This week: as AniFem rounds out its premiere week coverage, the anime community focuses its attention on the horrifying fire at Kyoto Animation.
This summer season is ridiculously strong so far. Find out which shows are most worth your while.
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Chiaki, Miranda, and Vrai are back to talk about Mytho’s big changes, Fakir’s magic fanfic powers, and why Rue is Extremely Good.
A massive fire at Kyoto Animation has rocked the anime community. Our readers remember them by talking about how KyoAni was important to them.
Fire Department: 33 People Confirmed Dead in Kyoto Animation Fire (Updated) (Anime News Network, Crystalyn Hodges)
Japan’s national news agency NHK reported on Thursday at 9:21 p.m. that, according to the Kyoto Fire Department, 33 people are confirmed to have died in the fire that engulfed Kyoto Animation‘s 1st Studio building earlier on Thursday.
Of those 33 people, NHK reports that 12 were men, 20 were women, and one is unknown. NHK is still reporting that 35 people were injured. The Kyoto Fire Department has now finished its rescue efforts inside the building, and can confirm there is no one left in the building.
The Impact Of Kyoto Animation: 5 Things You Need To Know(Forbes, Lauren Orsini)
AniFem’s Lauren Orsini describes what made Kyoto Animation so special as a studio.
Kyoto Animation was founded in 1981 by Yoko Hatta with the help of her husband, Hideaki. With Yoko serving as vice president and Hideaki as president, the pair still oversee the studio today. According to Kevin Cirugeda of Sakuga Blog, Yoko, a former artist for Mushi Production, moved to Kyoto after she got married and enlisted neighborhood housewives to join her at a new anime venture that would eventually become Kyoto Animation.
Since those humble beginnings, Kyoto Animation has earned a reputation for hiring more women—and promoting them to more prestigious roles—than other anime studios. In addition to this gender parity, KyoAni is famous for its progressive, worker-friendly environment in an industry where animators are frequently overworked and underpaid. While Japanese animators generally make a pittance, even at famous places like Studio Ghibli, Kyoto Animation pays their workers on salary. In an industry where most animators are contractors with few benefits, KyoAni is one of the few that offers perks like maternity leave. The studio’s worker treatment is a beacon in an industry that often burns out animators, showing that fair employment practices and commercial success aren’t at odds after all.
Here is How You Can Help Kyoto Animation (Cayla Coats, Crunchyroll)
It’s hard to stand by and just watch when a tragedy happens. Here’s what you can do.
In what is undoubtedly the worst tragedy to befall the anime industry, Kyoto Animation, the beloved anime studio behind titles like Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, A Silent Voice, and many, many others fell victim to a devastating attack yesterday. The anime community worldwide has been rocked to its core by this event.
As the news broke, many in our community rallied behind the studio, and are wondering how best they can support Kyoto Animation during this crisis. To be clear, information is still coming to light, and, as such, we can’t and won’t claim to know which actions will have the most meaningful outcomes. We can, however, help publicize the best ways we currently know to support the studio as we continue to work with our Tokyo office to get better information. Below, we share several actions you can take in the meantime to show the staff, friends, and family of Kyoto Animation how much you care.
Japan Fire Killed Mostly Women, at a Studio Known for Hiring Them(The New York Times)
Kyoto Animation’s progressive hiring practices meant that most of the arson’s casualties were women.
Kyoto Animation is also unusual among anime studios in that it pays its workers salaries, rather than freelance fees. Japan’s animation industry has been accused of exploiting workers, who work long hours for low wages.
Ironically, KyoAni’s system may have exposed its workers to greater risk by concentrating so many of them in one studio. “It’s a rare system in the industry,” Mr. Okeda said.
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Our readers pay tribute to Kyoto Animation.