Tetsuko no Tabi
|Tetsuko no Tabi|
|Written by||Hirohiko Yokomi|
|Illustrated by||Naoe Kikuchi|
|Original run||2002 – 2006|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Akinori Nagaoka|
|Original run||June 24, 2007 – September 23, 2007|
|Shin Tetsuko no Tabi|
|Original run||July 2009 – ongoing|
Tetsuko no Tabi (鉄子の旅?) is a Japanese non-fiction manga series authored by Hirohiko Yokomi and illustrated by Naoe Kikuchi. The manga was serialized in the Japanese seinen manga magazine Ikki between 2002 and 2006. An anime version was adapted by the animation studio Group TAC and contained 13 episodes.
Tetsuko no Tabi is an anime based upon the real life hobby of Hirohiko Yokomi, a travel writer in Japan who has visited every train station in Japan over the past 15 or so years. He has visited almost 10,000 train stations, including big city stations, suburban commuter stops, and even rural platforms in the middle of nowhere. Several years ago, Yokomi arranged to have a manga artist, Naoe Kikuchi, travel along with him so that she could illustrate a manga based upon his travels and writings.
They are accompanied by their editor, Masahiko Ishikawa, who is a fan of trains himself as they seem to endlessly "ride the rails". Yokomi's story was later adapted into a 13-part anime.
Kikuchi is offered the job of accompanying a "travel writer" and she accepts the job without knowing who the writer is. When she finds out that it is Yokomi, she regrets her impulsive decision because she is familiar with his story, but Kikuchi goes along because she needs the work, and because she still hopes that she will have the opportunity to see new places and try out new local delicacies.
However, Kikuchi quickly finds out that Yokomi's idea of "fun and adventure" consists of riding trains all day long, getting off at obscure stops for a few minutes, and then continuing right along, with no breaks for food, sight-seeing or rest. And since Ishikawa is as enthusiastic about this as Yokomi there is no way out for Kikuchi.
Afterwards, Yokomi and Ishikawa drag Kikuchi along on their attempt to travel through the six rural regions that surround Tokyo on a single 130 Yen ticket, a detail that Yokomi dug out of the fine print in a Japan Rail schedule book. But this time Kikuchi is better prepared and she has a guidebook of her own with her - one covering where to find food in JR stations.
- Hirohiko Yokomi (voiced by: Nobuyuki Hiyama) is the travel-writer, who turns out to be a huge train-fan. He has a lot of energy and passion for trains, and sometimes girls, but also micro-manages all their trips, planning every detail down to the second. He cares mostly about following the schedule and successfully achieving his planned goals (e.g. visiting all stations on a line in a completely bizarre order to accommodate infrequent trains).
- Naoe Kikuchi (voiced by: Akira Tomisaka) is a manga artist, she has no interest in trains whatsoever, and she keeps getting freaked out by Yokomi’s antics. She's also cynical, sarcastic, and rather lazy, mainly looking forward to the next eki-ben.
- Masahiko Ishikawa (voiced by: Tokuyoshi Kawashima) is Kikuchi's editor, another train geek.
- Masaki Kamimura (voiced by: Tetsuharu Ohta) is Kikuchi's second editor.
- Kinako (voiced by: Masumi Toyooka) is a candidate for train-fan. She came to the solicitation by Yokomi.
- Asako Yamada
- Narrator (voiced by: Yoshio Harada)
- Official anime website (Japanese)
- Tetsuko no Tabi (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia