#PrayForKyoani: People mourn after deadly fire attack at Japanese anime studio in Kyoto

Japanese animation fans are taking to Twitter using #PrayForKyoani following a deadly studio fire at Kyoto Animation — a suspected arson attack, in which at least 33 people have been confirmed dead.

Called KyoAni by fans, the studio is located in Kyoto, Japan, and famous for its anime productions, some of which have been licensed to Netflix. Its Thursday morning attack is now being called Japan’s deadliest post-war mass murder.

KyoAni has been involved in popular productions like InuYasha, Tenchi Universe and Nurse With Komugi, but the studio is applauded for more than just its releases. According to Hollywood Reporter, KyoAni is known being progressive — by employing more female directors and writers than other anime studios, by placing emphasis on stories with schoolgirl characters, and by hiring permanent employees rather than relying on a “per-image basis with little security,” like the rest of the Japanese industry often does, according to Hollywood Reporter. One of its productions, A Silent Voice, addressed topics that aren’t traditionally seen in anime, such as bullying, PTSD and suicide.

While a motive for the arson attack has not yet been released, Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, reported that a suspect has been arrested. According to NHK, a man was spotted pouring what is assumed to be gasoline around the building, and shouting out “Die!” before lighting a fire.

Fans immediately took to Twitter to share personal accounts of how the studio has impacted them.

“Kyoto Animation is a progressive animation studio that truly embodied the idea of gentle art that healed the heart,” one person wrote. “They were also a house of some of the most proficient animators of natural movement in our generation.”

Another added, “I owe them so much. Thanks to them I got into anime, started this Twitter, met great people... And I'm just one of many. The whole anime world mourns today.”

Other fans asked for people to “understand the scale” of the attack — and think about “families, friends, lovers” and the people lost.

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