National

Arson-struck Kyoto Animation offered wide range of assistance

JIJI

The Kyoto Animation Co. No. 1 studio, hit by an arson attack that killed 35 people, has been receiving support in a diverse range of forms, including nonmonetary aid.

Masanori Fukusumi, a 58-year-old bus driver from the town of Seika in Kyoto Prefecture, found time between his shifts to donate blood at a Japanese Red Cross Society facility in the city of Kyoto. About 30 years ago, he drove buses that passed in front of the studio in the city’s Fushimi Ward.

“I think some employees of Kyoto Animation used the buses,” he recalled. “I came to donate my blood because I’m healthy so may be able to help out in some way.”

Ten Kyoto Animation employees remain hospitalized due to burns or other injuries from the attack on July 18.

According to the Red Cross, blood is needed to create the ingredients for albumin therapy, which is used to treat severe burns. Calls to save Kyoto Animation victims via blood donations are spreading on Twitter.

Fukusumi said he hopes that he “could be of some help,” although it is not certain that his blood will be used to help the arson attack victims.

A 16-year-old second year high schooler says they are supporting Kyoto Animation, commonly known as “KyoAni” among fans, by watching its anime works.

“I will support (KyoAni) with my feeling of love (for the company and its works),” she said after watching its latest work, “Free! Road to the World — Yume,” for the second time, at a theater in Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward. “I don’t have money, but I plan to come to watch it as many times as I can.”

Before the arson attack, the company had planned to release a sequel to the film next year.

“I think it will take time, but I want (KyoAni) to definitely make the sequel,” she said.

As of Friday, the company had received a total of about ¥621 million from domestic and overseas donors at a bank account it opened Wednesday to accept financial aid.

GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5