The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper has confirmed that 49-year-old Kyoto Animation color designer Naomi Ishida passed away in the fire that engulfed the company’s 1st Studio building on July 18, 2019. The newspaper confirmed Ishida’s death through an interview with her parents. Ishida is one of the 34 confirmed fatalities in the fire.
Ishida’s parents told the newspaper that they believed she normally worked at Kyoto Animation’s 2nd Studio building. Therefore, they initially said Ishida was safe when friends and relatives asked about her well-being. However, Ishida’s parents were unable to reach her on her cell phone. They stated that Kyoto Animation called them around 9:30 p.m. the night of the fire to say that the studio could not confirm Ishida’s safety. Ishida’s parents said authorities informed them on July 23, 2019 that they had identified Ishida’s remains after DNA testing.
Ishida had been working at Kyoto Animation since at least 1993, well before the studio was producing its own works. She worked on painting and coloring on such anime as Inuyasha, Nurse Witch Komugi, and some Doraemon and Crayon Shin-chan films (all these had outsourced some of its coloring work to Kyoto Animation at the time). She is credited as the main color designer in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (both seasons), HYOUKA, and Amagi Brilliant Park, as well as color setting for individual episodes of shows such as Air, Kanon, Clannad After Story, Free! Eternal Summer, Violet Evergarden, Sound! Euphonium 2, Free! Dive to the Future, and Tsurune. Among the studio’s feature film works, she was the color designer for The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, A Silent Voice, and Liz and the Blue Bird.