building?

ANI-Reality : Yuri!!! On Ice

Ever since episode 10 came out I’ve really been wanting to write this post. Not only did this episode have Viktor narrarating it; it had many of us fangirling over Viktor and Yuri’s ring exchange as well as the epicness of the pictures/video of Yuri at the ending credit sequence. But a lot of my own fangirling came from the amount of Architecture that was featured in this episode!

Europe holds some of the most fascinating pieces of architectural history. Heck, Europe’s rich history of architecture is kind of what drew me into this career to begin with.  There were quite a few masterpieces featured in Episode 10 in the city of Barcelona, which has been on my bucket list of traveling for as long as I can remember. One day though, one day.

Most of Barcelonas’ Architecture featured was designed by prominent Architect Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi was the best known practioner of Catalan Modernism. A movement in art, literature, but mostly expressed in architecture. His passions in life included: architecture, religion and nature. He drew inspiration mostly from nature as he was obsessed with organic forms, which is showcased in his work. He also wasn’t much of a pen and paper guy when it came to visualizing his ideas. He truly worked with sculpting and building scale models.

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To start off this whirwind of architectural features, our beloved Phichit takes a selfie and so does Viktor and Yuri, in front of Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s final masterpiece. Gaudí wanted to construct a building that would make an impact on the skyline, but also show his respect for the work of God, which in his opinion should never be superseded by man. La Sagrada familia is a mix of two architectural styles: Gothic and Art Nouveau. The premliminary concept of the Sagrada Familia is quite interesting, he used a Funicular Model, in which he would suspend metal chains and weights from the ceilings to create catenary curves that would when flipped upside down would result in an optimally designed arch that distributes the weight. He would actually hang chains from chains creating a very fluid design. Construction on La Sagrada Familia started in 1882; Gaudi took the lead designer position in 1883 after the previous architect resigned. The construction of the church has been slow as the funding for it comes from private donations, and was put on hold during the Spanish Civil War. Only a quarter of the construction had been completed at the time of Gaudi’s death in  1926, and construction had met its halfway point in 2010. It’s expected to be completed in 2026.

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When Viktor and Yuri are out shopping and being tourits; in the background we see Gaudi’s Casa Batllo located in the center of Barcelona. It’s facade (face of building) is decorated with a mosaic of different colored broken tiles. The local name of this building is Casa Dels Osos (House of Bones) due to the organic quality of some of the elements.

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In the scene where Otabek and Yurio escape his fanclub they go somewhere and have a talk on the roof of the building. This is actually Gaudi’s Park Guell: a public park encompassing many architectural elements and different gardens. The park is currently listed under UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Park Guell culminates Gaudi’s personal style inspired by organic natural forms. He also put into practice a structural system that came from his study and understanding of geometry, creating a multitude of forms and volumes, as well as spaces that were from the rigid rationality that is most often found in classic european architecture.

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In one of our favorite scenes, our favorite couple exchange rings in front of The Cathedral of Barcelona. This cathedral, like most cathedrals in Europe are of the Gothic architectural style. This wasn’t designed by Gaudi, but I felt it was important to include this one as it was a pretty touching scene – exchanging rings as the church bells ring. *swoon* I feel like this was probably included as significant to the history of spain as the Archbishop of Barcelona sits here. The church was built in the 13th to 15th centuries and new facade was built in the 19th century over the exisiting facade.

Typically I would point out on an interactive map where this would be located but since I featured so many buildings that I have to do a screen shot of where they are relative to one another:

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I hope to make it out to these places and get my own photos! Not sure when I’ll plan it, but it’ll happen in this lifetime.  Have you guys seen these places? If there were any other buildings that stood out to you on the show, send me a screenshot and I’ll try to find out it’s history and include it in another post!

ANI-Reality: Kiss Him, Not Me!

This week’s ANI-reality comes from episode 4 of Kiss Him, Not Me! “Christmas in the Holy Land.” Our protagonist, Kae takes her reverse harem out to the “Comiket”, a real convention on this site held in Tokyo.  It’s also featured really quickly in the opening of the show as well:

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Often called Tokyo Big Sight, it’s official name is the Tokyo International Exhibition Center, designed by the architecture firm AXS Satow. Built in 1995, it is the largest convention and exhibition hall for the entire country. It’s prominent features are the inverted pyramids on a support structure.. These shapes house the conference tower. There are two other exhibition wings (the east and west) – but the conference tower is the more monumental and iconic symbol for this convention center.

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This building located in Tokyo Bay on a small man-made island known as Odaiba. This island has quite a bit of history to it; built in the Edo period to house multiple small forts (daiba = fort) to protect Tokyo from any attacks from the sea. This use was abandoned it was later developed with shopping centers and some hotels and a park. This seems to be an attempt to new urban plan within Tokyo. A train line was fitted to loop through the island. Soon Odaiba became a popular tourist spot.  This island houses a few of Japan’s bold Architectural statements. Another prominent feature of Odaiba is the 1:1 scale model of a a Gundam statue – it’s pretty impressive and pretty freaking cool. I managed to take a bunch of photos of this when I went to explore Odaiba on my own.

Tokyo Big Sight’s Map Location & Directions:

To get to the site, you’ll have to take a separate train from the Tokyo Metro. It costs a bit more to use it, and is much much smaller than your usual Tokyo subway. It’s about a 30 minute train ride from Tokyo Station. So from Tokyo station, take the Yurakucho shin-kiba line to the Toyosu station, and from there hop on the Yurikamome – Shimbashi line to the Kokusai-tenjijo-seimon Station. Its about a 10 minute walk to the building from there.

ANI-Reality: Sweetness & Lightning

To change up the pace; I thought, it’d be nice to do a series on real buildings that are found in anime (Animated Reality = ANI-Reality). Sometimes I’ll be watching something and I’ll be like “Hey! That building looks familiar!”…This series of posts will look at real life buildings depicted in anime – this also serves as an exercise of my research ability. LOL. So, here’s one of those times that has happened.

In the opening of Sweetness & Lightning we see this building:

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This building is actually called Musashino Place Library, located in Musashino City, Tokyo, Japan and designed by  KW+HG Architects.

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The building has an emphasis on rounded corners on its exterior, and that sentiment is carried out throughout the interior as well. Voids are punched through each floor level creating an open atrium space  that allows light in. The interior boasts an open floor plan that allows for plenty of social interaction and maneuverability from space to space.Although it may look like a 4-story building, there are 3 more sub-level’s.  Each level has a different usage. From top to bottom:

  • 4th Floor: Larger conference rooms & an outdoor terrace.
  • 3rd Floor: Small Rooms for study sessions.
  • 2nd Floor: Children/Young Adult section & seating area around large windows
  • 1st Floor: Building Entrance/Lobby, Café, some tables scattered about
  • Basement 1: Simple space of Books
  • Basement 2: Rentable recording spaces
  • Basement 3: Parking Structure

Technically, it’s primary usage is a library. But this place is actually quite more than that. It carries out a civic responsibility as a meeting place for all ages to get together, study or hang out and create all kinds of social interactions.

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If you’re ever Tokyo, Japan and you’d like to check out the building, take the Chuo Line towards the Musashi Sakai station. Hopefully you’ll run into Tsumugi-chan when you’re visiting!  Here’s the map location of where you can find it. It’s literally across the street from the station:

I actually got a chance to go to this building when I lived in Tokyo for a study abroad program through my Architecture School; it’s actually quite nice. The Architecture in Japan is awe-inspiring and without a doubt sleek and incredibly beautiful! I highly encourage anyone to visit Japan. I loved it there so much; I’m bound to keep visiting Japan throughout my lifetime. In fact I’m in the process of planning my next trip – hopefully next spring.

Till next time! 🙂