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AICN Anime - Worth Checking Out... Efforts to Help Japan!

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Column by Scott Green

Mark Twain said that “to a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail.”
I try to avoid that trap and, as such, I've been slow to use this site to comment about the March 11 9.0-magnitude earthquake that occurred near the coast of Japan. I don't believe that Ain't It Cool News is the most productive venue for raising more awareness or for provoking helpful reactions in this sort of truly consequential, media unrelated matter.

That said, I would implore people to read about the crisis in Japan. Not just the back and forth on whether the Fukushima nuclear power plant situation is overblown or covered up, or all of those articles about how disasters have informed Japanese pop media. Read about the desperate situation in the shelters in areas like the hard hit Miyagi Prefecture.
For all its faults, the internet offers excellent opportunities to get informed. There's less excuse than ever to be ignorant or rely on reductive thinking. The NHK's English service is an excellent place to track the news, but following multiple sources is recommended.

I hope that now, with some time passed from the event, with the effects being seen, I can encourage AICN readers to do something to help out.

There is no shortage of charities contributions to which will assist in helping Japan.

If something media related would help with the little push needed to make a contribution, here are a few suggestions. I'm hoping not to make this ignorable in its over complexity, so, this is by no means an exhaustive list of the heartfelt work being made by many.

New York's Japan Society has organized an Earthquake Relief Fund. - Read Otaku USA editor-in-chief Patrick Macias' endorsement here.

Anime Fans Give Back To Japan has organized a 24 hour benefit podcast, to run Saturday, March 19th at 6:00PM EST to Sunday, March 20th at 6:00PM EST.
Guests include anime industry figures

Steven Jay Blum
Terri Doty
Crispin Freeman
Stephen Hoff
Reuben Langdon
Michelle Ruff
Stephanie Sheh
Micah Solsoud
J. Michael Tatum

And from the anime and Internet community:

Zac Bertchy
Todd Cochrane
Scott "KaiserNeko" Frerichs
Justin Sevakis
Ed Sizemore
Tony Yao
The effort has already raised over $7,500 through Global Giving.

Giant Robot, an institution in the coverage of Asian and Asian American culture, will present Water Works - Fundraiser for the Devastation in Japan at Giant Robot Los Angeles (GR2) Saturday, March 19 · 6:30pm - 10:00pm
Contributions will be made to U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF (USF) is raising funds to help children in Japan impacted by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. This is an unusual decision, as Japan is a donor to UNICEF, not a recipient of its assistance. However, due to the unprecedented nature of the epic disaster and its impact on children, resources are going to be critical in helping provide for the very unique needs of children. These may include health, development, and protection and other needs that may have been compromised or disrupted in the wake of the catastrophe. Giant Robot is proud to join the effort, and have asked many of our talented friends to create water-themed art to raise funds to support the efforts of UNICEF.

In addition to raising money by selling artwork, Giant Robot will be donating the following to UNICEF:

1. Proceeds from the sale of water bottles featuring labels created by artists and signed by celebrities.
2. Fifty percent of proceeds from Giant Robot’s small restaurant, gr/eats, on Saturday, March 19.
3. A percentage of all sales at Giant Robot, GR2, and GRSF during the weekend of March 18-20.
4. Raffles for donated merchandise including designer- and artist-signed items, GR gear, horseback rides, and other items.
5. Cash donations accepted for UNICEF.

Contributors include the following:

Andrice Arp
Gary Baseman
Chris Bettig
Jude Buffum
Chris Buzelli
Louise Chen
David Choe
Luke Chueh
Jesse Fillingham
Renee French
Ayako Fujitani
Matt Furie
Rodney Greenblat
Katherine Guillen
Joe Hahn
Clement Hanami
David Horvath
Mari Inukai
James Jean kozyndan
Jesse LeDoux
Lisa Ling
Barry McGee
Ryan McGinness
Jeff McMillan
Junko Mizuno
Megan Mullally
Gary Musgrave
Mark Nagata
Saelee Oh
Bryan Lee O'Malley
Nathan Ota
Mu Pan
Albert Reyes
Jay Ryan
Rob Sato
Ryan Jacob Smith
Deth P. Sun
Jillian Tamaki
Katsuya Terada
Edwin Ushiro
Esther Pearl Watson
Daniel Wu
Yoskay Yamamoto
Kohei Yamashita


Japan Cinema has hosted a week long Blogathon with CinemaFanatic - collecting contribution through Donate with Paypal

A number of the most prominent voices in English language, online anime/manga talk have organized Anime and Manga Bloggers for Japan to help assist Doctors Without Borders and Shelterbox.

Finally, please don't forget other charities. If you can give, and especially if you can give regularly, see what you can do for a worthy cause.


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Readers Talkback
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  • March 18, 2011, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Glad to see the site, and the nerds of the world, stepping up.

    by Mechasheeva

    As nerds, we owe a lot of our passions to Japan. The human toll itself should be more than enough to convince anyone to aid in the relief effort. If that's not doing it for you, think of the videogames, the manga, the anime, the awesome movies that you have enjoyed in the past. If every AICN reader gives a mere $10 (that's what? One pack of smokes in New York City?) to the relief effort, think of all it could accomplish! C'mon, fellow nerds!

  • March 18, 2011, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Cool of you to post the links to help

    by Bobo_Vision

  • March 18, 2011, 10:34 a.m. CST

    hell, think of sony, toyota and honda

    by rben

    just sayin.....

  • March 18, 2011, 11:26 a.m. CST


    by mus42

    Good job AICN

  • March 18, 2011, 11:51 a.m. CST

    loserguy has never accepted charity from anyone

    by buffywrestling

    Except for that one time from the drunk chick at his prom.

  • March 18, 2011, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Red Cross is always a good idea too.

    by I_am_the_ultimate_product

    A friend of mine works for them. Very good organization.

  • March 18, 2011, 1:10 p.m. CST


    by Wookie_1995

    right on man...right on

  • March 18, 2011, 2:04 p.m. CST


    by proevad

    the rest of the world can invent a completely functioning sex robot like they have---they are the best country on the planet, bar none. Donate.

  • March 18, 2011, 2:54 p.m. CST

    They have a sex robot?

    by Frank Conniff

    Will they ship to the US? I think Japan is also at the forefront of the wooly mammoth cloning project, so it is really essential that we get them back on their feet, stat. I want to live in a world where I can have sex with my robot girlfriend as my pet wooly mammoth frolics in the backyard.

  • March 18, 2011, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Japan needs our help?

    by buggerbugger

    What happened to those Japanese superheroes that were created by American nukes in the dying days of World War 2? Can't those guys sort it out?

  • March 18, 2011, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Media misinformation

    by GeneralKael

    My buddy lives in Tokyo and he said one of the biggest problems is the misinformation put out by some of the larger Western media outlets such as CNN. It is causing alot of needless panic and confusion. He said that there are no shortages in Tokyo and that there are some power issues and some minor shortages for the first day or so but things are pretty much back to normal now in Tokyo. The media would make you wonder if everyone is glowing in the dark and starving to death throughout all of Japan. There was a headline on CNN the other day that had the headline "Clock ticks to avert nuclear fallout". The word "fallout" was nowhere in the article once you click on it - apparently they meant "fallout" as in consequences, not nuclear fallout. But if you read the headline it sounds like black rain is about to fall. Yes, the situation is bad in the areas affected by the tsunami, and it is overwhelming and they need all the help they can get, but there are large parts of the country which are pretty much unaffected. There was a search and rescue guy on the radio lamenting how the media concentrates on the death toll and barely mentions the number of people who were successfully rescued. (Or were saved because the Japanese have strict building codes and earthquake resistant structures for that matter). All of that being said - there are fellow humans in need, they need our help, if you are able to donate, do it now.

  • March 18, 2011, 3:21 p.m. CST

    So I assume loserguy is donating 100% of his annual income

    by sweeneydave

    rather than just a portion. Put your money where your mouth is.

  • March 18, 2011, 5:47 p.m. CST

    I had relatives killed at Pearl Harbor

    by brobdingnag

    so fuck em.

  • March 18, 2011, 8:28 p.m. CST

    Some horrible shit

    by smatt584

    I decided to scope out some pics of the disaster today at work for the first time since it happened, (been putting in a lot of overtime this month), and there are some gut-wrenching photos on the web right now. One that really got to me was of a girl of about 17 or so in fairly nice, clean clothes laying on a flattened cardboard box with her dog (head resting on him like a pillow), the leash tightly wrapped around one hand. The info pointed out that even though the official death toll is around 6300, over 10,000 people are still missing and presumed dead. Photos like that, the look on her face like she had no one left in the world except that dog... fucking horrific. This coming from someone who first saw the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre at age 6 and dislikes about 5 out of every 7 people he meets. My eyes kept tearing up and I couldn't make them stop unil I got up and walked around a bit. I see what Loserguy means, who do you donate to that makes sure that as much as humanly possible goes straight to those who need it?

  • March 18, 2011, 9:33 p.m. CST

    I live in Japan.

    by The_Dark_Shite

    Thanks.<p> Nothing much more I can say. I'm lucky enough to live a few miles south of it, but it's total devastation up there. Thank you.

  • March 19, 2011, 4:02 a.m. CST

    brobdingnag, no one gives a fuck about your relatives

    by Windowlicker74

    so fuck 'em

  • March 19, 2011, 4:31 a.m. CST


    by BelgiumRules

    And they had relatives killed in Hiroshima or Nagasaki... Stupid fascist asshole...

  • March 20, 2011, 8:59 a.m. CST

    @Brobdingnag thanks for being the token douche!

    by menacingphantom

    The only reason I came to this thread was to see how many d-bags would post some stupid shit about pearl harbor. You're the only one! Thanks for being there. If you hadn't I would have had to reevaluate my opinion about AICN talkbacks. Meanwhile I'm sure you're fine with blacks Native Americans, among so many others America has screwed in its brief history, saying "fuck 'em" about any bad thing that happens to the US? Revengonomics!

  • March 20, 2011, 10:34 p.m. CST

    So basically, no news in Anime News this week?

    by Cash907

    I only came here because I was wondering what effect the crisis in Japan was having on all the different studios, but I guess you're not going to discuss that. I've already donated hundreds, I'm kind of donated out. I came here for industry news, but I guess I should have known better.

  • March 27, 2011, 5:19 p.m. CST

    In addition to donations

    by PlayerHater_of_the_year

    Americans should stop the Hughes Brothers from making American Akira. Those poor people have been through enough. Its like slapping them when there down. On a bright note though, the Atomic bomb in WW2 inspired most the Giant Monster/Robot Anime and Manga of the last 60 years. Imagine the crazy ideas those guys will come up with after all this! Art from adversity.