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Arson attack at Japan anime studio kills 33

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Kyoto Animation, known as KyoAni, was founded in 1981 and has produced popular animation shows including “K-On” and “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”.

The details of the event are disturbing, be warned. That’s really sad.

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“One of the main things that stands out about Kyoto Animation is the quality of the animation itself,” said Ian Wolf, an anime critic for Anime UK News. “It’s very viewer-friendly.”

The distinctive visual style and level of polish leads to a look that is instantly recognisable, Wolf said.

“The studio makes very little in the way that is controversial… little that is violent or sexual. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to attack it.”

Some recent projects include Free, a show about a school boys’ swimming team which has proved popular among women, and is set to have its own spin-off film to coincide with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

A Silent Voice, on the other hand, is a stand-alone film based on a manga by Yoshitoki Oima. It is about a bully who torments a classmate with a hearing impairment, but later must come to terms with his actions when he is bullied himself. The Guardian gave it a four-star review, calling it “a beguiling film: subtle, sensuous and delicate”.

Aside from the quality of its content, the studio is also well regarded for the way it makes it. One Reddit user discussing the attack labelled it “a beacon of what the anime industry should be” for its staff policies and in-house training.

That, Wolf said, was partly down to how their staff were paid.

The studio is also known for paying its animators a regular salary, breaking with the industry’s standard of paying per frame - which is seen as putting extreme pressure on staff.

I wanted to share this to highlight something nice, but it feels like it makes the attack focused. It’s easy to say, ah, we can’t have good things because the powers that be created a system that creates murderous, isolated humans who attack the change in the world.

But this is just musings after learning something horrible. Maybe it will feel different later…

I have thoughts and feelings on this but can’t really articulate them well.