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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

Anime Industry 1

Kyoto Animation Arson Attack: 30+ Injured And Multiple Fatalities Reported

Multiple people confirmed dead and 30+ injured at famous Kyoko animation studio from alleged arson attack. According to reports, police captured and arrested a man in his 40s who admitted to police he used a liquid accelerate to start the fire.

FROM ANIME NEWS NETWORK: “According to a report by The Kyoto Shimbun newspaper, nearby residents heard an explosion on the first floor of the building. NHK also quoted a man who supposedly heard an explosion in the building at around 10:30 a.m. JST, after which a fire erupted in the building’s second and third floor.” Kyoto Animation is an animation studio and light novel publisher founded in 1981.

Kyoto Animation is most famous for producing popular series and movies such as “Full Metal Panic!”, “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”, “Clanned”, “Free!” and “A Silent Voice”.

My Personal Thoughts: Anime — and entertainment in general — isn’t that serious to the point that you have to commit arson and murder. If you’re gonna kill somebody, kill them because they harmed/killed a family member or they’re threatening to kill/harm you. Don’t lose your freedom and endanger others over some damn cartoons.

SOURCES:

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190718_31/
https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2019-07-17/kyoto-police-multiple-deaths-confirmed-in-kyoto-animation-fire/.149101

 

the melancholy of haruhi suzumiya 2

30 Day Anime Challenge Day 9: Anime with the Best Soundtrack

Goddammit.  Another challenge day  that’s going to be a struggle.  Why?  Because I simply love music.  I simply love anime.  I love when anime and music comes together.  Just like with the  favorite opening and ending themes challenges, I just can not think  of that one anime soundtrack that deserves the number one top spot. That how much I love the unity of anime and music.

So, this is how I’m going to do this instead. Rather than me  going through my massive list of my favorite anime soundtracks and songs,  I’m going to discus one of the most  beloved concert scene from an equally beloved anime series that fuses both superior animation and high quality musical performance.

The scene – “God Knows…” from episode 12 of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya “Live Alive”.

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I have the highest respect for the “God Knows…” animation and the  endless hours of hard work and love that was put into it. I am not saying this as an anime fan right now. I am saying this as a musician (I’m a violinist).  I wish I had the words to describe to you guys on  how much I love the greatly detailed animation, the energetic performance by Aya Hirano (voice actress of series heroine Haruhi Suzumiya), and of course, the audio and music production.

I can relate to Haruhi pouring out her heart, passion, soul, and emotions into her performance:  playing rhythm guitar and singing, expressing herself through body language (bouncing up and down, head bobbing,  rocking her guitar back and forth) and her facial expression (sweating under the bright, hot stage lights, her hair matted, and ending with her panting; struggling to catch her breath after such an intense performance.  This isn’t the normally bossy and aggressive attention whore Haruhi that we’ve known for a the last 11 episodes.

This  is Haruhi – the passionate musician.

Passionate about her musicianship. Passionate about becoming joining with the one that she loves.  It is as if she’s speaking heart-to-heart about Kyon through God Knows…

As if she wants him to know that she wants to be with him.

wire-subs_suzumiya_haruhi_-_god_knows._amv_1280x720_x264_aac

‘I send my now passionate feelings-
they melt reality
then just hover there suspended.
There’s no reason for me
wanting to see you.
I pour my feelings into you, lovin’ you’
Haruhi Suzumiya

 The sound  production is just as impressive as the animation itself.   To start, I appreciate how the band starts tuning to key , how Haruhi’s mic picked up her moving  her stand, her footsteps, and adjusting the mic itself.  Next we have sounds of the audience chattering, chants, cheers, and clapping to the rhythm of the beat (in time with song to boot) as if this was a concert going on in real life (with them jamming to the performance itself).  There’s even a short period of time in which the crowd starts to cheer for Yuki’s guitar solo.

Those were nice touches to me.

My only gripe with this animation and music masterpiece is that Kyoto Animation did not use the fully animated God Knows in it’s entirety (meaning animating the full song and not the TV size).    But I assume that they were under a time limit to release the episode so I can forgive them for that.  And they did create a legendary concert scene that anime fans still love and celebrate to this day, so I can’t be so fault them for real.

With that said I hope you enjoy this quick little post!  See ya!

Please do yourself a favor and  watch/listen to both the anime and the live action versions of this song.  I promise you won’t regret it.

 

‘You’re here, and I’m here-
all the others have disappeared.
By sketching the beauty of our fleeting dream,
we’re just tracing our scars’

-God Knows…. (2006 Single)