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Japanese News Station Apologizes After Misquote About Kyoto Animation Fire Victim

Screenshot: Fuji TV
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Fuji TV, one of Japan’s largest television networks, has apologized after an unfortunate misquote that called director Yasuhiro Takemoto an “idiot.” Takemoto was one of the victims of last month’s tragic Kyoto Animation fire.

Yasuhiro Takemoto helmed some of Kyoto Animation’s most popular anime. The 47-year-old took over directing duties for Lucky Star and would go on to direct the feature film The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya as well as the 2017 anime series Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid. Authorities have confirmed that Takemoto was among the victims claimed by the fire.

On Fuji TV’s Live News it! program, one of Takemoto’s high school classmates was interviewed. The classmate said, “There isn’t a genius like him.”

Screenshot: Fuji TV (Edit by Kotaku)

You can see the quote at the bottom of the screen in white text. The classmate used the word tensai (天才), which means “genius” or “prodigy.” The word is used twice in the original quote.

However, in the upper right corner, the quote attributed to his classmate is incorrect and reads, “There isn’t an idiot like him.” The text reads aho (アホ), which means “idiot” or “fool” in the Kansai dialect.

These two words are not easily mixed up. They are even written in different scripts, with tensai being written in kanji and aho being written in katakana. As in English, typos do happen in Japanese, but the typical ones have incorrect kanji characters for a word. This is not the mistake that happened here.

As Daily Sports reports, during the middle of the broadcast, news anchor Takeshi Okudera said, “We have an apology and a correction.” The anchor explained that there was a mistake in the onscreen text, adding that it should have read tensai (genius). He then apologized for the mistake.

Source: Kotaku.com

Kyoto Animation Will Release Its New Film As Planned

Image: Kyoto Animation

This September, Kyoto Animation’s Violet Evergarden spin-off anime will be released as originally scheduled.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the premiere for Violet Evergarden Side-Story: Eternity and the Auto Memories Doll was scheduled for an August 3 premiere at Germany’s Animagic convention. According to the event’s organizers, the showing will commence as planned “at the express request of the studio.”

Kai-You adds that the movie will be released as planned in Japan this September. This comes as earlier this month, a fire was set at Kyoto Animation’s studio in Fushimi, claiming at least 35 lives.

Violet Evergarden was originally a light novel that debuted in 2015 and was published by Kyoto Animation. An anime series followed in 2018.

Violet Evergarden Side-Story: Eternity and the Auto Memories Doll is a spin-off movie and starting September 6, it will play in theaters only for a three-week run in Japan. No word about an international release.

Another new Kyoto Animation movie, Violet Evergarden the Movie, was previously announced for a January 10 release in Japanese cinemas.

Source: Kotaku.com

Fans Mourn Following Kyoto Animation Tragedy

Screenshot: ANN
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.  

Last week, a fire set at Kyoto Animation left dozens injured and 34 people dead. There has been an outpouring of support from fans around the world. In Kyoto, people have been bringing flowers in memory of those who lost their lives and praying for the injured.

As previously reported, people around the world have been posting under the #PrayForKyoani hashtag.

A stand has also been set up a 100 meters away from the studio to received the flowers, with people lining up to pay their respects.

According to Asahi, Kyoto Animation CEO Hideaki Hatta said, “I think the people who live around here don’t want to see this building.” Hatta added that he wanted the studio to be torn down. “The thinking being that, if possible, I’d like to make a park with a monument.”

Sentai Works has set up a fundraiser for Kyoto Animation. You can donate here.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Kyoto Animation Studio Was About More Than Just Anime

Back in April 2006, as an American living in Osaka, I had only been working here at Kotaku for a few months when a new anime took the internet by storm. At that time, cosplayers at otaku events across Japan were dressing up as the lead character in Kyoto Animation’s latest show, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and copying the dance routine found in its closing credits.

As reported yesterday, a devastating fire ravaged Kyoto Animation’s studio in the Fushimi district. As of writing, thirty-three people are confirmed dead and the suspected arsonist is in police custody. This is truly tragic.

Kyoto Animation is one of Japan’s most popular studios and helped make Kyoto more synonymous with anime, even setting its 2015 show Sound Euphonium in the city. But for many fans, it was Haruhi that put the studio on the map. Originally a light novel illustrated by Noizi Ito, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was the breakout anime of 2006. At the same time, YouTube was just blowing up and was being inundated with videos of fans performing Haruhi dances.

Cosplay was also in the process of going global in a big way, and again, Haruhi was at the heart of a cultural explosion, with people from all over Japan (and the West) starting to dress up as the schoolgirl star. It was quickly becoming the iconic anime of the time. Kyoto Animation had created a cultural force.

Kyoto Animation not only made Haruhi massively popular but also put its own stamp on the show. The studio showed its panache for producing enjoyable shows with widespread appeal, and by the year’s end, New Type magazine was declaring The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya the country’s most popular anime. In 2007, Kyoto Animation followed up with Lucky Star, another series set in a school, and also another series with a super-catchy credit sequence. Moving adaptations of visual novels from Osaka-based Key showed the studio’s range.

Kyoto Animation’s style really started to come into its own during the mid-to-late 2000s, with its big-eyed stars leading the way. Just as Disney and Studio Ghibli have their own signature look, so does Kyoto Animation.

But it also became notable for things it did away from the screen, like promoting women to director roles (a rarity in anime, even today), for trying to pay its staff above-average wages and for making shows a wide range of people can enjoy.

Moe Eyes

Kyoto Animation became closely identified with the moe style, which is different from kawaii or “cute.” Moe (萌え) literally means “budding” or “sprouting” but its slang use has a much more nuanced meaning. Back in 2009, when working on my book Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential, I interviewed Haruhi’s original illustrator Noizi Ito about the word’s meaning and remember her telling me how it’s a warm fuzzy feeling people get towards characters. Ito designed Haruhi, but it was Kyoto Animation who made her world-famous.

Kyoto Animation is also notable for what it didn’t do. So many companies founded in the area leave the Kansai region once they become more successful, fleeing Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto for the lure of Tokyo. But Kyoto Animation, despite its success, stayed in Kansai, where it continued to create anime loved by people all over the world. Kyoto was more than just geishas and scenic views, but also a place where some of Japan’s most beloved anime was made.

I’ve spent a fair bit of time in Kyoto’s historic Fushimi district. I have seen how buildings are crammed in between narrow roads and sake breweries. This is a region that’s home to famous temples and shrines, many of them centuries old or older, but for anime fans, Kyoto Animation has become just as important.

Sentai Works has set up a fundraiser for Kyoto Animation. You can donate here.

Source: Kotaku.com

33 Confirmed Dead After Fire At Kyoto Animation, Suspected Arsonist In Custody [Updated]

Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.  

A fire, suspected to be arson, at a Kyoto, Japan animation studio has left at least 33 people dead and hospitalized more with injuries. A man in his 40s, allegedly seen pouring a flammable liquid at the site and setting it on fire, has been taken into police custody.

The fire occurred at the Studio 1 building of Kyoto Animation, one of Japan’s most popular producers of anime. At around 10 a.m. JST Thursday morning, residents living near the studio heard the sound of an explosion and saw smoke emitting from the building, which is located in Kyoto’s Fushimi ward. One witness said the suspect was screaming “Die” as he lit the fire.

Kyoto Animation, founded in 1981, is known for anime like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, K-On! and more recently, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and Free!, among many others. While the building that was set on fire was its main animation studio, the company’s head office is in Uji City, Kyoto, which is about 20 minutes away by car.

The company’s co-founder and CEO Hideaki Hatta told reporters that for the past few years, death threats had often been sent to the company.

In the aftermath of the event, fans have posting messages, expressing sorrow and offering condolences using a #prayforkyoani hashtag on Twitter.

This developing story has been updated since its original publication. A list of updates is below.

Updated: 7/18/2019, 8:26 a.m. ET: Thirty-three people have been confirmed dead.

Updated: 7/18/2019, 7:09 a.m. ET: Twenty-five people have been confirmed dead.

Updated: 7/18/2019, 6:09 a.m. ET: Fans have posting messages, expressing sorrow and offering condolences using a #prayforkyoani hashtag on Twitter.

Updated: 7/18/2019, 5:18 a.m. ET: Kyoto Animation CEO Hideaki Hatta told reporters that for the past few years, death threats have often been sent to the company.

Updated: 7/18/2019, 4:36 a.m. ET: Sixteen people are now confirmed dead, the Japanese TV media reports.

Updated: 7/18/2019, 3:30 a.m. ET: An announcement scheduled tomorrow for Kyoto Animation’s new Free! movie has been canceled. [Editor’s note: This update originally stated that the movie had been canceled. It has not. We regret the error.]

Updated: 7/18/2019, 3:08 a.m. ET: The Japanese media is now reporting that seven people are confirmed dead.

Updated: 7/18/2019, 12:59 a.m. ET: One witness said the suspect was screaming “die” as he lit the fire.

Updated: 7/18/2019, 12:46 a.m. ET: According to Japanese TV news, there are still people trapped in the studio and there are 20 people who are still unaccounted for.

Earlier: Sankei News reported that 38 employees have been taken to the hospital for major and minor injuries. ANN added that nine people are unconscious. According to Kyoto Shimbun, one person is reported dead.

Source: Kotaku.com