Kyoto Animation president Hideaki Hatta held a press conference in Kyoto on October 18, 2019, and announced that 27 of the 33 victims injured in the fire at the company’s Studio 1 building have returned to work.
Hatta stated during the conference, “until July 18, Person A, Person B, and Person C were all at the company. And suddenly, those people all passed away. It’s incredibly tough mentally.” He added, “Many staff are still feeling extremely stressed. The staff are talking and supporting one another while dealing with starting work again. We are working with medical institutions to provide psychological care.” Hatta stated that the number of people who retired from the company after the incident is very few.
NHK has reported that four injured victims from the incident are still hospitalized.
Hatta expressed his gratitude for all the messages from everyone around the world such as the “Pray for KyoAni” and “hang in there” messages, as well as all the donations the company has received.
The city of Kyoto announced on October 17, 2019 that the bank account accepting donations on behalf of the company has reached 2,915,460,000 yen (about US$26.8 million).
Hatta also talked about work on the delayed Violet Evergarden film, and the upcoming Free! film scheduled to premiere in Summer 2020. He stated that the company is working first on getting Violet Evergarden into theaters after April 2020. Then while working on that, the company is also looking at the situation for what will come afterward.
Violet Evergarden was originally scheduled to open on January 10, 2020, but Kyoto Animation announced on September 6, 2019 that the film is delayed.
The company has also announced the details of its planned public memorial service for the victims of the Studio 1 building fire on July 18, 2019. Instead of a previously planned fan event, the studio will hold a “Memorial and Joining-Our-Prayers Service” at the Miyako Messe event hall in Kyoto on November 3-4, 2019. The event will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on both days, and admission will be free.
People who attend the ceremony will be able to approach an altar and pray individually. Attendees will receive bookmarks and postcards. Some of the messages of support received from fans so far will be on display.
The event planners anticipate that a large number of people will attend the ceremony. Due to anticipated crowding particularly in the mornings, the staff requested that attendees stagger their planned attendance times throughout the event hours. The event will have a strict policy to not accept any gifts or donations from visitors.