Kyoto Animation president Hideaki Hatta recently held a press conference in front of Japanese and international media. There, he stated that he is deeply hertbroken by the loss of life that he cannot bear it. He also told the press that every one of those who were lost was an “excellent and wonderful colleague”. The KyoAni president also admitted that never in his dreams would he think that such a tragedy would happen. Many in the media now dub the arson attack was the ” worst mass killing in Japan in decades.”
Hatta also talked about the damage done to the company in terms of material. Since this was their main studio, it’s there where they store their files, many of their production materials, and many more. Unfortunately, Hatta admitted that they all burned down. As for the monetary damage, he says that he doesn’t know the full details yet, but says that it’s “extreme”.
The Fire department stated that the 41-year old male suspect was seen carrying two 2-Litre cans of gasoline to the building. He was yelling curses to the people inside the building before pouring the gasoline and lighting it up. He also shouted “Die!” as he lighted the fire. He then ran away to a nearby train station where he was captured, presumably by KyoAni staff members. The New York Times noted that of the 34 people killed, 20 of them were women.
The disgruntled suspect was confirmed to not be a staff member or even a former one. Several eyewitnesses even stated that he was claiming that Kyoto Animation ripped him off. During his interrogation, the suspect said that the studio “stole his novel”. Several Japanese news sites have also revealed the suspects name, though we here at So Japan have decided not to publish his name. He could be facing Arson charges, as well as murder or homicide charges, in addition to property damage and many more crimes.
How you can help directly,
The fire has certainly ravaged the legendary animation studio, and to help them out, we suggest buying the digital print products from their official KyoAni store. The money spent would be going directly to Kyoto Animation and you would get a digital print from anime titles like “Free” and Sound! Euphonium.
Alternatively, Sentai Film Works, a licensee to various Kyoto Animation’s works in North America, has set up a Go Fund Me Page.
The campaign has now reached over a million US dollars in donations, well passed the original 500,000 USD goal. With the company promised that it will be donating the entire amount to KyoAni’s rebuilding.
Crunchyroll is collecting supportive messages from fans to give to KyoAni, so if you cannot donate, you can at least let the people back in Kyoto know you are thinking about them.
Founded in 1981, Kyoto Animation is affectionately known as Kyoani. As an animation company, they are known for their excellent storytelling technics and animation quality.
They are also credited for many works that every anime lover would have at least heard of. Just to list a few, AIR, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, K-On!, Lucky Star, Free!, A Silent Voice, Violet Evergarden and more.
In the time of outsourced animator and cost-cutting, they stand out as one of the only to provide full-time employment to all their animating staff and crew.
We here at So Japan deeply condemn the actions of the arsonist. We would like to convey our condolences to the deceased’s mourning families, and our support to the company and its employees.