Ordinarily “self-reliant” company wants to accept the kindness of others following tragic attack that has left 34 dead.

Last Thursday, an arsonist attacked the Fushimi Ward studio of Kyoto Animation. At the time the attacker ignited the two canisters of gasoline he’d brought with him, 76 workers were inside the three-story building (which has since been confirmed as having been compliant with Kyoto fire codes), and 34 of them have lost their lives.

The incident is emotionally devastating no matter what your perspective is, but it’s uniquely painful for the company’s many fans from around the world. Kyoto Animation has built a reputation for lovingly crafting anime that’re extremely emotionally affecting, with themes of friendship, self-worth, and personal redemption all regular elements in its works. Many fans who’ve received so much mental and emotional benefit from watching Kyoto Animation anime find themselves searching for some way to return that favor now, in the company’s darkest days.

Kyoto Animation has now announced that it will be setting up a designated bank account specifically for the purpose of accepting donations. “For nearly 40 years, Kyoto Animation has operated as an independent, self-reliant company,” said a lawyer for the company. “However, that doesn’t mean that we are unwilling to accept the kindness of others, and so we have decided to open a bank account [for donations].”

Unlike many anime studios, which employ the majority of their staff on a per-project contract basis, Kyoto Animation’s animators were salaried employees, which suggests they were likely better off financially than their counterparts at other anime production companies. However, the tragic circumstances that have befallen the company and its employees falls far outside normal financial planning and budgeting.

Kyoto Animation says the donations will be used to help victims of the arson attack, though it has yet to specify whether it’s referring to injured survivors, the families of the deceased, or both. The wording implies, however, that donations would not be used to fund the memorial park that Kyoto Animation president Hideaki Hatta wants to build on the site of the studio after the building is demolished and cleared away.

Kyoto Animation has already received donations from multiple organization both inside Japan and abroad, and a donation campaign organized by U.S. anime distributor Sentai Filmworks on GoFundMe remains active. The donation account, however, looks to be a way for individuals to directly contribute to the victim’s physical and emotional recovery, and the company says it will be posting the account/donation method specifics on its website in the near future.

Related: Kyoto Animation website, Sentai Filmworks GoFundMe Kyoto Animation fundraiser
Source: Mainichi Shimbun via Jin
Top image: Wikipedia/L26
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