Anime Fans Give Back to Japan Retrospective

The last couple of months have been rather busy for us here at Chainsaw Buffet.  With “Voices For Japan” getting underway tomorrow, I thought now might be a good time to take a look back at how we got to this point, beginning with the tragic events that took place in Japan.

I remember waking up with an e-mail from Charlie mentioning that there was a massive earthquake in Japan, but little else.  Of course, it didn’t take long before I realized just how serious the situation really was.

I can’t say when, where, or how the folks over at the Unofficial One Piece Podcast started the process of creating what would become Anime Fans Give Back to Japan, but it’s safe to assume that they were already well into the planning process by the time that I got a message from Drew (a.k.a. “Pein”) from the Konoha Corner podcast, letting me know that a bunch of podcasts were getting together to do a 24 hour marathon podcast to raise money for victims of the earthquake and tsunami. 

Naturally (and rather obviously), I jumped at the invitation.

I won’t lie.  I was a little overwhelmed by the time I started to talk to Zach from the UOPP.  I wanted to do more than just show up and do our usual shtick – I wanted to help.  Of course, I lack Dylan’s technical knowledge (I know just enough about HTML and audio/visual editing to be dangerous, but not enough to actually be useful), so I naturally gravitated towards doing what I ordinarily do for the Chainsaw Buffet podcast:  Asking guests for interviews.

We had just finished doing our series of voice actor interviews over Skype, so the Monday after I signed on to help, I asked Zach which guests they had contacted already.  Armed with that information, I went about asking a number of voice actors we had worked with in the past (and perhaps just as many voice actors that we had never contacted previously) in the hopes that maybe I might get a couple of responses before the event on Saturday. 

It was slow agony at first, constantly checking my inbox to see if anyone had replied.  Within a few hours of sending the first batch of e-mails, however, I started to get responses.  As it turned out, the voice over community was more than eager to help out with what we were doing.

Then, within a couple of days, a peculiar thing started to happen – I started to get e-mails from voice actors I hadn’t even contacted.  Checking in with Zach, he hadn’t contacted them, either.  As it turned out, the voice over community had been spreading the word about Anime Fans Give Back to Japan, and were contacting both Zach and myself to see how they could contribute.  Zach then started to organize a second fundraising event, because of all of the increased interest we had.  All of a sudden, we literally didn’t have enough hours in the day to bring on all of the people from the voice over community who wanted to contribute.

I’d also be remiss not to mention those who were willing to contribute prizes to some of the lucky donors.  Of course, I’m ill-suited to talk about the wonderful response we received from the groups we contacted, as the giveaways were largely the result of Liz’s efforts.  Even so, our friends at J-List, Anime Weekend Atlanta, The Man Power, and The Slants were all extremely generous.

To date, Anime Fans Give Back to Japan has raised over $32,000 for the ongoing relief effort.  While much of the credit should go to the Unofficial One Piece Podcast, it’s important to remember the contributions of everyone who participated.  Without the collective efforts of the voice over community and especially podcasts like Konoha Corner, the SSAA Podcast, and so many other podcasts, groups, and individuals (including of course, those who donated), the event would never have reached the level of success that it did.  We here at Chainsaw Buffet have been honored and humbled by what we have witnessed these last few weeks, and are in awe of the many wonderful people we have been privileged to work with.

While we’re thrilled with the success of Anime Fans Give Back to Japan, we at Chainsaw Buffet are working hard to do all that we can to continue to aid in the ongoing relief effort. 

Thanks for supporting our efforts, and we hope you enjoy what we have in store.

About The Busboy

The Busboy (a.k.a. John Robbins) is best known for being a regular co-host on the Chainsaw Buffet podcast. Aside from his work for the site, John is an avid fighting game player with a current competitive focus on Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. You can follow him on Twitter at "@_JohnnyFive".