It has been less than a week since the anime industry was rocked by one of its greatest tragedies. Last week, one of Kyoto Animation’s prestigious studios was targeted by an arsonist, and the fire killed 34 employees while injuring dozens more. Now, Kyoto Animation has made official statements on the tragedy, and the company is in deep mourning over the tragic loss it has experienced.
“Many promising young lives employed under our company were lost or hurt by the incident that occurred on the 18th of July, 10:30 AM on this first year of Reiwa,” one of the studio’s first statements read.
“The futures of young men and women from all over the country dedicated to animation who have for many years created many works under our company have been closed off. There are truly no words to describe the lament and distress caused by this event,” Kyoto Animation continued before adding, “The details of the incident are as described the Fushimi Police Department. There are no further words to be said from us regarding that.”
“Currently, we are expanding all of our efforts to assist the family and relatives of the injured and deceased.”
In a separate statement, the CEO of Kyoto Animation shared their own thoughts on the tragedy as Hideaki Hatta said he hopes the studio can move forward with strength as fans back them up.
“We have many projects planned, and we take everyone’s feelings seriously. We hope to inherit those wishes and carry through as much as we can. As manager, I don’t want our futures to be lost because of this,” the executive said.
So far, investigations are ongoing with the arson, and authorities in Japan have the arsonist in custody. Shinji Aoba was found just outside the crime scene with severe burns which are being treated by medical professionals. After seeking aid from a neighbor near the Kyoto Animation building, Aoba was taken into custody where reports say witnesses overheard the man sharing his grievances with the company.
The suspect is said to have taken offense with Kyoto Animation as he believed the company stole the idea of his novel which prompted him to commit arson. Further reports revealed Aoba had been arrested previously and had sought treatment for undisclosed mental health issues. Currently, no official list has been given naming the 34 victims of the fire, but reports did confirm the fire's last fatality occurred in hospital when an employee suffering from critical burns passed away despite treatment