Four years have passed since the horrific arson incident at Kyoto Animation that claimed thirty-six employees’ lives. While the studio has seen anime fans, and creators in the animation industry, rally in support, the production house has also honored those who have fallen since the accident. Now, Kyoto Animation has announced that next summer will see the construction of a new memorial for those lost in the arson incident and another memorial that will be created in the future to help neighborhoods remember the lives lost.
The 2019 incident was presumably caused by suspect Shinji Ohba, as the arsonist set fire to the building that housed the “Studio 1 Team”. As a result of this attack, not only did thirty-six employees lose their lives, but thirty-four additional people were injured as a result. Aoba’s trial is set to begin later this fall, with the Japanese court saying it hopes the verdict will arrive on January 25 next year. The preliminary hearing presided over by Judge Keisuke Masuda has already begun, with the court stating that there will likely be about 32 hearings before the case is concluded.
The first memorial site is scheduled to open on July 18, 2024, and will open near the animation studio’s headquarters in Oji City. Currently, the organization is asking current Kyoto staff to submit their design plans for what the memorial might look like. After this site is established, an additional memorial site will be erected at the spot where Studio 1 once was. This second memorial will not be open to the public, though the first will be.
Kyoto Animation was first created in 1985 and has been in operation for about thirty-seven years at this point. Responsible for heavy hitters such as Violet Evergarden, A Silent Voice, and Free! To name a few, the production house once again continued working on its various projects after the accident. The anime world has lost some key talents in the accident and they will always be remembered in the anime community. Down the line, Kyoto has projects like Sound! Euphonium 3, 20 Seiki Denki Mokuroku, and more are currently in the works.
Our thoughts are with those affected by this horrific accident.