Kyoto Animation makes anime that celebrates life. Their work has been a gentle hand guiding us to the unnoticed and underappreciated details. They have shown us the extraordinary in the ordinary. To paraphrase Nichijou, one of my favorite anime of all time, our day to day lives are actually a series of miracles. There’s value and beauty to simply doing whatever it is that we do. If there is any common thread to KyoAni’s works, I feel like that might be it.
More important than the final product though, the studio has backed up that message with action. In an industry that is often defined by the way it abuses its workforce, Kyoto Animation has stood out as an example of how things could be different. By all accounts the working environment they created showed a unique respect for the time and well being of their employees. It sounded like a fun and fulfilling place to spend your career. That has certainly made reading details of the attack that much more difficult to process as more facts become available.
I don’t want to sound like I’m delivering a eulogy, but I also feel it would be wrong to think about the future at this point in time. Forgoing any anime related context, what happened yesterday was a terrible tragedy. My only hope is that the victims can find some path back to happiness and peace of mind. Our deepest condolences go out to those affected.