If you’ve watched anime, there’s a high chance that you’ve watched (or at the very least, heard of) series like K-On!, Violet Evergarden, or Free!, or Clannad. If Makoto Shinkai’s film, Your Name, pulled you into anime, then chances are you might’ve given the movie A Silent Voice (Koe no Katachi) a try as well. All of these famous titles were created under Kyoto Animation, one of Japan’s most prestigious studios.
Just yesterday, one of Kyoto Animation’s offices was attacked in an act of arson. Gasoline was poured around the office building, as well as on some of the workers inside it, before it was set on fire. The result was 33 dead, many injured with burns of varying seriousness, and the destruction of many manuscripts and materials – the largest single mass murder incident in post-war Japan.
It’s a tragedy that’s shaken Japan, as well as fans across the globe. It’s a big blow for the animation industry in Japan – having one of it’s most prestigious, yet unproblematic (in the sense that all the series that Kyoto Animation has produced have not been controversial in the slightest) studios suffer from a vicious attack like this.
While Kyoto Animation is by no means “gone”, it will definitely take some time for the studio’s staff to recover and heal from the incident – let alone think about continuing to create works.
How You Can Help
Despite the tragedy, all is not lost. If your heart goes out to the studio, there are a couple of ways you can help.
There’s only one credible fund-raising campaign going on right now, hosted by Sentai Filmworks – a company that is allegedly a long-time industry friend to Kyoto Animation. Titling their Gofundme campaign ‘#HelpKyoAniHeal’ (KyoAni being an abbreviation for Kyoto Animation), the company “aims to help KyoAni in this time of need”.
However, as good as Sentai Filmworks’ intentions are, there are doubts about their fundraising campaign. Some people are wondering how all the money is going to be given over the KyoAni. That, and KyoAni themselves have not called for donations – which means that there’s a chance (though unlikely) that they might turn down the donations.
As such, here’s an alternative means to directly support KyoAni financially.
KyoAni has an online shop that allows you to purchase high resolution images of anime characters from KyoAni’s various series, in a wide-range of sizes. These are digital files, which means that once you pay, you’ll be able to get your images immediately. Each image costs 216 yen (roughly $2.75 SGD), and can be purchased multiple times. Unfortunately, payment can only be done by card – so you might have to get help from someone who does have a card, if you need help in that regard. Here’s a quick guide on how to make your purchase:
If you’re not financially comfortable enough to donate, that’s alright. Share around the links to the fundraisers so that more people (who might want to help) can know about them. There are a couple of others fundraisers floating around that are likely to be scams by opportunists, so it’s important to warn others against KyoAni fundraisers that aren’t official, too!
On top of that, one of the relatives of one of the KyoAni staff is requesting for people to not share out the list of “missing people” circulating on social media, out of respect for the privacy of the staff members.
At the very least, show respect to those who’ve suffered from the incident by not making a fuss about how an anime you were looking forward to from KyoAni is going to be delayed, or cancelled. Animation frames can be re-drawn and re-made, but lives cannot be replaced. Have some respect.
Our deepest condolences go out to those at Kyoto Animation, and all those who were affected by the incident. May those who passed rest easy, for they’ve undoubtedly inspired and touched the hearts of many; and may those who’ve suffered losses eventually heal and gain the strength to stand on their feet again.
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