National

One month after arson attack, support for Kyoto Animation at home and overseas still spreading

JIJI

About a month after the deadly arson attack, the circle of support for Kyoto Animation Co. has spread to individuals and businesses from within and outside of Japan, with many offering words of encouragement and donations to the company.

Sunday marks one month after the July 18 attack on the company’s No. 1 studio in the city of Kyoto, which left 35 people dead and dozens of others injured.

On Saturday, many fans flocked to an altar for flowers near the site, which was set up again Friday after being temporarily removed due to an approaching typhoon.

According to a lawyer representing the company, a total of some ¥1.96 billion had been deposited as of Tuesday into a dedicated account set up by Kyoto Animation, known as KyoAni, for donations.

The sum is composed of deposits from individuals, as well as donations collected by other companies and groups, including ¥249 million gathered at Tokyo-based anime-related goods retailer Animate’s 119 outlets located both inside and outside of the country.

The ring of support has reached beyond Japan.

A U.S. anime distribution company launched a crowdfunding campaign, while companies, including anime-related firms from China, France and Saudi Arabia, have offered financial aid.

KyoAni also received messages from a number of people, including fans who attended anime events held in Germany and Taiwan, cheering the company on.

Moves of support have also reached areas near the company.

After the arson attack, the tourism association of the city of Uji, in Kyoto Prefecture, home to KyoAni’s head office and the setting for “Hibike! Euphonium” (Sound! Euphonium), an anime title released by KyoAni, prepared a donation box and a special notebook for messages to the company.

In the notebook, fans wrote messages of encouragement. Some said they will continue to support the company, while others encouraged it to rise again.

Akane Kanei, who works at the association, said that more than 600 messages had been written in the notebook by tourists and fans visiting the locations where KyoAni’s anime works are set.

“Many (of the messages) are in Chinese and English,” Kanei said.

The notebook, together with the donations, will be eventually be sent to KyoAni.

Kyoto Seika University, which runs the Kyoto International Manga Museum together with the city of Kyoto, prepared a donation box and a bank account for donations after it received requests by students and graduates hoping to offer their support.

According to the museum, the university had collected over ¥4 million by Aug. 2.

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