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Kyoto Arson Attack: Animation Community Mourns Colleagues

Animation Studio Fire
Jae C Hong/AP/Shutterstock

Thursday’s deadly attack on Japan’s Kyoto Animation studios left many in the animation community shocked and horrified by the loss of 33 of their colleagues. Another 36 people were injured in the attack, which was Japan’s deadliest ever.

A suspect was arrested after pouring a flammable liquid inside the building, which caught fire and trapped dozens of people in the building during office hours.

Artists at Comic-Con in San Diego were stricken by the attack on the studio, which is known for anime films such as “A Silent Voice” and “Violet Evergarden.”

Tom Nguyen an artist and illustrator at Comic-Con with Bokeh Monster Studios, said, “Most of us have been influenced by anime in some way. It’s very sad. An attack on one aspect of the industry affects all of us as a whole. It hurts all of us.”

Painter and graphic novelist Camilla d’Errico heard about the attack at Comic-Con, “What I love about anime is the stories they tell. Their stories are about the heart. I’m devastated. I’m so upset, so sad and angry. Artists are the most harmless people on the planet.”

Anime distributors Crunchyroll released a joint statement from founder Kun Gao, and general manager Joanne Waage, saying, “We are devastated by the attack on Kyoto Animation, and we mourn the senseless loss of life. Our hearts go out to all those who are affected. Kyoto Animation is one of the most beloved institutions in the anime industry, and rightfully so — their powerful works like ‘Liz and the Blue Bird,’ ‘Violet Evergarden,’ ‘Sound! Euphonium,’ and ‘Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club’ have resonated with audiences around the world. We’re all in this together.”

Crunchyroll said it supported a GoFundMe effort from Sentai Animation, which has already far surpassed its $750,000 fundraising goal to provide assistance to the victims of the fire.

Fans and artists were sharing their support using the hashtag #PrayforKyoani.

Apple topper Tim Cook also tweeted about the studio.

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