March 03, 2011

Off the map

The problem with maps is that they don't tell you what's not on the map.

In Demon City Shinjuku, after escaping from Chuo Park (where they were going last time), Kyoya and Sayaka head to Kabukicho. I've never been there. So again, I turned to Google Maps to align Kikuchi's descriptions with the real thing. But then I ran into a thornier problem. He describes a "Center Street" (中央通り) that is only a block long. It wasn't on any of the maps. Or rather, there are "Center Streets" all over the place.

But none where this one was supposed to be. Finally, I turned to Google Images and after a bit of searching dug up this.

There it is, as Kikuchi described it. The "Center Street" block dead-ends at the Koma Theater. It must be a local designation that didn't make it onto the official maps.

Another interesting aspect of Kikuchi's Kabukicho is that here in the real world, the Koma Theater has closed. A problem with writing stories about the near future is that the near future has a tendency not to turn out the way you foresaw it.

This doesn't actually disturb the timeline of Demon City Shinjuku and the sequels. The "Devil Quake" that separates Shinjuku metaphysically from the rest of the world occurs in the first decade of the 21st century. Since then, the alternate history of Demon City Shinjuku would have split off on another vector.

And for now, the Koma Theater marquee is still there. Using Google Street View, you can virtually look up and read: "Thank you for 52 years of patronage."

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