With news of the incident spreading over to the mainstream, the staff here at RandomC wanted to take a moment to express our profound condolences for what happened to Kyoto Animation. It was a senseless act of violence that not only affected a beloved studio but the families of all the talented individuals that worked there.
Below is a post written by retired writer Samu on the situation as well as links to how to support Kyoto Animation in this wild time.
In Support of Kyoto Animation
This will go down as one of the darkest days in anime history.
Written by Samu
Early on Thursday morning a 41-year old man committed an act of arson on Kyoto Animation’s Studio 1 in Rokujizou. The death toll currently stands at 33 of the 70+ members of staff, with 36 injured, making it the largest single mass murder incident in post-war Japan.
Reports of the arsonist pouring oil not just on the building, but also people inside, are being circulated, as well as incidents of survivors running to nearby shops to call for help. There were also multiple knives found on the scene, though whether they were involved in this incident is yet to be confirmed. It has, however, been confirmed that the culprit has no direct involvement with the company.
What must be said in light of this tragedy is that in an industry where animators literally work themselves to death to churn for minimal pay per cell, Kyoto Animation has been an example of a studio that invests and cares for its staff deeply, fostering the creativity of aspiring artists by training animators in their own school, and actually offering them salaries (unlike most other animation studios). They take ownership of their property and consistently put out technically impressive works in part because their positive workforce who are not put under the same intense stress as other Tokyo companies – one example of this is that their shows are usually fully animated by the time the voice actors record their parts near the end of the production process; typically, by nature of the limited time for too much work, the industry standard is for most voice actors to act based on early thumbnails and sketches, with the animators and working up until the last possible moment.
Anyone who recognises my name knows I retired from RC back in 2017, but following this news I was asked by my friends still writing here to make this post, as they know how much love I have for this studio. As any of you who have read my posts on Hibike! Euphonium or any other Kyoto Animation property in the past will know, they are my favourite in the industry. I view them as a symbol to aspire to, both creatively and ethically. I haven’t quite wrapped my head around the everlasting consequences of today’s events, but this attack is likely to cause irreparable damage and we must be prepared for the worst, but still show our support. Directors and artists and other members of staff that we may recognise or look up will not have survived, but their legacy can still live on. The physical copies of most of Kyoto Animation’s work may be gone, but we cannot stop supporting them. All projects will likely be postponed or put to an end depending on who was working on which project, and we all must realise that is just how things have to be. So many talented artists have died for working on what they love, and the survivors will likely wear emotional scars for the rest of their lives. It’s too early to say, but Kyoto Animation as we have grown to know and love may never recover from this.
This is without a doubt the darkest day in anime history.
I’d issue some caution to those immediately giving money to the “Help KyoAni Heal” GoFundMe due to it being unconfirmed whether KyoAni will directly receive these funds. If you want to help in other ways then you can support the company instead by buying their products (specifically their digital images) directly from their website or even by streaming as you normally would, as little as it may help. Spread the word and show your support.
Support Pages and Other Reading
- How-To Guide on buying stuff directly from KyoAni’s Online Store.
- Gofundme started by Sentai Filmworks’s President John Ledford to help KyoAni.
- The Evolution Of Kyoto Animation: A Unique Anime Studio And Its Consistent Vision by Sakura Blog