33 Confirmed Dead in Kyoto Animation Arson
Any anime fan knows the name Kyoto Animation, as the studio has historically upheld high standards in animation and employee quality of life. On a normal day, we'd be talking about one of their many works. Today is, unfortunately, different.
This morning, one of the Kyoto Animation studio branches was burned down in an apparent planned arson attack. Thirty-three have been confirmed dead.
The 41-year-old suspect was seen purchasing 40 liters of gasoline near the studio, and they were reportedly seen pouring it in the building and on people. The man also had brought multiple knives along with him, though they were unused in the arson.
Witnesses report the suspect claimed the animation studio had "ripped him off".
Kyoto Animation is known as one of the shining stars in the anime industry due to its high production quality and standards. The studio's biggest programs fall within the slice-of-life genre, with such heavy hitters as The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, Nichijou, Clannad, K-On!, and Free!.
This is one of the largest mass murders in Japan's history, with 33 out of the 75 people present within the building having died in the fire.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his condolences on Twitter after the attack to state:
There are a large number of casualties in the arson murder case that occurred in Kyoto today. I don't have words for the gruesomeness of it. I pray for the deceased. I would like to give my deepest sympathies to those injured and pray for their quick recoveries.
American anime licensing company Sentai Filmworks set up a GoFundMe to aid the survivors and families of the arson, with the total raised above $500,000 at the time of writing.
Sentai Filmworks President John Ledford promises they are "coordinating with others in the Japanese anime industry within Japan to ensure that funds collected reach those in need."
Our best wishes are with the family and staff of those at Kyoto Animation in this terrible and horrific time.