Anime & Manga News

Anime Industry Grapples with Aftermath of Kyoto Animation Fire

by arsonal
Jul 19, 4:05 PM | 75 Comments

The anime industry is struggling to cope with the human and material losses of Thursday's apparent arson attack on animation production company Kyoto Animation, which has killed at least 34 people. Investigators began inspecting the burned-out No. 1 Studio building on Friday, shortly after firefighters declared the fire completely extinguished at 6:20 a.m. local time.

In addition to the human loss, all of the studio's past animation drawings and production materials, including computers and electronic storage devices, were destroyed in the fire. "The monetary damage? It's enormous," said Kyoto Animation president Hideaki Hatta in an interview with Japanese media on Friday morning, following an inspection of the building. "We don't know the full details yet."

Police began permitting members of the media to approach the charred studio building for the first time on Friday, allowing a closer look at the aftermath of the fire. The Shukan Bunshun magazine published a photo showing an illustration which appears to have miraculously survived the blaze and is still pinned to a cork board.


Because anime production involves many staff members to create drawings and art, some in the industry worry that the losses will impact productions for years to come. "The production process gets very difficult even when one of the staff is missing. The entire studio burned down. It might be difficult to continue the animation production as it is now," said Mushi Production company director Toshiyuki Morii in an interview with the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. The company has previously contracted Kyoto Animation for animation work.

Film production company Shochiku, which distributes movies made by Kyoto Animation, is said to be considering postponing the release dates of the studio's upcoming releases. However, a Shochiku representative told the Sankei Shimbun newspaper on Thursday that the company's anime department is still "assessing the situation" and has not made any decisions at this time. Shochiku is currently expected to release Violet Evergarden Gaiden on September 6, Violet Evergarden Movie on January 10, and a new Free! movie later in 2020.

Kyoto Animation's most recent theatrical release, Free!: Road to the World - Yume, began screening on July 5. Many in Japan have made an effort to watch screenings of the movie as a show of support for the studio. Box office data show that one-day ticket sales on Thursday were up 27.1 percent compared to the same day last week, whereas one-day ticket sales on Friday were up 12.7 percent.

Public broadcaster NHK interviewed a woman in her 50s, who is a fan of the studio's works, after a screening in Shinjuku. "I made a reservation before the fire, so I never expected something like this would happen. I cried throughout the film and couldn't see the screen very well," she said. "When the staff credits began rolling in the end, I became very worried and hoped that they were all safe. Others were also crying."

Around the country, cities which were used as the setting of Kyoto Animation's anime titles demonstrated their solidarity in supporting rebuilding efforts. City officials in Ogaki, Gifu Prefecture, which was used as the setting of Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice), have set up a donation box, while Toyosato in Shiga Prefecture has set up flower stands at the former elementary school used in the K-On! anime. In Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, the city's head librarian credited the studio with increasing tourism through Hyouka.

When asked about the prospect of reopening the studio building, Hatta said, "We will think about it. First, we will take into account the feelings (of the remaining staff members), and then we will do our best according to everyone's determination." Regarding works currently in production, "We want to release them to the public while considering the feelings of the staff," Hatta asserted.

"I absolutely believe in the power of the staff," said the woman interviewed by NHK. "I don't want the company to disappear because of this incident."

Source: Sponichi Annex, Asahi Shimbun Digital 1, The Sankei News, NHK News, Asahi Shimbun Digital 2

20 of 75 Comments Recent Comments

Darkvoid said:
Maid Dragon, Lucky Star Director's Death Confirmed
The fears many anime fans have had since the KyoAni fire have now been realized as Yasuhiro Takemoto's death has been confirmed.

The untimely death of Yasuhiro Takemoto in the Kyoto Animation arson attack has now been confirmed by his relatives and Kyoto Animation's direct...

Under the dead people was another well known director victim of the fire.
I dont know if i am allowed to post the source link but i read that it is confirmed and so i wanted to let people know.


Thank you for letting us know. It the source is official then you can definitely quote it or link it.

Aug 3, 2:19 PM by huntress1013

Maid Dragon, Lucky Star Director's Death Confirmed
The fears many anime fans have had since the KyoAni fire have now been realized as Yasuhiro Takemoto's death has been confirmed.

The untimely death of Yasuhiro Takemoto in the Kyoto Animation arson attack has now been confirmed by his relatives and Kyoto Animation's direct...

Under the dead people was another well known director victim of the fire.
I dont know if i am allowed to post the source link but i read that it is confirmed and so i wanted to let people know.

Jul 29, 10:24 AM by Darkvoid

The Anime world in Japan is a large family. Many are part but be assured any will help as they can and will. All studios and companies know each other, staff move from one to another, KyoAni has some of the longest staying because they are the best for workers of any ..regular salary, Child Care, support of all kinds..and they WILL Heal, nothing can bring back the lost but be assured they will be remembered dearly.

all that can be done is being done. thank you all for so many kind postings.

Jul 28, 11:03 AM by CrisGer_San_AA

I saw this news a lot later and im still shocked i dont know what to say i only wanna cry now for the staff members that lost their lives first cause human life is most important but of course im also worried about the future of the studio. When i watch the newest Kyoani production i will think about the staff that put so much effort into it. It will be my own way to honor such talented people that gave us so much joy over all these years. And i hope that legend wont die ever and there hopefully will be a future for this well known studio that many people love deeply.

Jul 28, 8:59 AM by Darkvoid

Very shocked at this news. The world has lost a great deal of talent this week. These people can never be replaced. They were as gods.

Jul 22, 6:13 PM by basspig

AhmedHan said:
This is the saddest thing I heard about the anime industry since the tsunami disaster a few years ago. I wish anything like this never happens again.

Does anyone know about the details and background of the assault? What was his problem? Why did he kill so many people? Mental illness? Personal grudge? Unpaid salaries? Maybe he didn't like the end of his favorite show?


According to the Hollywood Reporter, the man had been in jail for more than three years for robbery and recently threatened to kill a neighbour who complained that he was noisy. He has also been treated for mental health issues. All in all he sounds like a very mentally unstable and violent individual.

Jul 22, 6:15 AM by huntress1013

By the way, what's MAL's policy regarding to the suspect's privacy? I'm asking because it's pretty non-existent in Japanese media. Every recent news broadcast publishes his name and everything they've managed to dig up about him.

I've no preference personally, but I'm asking because I don't want to accidentally break the rules.

Jul 22, 4:58 AM by NthDegree

The fucker who did this, the arsonist asshole, he knew what he was doing, this was planned in detail to make the upmost ammount of damage possible, and he did achieve that.

I m not surprised people are capable of such things, maddness is maddness, I m surprised this happened in Japan, but this also goes to show life is full of hurdles everywhere and also that despite the japonese society giving this whole impression of security and organization, it is impossible for it to be flawness and in fact, the way they are, is directly impacting the birth rate of the population and is the product of all these weirdos and poor souls that are born there, but are not able to express themselves properly or even socially interact with one another.

But on topic again, this is still really sad and tragic, no I wont cry over or think too deeply each time I see an anime from the studios, in fact I m slowly going through Hyouka, but I do wish that those who remain are able to find the way back to the surface and in a few years at least we will all be able to look forward and recall this with the respect it deserves but also as a warning to avoid anything of this nature ever again.
Terrorism can happen everyone, it is a harsh truth that our way of life currently (presuming most people are not experiencing an enviroment of war) makes us ignore over and over.

May those who departed find eternal peace, because they works have touched many, and they wont be forgotten!

Jul 22, 2:46 AM by Playcool

Rip those beautiful souls..
KyoAni is my favourite studio..Clannad, Free, Violet Evergarden.. I love KyoAni because of how unique they are, how gorgeous their anime are. My broken heart will always be with you.

Jul 21, 11:11 PM by TinYLilMuffiN

NthDegree said:
Does anyone know whether the status of Yasuhiro Takemoto is still unconfirmed? You would think they should've been able to contact him by now... I'm worried.


i remember reading about that name here

takemoto yasuhiro’s (hyouka, high speed, maidragon) father has revealed he has been unable to contact his son
among other things, he has said that whatever feelings he has against the perpetrator, all he wants more is for time to go back to normal
https://twitter.com/highimpactsex/status/1153062446774530048

you can follow that twitter as he updates regularly

Jul 21, 7:45 PM by ugmon

Gorochu said:
KyoAni will definitely recover from this. Lots of support is given to them and I'm sure the donations can save them. Does kyoani has insurance?
insurance is mandatory. the problem is not financial destruction, but human source destruction.

Jul 21, 7:41 PM by Kuma

KyoAni will definitely recover from this. Lots of support is given to them and I'm sure the donations can save them. Does kyoani has insurance?

Jul 21, 7:27 PM by Gorochu

Thread cleaned


Please stay on topic. Off-topic posts and discourse will be removed.

Jul 21, 12:59 PM by ThatRazorGuy

Man, we really are political animals if somebody will try to connect it with something times removed from the big picture. Aristotle knew what's up :P

Enough of that. These past few days since this terrible tragedy, it's really heartwarming a lot of people helped to get KyoAni back to its feet. Just goes to show the love many have to the studio.

Here's to hoping they rise from the ashes.

Jul 21, 10:36 AM by Konradikon

I will say again, gently, please keep political or controversial aspects OUT of this thread and our thoughts.

we should be grieving and praying for those lost, not bickering in a internet thread. Please think of the people and the families and be kind.

thank you

Jul 21, 8:29 AM by CrisGer_San_AA

and when i thought im over this topic, here i am crying again.

Jul 21, 7:15 AM by TooLongDidntRead

This is the saddest thing I heard about the anime industry since the tsunami disaster a few years ago. I wish anything like this never happens again.

Does anyone know about the details and background of the assault? What was his problem? Why did he kill so many people? Mental illness? Personal grudge? Unpaid salaries? Maybe he didn't like the end of his favorite show?

Jul 21, 6:49 AM by AhmedHan

huntress1013 said:
No one mad it to the roof through many tried.


Not that it makes it much better, but I doubt it would have made much difference if they had made it to the roof. The fire was absolutely massive, and being on the roof might have meant that they would have died/been permanently disabled from the heat rather than carbon monoxide poisoning (which is relatively painless).

I've heard, and I'm not sure whether this is a rumour or not, that the windows had "anti-suicide" bars that made it harder for people to jump from them.

I really, really hope that's not true.

Mod Edit: Removed quote of deleted post.

Jul 21, 5:05 AM by ShoganaiDaro

Official statement
Basically it was as reported in the news, and that it is sad to end those youth lives like that.
https://natalie.mu/comic/news/340587



Edit 2: KyoAni Decided Accept the Fund
https://mainichi.jp/articles/20190723/k00/00m/040/323000c

Edit 3: Staffs who was able to escape from 2nd floor have returned to work on 24th.
https://www.ktv.jp/news/articles/94cbcbe4952142f988acbec47e0f3391.html

#PrayForKyoani

Jul 21, 5:03 AM by tsubasalover

NthDegree said:
Does anyone know whether the status of Yasuhiro Takemoto is still unconfirmed? You would think they should've been able to contact him by now... I'm worried.


If I am not completely mistaken his status has been confirmed as deceased. No one is any longer considered missing. Those who are not dead are injured.

Just read in the Guardian that the majority of the people who died were all in the 20s and 30s. They had in the middle of the building a spiral staircase which acted as a funnel. No one mad it to the roof through many tried.

Jul 21, 4:04 AM by huntress1013