On July 18, 2019, a man entered the offices of Kyoto Animation with over 8 gallons of gas and lite the building on fire. 36 employees died that day and in the weeks and months that followed the massacre. 33 employees were injured and countless materials were lost in the blaze. This loss was not only felt in Japan, but all over the world. Personally, when I heard about it, I could not stop weeping for the loss of life that was taken in a senseless act of barbarism.
I am a 50 year old man who loves anime. I love cute anime. I love violent anime. I love romance anime and all the genres that are out there. Well, I’m not all that hot on horror anime but then again, I’m not that hot on horror anything anyways. So, why an I telling you, the reader, this? In short, I’m am giving respect to those great animators, writers, producers and directors that died and worked at KyoAni.
I did not know when I started to watch anime that I had been watching and loving anime from KyoAni for years. I mean, so many great anime have come out of a studio that was started by a married couple, Yoko and Hideaki Hatta. Not the anime that studios focus on quantity over quality. KyoAni focused on producing great anime that focused on everyday life. KyoAni strived to bring in more female animators to make their studio gender neutral. The studio paid their employees well so that they could focus on bringing in higher quality material then most other studios.
I could list a whole bunch of great anime that KyoAni has put out over the year, but I will put a link to the KyoAni website so you can go and look for yourself. Now, saying that I am going to talk about a few of their anime that I have watched, over and over again.
K-On! is my absolute favorite anime. Yes, I do sound like a 12 year old fangirl right now, but, I really don’t care. I do have two K-On! shirts and also collecting their manga along with K-On! College. Why do I love a story about 5 high school girls that form a pop band? Well, I love the progression that the characters show, especially, Yui Hirasawa, the main character, from the start of the anime to the end. All the girls, Yui, Mio, Ritsu, Mugi, and Azusa, grow in the anime’s character arc. What makes this anime special, is that day to day lives that these girls live. There is noting special about these girls except that they have musical talent and they support and love one another. Every time I watch this series and the movie, it makes me happy.
KyoAni is still going strong with the release of Violet Evergarden, both the series and the movie. This anime, if you ever want to watch an absolute work of art, watch this series and movie. It’s a breathtaking work of anime and it shows just what KyoAni can do even after such a horrific tragedy. Coming out this month is Miss. Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid season 2, another funny, cute, and thought provoking anime from KyoAni. It is one of the very few amines were the main character is a lesbian. KyoAni is not afraid to venture into topics that other studios stay away from.
In A Silent Voice, is yet another powerful, beautiful and well written anime. The story dives right into bullying, the effects of bullying and the consequences that it has on the bully and what happens when an disabled student comes into a classroom. This is a heartbreaking story that will leave you devastated in some parts but smiling in others. The story is also about forgiveness and redemption.
On July 18th, please take some time to remember those who were lost at KyoAni building 1. Please support your local artists and please be kind to others. I will be at work that day, like I was when I heard the news of the arson attack and then the one year memorial. I will be remembering those who died, even though I have never met any of these people, they have effected my life by bringing me so much joy by the anime they created.
Thank you for reading this,
Be good humans,
Kyoto Animation website : Kyoto Animation Website
Kyoto Animation anime: 13 Best Kyoto Animation Anime of All Time – Cinemaholic (thecinemaholic.com)