Working in London is weird in ways I hadn’t imagined it would be. I wouldn’t have thought myself a country boy by any stretch of the imagination, but there’s something a bit different about an international city and one of the most iconic places in the world. So much so though random gag anime have characters visit their on holiday and casually pass by landmarks because going to London is A Thing people do.
When the parents in Saiki Kusou paraded around London, eagerly riding the London Eye, I was on a train on my way to work passing by the exact landmarks they were all pointing out. It’s not like anime doesn’t travel to exotic locales frequently. Yuri on Ice has them travel around Barcelona for example. It’s not like I haven’t seen movies set in Dublin and recognise all the street they’re on. But something is different about London when a low budget gag manga can casually reference landmarks like they are super exotic things you normally see as things tourists stand in front of, but there you are passing by these things as part of your everyday routine.
Perhaps this paints me as such a painful country boy, so dazzled by tall buildings and landmarks because I’ve seen nothing higher than my local church steeple in home town. I still find myself gobsmacked whenever I visit my in laws in Boston and gawk up at the skyscrapers while everyone else acts like they’re perfectly normal. Or perhaps this paints me as one of those longing for the city life kids who starts movies bright eyed as they move to the big city only to fall in with the wrong people. Either way, it was a weird set of emotions I was set down by a silly gag manga that decided to go abroad for half an episode for some goofy CCTV jokes.