Two years ago a tragedy happened at Kyoto Animation. It robbed families of their loved ones and all of us of talented artists that bring our dreams to life. It broke the hearts of millions around the world. I can’t properly wrap my mind around it. Yet, I still feel compelled to talk about it every year. It’s the type of event you want to forget all about but also think you should always remember.
At the time, some of my fellow bloggers privately hypothesized that Kyoto animation would never bounce back. That we would have to cherish what we got from the studio as there would be no more.
I disagreed, but I have to admit, it was mostly out of wishful thinking. For a long time, Kyoto Animation had been one of my favourite studios and I wasn’t ready to think of it as gone. I told myself I would wait for as long as I would take to watch a new Kyoto Animation series and that was that.
A year ago I talked about it again. I felt much more confident in Kyoto’s return. There had already been whispers of a new season of Dragon Maid. In the months that followed the arson attack, support for the studio poured in from everywhere and donations large and small had been amassed. It seems I was not the only one that wanted to hold on to Kyoto.
None of that could erase the pain of the families that lost someone and of course, the studio will likely never be the same. But it was not gone. Not yet. One horrific event had not destroyed all the dreams.
I write this as the new season of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragoon Maid is airing. I haven’t started watching it yet. I want to wait until the season is over and give it a good binge. I really love Kobayashi and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve tried to avoid reviews but I couldn’t resist skimming a few first impressions. Most people seem to like it. It’s currently better rated than the first season so I’m really excited. In any case, it looks really good.
Instead, I am currently making my way through Hyouka. For several reasons, I had never managed to watch the series so I figured now was a good time. And it has reminded me of a lot of things. But to boil it down to just one, I really like Kyoto Animation. At their best, they create stories that respect the audience and tell complex tales with a depth and subtle hand. And boy do their shows look beautiful. It’s a treat for the eyes. You don’t need revolutionary visuals when they are that gorgeous! I say that but Hyouka has some really good camera angles so it’s not like the directing is flat…
After two of these posts, this one is my most hopeful one yet. And I’m not sure how to tell you how happy it makes me.
And it’s not just because a studio I really like is releasing more anime. That’s great! But it’s more than that. It’s because they didn’t give up. Because one potentially unwell person didn’t manage to destroy something that meant a lot to so many, no matter how hard they tried. It’s because this time, it was ok to hold out hope.
And I do hope you guys are enjoying Dragon Maid. If it’s not your thing, or maybe you were never that big a Kyoto Animation fan, I hope they put out something in the future that will captivate you. I’ll be watching right along!