I had originally planned to write a Dragonball post today. But considering the tragedy that recently struck, I feel like I need to add my two cents. This is too important to ignore, considering how strongly this studio has affected my life.
For those of you who don’t know, Kyoto Animation is the studio behind some of the best anime shows and movies of all time. Their catalogue is huge, including ‘Sound! Euphonium‘, ‘Violet Evergarden‘, ‘Hyouka‘ (a personal favorite of mine), ‘Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid‘, ‘The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya‘ and their biggest hit for me: ‘A Silent Voice‘. They are a hugely important studio that I held very dearly to my heart without even knowing it.
At least not until the recent arson attack.
On July 18th, 2019, Kyoto Animation’s first studio was set ablaze. Roughly seventy people were in the building at the time. Thirty-five of them have been injured, and thirty-four have been confirmed deceased. According to company president Hideaki Hatta said that many of these victims were young women who had only recently joined the studio.
This is one of the worst mass killings in Japanese history. Aside from natural disasters, this event had the highest casualty count in the last two decades for Japan. This is beyond the simple destruction of a building in which anime was made. This is a terrible, heartbreaking loss of innocent, talented and passionate life.
I wanted to write this post for two reasons. One: I wanted to share some of my favorite memories regarding their different works, as they have had a profound effect on my life. The second, and more important reason, was to help spread the word on how we can help them through this terrible time.
At the bottom of this article, I’ve left three links. The first is to a news article that will provide further details on the tragedy and how the people involved have been effective. The second and third are both from Crunchyroll, which will provide you with a good method for sharing your support with the studio and a list of how you can do so further respectively. Please check them out and help them as much as you can. Anything we can do to help is monumentally important.
None of the stories I have are exceptionally long. They are very simple. But often times, the simple things are the most important and beautiful.
‘Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid‘ has become a staple show between me and a close friend of mine. He encouraged me to watch the show, and I quickly fell in love with it. It is easily one of my favorite shows of all time. Not just because of its high quality. But because this friend and I could talk about our favorite scenes from the show, then laugh at our other friends who would stare at us like we were from another planet. Recently, they had announced that a second season was on the way. Naturally, we were excited to get to do it all over again.
‘A Silent Voice‘ falls into a similar camp. Among my friends, only my friend Nick and myself have seen the film. He is eager to never watch it again, as it made him cry like a small infant. Naturally, I have made habit of mocking him relentlessly for it, even though the film elicited the exact same reaction from me. To this day, I still pester my friends to watch the movie with me so that they can experience the same magic.
‘Hyouka‘ was a show that took me completely by surprise. My natural curiosity compelled me to watch the first episode. And I was hooked from there onwards. For a while, it made a genuine argument for my favorite anime of all time. It is a beautiful, engaging, and emotionally resonant show unlike anything I have ever seen. I hadn’t binged a show so quickly since middle school.
There are so many other shows that I had been pushing off for so long. I’ve heard nothing but good things about ‘Sound! Euphonium‘. I never finished ‘Violet Evergarden‘, but I had always intended to. Everything I’ve seen of ‘Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya‘ seemed right up my alley. I had put them lower on the list. But in light of these events, they’ve been bolstered up to Priority #1.
It’s a shame that they will be forever tinted by the dark events of this tragedy.
Normally, I try to avoid super heavy subjects like this. Generally, I try to only tackle them when I’m discussing art that deals with dark, real-world themes. But this is too important to ignore. Too monumental to simply avoid talking about.
My best wishes go out to everyone affected by this tragedy. It is a damn shame that will stand as a sad historical event in both the history of anime and Japan. Please, if you haven’t already, I implore you to take whatever action you can to support them in this dire time.
Kyoto Animation is one of the important studios in anime. They’ve given us as anime fans so many wonderful things over the years. Now, it is our turn to give back to them.