History of Kyoto Animation


The history of Kyoto Animation is full of both successes and tragedies. From humble beginnings to creating anime such as Violet Evergarden, Clannad, Hyouka, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and K-On, this anime studio has become a respected force in the world of life and romantic anime. On the other hand, of course, this studio became a notorious victim of arson by a man who accused the company of plagiarism. Unfortunately, this stopped the production of the anime for a few years, but they came back to reclaim the throne.

Despite the arson, the company recently returned, and since then they have released two anime. One of them is the second season of last year’s “Dragon Maid” by Miss Kobayashi, and the other is the upcoming second season of “Tsurune”. To celebrate the return of Kyoto Animation and the recent anniversary of the arson, we offer you a deep dive into the history of Kyoto Animation.

A married couple opens an animation studio

In 1985, the husband-and-wife duo Hideaki and Yoko Hatta founded a limited liability company called Kyoto Animation. However, before it was an official company, it was a small group of friends and housewives who drew animated cages, who called themselves Kyoto Anime Studio. Yoko Hatta had experience as an artist at the animation studio Mushi Production, which is best known for its anime, such as the original Astroboy, and other classics of the time.

Yoko Hatta gathered a few housewives who had free time to paint cages for studios such as Tatsunoko Pro and Perriot. Some of the anime they have drawn footage for include SDS Macross, Urusei Matsura and Genesis Climber Mospeada. They did all this only with Yoko Hatta herself and her familiar housewives who agreed, namely Emiko Honda, Akiko Fujimura and Ayako Takemura. Over the next decade, the group grew and finally changed its name to Kyoto Animation, but this core group remained as they began to do more serious work, which included creating background graphics for Neon Genesis Evangelion, as well as creating intermediate and key animations in other productions.

Their first official Kyoto Animation production, which was their own, as opposed to the supporting role in the studio they previously performed, was intended for the cult of Happy Smile. While this is not remarkable in itself, it opened up Kyoto Animation to create short animations for the Japanese government. This led to larger companies asking Kyoto Animation to become co-producers, and Kyoto Animation was getting closer and closer to becoming an independent studio and eventually a household name.

From Capturing Full Metal Panic to Slice-Of-Life Legends

This small piece of fame gave Kyoto Animation a chance to take over the management of their favorite TV series Full Metal Panic. They released a season that had a big tonal shift to focus on elements of romantic comedy, and while it wasn’t as well received as previous seasons, it was the first anime to premiere on television weekly, and opened even more doors for the developing studio. They finally had the money to create a complete series, which had not been adapted before, called “Air”. This anime was an adaptation of a light novel and did it successfully, still leaving a mark on the shojo community. After the next season of Full Metal Panic, they started releasing one legendary piece of life after another.

One of them was another adapted light novel, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The series became a hit, partly because of the eccentric main character, and partly because of the strange staging of the episode. Since one of the themes of this supernatural segment of life is time travel, the episodes were broadcast out of order. Another legendary life series from Kyoto Animation was Lucky Star; this anime looked at anime girls living a normal school life filled with anime references. Then the infamous depressing and beautiful Clannad and Clannad Afterstory stories were released, followed by the charming CGDCT K-On series! out of.

Kyoto Animation has become a household name among fans of anime from life and will remain so for two decades. Some of their notable works from later years include Free! and Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon maid.

Kyoto Animation Arson

In July 2019, the Kyoto Animation Studio 1 building was set on fire. A man entered the building with 40 liters, which would otherwise be measured as 11 US gallons, and doused not only the territory, but also all employees who could not escape in time. Setting fire to the neighborhood, he set himself on fire and tried to escape, but was caught by the police near the burning building. Employees were trapped inside the building, and a fire raged at the entrance, blocking their escape.

A total of 36 people were killed, 34 people were injured, including the suspect.


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