Anime Fans Are Good At Spotting Alleged Tracing

Anime Fans Are Good At Spotting Alleged Tracing

Or maybe, I should say train fans. Whichever! Nice eye. Or eyes.

Picture: Yaraon

On a recent episode of anime Sound! Euphonium, the character Kumiko is shown riding a train — a train that looks very slick.

Anime Fans Are Good At Spotting Alleged Tracing

[via Yaraon]

Like something you would only see in an anime? Um, no.

A train that, as commenters pointed out online in Japan, looks exactly like the inside of the Keihan 13000 series, which runs in Kyoto.

Anime Fans Are Good At Spotting Alleged Tracing

Picture: Tetsudo Hobidas

The photo originally appeared on rail fan blog Tetsudo Hobidas in 2012 and the following year, appeared in a 2ch thread on nice trains in Japan’s Kansai region.

Here’s the full comparison:

Anime Fans Are Good At Spotting Alleged Tracing

[via Yaraon]

Of course, this sort of thing isn’t new in anime — or manga, for that matter.


  • Kyoto Animation are known for doing this. They go out and take hundreds of photos of various locations in wherever it is the show they’re working on is set, and then trace over them or just use photoshop to process them in order to produce backgrounds for the animation.

    EDIT: Examples of this from K-On

    • Should happen more often tbh, might increase tourism to mundane and/or unappreciated areas of Japan.

    • And I truly see no problem with this. Rather than spend precious hours of your frantic 1-episode per week schedule in making a background that will appear in a scene for a few seconds, you get to spend them actually animating stuff and making it fluid and consistent.

    • As early as the 15th century, artists were projecting images onto canvas and tracing them using complicated mirrors and lenses. Even Leonardo Da Vinci had a giant camera obscura thing. Film wasnt invented, so he was inside it and painted the upside down image projected onto a canvas.

      Not anything new, really.

    • I remember going on a walking tour with some old samurai guy in Kyoto and when we went through this shopping arcade and there were loads of posters advertising KyoAni works. It took me quite a while to realise that this was because the setting for Tamako Market was based off of it.

      Thinking back, I should have taken some pictures of the similarities (because they are, once again, almost exactly the same), but I guess it doesn’t matter because there’s a load of blogs on the internet dedicated to this stuff haha.

      • Yeah I was in Japan a few weeks ago and we walked through that shopping arcade in Kyoto and I thought it felt eerily familiar. Didn’t realize until later that it was the basis for Tamako Market. It’s actually a pretty cool feeling when you see a shot of somewhere in an anime background and realize it’s a place you’ve been before.

        • Yep haha it took me until I saw a poster for Tamako Market hanging from a roof showing the shopping arcade and right behind it was the same fish hanging from the ceiling as the one in the poster and I was like “WAIT A SECOND!!!”

          Tamako Market definitely isn’t one of my favourite KyoAni works (I’ve seen like one episode) but it was still really cool!

  • Of course, this sort of thing isn’t new in anime — or manga, for that matter.Or any kind of visual medium really, including video games.

  • Is this an issue fans are complaining about? or is this just an interesting thing fans have noted?

    I’m just a bit confused from the wording of the title…because I don’t see whats wrong (in fact, I think its pretty cool), and like others have said, great for domestic tourism (which the Japs are pretty good at promoting and something Australia seems really bad doing).

    • Most likely something that gets the fans excited. The whole concept of ‘anime pilgrimages’ (that’s actually a legit term) arises from how Kyoto Animation always bases its settings off real places which nobody knows about (Lucky Star, Clannad, K-On, Tamako Market etc.)

      Part of the fun is just finding the settings – though the only one I ever saw irl was the Tamako Market place.

      • It’s not just Kyoto Animation either. It’s common in a lot of other stuff, eg:
        – Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni: Fictional Hinamizawa is basically Shirakawa-go in Gifu
        – PA Works’s amazingly detailed backgrounds are taken from real-life locations. Hanasaku Iroha’s hot springs town is Yuwaku hot springs on the edge of Kanazawa, Ishikawa. Tari Tari, uses backgrounds from Enoshima. Nagi no Asukara uses (fairly heavily modified) locations from Kumano in Mie. Glasslip used locations around Mikuni in Fukui prefecture.
        – The bulk of the backgrounds of the town in Girls und Panzer is Ooarai in Ibaraki.
        – Durarara’s depiction of Ikebukuro is ridiculously detailed, down to a particular vending machine being in the same place in real life.
        – Ghibli’s Whisper of the Heart is based mainly around Seiseki-Sakuragaoka station in one of Tokyo’s outer suburbs
        – Silver Spoon takes place in a real agricultural high school in Hokkaido
        – Director Makoto Shinkai put out a book a while back explaining how a lot of the stunning backgrounds in his works are photographs that have been traced over and heavily processed in Photoshop and After Effects. Here’s a list where someone’s gone through 5cm Per Second and Marked off the real locations where most of the shots are taken, mainly in Tokyo and in Tanegashima

        I expect that if you were to dig into just about any modern anime set in a real-world location (i.e. not fantasy / really futuristic SF stuff), they will have based the backgrounds off photos of real places. The tricky bit is probably just figuring out where.

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