Mikiko Watanabe was an art director at Kyoto Animation known for work on titles like Violet Evergarden and Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, among others. Unfortunately, she passed away as a result of the deadly arson attack on Kyoto Animation Studio 1, but her work lives on at a new gallery thanks to some dedicated family members.
The gallery opened a few months ago at Mie prefecture’s Kuwana Machi no Eki, but hasn’t been reported widely due to ongoing issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic. It all started when Watanabe’s great aunt, Setsuko Tsuchida, saw her work at the KyoAni memorial, inspiring her to set up a gallery to celebrate her accomplishments.
Tsuchida said she wanted to “keep a living proof of Mikiko’s life … Even though the works are backgrounds, they’re all wonderfully detailed pictures. I want people from all walks of life to see them.”
The prints and data used in the gallery were all provided by Kyoto Animation.