Although original illustrations in paper did not survived the Arson attack at Kyoto Animation over a week ago, the company’s lawyer Daisuke Okeda now confirms that digitized art and other materials stored in a data server at the building’s first floor has survived the fire.
Japanese news media also reports that the server is located in a separate area of the floor surrounded by concrete, which separated it from the staircase area where the 41-year-old man threw gasoline and started the fire.
As a result, the server has been protected from the fire, as well as the water used by firefighters to extinguished it, but Okeda says that they sought the help of data specialist to recover the files.
Kyoto Animation has also released a statement on Monday in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean and German, which has been addressed to “everyone around the world”, which says:
An unprecedented atrocity has robbed many of our friends and colleagues of their bright futures and has left many deeply injured.
News from all over the world tells us that amazingly many number of people has sent us their hearts and prayers, which are like candles in the darkness, for those of us trapped in the darkness of deepest grief.
There are many friends and colleagues who are hospitalized and suffering, fighting for their lives.
Please give us some time.
We promise that Kyoto Animation will continue to create animation that help people have dreams, hope and impress them.
Kyoto animation will continue to make its employees and staff lead happy lives, and contribute to society and local community.
I assure you that Kyoto Animation will not give up, we will not go quietly into the night…we will not vanish without a fight!
Kyoto Animation Co. CEO Hideaki Hatta
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 took the lives of 35 people and severely injured 33 more, and took about five hours before the fire has been extinguished.
Local police said that there are about 74 people inside the building when the fire started. They also said that out of the 35 people that died on the attack, 21 were women and 14 were men. The company previously said that one of the 33 people injured has their legs amputated.
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 work 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.
This incident is now considered as one of the deadliest massacres in Japan’s history since the end of World War II, and one of the deadliest building fire in the country after Myojo 56 building fire in 2001, which is also suspected as arson.
When news of the Kyoto Animation fire broke, messages of support from fans, world leaders and businesses made its way to social media, including from technology giant Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Embassy of the Philippines (Tokyo).
North American anime distributor Sentai Filmworks has set-up a crowdfunding campaign to help the anime studio and the victims of the attack, which has now collected over USD2 million. Software giant Adobe Inc. also donated USD50,000 to the campaign.
Several organizations, including Crunchyroll streaming service and Animate retail shop, had also set-up their own fundraising campaigns.
The anime studio has also opened a bank account on Thursday to accept donations, which they plan to give to help the families of the victims of the attack, as well as for the studio’s rebuilding.
The company also announced in a media interview that they are considering demolishing the first studio building, which would be replaced by a public park and a tribute to the victims of the attack.
Kyoto Animation was founded in 1981 by Yoko Hatta and her husband Hideaki Hatta. The animation studio is known for producing several popular anime titles in recent years like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, K-On!, and Free! Iwatobi Swim Club among others.
Their latest work was the drama anime Violet Evergarden, which was released on streaming service Netflix on a simulcast basis in 2018.
The anime studio was also responsible for the critically-acclaimed anime film adaptation of A Silent Voice, which was screened in Philippine cinemas in May 2017.