Earlier this year, fans paid respect to those who lost their lives during Kyoto Animation's tragic arson attack. The event left more than 30 dead, and with dozens of others injured, the anime fandom was at a loss. For the families of those who passed, their grief is felt to this day, and one family decided to confront theirs by opening an art gallery to honor their lost loved one.
As reported by Crunchyroll, a gallery opened several months back honoring the late Mikiko Watanabe. The exhibition has been hard to visit since its opening due to the pandemic, but new guidelines have since made it easier to visit the gallery. The collection was put on display by Watanabe's family after her great-aunt was faced with Watanabe's artwork at a memorial.
For those unaware of Watanabe, the artist was one of Kyoto Animation's longstanding art director. She passed away last July in the arson whilst working on Violent Evergreen The Movie. The artist had already finished work on Violet Evergarden - Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll film before her death. Her work on background art made her a legend with fans of Kyoto Animation, and Watanabe's great-aunt said she never wanted her work to be forgotten.
"I wanted to keep a living proof of Mikiko's life," Setsuko Tsuchida explained in a recent interview "Even though the work are backgrounds, they're all wonderfully detailed pictures. I want people from all walks of life to see them."
Currently, this gallery can be found at Kuwana Machi no Eki. There is no set through date for the event, so fans will hopefully be able to pay a visit and see Watanabe's work up close before the gallery moves on.