Man Sets Fire to Animation Studio in Kyoto: Catastrophic fire at KyoAni’s studio causes the death of 30+ artists and employees.

According to officials, there are at least 33 deaths and a at least 36 injured after a man set fire to an animation studio in Kyoto, one of the most catastrophic casualty incident since WWII.
The 41-year-old suspect, according to the police, broke into the Kyoto Animation studio on Thursday morning, sprayed petrol and ignited it. The suspect has been detained and also injured, taken to the hospital after the incident.
Kyoto Animation, also known as KyoAni, is the production company of major anima hits, films, and graphic novels. The studio is widely respected for its quality productions.

It was 10:30 am local time on Thursday, July 18th, when fire broke out at the studio. Police also found, at the scene, knifes that the suspect had brought along. And according to broadcaster at NHK, the man was heard saying “drop dead” as he set fire to the studio.

Approximately 70 people were in the building when the fire started. According to reports, the suspect is not affiliated with the studio but, according to eyewitnesses, appears to be very angry with the animation studio.

Kyoto Animation Director Hideaki Hatta told broadcasters that the company had recently received threatening emails, addressed to their office and sales departments. The letters told them (employees of the studio) “to die”. Mr. Hatta told reporters that he was “heartbroken” at the attack. “It is unbearable that the people who helped carry Japan’s animation industry were hurt and lost their lives in this way,” he said.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said the country was mourning with Japan: “Canadians send our deepest condolences to the families of those killed in the arson attack in Kyoto that has taken so many innocent lives.” Apple CEO Tim Cook praised the studio and its work, tweeting: “Kyoto Animation is home to some of the world’s most talented animators and dreamers — the devastating attack today is a tragedy felt far beyond Japan. KyoAni artists spread joy all over the world and across generations with their masterpieces.”

The studio was founded in 1981, one of the first animation studios to be successful outside of Tokyo. It has produced popular animation shows including K-On and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. One of the most notable works include a standalone feature anime, A Silent Voice in 2016. One of KyoAni’s series, Violet Evergarden, was picked up by Netflix for a global market. The studio also publishes many popular graphic novels.