Last year, the tragic Kyoto Animation arson fire claimed 36 lives and injured 33 others. And while the Japanese government is now seeking to prosecute the suspect and bring justice to the victims, families of those who passed away are now celebrating their lives. One of them is Kyoto Animation art director Mikiko Watanabe, who is responsible for the beautiful background art for works like Violet Evergarden. And taking inspiration from her work, Setsuko Tsuchida, Watanabe’s great aunt, has opened a gallery featuring her work.
Tsuchida says that she wants to keep the memory of Watanabe’s artwork, adding that she wants people from all walks of life to see them. Kyoto Animation itself provided the elder with the artwork, and they sent it to Tsuchida’s computer for her to print and display in the gallery. She opened it at the Kuwana Machi no Eki in Kuwana, Mie Prefecture, just a 5-minute walk from Kuwana Station.
Watanabe passed away in July last year during the arson attack. She was working on Violet Evergarden The Movie back then, having just finished her work on Violet Evergarden – Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll -. The late art director has worked with many of the studio’s anime, including K-On! and Hyouka. May she rest in peace.
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