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?

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    I'm pretty sure it's become considerably more common for local/regional tourism boards to be part of anime production committees (as of the last decade or less, I'd estimate). It stands to reason that anime set in distinct places (not some generic urban place, but a specific real city) other than Tokyo would be on the rise. I wonder if Tohoku's representation in anime has been growing faster than other non-Tokyo places (e.g. Hokkaido, Chiba, Kansai, Kyushu). – senshin May 30 '16 at 3:58
  • FWIW, I think it would be more interesting to look specifically at where anime-original properties are set. Adapted properties like Kumamiko and Flying Witch confound things a bit. Does a rise in adaptations set in Tohoku mean that manga set in Tohoku are preferentially selected to be adapted? Or is it that there are just more manga set in Tohoku as of late, and they're not preferentially selected? – senshin May 30 '16 at 4:03
  • There seemed to be a minor surge in anime set in Hokkaido a few years ago, though the only one I can remember off the top of my head is Working!!. Now it's Tohoku's turn. – Torisuda May 30 '16 at 4:24
  • They might be trying to promote the local tourism using the anime since anime is consumed internationally nowadays. As for why Touhoku region, it might be because it wasn't well represented before. Many older animes use setting in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka area. Okinawa and Hokkaido are usually represented when the characters went to holidays. Chuugoku area might be avoided due to Hiroshima bombing, thus Touhoku was chosen. Just my theory though. – 絢瀬絵里 May 30 '16 at 4:28
  • All of those comments make a lot of sense. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a good source of lists of "anime set in X" or "manga set in X", because it would be interesting to see if there have been trends. I think that KyoAni was responsible for a small peak of animation set in Kyoto and Osaka, but there has been a long trail of having a character from Osaka as the stereotypical country bumpkin for ages (as parodied in Azumanga Daioh, or referenced in Urusei Yatsura even if Lum wasn't actually from Osaka). – ConMan May 30 '16 at 6:56

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