Crowdfunding Campaign for Kyoto Animation Passes $2 Million Mark

A crowdfunding campaign launched by U.S. animation distributor Sentai Filmworks to assist Kyoto Animation has passed the $2 million mark. The Japanese studio was the victim of an arson attack last Thursday that killed 34 people and injured 34 more.

Among the contributors is software giant Adobe, which anonymously donated $50,000, according to a report on ITmedia News. A spokesman for the company confirmed the donation and said: “Kyoto Animation is a center of the creative community, not only in Japan but worldwide.”

In spite of the horrific attack, Kyoto Animation said in a post on its website that its next feature film, “Violet Evergarden Gaiden” (“gaiden” means “special episode”), is set for a two-week theatrical run in Japan in September. The company asked fans not to bring flowers or gifts to a “Violet Evergarden” orchestral concert scheduled for Saturday in Tokyo, adding that it would also not be accepting donations at the concert.

Kyoto police have yet to release the names of the victims, most of whom are women in their 20s and 30s. Kyoto Animation, familiarly known as KyoAni, is famed as a female-friendly workplace in a mostly male-dominated industry.

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The police have assembled a special task force of 100 to deal with the tragedy, including  identification of the victims and emotional support for the injured and the families of studio employees.

Among those feared dead is Yasuhiro Takemoto, a veteran animation director who was a mentor to many in the studio and whose credits include “Lucky Star,” “Amagi Brilliant Park” and “Nyoron Churuya-san.” His family tried unsuccessfully to contact him after the fire, and his 76-year-old father told the media that he fears his son is among the victims.

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