Attendees at Comic Market, the nation’s largest fair for self-published manga, showed support for the arson-hit Kyoto Animation Co. on Friday in Tokyo by raising funds for the studio through sales of exhibitors’ creations.
The organizers of the four-day fair, which opened Friday and is also known as Comiket, offered condolences to family and friends of the 35 victims of the July 18 arson attack.
Organizers said in a statement, “The important thing is to remember the series of timeless works (by Kyoto Animation), keep watching and talking about them.”
Well-known illustrator Shikidoji, who goes by one name, was selling sets of bookmarks in support of the studio, affectionately known as KyoAni, and said she will donate all proceeds from sales of the bookmark at the fair.
Shikidoji worked on illustrations for the novel “Full Metal Panic!” The novel was later adapted into a film by Kyoto Animation, and she also personally knew its director, Yasuhiro Takemoto, who was one of the victims.
“He was a cheerful person, always wearing a smile. I wanted to do what I can to show support,” she said.
At the fair, some manga artists also created illustration booklets featuring characters from Kyoto Animation works with the aim of donating profits to help the studio.
“It’s not easy to just tell them to hang in there, but I wanted to make a tiny contribution. I wanted to show my feelings,” said one of the participating artists.
Separately, the Museum of Kyoto is holding an exhibition displaying 15 anime posters by Kyoto Animation, including one for “Sound! Euphonium.”
The free exhibition will be held through the end of this month. Whether it will continue beyond that has yet to be decided, the museum said.
In the past, the museum has collaborated with Kyoto Animation on identifying locations that were then used in its works.
“The posters carefully depict the details. I watched a KyoAni piece after the incident, and it’s unbelievable that the lives of such talented people were lost,” said Ryota Higashi, an 18-year-old university student from Nara.
The fire started after Shinji Aoba, 41, allegedly lit gasoline he had splashed around the ground floor of the three-story studio in Kyoto’s Fushimi Ward.
Aoba has been hospitalized for treatment of the severe burns he sustained in the fire and police will formally arrest him once he recovers.