On the KyoAni Arson Incident

This is a rarity for me on this blog, both in that I’m posting on it after a long hiatus and that I’m writing something personal on here. Unfortunately, the events of this week have led me to want to write something to share my thoughts and experiences with Kyoto Animation.

I had a long day at work after a tiring week thus far and planned to go to sleep early when I saw a “Fire at Kyoto anime studio” tweet appear on my timeline from NHK. Instantly my heart leapt. “Is it them?” I clicked the link and saw Studio 1, a studio I’ve seen in behind-the-scenes footage several times and been to in-person, smoking. I immediately shared it with my good friend Yuyucow saying “WTF?” because it was and still is unreal. “I’m speechless. Like it’s not that it’s KyoAni, it’s that anyone would do this type of thing.” Those were my immediate reactions. Shock. Awe. Fear. Confusion. Sadness. The fact that this is either the worst or second-worst murder incident in Japan since 1945, nearly 75 years ago, says it all to me. “Why?”, but more importantly “is everyone alright?”

Part of why I kept translating news (and still maintaining that thread on Twitter) was hoping that something positive would be said. Would someone live? Could people be saved? Unfortunately, the more I found out, the more devastating it was. I tried to go to sleep when we knew that 10 people were dead. I tossed and turned in my bed, afraid of what the world would be when I woke up the next day. Things were predictably worse when I woke up after 3 hours of sleep and at least 90 minutes of trying to sleep/rest. At that point, 25 people were confirmed dead and 7 missing. In hours, those numbers would be combined for 33 people who passed away in the fire and 36 injured (now 34 dead and 35 injured). A mere 7 people were completely uninjured. Seven out of 74. My mind still boggles at how few that is.

Throughout this whole event, my mind continues to wander about many things. Why did this happen? Who have we lost? Who is hurt and suffering this very minute? What can I do to help? How can I do anything at all? The answers I’ve arrived at remain unsatisfactory and will continue to be that way. Even this morning, I found myself in a sudden period of immense sadness and grief over everything.

KyoAni wasn’t a company to me; they were like my family. My first translation project was the Haruhi 10/11 novels (which I don’t recommend; get the official version instead). I continued on, translating the interviews from the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya fanbook and then translating the Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai novels when the first anime season aired. After that, I wanted to share what the staff themselves thought and so I started translating more interviews with staff members. A LOT OF INTERVIEWS! Naoko Yamada, Tatsuya Ishihara, Yasuhiro Takemoto, Shoko Ikeda, Futoshi Nishiya, Kazumi Ikeda, Hiroko Utsumi, the list goes on. As I started to translate and read more from what these creators said, they weren’t strangers anymore. They became a part of me because I had attached voices to them through my work. Seeing the rise of Naoko Yamada from “someone who made K-On!, a show oriented for men and only for pervy men at that” to artistic creator from the Tamako series and reading her thoughts has been one of the highlights of my life. I vividly remember disagreeing with people, stating that Yamada was the best director at KyoAni after seeing her thoughts and now she’s a niche, but immensely beloved director in anime fandom. To know that I’ve had a role in that via my translations (and the effects from them in YouTuber videos, articles on ANN, articles on Crunchyroll, articles on blogger sites, etc has been one of the sources of pride that I hold dear.

As time has gone on, delusions of “I hope everyone will be alright” moved to a hope of “it’s going to be okay” and to the reality of “it’s likely that someone I’ve translated has passed away.” To know that their lively and creative minds are no longer on this Earth is incredibly saddening and depressing. Survivors’ guilt: wishing that it was you instead of them. I’m not as free as I used to be. The me that was so active on this blog would’ve easily said “I’d trade my life for theirs in an instant.” The me that’s writing this now knows the obligations and relationships I have and knows how much it’d hurt those people to see me gone. That’s another source of sadness: that I desperately want to feel like I’d be willing to sacrifice myself to save people because “it’s the right thing to do.” And yet, it’s those people that have helped me immensely throughout this. Have I been sad? Yes. Have I felt overwhelmed? Yes. Have I cried tears? Multiple times. But have I been able to bounce back and feel good again? Yes, thanks to my dear friends and special someone. I know the me of a couple years ago would’ve gone into immense depression over this and maybe shut down. The current me was able to be strong and translate news updates because of these bonds.

When I think about it, that’s truly the lesson that the KyoAni works taught me: when you’re with people who care about you and want to help you through your pain, you’re able to make it through tough times. Rikka had Yuuta to help her begin to overcome her grief at not being able to say goodbye to her father. Tamako had the market to help her live and thrive without her mother. Haruka swims not for himself, but for the team. Mirai found people that cared about her and didn’t shun her because of her abilities. Kumiko’s band overcame their issues and became one together. Team E in Phantom World came together to save the day in the finale. Shoko reunited the group of Shoya’s friends for him to heal his and her hearts. Violet learned the meaning of love through her co-workers and the people she wrote letters/lyrics for.

And so these times haven’t all been horrible. I’ve learned more about the history of this wonderful company through this incident. I’ve seen how great people can be in times of grief, giving of themselves to try and help in any shape or form. I’ve had a bit of my humanity restored after being jaded so much. I grieve over the people we’ve lost. From pillars in the industry down to people who just graduated from university and were just starting their careers. Every single one of the 34 people who have passed away and every single one of the 35 remaining injured people worked to make us feel better about ourselves and to become closer together. While I’m going to cry and feel sad knowing those people will never be the same or won’t be around again, I want to honor them by trying to become a more kind and gentle person. To become as open as the KyoAni family was. To share the love that I have with people.

This is just me. I’m not you and I can’t be you. If you need to be sad, be sad. If you need to have an outlet for your feelings, find a healthy one. Grief takes many forms for each of us and we’re all unique in how we’re going to handle this. But at the end of it all, when we see the next KyoAni work, I want us to let our emotions out, say thank you to everyone who created that title, and think of the good times we’ve had and the good times yet to come. In the end, they wanted us to be happy

Sound! Euphonium Roundtable: Director Tatsuya Ishihara, Series Director Naoko Yamada, & Author Ayano Takeda

This is a translation of the (long) roundtable discussion between Director Ishihara, Series Director Yamada, and Author Takeda that was published in the Sound! Euphonium Official Fanbook (published on September 25, 2015 by Takarajimasha). Thanks to @yuyucow, @tadamari, and @animenewsdotbiz for their comments and reviews.

Director x Series Director x Author Roundtable


Tatsuya Ishihara
Anime director at Kyoto Animation. Previous works directed include Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!, Nichijou, and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

Series Director:

Naoko Yamada
Anime director/animator at Kyoto Animation. Previous works directed include K-On!, Tamako Market, and the award-winning Tamako Love Story.


Ayano Takeda
Author. Debuted with “Today, We Breathed Together” in 2013. Also in 2013, Sound! Euphonium was published; currently there are 3 volumes and a collection of shorts published. Continue reading

Photography and resolution of anime

A couple years ago, I wrote a piece talking about the Anibin blog and how the author measured resolution of anime by using the television broadcast. Later on, I noticed that the methods used to judge the productions from Kyoto Animation was a bit suspect. Simultaneously, I started to notice the photography of shows a lot more, especially on the Blu-ray versions of the show. I’ve seen many people quote that KyoAni produces at 955.5p for main feature and full HD for openings and endings. I accepted it initially as I trusted Anibin as a source, but later I started to question that as the logic behind producing something like that didn’t add up. The following is a brief overview of the photography of anime and how that affects Anibin’s resolution guesses. Continue reading

Kyoto Animation and their evolution (March 2015 ver)

Founded in 1981 and incorporated in 1985, Kyoto Animation (once known as Kyoto Anime Studio) is a good studio to look at the evolution of a studio that once focused only on one aspect of animation into a subcontractor into an animation producer into an multimedia studio. This is a look at how they grew into who they are now.

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Sound! Euphonium primer

One of the items I purchased while in Japan was the first Sound! Euphonium (Hibike! Euphonium) novel while I was in Kyoto.  Over the past two weeks, I’ve taken the time to read through the novel and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading through it. There was a finely executed story that looked into the drama of a concert band leading up to a performance.  As I looked around at the impressions thus far from people looking towards the anime, I saw some people who would go into the series with some misconceptions about what it would be and wanted to counter that with a post talking about the setting. Thus, here’s a primer on Sound! Euphonium. Continue reading

Chu2Refresh & S2 Preview

With the second season of Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! coming up soon, I thought it would be a good idea to refresh our memories of the characters and recall where everyone is at the beginning of the second season. Thus, I’ve translated the character summaries on the official site.

Yuuta Togashi

Voice: Jun Fukuyama
This story’s protagonist. 2nd year high schooler.

Still holding onto his dark history of being infected with evil eye type chuunibyou during his second year of middle school, Yuuta successfully moved on and made a fresh start in high school. Since he’s the kind of person who looks after others, he’s always revolving around Rikka.

Rikka Takanashi

rikka001Voice: Maaya Uchida
This story’s heroine. 2nd year high schooler.

Self-claimed wielder of the Wicked eye.  A small and fair-skinned cute girl. Numerical subjects are her weakness. Outside of sewing, her feminine charms are near level 0. An awfully pitiful girl.

Shinka Nibutani

Voice: Chinatsu Akasaki
2nd year high schooler.

During her first year, she was the classmate of Rikka and Yuuta and was a member of the cheerleading team. She has the personality of a class leader. One of those new tall beautiful girls.

Kumin Tsuyuri

kumin001Voice:  Azumi Asakura
3rd year high schooler.

An easygoing girl who loves to nap. She’s lost a lot of items that fell off of her clothes, but she’s never forgotten a pillow.

Sanae Dekomori

Voice: Sumire Uesaka
A new high school student who’s an underclassman to Rikka and Yuuta.

The (self-claimed) wielder of the Mjölnir Hammer, she serves as Rikka’s disciple. She has a bit of a complex regarding her height, but she dislikes to drink milk.

Satone Shichimiya

shichimiya01Voice: Juri Nagatsuma
A friend of Yuuta’s during middle school; she was the cause of him becoming chuuni.

Currently infected and titles herself “Dark Magical Girl Sophia Ring SP Saturn the 7th”. Known to talk about the “rule of the world – Everyone’s connected.”

Yuuta’s Mom

Voice: Yuri Amano

An easy-going mother who enjoys playing with her children. As she’s very busy at work, she’s not around the house very often. Her husband is working in Jakarta now.

Kuzuha Togashi

kuzuha001Voice: Kaori Fukuhara
The older of Yuuta’s sisters. 2nd year middle schooler.

Reliable and good at cooking. She and Yuuta divvy up the chores since their parents are rarely there.

Yumeha Togashi

Voice: Mami Shitara
The youngest child in the Togashi family. One of the oldest in Kindergarden.

A precocious child who wants to play a more realistic version of house.

Makoto Isshiki

isshiki001Voice:  Souichiro Hoshi
2nd year high schooler.

Yuuta’s friend since they met in their first year. Straight, not easily discouraged, and someone who wants to be cool. He’s always checking out girls and won’t stop at anything to become popular.

Nanase Tsukumo

Voice: Kikuko Inoue
Yuuta and Rikka’s homeroom teacher.

A gentle airhead… or so she seems. She’s unexpectedly crafty. She tends to stretch out the end of her sentences.

Toka Takanashi

touka001Voice:  Eri Sendai
Rikka’s older sister.

Expressionless and doesn’t let her emotions show. However she’s a bit overwhelming in her requests despite sounding un-interested in them. Others can’t say anything against her wishes.


When we last left off in the TV-run, the series was occurring in November of Rikka/Yuuta’s first year in high school. The OVA takes place in late December while the movie occurs in March of their first year. The new season starts at the beginning of April in their second year, thus everyone’s moved up a grade. What waits us in their second year? We’ll find out in 1 week!

Megax’s favorite characters #1B: Not your typical chuuni

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but my anticipation levels keep rising for next month’s airing; thus I felt writing this would help get some of that energy out. In May 2012, I translated the first Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! light novel and thought it was a cute read, but nothing I would grow immensely attached to. After a little break, I finished translating the second novel in July of that year and something kept gnawing at me. I couldn’t get someone out of my head. Throughout the last year and a half, I’ve been involved in many other franchises, but my mind keeps coming back to one character from the novels, specifically the second novel. Her name: Satone Shichimiya. This post will delve further into exactly why I like her so much and why she’s on the same level as Itsuki Koizumi in my favorites. Of course, novel 2 spoilers await.

shichimiya01 Continue reading

The reasoning behind a lack of Haruhi S3 (Updated March 2015)

In April 2006, a reasonably popular light novel franchise by the name of The (blank) of Haruhi Suzumiya began airing its anime adaptation. Little did the producers know that the anime would become one of the top selling series of all time. The franchise became huge and a second season seemed inevitable. However, fate had other ideas in store. This post will detail how the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise has yet to receive a third season after selling nearly 100,000 copies per volume on DVD in 2006 (oricon miscalculations).

Continue reading

Free! and the future of KyoAni productions

On April 26, 2013 Kyoto Animation announced their 17th self-produced animation production entitled FREE!, a series about a group of friends re-uniting in their passion for swimming after going their separate ways following a victory in the elementary school nationals. What really got people in an uproar was the fact that all the main characters in this series were male and a previous advertisement involving these characters was very focused around their appeal towards female viewers. Of course this caused certain fans to be upset, things have been said, etc. I’m not going to focus on that (it’s been covered already). Nor am I going to focus on what mistakes have been made in covering this series (again, already covered). What I want to focus on is the impact FREE! has in future productions by Kyoto Animation that’s been heavily ignored by most fans, production and revenue (and no, not focusing towards a different audience).

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Kyoto Animation CM Credits Collection

In the past few years, Kyoto Animation has begun to take a bigger lead in the sponsorship of their shows. This leads to them being able to provide a commercial in each of the timeslots their shows air in. This post will collect the staff involvement for each of the commercials they air based on the listing in their website. As more are added, this post will be updated. Continue reading