A deadly fire which broke out at Kyoto Animation’s Studio 1 building in Kyoto, Japan and took of the lives of at least 33 individuals appears to be the deliberate work of an arsonist.
The fire broke out at 10:30 AM local time ( 6:30 PM PST / 9:30 EST) on Thursday, with witnesses claiming to have first heard a loud explosion followed by the sight of flames rapidly engulfing the studio. The suspect, a 41-year-old individual whose name has not been released to the public, was allegedly seen spraying the building with a flammable substance, which some to believe to be gasoline, immediately prior to the fire.
While reports have circulated that the man shouted “Die!” or “You ripped me off!” before starting the fire, as of writing the suspects motive has not been confirmed by Japanese authorities.
33 People Confirmed Dead
Ultimately, the attack took the lives of 33 people, with 36 being taken to the hospital for treatment, according to an update this morning from NHK, the Japanese national public broadcasting organization.
Kyoto Animation Studio was established in 1981, and has since produced a large catalog of popular and acclaimed anime series, including Lucky Star, K-On!, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Free! And Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.
In the aftermath of the attack, many fans have shared their support for the studio on social media using the hashtag #PrayForKyoani while others have begun to share ways to directly donate to the anime studio. Sentai Filmworks, a US-based anime licensing company, has started a GoFundMe fundraising campaign titled Help KyoAni Heal which, at the time of writing, currently sits at $750k. On Twitter, some fans have noted that KyoAni also sells high-res, digital images on their website (all funds paid go directly to KyoAni, and the delivery of the pictures is automated, ensuring that no employees have further pressure thrust upon them in this difficult time) and have even created English-language guides to help assist fans in purchasing these images.
‼️KyoAni sells high-res digital images online for 216yen each. ‼️
The money directly goes to kyoani, since it's downloadable picture, they dont need to spend time ship real stuff out. ‼️It's a great way to directly support them financially.‼️ https://t.co/Pw2KsHSEWt
— temporarily brain dead (@FWAsteria) July 18, 2019
If you're looking to support KyoAni, here are some notes about paying for the digital files:
-The fulfillment is all instant and digital, so you won't burden their employees by making the order
-It asks for Japanese address, but doesn't verify, so you can buy without one https://t.co/MQX5R9QuhY
— . (@zetsubouzhainu) July 18, 2019