A Silent Voice - The Shape of Location (Part 1 of 3)

The time was 9:30am on July 29, 2017. Yet another blazing hot summer's day in Japan but today was no ordinary day. I'm in the waiting room at Taiyou joshi gakuen mae Gifu station to meet up with a man, whose employment information is completely inaccessible from Japan. A man shrouded in mystery, from an organization that has no shape or form. But one thing I did hear from outside his company's Great Firewall of Japan is that he had something to do with selling crunchy cookies, and that a collegue of his liked getting stepped on...

The clock turns 9:35 and out comes a pleasant looking man, around 10 years my junior I reckon. The man is no other than Wilhelm Donko (@Surwill on Twitter), the good man responsible for writing his excellent Anime vs Real Life articles on Crunchyroll.

P.s. Dear Crunchyroll, please, please unblock your articles from Japan so venerable members of Japan's Butaitanbou Community (i.e. anime location enthusiasts) can form links with English-speaking folk who share the same hobby.

We first proceeded to the Nagoya-bound platforms. All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

The station concourse outside. KyoAni is notorious for their very generous use of zoom. The second shot is what happens when I'm too lazy to grab my zoom camera and instead stick with the 24mm on my phone!

We went further into town to Mizuho Bank to where Ueno was distributing cat cafe discount coupons. Getting the exact footbridge shot is pretty much impossible unless you stand in the middle of a busy road, which we decided not to risk

Having gathered what we came for, we boarded the train to Ogaki station. It was a rather busy station so getting a clean shot of the ticket machines was next to impossible.

I cannot help but feel a sense of slight irony that KyoAni removed a rumble strip path to the ticket machine for the blind since Koe no Katachi (KnK) is a film about disability. Perhaps I'm just a little OCD.

Of note was that, the local authorities were using KnK characters to encourage people to move into Ogaki. The trend for the young to migrate to Tokyo, creating rural depopulation is real.

The Tourist Information Centre at the station was extremely friendly and handed us all the KnK materials that they had in stock. Most of the content was a load of screenshots. There was also a stamp rally with QR codes in various KnK locations. Collect all for a chance to win some prizes.

A note that I've never carried reference screenshots to Venice nor Takayama and the same is the case for Ogaki.The fairly accurate shots are thanks to Donko taking screenshots in a hurry the day before we met. 

We headed out to the closest location, from the station which was also an extremely important one.
When I rely solely on memory, the level of matching declines as seen in the ponytail screenshot on the left. For the Nishimiya-pulling-the-bicycle shot, street clutter and road conditions proved unviable to achieve the zoom required to get the background just right.

Attempting to match the background yielded an off-angle shot. I also totally noobed it and got the wrong building for the moon shot (not shown)

Just down the road is where Ueno meets Nishimiya for the first time in years. I disagreed heavily with Donko as I had the perfectly correct and objective verdict that Ueno was worst girl. However, Donko declared her as best! What bad taste! (P.s. It's joke.)

As you can see, I had the best of luck trying to snap the flower shop!

An unpleasant meeting...

From the parting shot of Ueno, I cannot help notice the irony that the words 'Hearing Aid' was covered up by KyoAni. Is this a symbolism that Ueno has closed off her heart to the needs of other people? Or am I simply trying in vain to impersonate the many analytical KyoAni enthusiasts out on the interwebs?

With this post getting rather long already, I shall continue another time to share my experience of exploring KnK real-world locations. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my first post on KnK.

(Actually I'm also just tired and really want to run off to McDonald's for lunch).


  1. What an experince, I hope I can do such pilgrimage


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A Silent Voice - The Shape of Location (Part 2 of 3)

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