Charming petanko miko anime Kannagi has been the subject of much investigation by fans, and it has transpired that the anime makes extensive use of real world locations, in much the same way as the recent Someday’s Dreamers, though where that title was ridiculed for being a pure Photoshop anime, there are few who would criticise Kannagi’s tasteful adaptation of key locations.
Below is an interesting comparison showing the extent of the similarities:
The location of the shrine in question, 鼻節神社 / Hanafushi Jinja (or Hanabushi Jinja), appears to be near Sendai (a famously green city north of Tokyo), in Miyagi prefecture, by the coast. You can browse some interesting photos of the densely forested coast and rather remote looking shrine, or see below for a selection.
It is apparently relatively difficult to get to; perhaps this will stop it becoming a pilgrimage site for Kannagi Shintoists?
There is plenty of speculation about where exactly each place appearing in the anime is, but the photos are basically definitive in tying it to the shrine and town in question.
As you might expect, it seems a variety of different places have been adapted, though clearly several places have been directly Photoshopped rather than adapted as such. For example, the actual shrine pictured in the anime seems larger than the real one, but with it removed the environs are identical.
One of the other contenders actually received a staff ema praying for success in anime, confusing matters further:
The reason for the Sendai connection? The Type-Moon affiliated lady mangaka responsible for Kannagi – Crazy Shrine Maidens, 武梨えり / Takenashi Eri, was raised in the area and appears to have fond childhood memories of the place, which is not hard to understand if you look at the photos.
You may wish to pay a visit to the site of the investigator responsible for this fascinating report.
Unlike the rather excessive and even plagiaristic use of photographic material in Someday’s Dreamers, Kannagi seems to strike a fine balance, and it should be said the rest of the animation (especially the delectable Nagi-sama) is excellent, so it is more a matter of interest than a point of possible criticism.