Over 50,000 donors have contributed, but recovery costs could still be several times the amount.

Two weeks have passed since an arson attack on Kyoto Animation’s Fushimi anime studio which killed 35 employees who were in the building and injured 33. The reason for the pre-meditated attack seems to stem from the suspect’s belief that the contents of a novel he submitted to an open contest organized by Kyoto Animation were used without compensation, though the company has denied doing so.

The tragically meaningless loss of life has deeply saddened people around the world, as Kyoto Animation’s works were loved not just in their home country, but internationally as well. In response to an overwhelming outpouring of sympathy from fans expressing a desire to help in some way, on July 24 Kyoto Animation announced that it had set up a dedicated bank account to accept donations, and in just a week, industry groups, other companies, and individual fans have responded in a tremendous way.

As of the afternoon of July 31, a total of 56,835 donors have contributed to the fund, and the account’s balance has grown to approximately 1,166,540,000 yen (US$10,801,296). In addition, a crowdfunding campaign organized by U.S.-based anime distributor Sentai Filmworks has raised an amount equivalent to around 255 million yen, a combined effort from Yahoo! and the Japan Animation Creators Association approximately 33 million yen, and reward card company T Point Japan some 11 million yen. Combined with the dedicated bank account figure, the total would come to roughly 1.465 billion yen, and anime specialty shop chain Animate and The Association of Japan Animations are also planning to contribute currently undisclosed amounts.

However, even this incredible generosity will not make Kyoto Animation’s recovery an easy one. The company’s attorney, Daisuke Okeda, estimates that between financial support for surviving family members, medical support for injured survivors, and company-related business operation recovery expenses, the total cost could be as high as 10 billion yen, nearly seven times the estimated amount of donations so far. There are also a number of regulatory issues to deal with in handling such large sums of money, and Okeda says that Kyoto Animation may establish a special foundation to oversee the administration of the funds, in order to navigate Japan’s laws regarding compensation to victims of crimes and work-related deaths and injuries.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has also called upon relevant government organizations, such as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, to provide Kyoto Animation with the support it needs in this difficult time. Meanwhile, Kyoto Animation CEO Hideaki Hatta is resolute that the company “will not go quietly into the night.”

Source: The Sankei News via Yahoo! Japan News via Otakomu
Top image: Kyoto Animation
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