This month marks one year since the horrific arson attack on Kyoto Animation. The largest confirmed mass murder in Japan’s postwar history shocked people across the country and around the world, and at the time some even speculated the tragedy might lead to the end of the company.
Thirty-six people lost their lives as a result of the attack, and another 33 were injured. The studio, one of two Kyoto Animation operated, was so badly burnt that the entire building was demolished, and as of this spring has been completely cleared away. While Kyoto Animation is a prestigious company, it’s not a large one, and some wondered if the loss of life and assets, as well as the emotional pain of the surviving employees, was all too great to recover from, especially since the company adamantly declared that none of the massive donation funds it received would be used for business purposes, only to support victims and their families.
But a year later, Kyoto Animation is still here, and the production house is simultaneously celebrating its past while striding confidently into the future. The first half of that is taking the form of a massive revival in which each and every Kyoto Animation anime movie ever made, all 19 of them, will be getting theatrical screenings.
▼ Kyoto Animation’s "Sound! Euphonium The Movie-Our Promise: A Brand New Day"
The event will take place over seven days at the newly opened Toho Cinemas Ikebukuro theater in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro neighborhood, one of Japan’s most popular otaku districts. The celebration started off on Friday with Kyoto Animation’s first film, "Last War of Heavenloids and Akutoloids," as well as one of its most significant, "The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya."
July 4 is all about music, with the "K-On! Movie," all three "Sound! Euphonium" features, and the spin-off "Liz and the Blue Bird." On July 5 it’s time to get in the pool with the three "Free!" movies, while July 6 is a trip back to junior high for the two "Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions" films. Finishing off the festival are both "Beyond the Boundary" movies on July 7, "A Silent Voice" and "Tamako Love Story" on July 8, and "Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memories Doll" on July 9.
▼ "Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memories Doll"
As for the future, Kyoto Animation has announced that it is looking to hire new employees for a large variety of positions. The company had actually been looking to do this back in the first half of the year (the traditional hiring period for Japanese companies) but chose to delay the process while waiting for the coronavirus situation in Japan to improve.
The company is hiring animators, system engineers and CG artists (for modeling, rigging, effects, an animation), as well as managers and animation assistants, to begin working in the 2021 business year. On its website, Kyoto Animaton says: “We are eagerly looking forward to applications from people overflowing with enthusiasm who have the ability to promote animation production and product development through a career of thinking, learning, and creating together.”
Further information can be found on Kyoto Animation’s website here, for those interested in becoming part of the production house’s “ultimate counterattack” to the tragedies it’s suffered.
Related: Toho Cinemas Ikebukuro
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