Few industries have anywhere near the intense emotional connection with fan communities that the anime sphere has, so when an arsonist attacked the Fushimi studio of anime production company Kyoto Animation on July 18, it left fans around the globe reeling in pain and shock. Half of the 70 workers who were in the building at the time of the incident lost their lives the same day, with one more later passing away and an additional 33 sustaining injuries.
Almost immediately donations began being collected from sympathetic fans, with the amounts becoming so large that Kyoto Animation set up a special bank account specifically to accept the funds on July 25. To date, over 3.2 billion yen has been deposited, and Kyoto Animation has now announced that it will be closing the donation account at the end of the week.
A statement posted to Kyoto Animation’s website reads:
“Five months have passed since the fire. Since then, we have received kindhearted support and encouragement from around the world, and our company is now focusing on our animated work which is scheduled to debut in theaters this coming spring, with each division putting their heart and soul into the project in order to reach as many viewers as possible. Meanwhile, through our professional training program we are training and cultivating professionals who will carry Kyoto Animation into its next generation.
The wounds of the fire are not the sort of things that heal with time, but thanks to our partners and people around the world, Kyoto Animation is able to go on fighting to contribute to society and the local community, creating works that provide the world with hopes and dreams, and allow our employees and staff to achieve the happiness they seek.
Once again, we wish to express our deep gratitude.”
The statement goes on to say that the donation account will be closed on Friday, December 27 (Japan time), so if you’ve been meaning to contribute to it, now’s the time. Once the account is closed, the allocation committee, which was set up specifically to handle the administration of the funds, will begin distributing the money to surviving victims and bereaved family members. The statement also reiterates that Kyoto Animation has no intention of using the funds, or any future donations, to prop up its business, saying “Please be aware that, on principle, we cannot accept any direct financial support [for the company] in relation to the fire.”
In other words, if you want to support Kyoto Animation the company, the way to do that is by buying its products. The donation account, on the other hand, if you want to support Kyoto Animation’s tragedy-stricken employees, and specific information on the account can be found here.
Source: Kyoto Animation via Jin
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