Anime pilgrimages are where anime fandom can visit their favorite anime series in an AR-esque manner. However, while fans may be intimately familiar with anime worlds, finding iconic locations in the geography of the real world may not be as easy as on screen. Fortunately, there’s an app to make things easier–and for Girls und Panzer fans, it gets even better.
The Butai Meguri app is a database for smartphones of GPS locations and images from over fifty anime series. It’s essentially an assist tool for anime pilgrimages.
Recently, the developers of Butai Meguri unveiled an addition to the app that focused on the popular series, Girls und Panzer. Titled, Girls und Panzer WALK!, the expansion acts as its own app within the Butai Meguri app. In conjunction with this year’s Ōarai Ankou (angler fish) Festival, a preliminary demo was released that gives a taste of what the full app will offer.
Starting the Girls und Panzer WALK! app, players will start by selecting a character from the main cast of Girls und Panzer as their travel companion as they navigate the town of Ōarai. Players can then select various missions to complete.
Navigating is pretty much just as it implies: You make your way through the town using the in-app GPS map. Missions involve going to specific locations scattered throughout the town and “checking in” with the app through various means depending on the location.
For the demo, there were five locations where QR barcodes were placed. By finding the barcodes and scanning them in the app, players are rewarded with audio dialogue from characters and accomplishment trophies. Note that checking in also involves the smartphone’s internal GPS, so simply scanning the QR barcode alone does not count as checking in. You have to physically be there (no cheating!).
Players who completed the initial demo mission during this year’s Ōarai Ankou Festival could go to the Butai Meguri developer’s booth and receive a special sticker.
Aside from check-in locations, various other notable locations from the series are marked in the app. Tapping on the locations will make the character you’ve selected as your traveling partner offer information on the sites.
Walking through Ōarai with background music from Girls und Panzer playing in the background while the Ōarai Ankou Festival was going on all worked to make my day at Ōarai all the more enjoyable. If you’re going to go to a location featured in an anime series you like, making it into a game is a great way to enrich the experience.
The Butai Meguri app is available for Android and iOS platforms. Girls un Panzer WALK! is currently in development.