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Reflecting on the KyoAni Arson Massacre

In my 20+ years of being an anime fan, the thought of a twisted individual committing mass murder against those within the have anime industry never crossed my mind.  Anime studios are known to receive death threats from disgruntled fans for whatever reason. Studios dismiss threats because those who send them never follow through with them. They are treated as people who talk a big action but never follow through.  Thus, (and sadly) death threats aren’t taken as seriously as they should within the industry at times.

Until recently.

On July 18th, 2019 around early morning at the Kyoto Animation studio, 33 lives – mostly young people who not only just got their start in the anime industry,  but in life in general – were senselessly taken from the world.  Their stories, wisdom, ideas, and creativity for the anime industry will never to be brought to life for the world to see – because of one angry disgusting man whom decided to end their lives. Buildings can be recovered and restored, yes.  Alas, we can not recover nor restored the talented lives that were lost.

It’s reported that the murderer was angry at Kyoto Animation (KyoAni) because they stolen something from him.  It’s rumor that what was stolen from him was a light novel idea that KyoAni allegedly rejected and used said idea for one of their anime production.  Out of anger, he broke into the main studio, pour gasoline on not only around the entrance of the building (to prevent people to escape the building) as well as inside it, but on his victims.

Even if KyoAni did steal this man’s novel idea, it is no reason for him to commit murder — let alone mass murder — through such inhumane means of turning a beloved animation studio into a death trap; burning people to death in the process.  As a creative person, I understand the rage of having people steal your ideas/works and claiming them as their own.  I would be livid if somebody stole my works and gain something from it.  I even admit that I would  go as far as to cause physical harm against a person if they stole my works. But, to commit (mass) murder over something I could prove was mines or creative a better version of it is maddening and illogical.

What was so valuable about that horrible man’s work that he had to take so many lives over it?

Is the love for one’s own art that extreme that people should be murdered over it?

 -Benjamin Snow