Local, national or global stories that are fairly interesting, screwed up, or guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Death toll from Kyoto Animation fire increases to 34

The death toll from the tragic arson attack that devastated the Kyoto Animation Company in Kyoto, Japan has climbed to 34.

Kyoto police announced that a man admitted to hospital had succumbed to their injuries after Thursday’s fire.

Hideaki Hatta the president of Kyoto Animation, spoke with reporters on Friday morning, stating he was “crushed by the loss of colleagues” that he had worked with over the years.

The Twitter account for the Free! anime series posted a single tweet stating that the 2020 Summer update that was supposed to be released today is cancelled.

The third episode of the series Fire Force was also postponed, likely in respect to those affected by the fire, according to a tweet from Crunchyroll.


Sources: NHK 1, 2

Fire at Kyoto Animation Company kills 33 people

At 10:30 am local time (6:30 pm Pacific Daylight Time), a fire broke out at building that housed the Kyoto Animation Company in Kyoto, Japan. A man in his 40s was suspected of starting the fire which killed 33 people, with another 36 injured, according to NHK.

Witnesses to the event recall seeing the suspect pour an accelerant on the building and shouting before starting the fire. He was arrested and taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Kyoto Animation Company was founded in 1981 and worked on a number of anime series including K-ON, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Free!.

Anime fans from around the world took to social media posting messages of condolence and support for those affected by the fire.



Source: NHK

Stan Lee passes away at age 95

Stan Lee at Alamo City Comic Con in 2014
Stan Lee at Alamo City Comic Con in 2014.

Stan Lee, the mastermind behind some of Marvel’s greatest superheroes, passed away Monday at age 95.

Lee, who worked with Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby, created new superheroes under the Marvel banner, many of which continue to star in print, digital and film to this day, including Spider-Man, the Hulk and Iron Man.

Continuing to work into his twilight years, Lee made appearances at fan conventions and cameos in movies based on his characters.

Source: CBC

HMV to close, depriving Canadians another place to buy anime

An HMV store on Robson Street
An HMV store on Robson Street

Another Canadian retailer is exiting the market. HMV, purveyors of all things entertainment, is winding down its operations and closing all 102 store locations over the next couple of months. It also marks the end of the few physical merchants selling anime products within Canada.

Aside from grabbing the latest movie, or that classic vinyl record, HMV had a fairly decent selection of anime. While many other shops hosted a limited choice of more popular titles, HMV could be counted on for a wider assortment of anime, albeit at a higher price. Plus, they also sold various collectibles and knickknacks including mugs, posters, apparel and plushes.

The closure announcement came on January 27th, 2017, due to competition from online sources that could offer more items at lower prices and on-demand streaming services with vast libraries of music and video at modest monthly rates.

HMV’s online site is no longer available for browsing. Stores remain open to clear out remaining inventory on discount.

Source: HMV

Helping those affected by the earthquake in Nepal

The earthquake that struck Nepal and portions of India, China and Bangladesh on Saturday, April 25th, 2015 has killed thousands and left countless more homeless and in need of support.

There are ways you can help; both the Canadian Red Cross and American Red Cross, along with Doctors Without Borders in Canada and the United States, and UNICEF are accepting donations to provide assistance to those affected the most by this disaster.

Four Pennies and a Funeral

If you hadn’t already heard, Canada is phasing out the penny. Long maligned and ignored, the tiny bronze-coloured coin will no longer be distributed as of February 4th, 2013. Despite its impending doom, the penny won’t be disappearing any time soon — that is, if retailers and other institutions choose to accept it (it’s not required by law). Regardless if a merchant welcomes it or not, existing one cent coins will continue to be a valid form of payment for the time being. Retiring the penny will save Canadians an estimated $11 million a year.

The Royal Canadian Mint is asking businesses to round their cash payments, either up or down. For example, a total that comes to $9.48 would be rounded up to $9.50 where as a total of $9.42 would be rounded down to $9.40. So, any total ending in 1 or 2 will be rounded down to 0, with 3 and 4 being rounded up to 5. Totals ending in 6 and 7 will rounded down to the nearest 5 with 8 and 9 rounded up to the nearest 10. This will take some getting use to.

Transactions that are paid for with a debit card, credit card, or cheque will not have the final total rounded. Electronic transactions (e.g. bank transfers, Paypal, etc.) will not require rounding.

An example posted by the Mint:

Coffee:		$1.83
Sandwich:	$2.86
Tax (5%):	$0.23

Total:		$4.92

If you’re paying with a debit or credit card, your account will be charged $4.92. If you’re paying with cash, the total would be rounded down to $4.90 as the 92 is closer to 90.

Still have plenty of pennies lying around the house or car? You can still take them into the bank, exchange them for a wish at a fountain or well, donate them through a charity coin drive, plus many other useful applications.

For further information on the elimination visit the Royal Canadian Mint web site or call 1-800-O-CANADA (1-800-622-6232).

Helping those affected by the earthquake in Japan

We’re all aware of destruction that has left the north-eastern portion of Japan in utter ruins. Thousands have perished, many more missing and millions without water or electricity.

There are ways you can help; both the Canadian Red Cross and American Red Cross, along with Doctors Without Borders in Canada and the United States are accepting donations as are many other local charitable organizations.

Have family or friends in Japan? The Google Person Finder can help you locate loved ones.

The Anime News Network is also publishing a list of manga artists and other members of the anime inustry who have checked in after the disaster. Various artists are also working on a collaborative doujinshi with profits going toward relief efforts.

Earthquake in Japan

For those living in a region prone to seismic activity, it’s incredibly sobering to see images from Japan where safety is ingrained into their culture. While many of the buildings did not collapse from the initial shaking, the second punch in the form of a tsunami finished off what the quake started.

The west coast of Canada has been fairly complacent in its standards and with an ever increasing building boom, Metro Vancouver may not even hold up to a medium or larger sized tremor. This reality is very unnerving.

All that we can do is ensure we are prepared and hope that we may never have to experience the same destruction that plagues those who live in an area like the Ring of Fire.

Check out this post on Gakuranman for photos, videos and Twitter updates from Japan.

The Canadian Red Cross is also accepting donations for aid in the stricken north-east region.