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  • Kyoto Animation is quite well known for this, to the point that fans have managed to track down the location and angle of the place on which the background of individual scenes were based.
  • BECK does this a lot during their tour of America. And seems to have Shown Their Work.
  • The series Durarara!! recreates much of Ikebukuro (a section of Tokyo) — sometimes disturbingly so. (That vending machine Shizuo uprooted and tossed around in Ep. 3 actually exists.) People have even made montages of the many suspiciously familiar places they've found in the anime.
  • According to fans of Gunsmith Cats, you can tell when its location scouting in Chicago was done by the state of repairs on some of the buildings.
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  • Higurashi: When They Cry is set in the Hinamizawa village, inspired by real-life Shirakawa.
  • Kamichu! does this with Onomichi in the Hiroshima prefecture. See here. Of course, everything looks a little newer in the anime—it's set in the period between spring 1983 and spring 1984.
  • Eden of the East for Washington, D.C. and parts of Tokyo. The mall that Takizawa lives in is a real place - Lalaport in Toyosu. The movie theater in the show looks exactly like it does in real life.
  • K with Shibuya, though in the show, they call it Shizume. Scepter 4's headquarters, Bar HOMRA, and the Elaborate University High are also all based on real locations in Tokyo.
  • Love Live!, with Akihabara and surrounding areas. The main area on Chuo Doori around the station is shown quite a few times. The maid cafe where Kotori works is real, as is Honoka's parents' wagashi shop. Apparently their manju really are as great as Umi says (the bridge in the above video also shows up frequently in the anime). And of course, Kanda Myojin, one of the most important Shinto shrines, where Nozomi works as a Miko-in-training. The shrine even had collaborations with Love Live, which is actually nothing new for them - they had similar things with popular Kabuki actors over a hundred years ago.
    • Sunshine! is also based on a real seaside town.
  • Sound of the Sky's Seize is based off Cuenca, Spain. Fans have even gone there to take photos of locales shown on the anime.
  • Naoki Urasawa's Monster takes you mostly through the scenery of the former Communist bloc, like Germany and Czechoslovakia, as it tries to unravel the mystery of Johan's creation and his past, though some other settings occur as well, such as Southern France.
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    • You can find his references for some of the streets and buildings here.
  • Most iterations of Digimon do this, at least before the places in question get torn apart by kaiju. Some of the best examples are the Fuji TV station in Digimon Adventure and the extensive scouting of Shinjuku's surrounds in Digimon Tamers.
  • Tentai Senshi Sunred takes place in Kawasaki, Japan, and matches it shot for shot. The art style of Sunred might not be the one usually associated with this trope, but the locations are all too real.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
  • The town of Kamakura, in the Kanagawa prefecture in Japan, is popular as a setting for anime and manga series, in large part due to its extensive seaside beaches, numerous historic sites with lots of Shrines and Temples, and its distinctive local train service, Enoden. As a matter of fact, the train crossing near Kamakurakokomae station is depicted so often that it can be considered cliché.
    • Elfen Lied. Lucy winds up on Yuigahama beach. The stairs of Gokurakuji temple get a lot of screen time, up to and including the emotional ending. Enoshima island and the Benten bridge leading up to it are used for the ultimate battle in the anime, with lots of screen time for the Enoshima Light House Observatory.
    • Uta Kata. Most of the attention is on the shrines, parks and temples within Kamakura itself. Enoshima island and its tower form the backdrop of one of the more dramatic episodes. And then there are the two episodes in which the main characters head for Yuigahama beach.
    • In Sweet Blue Flowers, characters are often depicted traveling on the Enoden line. Enoshima island and the Benten bridge are shown as well, but the show gains bonus points for having a scene in the Iwaya cave. The "Milk Hall", the show's main hangout spot, is a real location and the famous Elfen Lied stairs are also shown, this time in a more romantic setting. Mangaka Takako Shimura even based the design of Fujigaya Academy, especially the long woodland path leading up to the gate, on the real-life Kamakura Literature Museum.
    • Twin Spica takes a more stylistic approach, although the shorelines and the Yuigahama boulevard where Asumi goes jogging are clearly recognizable.
    • In Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Alpha takes a trip to Kamakura, with a very prominent view of Enoshima.
    • Squid Girl is set on Kamakura's Yuigahama Beach.
    • A Channel has the obligatory Beach Episode, in which the girls take the very recognizable Enoden train ride to their destination.
    • Tsuritama is explicitly set at Enoshima.
    • Ping Pong is another Enoshima-set show, with the final scene of the series taking place on the beach near the island.
    • The events within Tari Tari are also set in Kamakura, particularly around Enoshima.
    • Heartcatch Pretty Cure, which usually takes place in the fictional Kibougahana, has the characters visit Kamakura, which also happens to be Tsubomi's former hometown, for an episode.
    • Hanayamata takes place in Kamakura and Enoshima.
    • In Ten Yori Mo, Hoshi Yori Mo, the last volume takes place in Kamakura, with Mio and Shou becoming a Battle Couple to protect it from an earthquake, a huge fire and then a tsunami, dying in the process.
    • Aiura is set in Kamakura. Some local landmarks appear regularly, such as the gate of the Museum of Literature. There are depictions of locations from other towns mixed in, though.
    • While Slam Dunk refers mostly to the "Kanagawa Prefecture" and never openly mentions Kamakura by name, it's pretty clear that the action is set there too: Shohoku High is modeled after a high school from the city itself, and the famous railroad crossing near Kamakurakokomae Station appears in the first OP. In July 2015, a group of Taiwanese tourists got in trouble for getting into the aforementioned high school without authorization.
    • The anime of Myriad Colors Phantom World makes heavy use of Kamakura locales. The main characters travel with the Shōnan Monorail, and Shōnan-Enoshima Station makes a regular appearance. Also, the stairs to Reina's house are clearly modeled after the stairs of Gokurakuji temple.
    • Though most of The Vision of Escaflowne takes place in the fantasy world of Gaea, a number of real-life landmarks plus a sweeping scenery shot of the ocean from a mountainside reveals that Hitomi's high school where the story starts is in Kamakura.
  • According to this blog, many of Your Lie in April settings takes place in Nerima-ku, Tokyo.
  • Someday's Dreamers II: Sora takes place against photo-realistic real-life backgrounds. Of special note are Biei in Hokkaido, hometown of the main character Sora, and the hip Tokyo neighborhood of Shimokitazawa. In one episode Sora and Kohta also go on a date in Kamakura.
  • Amanchu! largely takes place in the town of Ito on the Japanese Izu peninsula, which is known for its abundant hot springs. The big building at the shore where the cast gets together a few times is a well-known local landmark.
  • Umi Monogatari is set on one of the subtropical Japanese Amami-Oshima islands. It doesn't get any explicit mention though until the DVD special.
  • Darker Than Black is big on this. All three major localities the TV show takes place in, Tokyo, Sapporo and Vladivostok, were painstakingly researched to the point where indeed it was possible to pinpoint the time the references were taken by the state of specific buildings alone.
    • To the point that it explicitly binds the action to January 2008. The large-scale redevelopment that begun in Summer 2008 in preparation to 2012 APEC summit, has changed the downtown Vladivostok to the extent that it would be impossible to miss, had the action happened any later.
  • Cat Planet Cuties is set in Okinawa. The credits reveal that the staff worked with the Okinawa tourism board, and does it ever show. There is almost no part of the show that's not showing off the island, its wildlife and its attractions at one point or another.
  • Tamayura takes place in Takehara, a small seaside town of in the Hiroshima prefecture of Japan, not far from Kamichu!'s Onomichi. The town is rendered with painstaking detail, up to and including touristic signs.
  • Fractale contains detailed shots of the west of Ireland, and the town in episode 2 is a lot like Galway.
  • Grave of the Fireflies featured locations that were accurately based on real places from the Kobe prefecture.
  • Only Yesterday used actual railway stations.
  • Kiki's Delivery Service: The animators visited several old cities in Europe to gather inspiration for the town in the movie, most notably Stockholm and Visby, Sweden. As a result, not only landmarks but also specific storefronts and street signs from these cities are visible in the finished movie.[1] Kiki's bakery was based on a specific bakery in Ross, Tasmania, which has now become a tourist attraction for fans.[2]
  • Hanasaku Iroha is set in a town modelled after Yukawa. Comparison pictures can be found here.
  • The girls from Strawberry Marshmallow live in the town of Hamamatsu, in Japan's Shizuoka prefecture. The artist loves to sneak in references, like maps and local landmarks, and sometimes even mentions them by name.
  • Many of the locations in Yubisaki Milk Tea are real places in Tokyo, often surprising detailed drawn. A collection of pictures of the real places can be seen here.
  • Yuritetsu is about four girls which form a railway club and naturally goes by real trains to real stations and sights all over Japan. Their local station Yurigasaki-Joshikoumae is a renamed Hino Station on the Chūō Main Line in Tokyo, but the other places goes by their real names, be it the big Ueno Station in Tokyo or the secluded Koboro on Hokkaido. And since one of the girls, Hakutsuru Tsurumi, is a fan of a series which is obvious K-On!, they are also visiting the above-mentioned Toyosato Elementary School.
  • Natsuiro Kiseki takes place in Shimoda, a seaside town on Japan's Izu peninsula. The show is rife with shots of the town's eye-catching surroundings.
  • Plastic Memories is heavily implied to take place in Singapore. As you can see in this comparison, the city-state's districts and landmarks such as Orchard Road and the Bugis+ mall, are replicated down to the last bit of detail.
  • Sailor Moon is largely set in the Azabu Juuban district of the Minato ward of Tokyo. There is ever a fan produced book on the topic of how heavily the show draws from the area Warriors of Legend: Reflections of Japan in Sailor Moon.
  • Joshiraku the second short have the girls visiting various places in Japan while providing some trivia about the location.
  • 3-gatsu no Lion uses places in the Tsukishima Area in the Chuo-ward of Tokyo as a reference for the setting, particularly the Tsukishima and Tsukuda districts. The author even marks the locations she used in the omake.
  • Girls und Panzer is set in and around the port city of Oarai, including one episode where a battle took place in its streets. In a case of The Red Stapler, it has caused a three-fold increase in tourism to the town.
  • The anime of Sunday Without God has two notable examples. The Valley of Death arc displays the Port du Gard, a Roman aqueduct located in France, and at the beginning of the Class 3-4 arc, the characters briefly visit a church based on Saint Peter's Basilica, which is also shown in the opening.
  • The setting of Bokura no Kiseki is based on Sendai, Miyagi.
  • The bridge in Arakawa Under the Bridge is based on a real bridge located in Tokyo's Arakawa ward. In the anime, some shots even contain the Tokyo Skytree while it was still under construction.
  • Glasslip takes place in Mikuni, a small seaside town in Japan's Fukui prefecture.
  • Futsū no Joshikōsei ga Locodol Yattemita is set in Nagarekawa. Its real-world counterpart, Nagareyama, is a mid-sized town in the Chiba prefecture that is relatively close to Tokyo.
  • The town in Is the Order a Rabbit? is modeled after Colmar in the French Alsace region. It also contains some locations from nearby Strasbourg. Since most depicted customs are Japanese, this leads to confusion about the actual country the town is supposed to be in.
  • The events of Flying Witch are set in and around Hirosaki City in Aomori, with area landmarks, such as the Hirosaki Castle and Park, and the Taisho Roman Tearoom, being featured as locations that the main characters visit.
  • The vicinity of Tokyo-3 in Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Rebuild films is heavily modeled on the inland town of Hakone.
  • Most of Barakamon takes place on Fukue-jima, the largest and southernmost island of the Gotō Islands in the Nagasaki prefecture of Japan. Many landmarks are clearly recognizable, such as the Gotō-Fukue airport, the town of Fukue and Tomie Hospital.
  • Celestial Method uses real locations from Tōyako, a town in the Hokkaido prefecture of Japan, and Sapporo. Lake Toya, a volcanic caldera lake in Shikotsu-Toya National Park, can often be seen as a backdrop.
  • Several Western suburbs of Tokyo, such as Musashino, its district of Kichijoji (which is distinct enough to feel as a separate entity, though), and Mitaka right next to them, are popular among the various anime studios as locations for their HQs in Real Life (Hayao Miyazaki isn't nicknamed The Lord of Mitaka for naught), so they sometimes end up as settings due to their familiarity to the animators:
    • Musashino gets named explicitly in the novels of Maria-sama ga Miteru, so the anime uses many locations from Musashino and Kichijoji, especially the train stations. Additionally, Sachiko's family apparently has a summer home in Karuizawa, a resort not far from Tokyo, and in the last episode Touko and Yumi travel to Chichibu (which is also the setting of AnoHana). Also of note are the faithful depictions of Rome, Pisa and Florence in the OVA.
    • PAW's Shirobako is an animation industry-themed Work Com set in Musashino Animation studio, so it shows a lot of local scenery (including a building of the studio itself, which is a real one), Musashino and Kichijouji train stations with their shopping arcades, the nearby Inokashira park and Benten shrine in Mitaka, etc. It is also full of other Shout Outs to various animation-industry locales around Greater Tokyo.
  • Youre Under Arrest is an another Work Com, this time about the traffic police department in the Bokuto district of the Tokyo's Sumida ward, and portrays the various Eastern Tokyo locations, including the Tokyo Monorail, quite fathfully.note  The promotional poster to the second seson even features the leading girls against the beauty shot of the iconic red-railed Azuma bridge near the Asakusa station,note  with the Sumida Ward office and the infamous Golden Turdnote  prominently featuring in the background (though not the Tokyo Sky Tree, which was built more than a decade later).
  • Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou is a loving and meticulously detailed recreation of the much of Greater Tokyo area, from Kamakura and Yokohama to the south to Musashino to the west and so on, in the Cosy Catastrophe After the End setting. Yokosuka may be completely submerged by the rising sea levels, but its streetlights are still getting on every night — ten meters underwater.
  • One of the Hell banishments in the third season of Hell Girl has one Asshole Victim thrown off a green-tinted Empire State Building, with the Chrysler Building visible in the background. Another banishment in the same season also briefly shows the Empire State Building in the background before this episode's Asshole Victim gets chased by a gigantic Ai Enma near the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
  • The bridge from which Banri Tada of Golden Time fell, causing his amnesia, is the Horai Bridge in Shizuoka Prefecture, the world's longest wooden walking bridge.
  • One scene in episode 13 of Charlotte takes place in the Philippines. For instance, the "Walking Street" arch is actually found in Balibago, Angeles City, in the province of Pampanga.
  • Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation takes place in Asahikawa, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan.
  • Kochikame does this a lot with local backgrounds of Tokyo, especially in chapter introductory pages.
  • While Makoto Shinkai is well known for his surreal Scenery Porn, some of his more realistic works utilize this trope quite a lot, with almost all of them having something to do with Tokyo.
  • The finale of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans takes place in...Edmonton, Alberta, Canada? No, really.
  • Yuri!!! on Ice features several real-world locations due to being about international-level figure skating, so naturally it would lead to many instances of this. The first two episodes alone have a lot of examples, which are listed in this Crunchyroll article. Though Yuri's hometown of Hasetsu isn't a real place, it's heavily based on the real Kyushu town of Karatsu.
  • Despite Classicaloid being an Edutainment Show, it has a recognisable background of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. In real life, the harmonica-shaped building the bad guys use as a base is called Act City, while the kite festival mentioned in Schu's debut episode actually does happen.
  • At the ending of Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works], Shirou and Rin visit Saber's grave in Glastonbury Abbey. Assuming that this is indeed where Saber died, it's also possible that this is where or near where Saber pulled out Caliburn (a grass field) and/or died after the Battle of Camlann (a forest, which could have been sawed down), given the similar settings.
  • Fate/Apocrypha is set in Romania, with Sighisoara specifically being one of the towns present (along with a fictional city called Trifas). The animators took this to heart.
  • Laid-Back Camp is largely set in Yamanashi Prefecture, next to the foothills of Mount Fuji. Some of the camping trips see the cast visit campsites in the area, but the girls also visit other regions: during the fourth episode, Rin rides out to Nagano and visits Mount Tatebochi.
  • Moshimo, the setting of Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom? (2017), is fictional, but parts of it are modelled after Asahi and Choshi in Chiba Prefecture, Kamisu in Ibaraki Prefecture, Mishima Taisha and the defunct Utatsu Station in Miyagi Prefecture.
  • Sarazanmai takes place in Asakusa, a real district of Tokyo, and it uses real landmarks from there as backgrounds. It's an especially appropriate choice since the series also features the street of Kappabashi-dori, which ties into the series' Kappa motif. This is also done quite literally in the first PV and the ending credits, where the characters are animated over real shots of Asakusa.
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