Anime fans around the world are still in shock after Studio-1 of Kyoto Animations burned down. Dozens were injured, but the most jarring statistic is that of the 33 deaths which resulted from the fire. A fire department official named Kazuhiro Hayashi said that most of the casualties had been on the stairs to the top floor, where they apparently collapsed trying to escape. Firefighters said they had found 33 bodies, two on the first floor, 11 on the second floor and 20 on the stairs from the third floor to the top floor, he said. Some 36 people are in hospital, some in a critical condition, reports say. About 70 people were in the building when the fire started.
As for the suspect, eyewitnesses said that he appeared to be angry with the studio for some reason. “He seemed to be in pain, irritated and suffering, but also angry as if he was resentful. I heard him saying something like ‘You copied it’,” a neighbour said. He wasn’t a former employee, but the eyewitnesses heard him shout “You ripped me off” towards the studio. The suspect was captured and treated at a nearby hospital because he was injured too. Police are still questioning him. Reports state that he brought around 40 Liters of petrol from a nearby petrol station before lighting it up.
Kyoto Animation Director Hideaki Hatta told Japanese media that the studio has been receiving threatening emails recently. “They were addressed to our office and sales department and told us to die,” he said. The director then added that he is heartbroken by the attack and said “It is unbearable that the people who helped carry Japan’s animation industry were hurt and lost their lives in this way.”
Fans have laid flowers near the studio building, and many have drawn tribute artworks to the studio’s many works. Sentai Filmworks, which has worked with KyoAni, has even launched a Go Fund Me page for the survivors. As of writing, the campaign has crossed the USD750,000 goal and has raised over a million US dollars.
Support is still pouring in from fans and colleagues around the world. We here at SGCafe send our condolences and support to the beleaguered family and friends of those who perished in the attack. We also condemn the actions of the suspect who destroyed so many lives on that day. May those who passed away rest in peace.
Don’t miss a single update from SGCafe! Follow us on Twitter: @SGCafe