Kyoto Animation Update (October 18, 2019)

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.

Source: ANN
Source: ANN

Kyoto Animation Fire Update: October 4, 2019

News service NHK has reported that, according to police, a woman in her 20s who was hospitalized after the July 18, 2019 fire at Kyoto Animation’s Studio 1 building passed away on October 4, 2019 around 8:00 p.m.

Police stated that the woman was an employee at Kyoto Animation, and she was on the first floor when the fire broke out. The woman evacuated the building through the genkan entryway and was rescued by authorities, but suffered burns on her entire body. The woman was undergoing treatment at the hospital until she passed away. Police stated they will work with the bereaved family and Kyoto Animation in regards to possibly releasing the victim’s name to the public in the future.

Police also stated that five victims are still hospitalized.

Source: ANN

Kyoto Animation Cancels One of Two Planned Fan Events in November 2019

Kyoto Animation has announced on the official website for its “KyoAni and Do Fan Days 2019: This Is What We Are Now!! It’s A Festival After 2 Years!” event that it is cancelling the first of the two planned events.

The first event, titled “Enjoy! The World Of Kyoani And Do,” was scheduled for November 3-4, 2019. The event was to be held at the Miyako Messe event hall in Kyoto.

Kyoto Animation had previously announced on August 14 that it canceled all of its stage events for the two events, including talk show stages, autograph signing sessions, and lectures. The company had stated at the time that it was reconsidering the content of the first of the two events.

“Complete Works” tickets for the first event include a Blu-ray Disc set for a new animation work, the Baja no Studio: Baja no Mita Umi (Baja’s Studio: The Sea Baja Sees) anime short. Those who purchased tickets to the event and those who purchased the Complete Works tickets will be refunded the amount for the tickets, but not the amount paid for the Complete Works set. The Complete Works set with the Blu-ray Disc will now ship in mid-February 2020.

Instead of the event on November 3-4, 2019, Kyoto Animation will create a place inside the city of Kyoto during that weekend where fans can go to “say their farewells to creators to whom they felt a strong connection through their works.”

The second event on November 9-10, 2019, titled “Sound! From Kyoto to the World,” will still be held at the Rohm Theater (across the street from Miyako Messe). The event will host orchestra concerts for Sound! Euphonium, Violet Evergarden, and Free!.

Source: ANN

Kyoto Animation Fire Update: September 18, 2019

The Kyodo news service has reported that the 34 people injured in the July 18, 2019 fire at Kyoto Animation’s Studio 1 building are no longer in life-threatening condition. A source close to the investigation told Kyodo that some injured victims with severe burns remain in the intensive care unit, but all of the victims are progressing toward recovery. The fire claimed the lives of 35 other victims.

Authorities have constructed a model of Kyoto Animation’s Studio 1 building. They are using the model in conjunction with the victims’ testimonies about where they were at the time of the incident, how they escaped, and other things they observed on the day of the fire.

Kyodo has also reported that the 41-year-old man who allegedly used gasoline to start the fire has regained speech in the hospital. Police have obtained a warrant for the man’s arrest, but doctors must decide he can tolerate confinement before police are able to arrest him. The man had been in critical condition after receiving severe burns in the fire he allegedly started, but he regained the ability to make simple gestures by the beginning of August 2019. Sources stated that the man received skin graft surgery and is in stable condition, but he still needs a ventilator and is undergoing rehabilitation. Sources expect that the man will remain in the hospital for several more months.

The news service also reported that donations to Kyoto Animation have surpassed 2.5 billion yen (about US$23 million).

The studio’s official website revealed on September 13, 2019 that Kyoto Animation had received an additional donation of 81,034,121 yen (about US$749,000) from the retail chain Animate on September 6, 2019, for a total of 330,064,605 yen (about US$3.05 million) from the company. The retailer made a deposit of 249,030,484 yen (about US$2.3 million) in donations into Kyoto Animation’s bank account on August 2, 2019. Animate began its donation campaign for Kyoto Animation on July 19, 2019 and ended it on September 1, 2019.

Kyoto Animation received a donation of 226,749,396 yen (about US$2.10 million) from Sentai Filmworks’ GoFundMe campaign on August 26, 2019. Sentai Filmworks stated in an update that the transfer represents nearly all of the funds raised in the campaign, after transactional and processing fees. The company plans to disburse the reserved US$100,000 on deposit with GoFundMe for credit card processing and settlement purposes in or around December 2019. Sentai Filmworks will then transfer the remaining balance to Kyoto Animation.

Kyoto International Manga Museum and Kyoto Seika University transferred a donation of 4,249,003 yen (about US$39,000) on August 8, 2019. Visual Art’s/Key revealed in August 2019 that it donated 10 million yen (about US$94,000) to Kyoto Animation. X Japan member YOSHIKI also announced in August 2019 that he donated 10 million yen to the studio.

Kyodo noted that the recovery of Kyoto Animation as a business will likely take much more time because 20 percent of its employees passed away in the fire. According to Daisuke Okeda, Kyoto Animation’s lawyer, personal damages resulting from the fire amount to more than 4 billion yen (about US$38 million), even after workers’ compensation.

Source: ANN

Kyoto Animation Fire Update: September 10, 2019

The Asahi Shimbun newspaper as well as the Asahi Broadcasting News have reported that seven injured women from the July 18, 2019 fire at Kyoto Animation’s Studio 1 building are still undergoing treatment at the hospital. Three are in critical condition, one in serious condition, and three are still being treated for burns or broken bones.

A total of 70 people were inside the building when the fire broke out. 35 people died, while 34 were injured, with one person unharmed. An additional man in his 40s on his way to work in the area suffered minor injuries from smoke inhalation.

Among those injured, there are 15 men and 19 women, with ages ranging from 21 to 53 years old. More than 70% of the injured are in their 20s and 30s, and mostly from the prefectures of Kyoto, Osaka, Shiga, and Nara. Asahi Shimbun reported that there are several workers who are unable to return to work due to the trauma they experienced.

According to Daisuke Okeda, Kyoto Animation’s lawyer, personal damages resulting from the fire amount to more than 4 billion yen (about US$38 million), even after workers’ compensation.

Kyoto Animation has also revealed that it has handed control of the account it set up to receive donations to the custody of the Kyoto Prefectural Government, who will oversee the donation money’s transfer to the victims of the fire and their families. Kyoto Animation added that it will not handle the money itself.

Source: ANN

Kyoto Animation Suspends Its Annual Awards

Kyoto Animation has announced that it has temporarily suspended its 11th Kyoto Animation Awards. Staff decided to suspend the awards after discussions in light of the fire at Kyoto Animation’s 1st studio building on July 18, 2019.

For the time being, the studio will no longer accept submissions or inquiries about the awards. The announcement noted that people who already submitted inquiries may have to wait for some time for responses. The studio will post updates about the awards on its website in the future.

In a separate development, staff of Kyoto Animation and Animation DO’s “KyoAni and DO Fan Days 2019: This Is What We Are Now!! -It’s A Festival After 2 Years!-” event have announced that they are reconsidering the content of the “Enjoy! The World of KyoAni and DO” fan appreciation event, which is scheduled to be held at Miyako Messe in Kyoto on November 3-4, 2019.

The studios are discussing major changes to the content of the event, and ticket reservations are currently suspended. Staff also decided to cancel all stage events at the event, including talk events, autograph sessions, and lectures. People who applied to attend stage events will not receive the results of their applications. The website will post more information about the event after it is decided.

“KyoAni and DO Fan Days 2019: This Is What We Are Now!! -It’s A Festival After 2 Years!-” is the studios’ fourth joint fan event and the first since 2017. The event also includes “Sound! From Kyoto to the World,” which is scheduled to be held at ROHM Theatre Kyoto on November 9-10, 2019.

In addition, Kyoto Animation has announced that orders through its online store may take up to one month to process and ship. The studio apologized for the delays. Due to maintenance, customers will not be able to place orders from August 14-25, 2019, and customer service for the online shop will be unavailable from August 15-25, 2019.

Source: ANN

Update From the Kyoto Animation Fire: August 2, 2019

The Kyoto Shimbun has reported that Kyoto Prefectural Police released the names of 10 of the 35 victims who died in the fire at Kyoto Animation’s 1st studio building on July 18, 2019. The police stated that they have released these names now that funeral services for the 10 victims are over and families have given consent for the police to release the names.

Police also added that they are not yet releasing the names of the other 25 victims due to DNA testing and other special circumstances, or at the requests of the victims’ families. Police are taking into account the feelings of the bereaved families when considering how and when to announce more names. Police are working with relatives to ask for their understanding in releasing the names in the future.

The 10 victims in this list include:

  • Jun’ichi Uda, 34 years old
  • Yūki Ōmura, 23 years old
  • Yuka Kasama, 22 years old
  • Yoshiji Kigami, 61 years old
  • Ami Kuriki, 30 years old
  • Yasuhiro Takemoto, 47 years old
  • Sachie Tsuda, 41 years old
  • Futoshi Nishiya, 37 years old
  • Keisuke Yokota, 34 years old
  • Mikiko Watanabe, 35 years old

Source: ANN