Yesterday, as we all know, Japan was rocked by disaster in a combination of earthquakes, tsunamis, and nuclear crises. We’ve seen the absolute worst of humanity condemn the innocent, and rise from the darkest of basements and condemn those who lost friends, family and more. We’ve seen crackpots try to sum this up as a form of divine retribution. We’ve seen fanboys piss and moan about anime delays. And, we’ve seen the absolute worst rise up in a good number of people.

Tonight’s post isn’t about these jerks.

Instead, I’d like to spend tonight speaking about the good in people. I mentioned in last night’s post that Canada donated over $77,000 to relief efforts, and numerous charities have taken up the task of gathering funds, from Global Giving to the Red Cross. Google has also risen to the occasion, and launched a Person Finder, to help reunite lost friends and family, and help put the hearts and minds of thousands at ease.

Even in this small industry, we’ve seen support begin to swell and grow into something truly amazing. Yesterday, Crunchyroll announced that they would match all donations through their charity drive, up to the first $5,000. All of the major news outlets, from ANN to Anime Vice, have been focused on the disaster, and providing updates as the industry checks in on the situation. Numerous fans have collaborated to keep running lists of industry figures, as they tweet or report their safety. Many have donated to funds, and fans across the country have come together to reflect and wish those affected well.

This simple series of acts, these spontaneous times of bonding are what make me proud to be a part of this community. Anime fans, for the most part, have been a ton of idiots that have said crass, thoughtless, even hateful things. However, the greater community, and its many members have remained resilient and supportive. We’ve seen so many good people – so many kind, caring folks that want nothing more than those displaced to be safe, start to speak up and speak loudly about the situation at hand. Be it on Facebook, Twitter, or even blogs and message board postings, an outpouring of support has grown steadily, and resolve to help our fellow man continues to strengthen.

AnimEigo founder Robert Woodhead once said that he’d trust his kids with an anime fan, over a stranger. For years, I’ve been puzzled over this quote. As a fairly cynical person, I never really understood just what he meant, and why he would. However, in the light of this recent series of events, I think that I’m finally starting to see what he meant.