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Fans Rally to Support Kyoto Animation

SNA (Arizona) — The tragedy at Kyoto-based studio Kyoto Animation, known to its fans as KyoAni, in which arson claimed the lives of 34 workers and injured 35 others, is compounded by the fact that the studio had a reputation for providing excellent working conditions, a living wage, and permanent staffing in an industry known for relying on exploitive contract-based work. It was also proud to employ a predominantly female workforce.

According to police, the arsonist, Shinji Aoba, 41, alleges that the studio had plagiarized his unpublished novel ideas, and this appears to have been his motive for mass murder in Kyoto.

Under the leadership of Yoko Hatta and her husband Hideaki Hatta, incredible works of art were created at the studio, including A Silent Voice and Violet Evergarden, KyoAni’s production quality has been consistently high, bolstered by its progressive working conditions.

While still stunned by the horrors of the arson attack, fans are rallying in solidarity behind KyoAni. A prominent anime licensor, Houston-based Sentai Filmworks, has launched a GoFundMe campaign under the hashtag #HelpKyoAniHeal. It raised about US$1.8 million from over 50,000 contributors in its first two days. Another potent campaign is #PrayForKyoAni, in which fans are creating wider awareness about their online store as another means to fundraise for the reconstruction of the beloved animation studio or for whatever other purpose is deemed appropriate.

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