Now, this might to some seem a little early, but I think it’s a good idea to look at the positives and not drown ourselves in sorrow. Obviously, the recent events surrounding the arson at KyoAni was horrifying, and I’m deeply saddened by the loss of a lot of people, including several incredibly talented people. Especially considering how much the anime this studio has created means to me. But I also highly doubt that KyoAni will let that stop them. And I’ve got multiple reasons to back that claim up.
First of all, KyoAni doesn’t just rely on anime. No, in 2009 they started publishing light novels and manga. Yes, KyoAni is also a publishing company, which means that they own their own licenses. This matters, as that means they’ve got multiple feet to stand upon, so even if their anime productions are haltered, they still get revenue from light novel and manga publications. This also benefits them once they get back on their feet as well, as they’ve potentially got much bigger gains when their anime sell well, as they obviously own the licenses to the media, meaning they don’t have a publisher breathing them in the neck, begging for money, just Pony Canion, a music label.
Secondly is that KyoAni consists of three divisions. Studio 1, the main studio. This is where the core staff resides. This is the studio that burned down. They’ve also got Studio 2, which is probably a smaller studio. This studio also has a lot of staff, but I’m not quite sure who are residing here. Lastly, they’ve got Animation Do. Animation Do is a separate anime studio created by the founder of KyoAni. They work together as one, and Animation Do don’t publish under their own name alone. Basically, they outsource work to themselves.
This means that they’ve still got two studios left to pick people from. There are 160 people in total at KyoAni, and 33 (so far) died in the fire, and several others got severely harmed. But we know that Naoko Yamada is alive, and we’ve heard that Ishihara Tatsuya is likely alive. That means they’ve still got two high tier directors left. As long as they’ve got some key animators left, they could promote some of them to other positions, and let some of the in-betweeners become key animators. This means that, even if they might be crippled, they may still be able to produce anime. Worst case scenario, they might have to ask freelancers to come over (here’s hoping Yukiko Horiguchi comes back) as well, but even without that, they might be able to stand on their own
Lastly, they’ve got a school where they train people. A lot of these people might not usually join KyoAni afterward, however, in this case, they might have to hire more of them. It’s not easy to get into KyoAni, but in a time of emergency, that might be what they’ll have to do. The talent they produce themselves will also be familiar with the tools they use at KyoAni, which means that they might fit in faster. Give them in-between work for instance, and promote some of the previous in-betweeners to key-framers.
And this should all still be possible, even if they don’t/can’t accept any of the donations. Yes, KyoAni might’ve been the studio that was best equipped to deal with the aftermath of such an occasion. It’s horrible, but I doubt this is the end of them.
Obviously, we’ll see changes. Maybe new people will decide to make entirely different kinds of stories. Maybe we’ll see an improvement, maybe we’ll see things heading south. Time will tell, but they’re definitely not gonna just give in now! Instead, they’ll push forward and be an inspiration for everyone else, showing that you can recover from a tragic event.
Lives have been lost, they will be remembered. We will never get them back, but we can’t let that stop us from moving forward!