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Directors Yasuhiro Takemoto, Futoshi Nishiya Among Kyoto Animation Dead

Top animation directors Yasuhiro Takemoto and Futoshi Nishiya were among the talent killed by last month’s arson attack on Kyoto Animation, city police have confirmed.

Revealing the names of 10 of the 35 victims of the fire that ravaged the three-story studio, police also said that veteran animator Yoshiji Kigami was killed.

Takemoto was the top director at the studio, familiarly known as KyoAni, with credits that include the feature animation “Lucky Star.” Nishiya was animation director on the “Free!” TV series, among many other credits. Kigami worked as key animator on the “Free!” series as well as last year’s “Violet Evergarden” series.

All 35 killed have been identified by DNA analysis, but the police are releasing their names in consultation with the bereaved families as they make funeral and other arrangements.  A further 33 people were injured in the blaze.

The suspected arsonist, Shinji Aoba, is recovering in the hospital from severe burns. Police plan to officially arrest him after he recovers sufficiently.

In related news, Yoshiki of the band X Japan has donated JPY10 million ($94,000) to aid KyoAni’s recovery. “I am in the United States and I learned about the Kyoto Animation fire on the local news,” Yoshiki said in a message posted on Twitter. “My heart aches. Japanese anime, and each one of those creators, is a treasure of the world. I hope they recover as soon as possible.”

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