As of this video, there have been multiple deaths as a result of the Kyoto Animation Studio fire, with 13 feared dead and countless others injured or in critical condition.
In terms of the perp's side of the story, all reports say he ran into the building, poured gasoline everywhere, and shouted "DIE, DIE!"
And when I first heard about this, my first thought was "disgruntled employee".
But that didn't make any sense, for a couple reasons, both of which add to the horrifying nature of this tragedy.
First is KyoAni's work culture which has been the gold standard for Japanese animation studios.
Despite the Japanese animation industry breaking records year after year in terms of profit, especially as the demand for anime continues to balloon in countries like the US and China.
The elephant in the room has been the self-destructive business practices of many studios.
The animators themselves, the heart, soul and backbone of the medium, are treated as subhuman by the majority of these studios.
Nearly all of them live below the poverty line.
The studio heads pocket all the profit, while the people responsible for their success get nothing.
This is the norm for most Japanese business in general, but a glaring stain on the anime industry, given the amount of money generated.
But Kyoto Animation Studio was the anti-status quo studio.
While other studios are paying their employees roughly 500 bucks a month and placing them on freelancer contracts to avoid having to offer any kind of benefits, which ultimately leads to an mind-blowing 90% of animators quitting within 3 years…
KyoAni staffs their animators, places them on salary and doesn't impose unreleastic deadlines just for the sake of making a quicker buck.
Not only that, they nurture their talent with programs that allow them to further master their craft and fully realize their potential as animators working on their life's passion.
This is especially important because most people who graduated college don't actually enter their field of study.
In fact, most college graduates do not even expect to enter their field of study, so it's very important that those who actually get to pursue the things that they love and have studied for years, feel fulfilled in doing so.
And that's why Kyoto animation studio is so important.
The result of this is masterpieces like "A Silent Voice".
So some months ago I made a video about bullying in Japanese culture and how it's depicted in anime and I used "A Silent Voice" as an example.
A lot of anime have depicted bullying in the past but usually it's in passing.
But "A Silent Voice" made bullying the focal point of the story which I felt was very much-needed.
Given the rising suicide rate among Japanese youth, with bullying as a contributing factor.
While the anime film "Your Name" was heralded at the time of its release, "A Silent Voice", which release around the same time, outshined it in many ways, being celebrated not only for its amazing quality of animation, but also the harsh cultural issues that it addressed.
So not only has Kyoto Animation Studio contributed positively to Japanese work culture, but they've contributed positively to society as a whole.
Of course, we probably best know KyoAni for giving us "Haruhi Suzumiya", one of my personal top 5 anime series and movie of all time.
Now, I won't go into a full character analysis because that's not what this video's about.
But when you think about overpowered anime characters, Haruhi is typically left out of the conversation.
But she's not only a god, she's god god.
Her will is her power and she's completely unaware of it.
She can collapse multiverses…accidentally.
You can make a strong solid case that Haruhi Suzumiya is the most powerful anime character ever.
And the fact that Kyoto Animation Studio brought us that in the form of a woman is huge, especially in the context of gender roles in Japan.
If you think misogyny is rampant in America, you'll be horrified by Japan's treatment of women.
That's why when I go to Japanese anime conventions or events where there is cosplay, I'm pleasantly surprised by the amount of girls dressed as Haruhi.
Sure the cute dance probably has something to do with it.
But that doesn't negate the fact that her simultaneous strength and fragility offer something for young women in this society to draw inspiration from.
And that's thanks to Kyoto Animation Studio.
And that's what makes this tragedy so much harder to swallow.
I really want all fans of anime to not only reflect on KyoAni's body of work, but what that work has meant to the greater good.
They are one of the good ones.
They do right by their employees, they do right by their country, and they do right by their fans.
So this is what I want you as a fan to do in the comments below.
Talk about your favorite anime from Kyoto Animation Studio, and what it meant to you on a personal level.
Lets try our best to turn this tragedy into a positive.