Anime vs. Real Life takes a closer look at Orange’s Agatanomori Park this week!
Anime vs. Real Life is taking another look at the locations of Orange this week, and it’s all about the lovely Agatanomori Park this time.
If you missed it last time, the currently airing anime Orange is set in the city of Matsumoto, in Nagano Prefecture. The backdrops of Orange are especially nice to look at, since the city is completely surrounded by mountains, like the Japanese Alps. Matsumoto is a gateway for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, offering easy access to places like Kamikochi, a beautiful scenic valley in the Chubu-Sangaku National Park, or the Utsukushigahara Plateau in the Yatsugatake-Chushin Kogen National Park. However, the city itself also has a lot of green spaces to offer, one of them being the already mentioned Agatanomori Park. The park is often used in the anime as a setting, because Naho basically has to pass through it every day to get to school. Actually, half of the people in the park seemed to be students when I was there, at least that was my impression. I mentioned in my last article about Orange, that Agatanomori Park does not really seem like a big tourist attraction, since it was never really mentioned in any tourist brochures or guides. This might also explain why it was fairly quiet and empty, at least compared to all the other places I visited in Matsumoto - which really is not a bad thing. The park grounds were once the school grounds of an old Japanese high school, which was built as a western style wooden structure in the early 20th century. The old school buildings are now home to a public library and the Pre-war High School Memorial Museum.
As mentioned above, this article will heavily focus on the Agatanomori Park, and will cover the second and third episode of Orange.
In the second episode, Kakeru and Naho decide to take a little stroll through Agatanomori Park, to resolve a little misunderstanding, after Naho was too shy to give Kakeru the bento she made for him. The only location shown in the second episode, aside from their school, is this little park – so there really is not a lot to talk about this time. That’s why I recommend you to pay extra close attention to the amazing amount of detail in these shots. The animation studio Telecom Animation Film clearly did a great job recreating the park in the anime. Almost anything shown in the anime, is also there in real life.
This little pond is the heart of the park and is located directly in the center of it. The backgrounds in the anime always look especially beautiful, also because of all the mountains that can be seen in the distance. That’s also the same for its real world counterpart - the scenery of the park, with mountains in every direction you looked, was quite stunning.
The backside of the old high school.
No, that’s not the real life Kakeru and Naho. That couple was enjoying their afternoon in the park – amusingly, on the same spot as our anime protagonists (I wonder if they knew). They were eagerly catching Pokémon in Pokémon Go, if I am allowed to share that much about their date.
That pole was covered in bird poo, so yes, also real life birds like to sit there. Sadly, I was not able to capture one on camera.
Protect that smile, Naho!
These two photos show Koboyama Hill. The gang (of the future) probably stopped by at that place, because there is actually a graveyard located atop of the hill. I presume that Kakeru is buried there in the anime.
I don’t know how I messed up the angle here, in my mind I was sure I had the right one, but you get the picture. Anime, for some reason, has a huge obsession with power lines.
Some bonus pictures:
NHK building along the way to Agatanomori Park, and the entrance to the park.
The old high school in Agatanomori Park.
If you ever plan on going to Agatanomori Park, it’s just a straight twenty-minute walk from Matsumoto Station. Alternatively, you could also take a Matsumoto City Circle Bus (called the Town Sneaker) on the eastern course, which takes you there in around fifteen minutes, and only costs a mere 200¥ (roughly 2$).
So, what do you guys think about the scenery and the backdrops of Orange? And how does the real Agatanomori Park compare to the anime version?