[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyeU4jlYB4E&feature=player_embedded’]

Earlier today, ANN reported that a group of voice actors banded together to perform a song for those affected by the earthquake. The group, dubbed Seiendan (a combination of the words seiyuu [voice actor] and ouendan [cheer squad]), was started in Kazuhiko Inoue in Osaka. The final lineup includes fourteen of Japan’s voice actor community, with the final lineup being as follows:

  • Kentarou Itou
  • Kazuhiko Inoue
  • Ryotaro Okiayu
  • Anri Katsu
  • Yamato Koganemaru
  • Katsuyuki Konishi
  • Tomokazu Seki
  • Naozumi Takahashi
  • Souichiro Hoshi
  • Fumiko Orikasa
  • Mika Kanai
  • Nobutoshi Canna
  • Asami Sanada
  • Miyuki Sawashiro

Call me a sentimentalist, but I can’t help but be reminded of the mid-’80s We Are the World special. For those who don’t recall, We Are the World was a gathering of pop music superstars that recorded a single to raise awareness and donations for famines in Africa. The movement was spearheaded by legendary producer Quincy Jones, and featured over 40 musicians including Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Dylan. The song was the fastest-selling American pop single in history, and a popular selection among listeners. Over $10.8 million was raised for African relief efforts in the span of four months due to recor sales, combined with individual donations by listeners.

While the stars may not shine as brightly, and the song may not be as catchy, but the feeling in the song can be felt as the figures deliver their lines. The song, a piece meant to lighten the hearts of the affected and ease some of the mental burden of the populous, is simple in its message but rich in emotion. While I doubt this feature will make a gigantic impact on the nation at large, I do hope that the general message spreads, as rebuilding efforts begin.

Things are looking up, after all. Cooling systems at the Fukushima power plant’s #5 and #6 reactors have resumed, and radiation levels at the #3 reactor fell from 3,443 microsieverts to 2,758 microsieverts. Power has been restored to the #1 and #2 reactors, and power is expected to be restored tomorrow. While the situation is still bad, as the #4 reactor is still in need of attention. However, the fall in radiation levels, as well as the fact that the affected area hasn’t widened since Wednesday gives hope that the situation may be rounding a turning point.

The dire situation in Japan may not be over yet, but the situation is looking increasingly hopeful. I will be looking forward at this situation with a cautious sense of optimism, and hoping for the best for the people who have been working tirelessly to ensure that the greater population will be able to live without fear of another disaster, and more losses of life.