Kyoto Animation Recovered Their Server and All Its Data After Deadly Arson Attack

author img
BY September 3, 2019

After a deadly fire that claimed 35 lives, a small glimmer of good news comes from a beloved anime studio recently targeted by a cowardly arsonist. Kyoto Animation recovered their server and all its data intact, meaning the projects the employees worked is not lost. This is a small consolation to the family and friends of the nearly three dozen people whose lives were cut short, but it means that the projects they worked on so tirelessly will live on. Neither Japanese authorities nor the studio itself released any personal information about the victims of the fire. Still, the news that Kyoto Animation recovered their server after the fire means that it will likely rise stronger than ever after this attack.

What Happened at Kyoto Animation

One of the most acclaimed animation studios in Japan, Kyoto Animation is best known for its series like Full Metal Panic, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, K-On1, and other titles. In late May and early June, their primary studio location began to receive death threats. Company President Hideaki Hatta personally informed both police and the studios lawyers about them. On July 15, alleged arsonist Shinji Aoba, 41, arrived in town to visit settings from their anime in both Kyoto and Uji, a village to the south. Three days later on July 18, he walked into the first floor of the studio and poured gasoline on the employees. He then lit the gasoline on fire, and the subsequent blaze torched the building. As of this writing, 35 people died on the scene or succumbed to injuries later. Aoba tried to flee, but police captured him almost immediately.

How the Recovered Server and All Its Data Survived

The blaze started by the arsonist decimated the building as well as the employees who ended up trapped inside. Yet, Kyoto Animation recovered their server and all its data because of smart planning and preparedness. The servers, which contain their latest releases including the Violet Evergarden movie and it’s spinoff Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memories Doll, stayed housed in a concrete room. Designed to protect them from fire and water damage, these four walls did just that for their recovered server and all the countless hours of work represented by the animation data that survived. A spokesperson for the studio offered “heartfelt thanks” to the specialists who ensured this data survived without any loss, according to Variety.

Along with this good news, the world community stepped up to help Kyoto animation. Fundraising efforts inside Japan raised nearly ten million dollars for the company. A U.S. distribution company, Sentai Filmworks, raised nearly $2.5 million through crowdfunding. (Donations still open.) Kyoto Animation promised to be transparent with their use of these funds, specifically to help deceased employees’ families and to rebuild their primary studio.

Featured image via Kyoto Animation.

Anime News

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

Leave a comment


Anime News
Upcoming Anime Releases – What to Watch For

With the summer just around the corner, the fans world over are licking their lips. The Anime universe is getting ready for the newest anime releases.

BY Richard Saunders May 24, 2019
Anime News
Most Powerful Anime Characters of All Time

Anime fans love the debate over the most powerful anime characters. Time and time again, anime and manga fans talk about the strongest anime characters, even though they will likely never battle. In the video game Jump Force, we get a sense of what it might be like. Seeing Light Yagami partner up with Goku […]

BY Taylor Bauer July 7, 2019
Anime News
Carole & Tuesday Review – Must Watch Anime

When Cowboy Bebop released in 1998, the show became one of those gateway anime shows. For a lot of people, the steampunk style world of the show captured imaginations. The only part of the show cooler than the world in which it existed was the music. Music matters a lot to the show’s creator, Shinichirō […]

BY Taylor Bauer September 4, 2019
Star Wars Battlefront 2 Celebration Edition is Jam Packed with Content

There’s nothing like a good redemption story. We see it all the time in comic books. A villain suddenly sees the error of their ways, turns good, and we love them for it. We don’t see it as much with video games, and no, I don’t mean characters. If a game is cast aside as […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 4, 2019
Super Mario Maker 2 Update – What’s New?

When it comes to popular Nintendo Switch games, Super Mario Maker 2 has been huge. The game is still seeing a ton of players daily, months after its release. The developers at Nintendo working on the game are ready to send more content to the game as well. In an update coming on December 5th, […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 2, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure Shortage in Japan Sparks Apology from Nintendo

It seemed a little like a joke at first, but Ring Fit Adventure is a hit. The Nintendo published fitness game for the Switch is huge all over the world. Of course, Japan took to the game quite fondly. Even here in the United States, people are really into this game. Essentially, you track movements and […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 1, 2019
RuneScape Glitch Almost Destroyed the In-Game Economy

RuneScape is a historic MMORPG with a fervent player base to this very day. For nearly 18 years, the game has brought 200 million accounts into its fantasy world. For a lot of people, a few hours on RuneScape is a part of the normal daily routine. There is a new version of the game, […]

BY Taylor Bauer November 27, 2019


Why Do We Love Cheesy Christmas Movies So Much?

What’s your favorite movie genre? If you’re thinking of an answer, I’m betting it’s something along the lines of “drama” or “action”. Very few folks out there would jump at the chance to give “Christmas movies!” as an answer. Though, they still remain ridiculously popular. Even the “bad” Christmas movies get enough views to generate […]

BY Meghan Hale December 7, 2019
Peter Sarsgaard Joins Cast of the Batman as (Maybe) Two-Face!

The cast of Matt Reeves’ The Batman is getting bigger and bigger, and now includes one of Peter Sarsgaard. Sarsgaard has some history with DC movies, having starred as the villain Hector Hammond in the ill-fated Green Lantern. While his role in The Batman hasn’t officially been announced, there is one major clue that Peter […]

BY Roman Colombo December 7, 2019
YouTube Rewind 2019 and Why This Year is Somehow Worse

The YouTube Rewind is a time honored tradition in the internet age. On the one hand, YouTube puts together a video to celebrate the content we loved all year long. On the other hand, the internet collectively bullies YouTube for its lack of creativity. 2018’s Rewind was the worst it has gotten, but every year, […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 7, 2019
Henry Cavill Disinterested in the Snyder Cut, Wants to Think About the Future of Superman

The internet is all a-flutter, because Zach Snyder confirmed that he has some cut of Justice League ready to go. Yet, the key figure in the director’s takeover of DC doesn’t seem all that interested in the movie. Henry Cavill neither saw nor cares much about the Snyder Cut, instead he is interested in the […]

BY Joshua M. Patton December 7, 2019