Kyoto Animation Fire Update: May 27, 2020

Police arrested the suspect in Kyoto Animation’s Studio 1 building fire incident under suspicion of arson and murder at a hospital in Kyoto on May 27, 2020. Authorities then transferred him to Fushimi Police Station for questioning. The 42-year-old unemployed man from Minuma, Saitama reportedly admitted to the charges and said, “I thought I’d be able to kill many people if I used gasoline.”

Kyoto Animation issued a statement on the arrest. The studio had “nothing to say” to the man and added that “actions and their results are everything.” The studio explained, “No matter what excuse the suspect could give for his actions, no matter what kind of words of remorse for the results he could state, there is no bringing back our colleagues whose lives were snatched away, and no healing for our injured colleagues.” The statement continued by saying that the families and friends of the victims “must face an irreversible reality, and we are doing the same.” Kyoto Animation believes that the police will pursue the criminal liability of the suspect to the maximum extent in accordance with the law.

After consulting with several doctors, police had decided to wait until the man had sufficiently recovered from his injuries to be able to participate in an investigation before arresting him.

A court approved detention of the suspect, and authorities transferred him to Osaka Detention Center, which has doctors permanently on staff. Police plan to consider the suspect’s physical condition as they continue their investigation with him housed at the detention center.

Source: ANN

Kyoto Animation’s Planned Anime x Para Short for NHK Canceled

The Nikkan Sports newspaper has reported that Kyoto Animation has halted production on a planned episode for NHK’s “Anime x Para: Who is Your Hero?” (Ani × Para: Anata no Hero wa Dare Desu ka) animated project. According to the report, the effects from the arson incident that the studio suffered from in 2019 has left the studio unable to finish the short in time for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

According to the report, the short was planned to be five minutes long, with an original planned air date in August 2019.

“Anime x Para: Who is Your Hero?” is an animated series aiming to increase interest in parasports ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Previous shorts in the series collaborated with Captain Tsubasa for blind soccer, Baby Steps for wheelchair tennis, renowned Ashita no Joe artist Tetsuya Chiba for wheelchair rugby, and Yowamushi Pedal for para-cycling, among others.

Source: ANN

Update on Kyoto Animation (November 25, 2019)

News service NHK has reported that Kyoto Animation’s 1st Studio Building will be demolished, with preparation work for the demolition starting on November 25, 2019. The preparation work, including building scaffolding and emptying out the building, will take until the end of the year. The actual demolition will then start in early January 2020 and will go through late April 2020.

Kyoto Animation president Hideaki Hatta had stated in an interview two days after the deadly fire that he was considering demolishing the building and creating a public park at the spot of the fire that would include a monument. At the time, Hatta stated, “when I consider the staff and the people in this neighborhood, there are people who don’t want to see such a gruesome sight.” Hatta added in a press conference on October 18, 2019, “It truly pains my heart whenever I see that treasured building in that state.”

NHK’s report added that Kyoto Animation has not yet decided on plans after the demolition.

Source: ANN

Kyoto Animation Awards’ Cancellation Confirmed

Kyoto Animation has confirmed that it decided to cancel the 11th Kyoto Animation Awards after further internal discussions. The awards organizer explained that it would have been difficult to continue the screening and judging process with the current state of the studio. The studio will contact applicants about what will happen with their manuscripts by email by the end of November 2019, and asked applicants to contact the awards organizer if they do not hear back by December 2019.

The studio had announced on April 19, 2019 that it would hold the annual awards again. However, the studio then announced on August 14, 2019 that it suspended its plans for the awards, after the fire at its 1st studio building on July 18, 2019.

Kyoto Animation and Animation DO also announced that they are accepting applicants for their next intensive professional training course from November 20-December 18, 2019.

Source: ANN

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