Eiichiro Oda, Hajime Isayama Show Their Support After Kumamoto Earthquakes
posted on by Eric Stimson
As Kumamoto Prefecture continues to cope with the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes of April 14 and 16, figures from the anime anime and manga industry are sending their support. Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece, feels a special connection to Kumamoto as it is his hometown, so on April 19 the official One Piece Twitter account posted this hand-drawn message from him featuring Luffy and Kumamon, the prefecture's bear mascot:
There was a big earthquake in Kumamoto. (all of Kyushu) I was born in Kumamoto, it's my hometown. To those who were greatly affected by the damage, I hope you're doing well from the bottom of my heart. I was able to directly contact my family and friends, but they're all very scared. But they're doing their best. Everyone I got in touch with said things to put me at ease. They're so tough!! But there is a limit to how long people can steel themselves. Before that thread breaks, I want to calm them down somehow. It's crucial that adults don't worry their kids. Most of all, I want to make kids laugh! If they laugh, adults can do their best! It's still hard now for ordinary people to lend a hand, but I will definitely help with the relief effort. Stay strong, however you can!!
The Straw Hat Pirates — or at least their voice actors — also lent their support to the region. Ikue Ohtani (Chopper), Kazuya Nakai (Zoro), Akemi Okamura (Nami), Yuriko Yamaguchi (Robin), Kazuki Yao (Franky), Kappei Yamaguchi (Usopp), and Mayumi Tanaka (Luffy) each promise to heal or help the victims in some way or encourage them to stay strong and happy.
The cast also signed this board exhorting Kumamoto and Ōita (a nearby prefecture) to stay strong.
Hajime Isayama (Attack on Titan), another manga artist from the affected region (he is from Hita in Ōita Prefecture), also contributed a drawing as support for the victims. It shows Eren, Mikasa and Armin with Kumamon and Mejiron, Ōita Prefecture's bird mascot, all facing a giant enemy. On his blog, Isayama wrote, "When times have been tough for me, even under very harsh circumstances, I'm reminded of manga heroes who fight for their lives, and I remember that they toughed it out. I drew the illustration with those feelings."
Mayumi Tanaka recorded a message of support earlier while cosplaying a balloon version of Luffy's Gear 4.