In the last couple of seasons of anime, I've noticed quite a few shows being set in or using characters from the Touhoku region, especially around Aomori. Examples of shows include Kumamiko: Girl Meets Bear (set in Kumade Village somewhere in northern Touhoku); Flying Witch (set in Aomori) and Wake Up, Girls! (set in Sendai), while characters include Megumi Tadokoro from Shokugeki no Soma.
Is it just coincidence? Or a desire to pick a setting other than Tokyo or Osaka? Or some kind of reaction to the Touhoku earthquake?