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'A Silent Voice' paperboard to go on sale to support arson-hit Kyoto Animation

A paperboard bearing an illustration of the main characters of the manga "Koe no Katachi" (A Silent Voice) is seen in this photo provided by Kodansha Ltd.

OSAKA -- A paperboard bearing a newly rendered illustration of the manga "Koe no Katachi" (A Silent Voice), which was adapted into a namesake movie by Kyoto Animation Co., will go on sale on Oct. 11 to raise donations for the company that is reeling from a deadly arson attack in July.

The softly colored illustration featuring the manga's protagonists -- a boy and a girl -- hand in hand was rendered by Yoshitoki Oima, the author of the work. She proposed the charity initiative to Kodansha Ltd., the publisher of a weekly magazine that ran the manga in 2013-2014, saying she wanted to support Kyoto Animation after the July attack left 35 people dead. Oima had contacts with Kyoto Animation staff through the making of the 2016 film, according to Kodansha.

"A Silent Voice" portrays a girl with a hearing impairment and a boy who becomes isolated for bullying her, depicting the struggles and challenges of adolescents.

In a comment released by Kodansha, Oima recalls the time when she met Kyoto Animation staff to discuss the film's script in summer 2015 and says, "I was impressed by such a homey workplace atmosphere. I was fortunate to have been able to be in their company, even for a moment." She then adds, "I will be supporting them forever."

The paperboard is priced at 500 yen apiece, excluding tax. A total of 5,000 copies will go on sale via Animate, an animation-related goods store across the country, as well as its online store until Oct. 28. The entire proceeds from sales will be donated as relief money.

(Japanese original by Hajime Meno, Osaka Regional News Center)

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