It’s not uncommon for anime to be used as promotional material, but has Urawa no Usagi-chan failed?
Urawa no Usagi-chan is a promotional anime for Urawa City in Saitama, Japan. Interestingly enough did Urawa merge with the cities Omiya and Yono to form the city of Saitama. Saitama lies in the Greater Tokyo Area and therefore a commuter city.
Using anime to target tourism isn’t anything new. The Japan National Tourism Organization has detailed maps of places to visit where certain anime have taken place. Another example is Hanasaku Iroha that stimulated more visits to the Nishigishi Station, that served as a model for the Yunosagi Station in the anime series. Hanasaku Iroha did a particularly good job in creating atmosphere for rural areas of Japan, highlighting local fauna, promoting stays at local inns and hot springs.
Interestingly enough the examples mentioned in the Japan National Tourism Organization guide, aren’t necessarily triggered towards stimulating tourism. Haruhi Suzumiya and Evangelion didn’t real feel like promotional videos. Yet, due to their fan base, they seem better suited to attract tourists.
Urawa no Usagi-chan doesn’t really feel suited as the right promotional series. The series only has a short time frame to convey its message. The visuals aren’t really mind boggling either, they are just average of even below average if you compare it to other short series such as Aiura who had a great artistic feel.
It is difficult to determine what the overwhelming features of Saitama may be from Urawa no Usagi-chan. Maybe the city isn’t necessarily suited for an anime promotion? I can only imagine the local government wanting to spend some left over budget, not really knowing on what but think that anime might attract some visitors.