After the Kyoto Animation Fire: Japanese entertainment industry trying to come to terms with attack
It's been almost a month now, since an arson attack on the Kyoto Animation studio in Japan killed nearly three dozen people. The studio is known for its high-quality productions and progressive workplace culture. And the Japanese entertainment industry is still coming to terms with the tragedy. Mayu Yoshida reports from Tokyo.
It was Japan's worst mass killing in 18 years. 35 staff members at Kyoto Animation lost their lives in an arson attack on July 18th. And the impact of the attack still lingers throughout Japanese society, in particular, the country's entertainment industry.
PROFESSOR TOSHIYUKI MASUBUCHI HOSEI UNIVERSITY "Victims included top animation directors and young aspiring employees. Some say that it'll take 10 billion yen for the company to recover. But the economic and social impact goes beyond numbers."
Kyoto Animation is well-known for its progressive working environment. The company provides animators with job security and full-time salaries in a country where artists are often underpaid and overworked.
MAYU YOSHIDA TOKYO "The studio also has a reputation for hiring and promoting more women, which is a pioneering move in a male-dominated industry. Fans say that Kyoto Animation proves that fair employment treatment and business success can co-exist. Experts also say the company was the first successful studio outside the capital, demonstrating that an entertainment business can be successful even outside of the cultural hub of Tokyo."
PROFESSOR TOSHIYUKI MASUBUCHI HOSEI UNIVERSITY "For now, Japanese anime is the front-runner, in terms of story-making and quality. But China, for example, is rapidly catching up. Kyoto Animation was a unique company that started in-house production and focused on fostering young talents. The tragedy of Kyoto Animation is an enormous loss for the changing Japanese animation industry."
Anime fans from around the world are still reeling in the wake of the tragedy. Messages in Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English fill this special board set up at a Tokyo shopping mall.
MAKO FURUI ANIME FAN "I wrote, take your time and I'll be waiting and supporting your recovery."
TAKUMI MATSUSHIMA ANIME FAN "Kyoto Animation stories are like no others, the details, the colors and how they illustrate the city of Kyoto. I was moved and cried so many times."
TAKU SHINTANI SPOKESPERSON, ATRE AKIHABARA "We've received letters from around the world and it shows how much the company was loved by global anime fans. We plan to deliver their thoughts and prayers to Kyoto at some point."
It may take months, even years, for Kyoto Animation to restore their studios. It's promised its fans it will endure, and fans seem willing to wait as long as it takes. MAYU YOSHIDA, CGTN, TOKYO.