Exactly a week ago, fire and smoke had engulfed the first studio of Kyoto Animation, which took the lives of 34 talented people and seriously injuring 34 more. The fire turned out to be intentional.
As news broke of the deadly arson attack on Thursday, messages of sorrow and support to the beloved anime studio has flooded on social media, particularly from Japanese anime companies, personalities and even fans around the world.
In the hours following the incident, #PrayforKyoAni and other related terms topped Twitter’s trending topics charts worldwide, as well as in the Philippines.
North American anime distributor Sentai Filmworks was one of the first animation companies that reacted to the incident, and launched a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign which managed to raise more than USD1 million in 24 hours.
Sentai Filmworks has distributed several Kyoto Animation titles in North America, including Clannad, Beyond the Boundary and K-ON! among others.
As of press time, donations for the crowdfunding campaign has now passed over USD2 million.
Help us help our friends at Kyoto Animation by donating (if you can) or sharing: https://t.co/Fg599lm5Dy
— Sentai 🌞 Filmworks (@SentaiFilmworks) July 18, 2019
Several anime companies around the world, including Funimation and Eleven Arts had also shown their supports to KyoAni.
— Funimation (@FUNimation) July 18, 2019
We are completely devastated with news of Kyoto Animation. Our hearts are with all those affected by this tragedy.
To everyone who is heartbroken and feeling helpless: we will update as soon as we have the right information on how to help the beloved studio and their families.
— ELEVEN ARTS (@ELEVEN_ARTS) July 18, 2019
Our thoughts go out to Kyoto Animation, the victims & their families in the wake of this tragic attack.
— Manga Entertainment (@MangaUK) July 18, 2019
Our thoughts are with staff and families of the Kyoto Animation studio after hearing about the terrible fire that has broken out. Our hearts are broken to hear of this tragedy, and we hope the blaze is under control soon.
— Madman Entertainment (@Madman) July 18, 2019
Our hearts go out to Kyoto Animation and all those affected. Kyoto Animation is a studio that has long upheld its vision and uplifted their artists. The news is a devastating loss for our community.
— GKIDS (@GKIDSfilms) July 18, 2019
We wish to extend our sincerest condolences to all those affected by the KyoAni tragedy. #PrayForKyoani
— Aniplex USA (@aniplexUSA) July 18, 2019
Sunrise, the animation studio that produced the Gundam and Love Live! School idol project franchises, had released a statement hours after the incident:
“For all of those who died in the fire at Kyoto Animation, we wish that you go in peace and we want to issue are sincere condolences to those who are grieving. Also, we are sincerely praying for the quick recovery of everyone who was injured. We will support all of your efforts as a fellow animation production company”
Entertainment industry colleagues, including outside the anime scene, had also shown their support to the popular anime studio.
Our hearts go out to Kyoto Animation. We are devastated to hear about the loss of several members at this beloved studio. Hoping for swift recoveries for all who have been injured. 🙏
— Anime Expo (@AnimeExpo) July 18, 2019
(1/4) The IOEA expresses its strongest anger against the calamity that has taken place today. This act must not be tolerated for any reason. We express our deepest condolences to the members of Kyoto Animation, its family members, and all those with close relations with the firm.
— IOEA Official (@IOEAOfficial) July 18, 2019
Women in Animation would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the victims of last night’s arson attack on Kyoto Animation. While Kyoto Animation's loss is felt throughout the world, their work will continue to flourish with our support. pic.twitter.com/ctnDTGyIfY
— Women in Animation (@wia_animation) July 19, 2019
Our thoughts are with Kyoto Animation and its staff who have, over the years, brought many of us joy, tears and unforgettable memories.
From all of us at SMASH!, we send our condolences, and are grateful for Kyoto Animation's significant contribution to the lives of anime lovers. pic.twitter.com/BB1ttjF24K
— SMASH! (@smashcon) July 19, 2019
Taking a moment to remember the incredible talent we lost this morning at Kyoto Animation. Our hearts go out to their loved ones. 💔 #PrayForKyoAni
— Nickelodeon Animation (@NickAnimation) July 18, 2019
No one should have to fear being killed in their workplace. We are shocked and saddened by the attack on #KyotoAnimation, which took the lives of so many talented animators in Japan. Sending condolences and love from across the Pacific. #PrayForKyoani
— IATSE (@IATSE) July 19, 2019
Our hearts are with our friends at Kyoto Animation and their loved ones.
— hulu (@hulu) July 18, 2019
Movies give us strength and hope. We send both to the Kyoto Animation team and their families.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) July 19, 2019
WarnerMedia’s Toonami block, which can be seen on Cartoon Network in the United States, has also shown a bumper before the start of its programming block on Saturday local time, asking its viewers to donate to Sentai Filmwork’s crowdfunding campaign. (Video uploaded by CabooseJr on YouTube)
Personalities, world leaders and their representatives had also expressed for their support for the animation studio, including Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook.
Kyoto Animation is home to some of the world’s most talented animators and dreamers — the devastating attack today is a tragedy felt far beyond Japan. KyoAni artists spread joy all over the world and across generations with their masterpieces. 心よりご冥福をお祈りいたします。
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) July 18, 2019
Canadians send our deepest condolences to the families of those killed in the arson attack in Kyoto that has taken so many innocent lives. To the people of Japan – we’re mourning these tragic losses with you, and wishing a quick recovery to everyone who was injured.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 18, 2019
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres, through his deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq, expressed his deep sadness on the loss of life in the arson attack:
“The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the loss of life caused by the arson attack and fire in Kyoto, Japan. He extends his condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and the Government of Japan. He wishes those injured a swift recovery.
In this tragic moment, the United Nations stands in full solidarity with the Government and people of Japan.”
✒Le Mot de l'Ambassadeur : Message de condoléances à la suite de l’incendie des studios de Kyoto Animation. pic.twitter.com/BFz7pKBwdy
— La France au Japon (@ambafrancejp) July 18, 2019
Together with our Belgian animation heroes, we mourn with our Japanese friends and offer our sincere condolences to the relatives and loved ones of those killed in the tragedy at #KyotoAnimation, while wishing speedy recovery to those injured. pic.twitter.com/IFbVsw9uhv
— Belgium in Japan (@BelgiumEmbJapan) July 19, 2019
Among the over 64,000 contributors in Sentai Filmwork’s crowdfunding campaign is the software technology giant Adobe Inc., which anonymously donate USD50,000 (about PHP2.6 million).
A spokesperson of the software giant told ITMedia News, “Kyoto Animation is one of the centers of not only Japan but also the world’s creative community.”
CNet Japan also reports that Adobe Chairman and CEO Santanu Narayen and Head of Japan and Asia-Pacific operations James McCready offered their condolences to the company during their “Adobe Symposium 2019” event in Tokyo last Wednesday.
— 佐藤純一 Junichi Sato［fhána］ (@jsato_FLEET) July 19, 2019
Junichi Sato, leader of the Japanese pop band fhána, has said that the reason why he formed the band was because he was impressed by the Haruhi Suzumiya series, as well as the anime adaptation of Clannad. He adds, “The reason why fhána exist is because of Kyoto Animation.”
The band sung the popular opening theme song of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, “Blue Sky Rhapsody”.
— たつき／irodori (@irodori7) July 18, 2019
TATSUKI, director of Kemono Friends and Kemurikusa, asks about the amount of effort brought by the studio’s staffs to all of their work, as well as the enriching the lives many people and bringing everyone happiness, and asking “Why did these people had to have such a painful and heart-breaking end?”
Aki Toyosaki, the voice of lead character “Yui Hirasawa” in the popular slice-of-life anime K-ON!, was hosting her radio show when the fire broke out.
“[K-ON!] is an anime that is stuffed full of love and warmth,” an emotional Toyosaki said. “I think it’s because of the passion and effort of the heartwarming staff who created it!”
She also said that she’s thankful for giving her a chance to voice the lead character, as it opened the door to her career, and hopes for compassion and symphathy in light of the tragedy.
Aya Hirano, Minori Chihara and Yuko Goto, three of the lead voice cast of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, had wrote emotional messages about the incident on their respective blogs.
Hirano, who voiced “Haruhi Suzumiya”, wrote “Kyoto Animation produced The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Lucky Star, two very formative works to me. I would not be who I am if they never existed. Kyoto Animation’s works overflowed with love.”
“What’s most important right now is to think of those who have been affected by the tragedy. There isn’t much that we can do right now, but I want to keep my composure and approach things in a clear-headed way. All I can do is pray for the affected with all my heart,” Hirano added.
Chihara, who voiced “Yuki Nagato”, wrote “I’ve been involved in many works that Kyoto Animation has poured love into, from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya to Violet Evergarden. Every single one of those works has made me grow as a voice actor and singer.”
“I pray that such awful, illogical things that hurt people and takes lives will one day be gone from this world,” Chihara adds.
Goto, who voiced “Mikuru Asahina”, wrote “The people at Kyoto Animation have talked with me and supported me a lot. I know their names and faces. Even now, I’m scared to watch the news, because what if one of those names I know ends up being announced?”
“Just thinking about the families of the victims and those left alive makes me angry about the incident. What good will a frivolous comment do to those in the middle of it all? This post is just my selfish desire to sort out my feelings,” Goto added.
Kyoto Animation’s first studio building, located in Uji City in Kyoto Prefecture, was engulfed in flames on Thursday, July 18, at 10:30am local time (09:30am PHT) which taken the lives of 34 people and severely injured 34 more. Local police said that there are about 74 people inside the building when the fire started.
A 41-year-old man has been apprehended by the police and identified by witnesses as the suspect, who threw gasoline inside the building and shouted “Die!” before setting the building on fire.
The authorities say that the suspect claims his worked is being “plagarized” by the animation studio, but they did not find a connection between the supect and the company.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported that, according to investigative sources, the suspect was previously arrested in 2012 for armed robbery at a convenience store and he was sentenced to three years and six months in jail.
The suspect was not formally arrested as of press time because he was being treated in a hospital for serious burn injuries, but the authorities are saying that he had admitted to the crime.
Additional Information from Anime News Network