Charity Through Anime
Ask any “normal” person what comes to mind when he/she hears the word “anime.”
Okay. What did he/she say? Wait, no. Let me guess: Japanese, Asian, comics, cosplay, Engrish, tentacle porn. Maybe if he/she isn’t totally blind to forms of entertainment that don’t include football or the Kardashians, he/she might have named a few mainstream series played on Cartoon Network like Dragon Ball Z or Naruto (although I’m sure he/she pronounced Naruto wrong).
I can almost guarantee that the word “charity” was not, for that individual, associated with anime. Quite honestly, charity was not part of my schema for Japanese animations, either. However, it is now at the announcement of a philanthropic event to provide aid and support to still-ongoing reconstruction efforts after Japan’s devastating 2011 earthquake.
Dubbed “Hero’s Legend Episode 01,” this charity event hosted by philanthropic group A*Spirits will be held on February 11 of this year. A*Spirits, known for its charity concerts and events to support children, has invited several writers, artists, actors, and other celebrities from the world of anime and manga to participate. Those listed to attend include (but are certainly not limited to—seriously, there are approximately a billion stars listed): Minoru Nonaka (Armored Trooper VOTOMS), Ken Akamatsu (Sailor Moon), Asamiya Kia (Silent Möbius), Aoyama Gosho (Case Closed), Yoshitaka Amano (Final Fantasy), and Seki Tomokazu (One Piece), just to name a few.
The day at Ota Kumin Hall Apuriko will be filled with presentations of new and upcoming work, auctions of personal items from the celebrity guests, handshakes, autographs, and a special “robot appearance.” All proceeds will go to supporting children affected by the earthquake as well as reconstruction of the areas destroyed. Imagine Comic-Con, but much more colorful and charity-style. Tickets for the event are being sold for £5500 (about $62 USD) on a first-come, first-serve basis until January 25.
It’s refreshing to know that even over a year and a half after the traumatic earthquake, there are still efforts to restore Japan to where it was before the devastation. Sometimes it seems like horrible things happen and get sensationalized by the media for about a week, and are then swept under the rug, like nothing ever happened.
If you’re feeling a bit of generosity spilled over from the holiday season—Christmas was only eighteen days ago, after all—but aren’t quite wealthy enough to book a flight to Japan next month to participate in A*Spirit’s charitable festivities, there are still other ways that you can help.
The Japanese Red Cross Society has extended its donation period to March 31, 2013. You can contribute by contacting your local Red Cross/Red Crescent Society or online here (http://www.jrc.or.jp/english/relief/l4/Vcms4_00002070.html ). Save the Children is also still taking donations here (www.savethechildren.org/japan). If you don’t want to give out your credit card number on the internet, you can donate to GlobalGiving’s reconstruction efforts by texting JAPAN to 50555 and a $10.00 donation to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund will be charged to your wireless bill. Whatever route you take, no donation is too small. Although it has been well over a year since the tragedy, there are still displaced families that would more than appreciate your assistance.