An art gallery honouring the works of the late Mikiko Watanabe (35) opened a few months ago in "Kuwana Machi no Eki" souvenir shop in Kuwana City. Watanabe was one of the victims of the heinous arson attack on the Kyoto Animation Studio 1 Building. She was working on "Violet Evergarden The Movie" which was to be released soon.
The Art Gallery was opened by her great-aunt Setsuko Tsuchida. She decided to hold a gallery of Watanabe's artwork when she saw it displayed on her memorial. She said that she wanted to leave proof that Watanabe lived. She explained, "I wanted to keep a living proof of Mikiko's life. Even though the work is backgrounds, they're all wonderfully detailed pictures".
The art gallery has started to receive press coverage only recently. The gallery was opened at least since June 17 2020, according to a post on Facebook by the store. Kyoto Animation printed and provided the images from Watanabe's computer.
Watanabe was an art director and background artist for the Kyoto Animation and worked on most of the projects from K-On!, Violet Evergarden, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid and Myriad Colors Phantom Worlds, among other works. Her art placed the Kyoto animation's place as an anime studio that has one of the best background art in the anime industry. The Tokyo Anime Award Festival (TAAF) posthumously awarded her in the Background/Color/Video Category.
The Kyoto Animation Studio 1 building was burned down on July 18, 2019. The fire killed 36 people and injured 33 others.
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