Since the earthquake and tsunami of last March, a number of artists and other creative types have put together anthologies and art books that serve a dual purpose: To raise money for disaster relief and to encourage the victims of the disaster not to lose hope.
The most recent of these is Believe In Yourself, a collection of sketches and character drawings based on the Gurren Lagann anime and loosely organized around the theme of hope. The project was led by Masahiko Otsuka, the director of Petite Princess Yucie and an episode director for such well-known anime as Fruits Basket, Gurren Lagann, and Gunbuster 2. Contributors include Hiroyuki Imaishi, director of Gurren Lagann and Panty & Stocking; Shouko Nakagawa (Shokotan), who sings the theme song of Gurren Lagann; Akemi Hayashi, character designer of Peacemaker KUROGANE and animator for Revolutionary Girl Utena; and Atsushi Nishigori, the character designer for Gurren Lagann and Idol M@ster. The American contributors include several members of the production team of the series Avatar: The Last Airbender: co-creator Bryan Konietzko, director Joaquim Dos Santos, episode director Ethan Spaulding (also the director of the Thundercats reboot), and background artist Elsa Garagarza.
The book was originally published as a print doujinshi (fan comic) in Japan and was sold at conventions, including Summer Comiket, raising over 3,000,000 yen; all proceeds from the book are donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society. (Although it is an independent project, the book was done with the permission of the Gurren Lagann Committee and GAINAX Company, Limited.)
Now the 84-page anthology is available as a Kindle book in the U.S., with a cover price of $9.99. As with the Japanese edition, all profits will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society. While the cover, foreword, and afterword are in Japanese, the artists' profiles have been translated into English, and in a book like this, the art pretty much speaks for itself. And if you don't have a Kindle, don't panic: Amazon has Kindle apps for the iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac, and PC, making this a book you can read on any platform.