President of anime production company where arson attack killed 35 calls messages from fans “candles in the darkness.”

It’s been almost two weeks since the horrific arson attack on anime production company Kyoto Animation’s Fushimi studio, which began when a 41-year-old man ignited two containers of gasoline he had brought into the lobby of the three-floor building. 35 employees have now perished either in the blaze or its aftermath,

The suspect remains in the hospital with injuries he suffered in the fire. A full list of the victims has yet to be released. Kyoto Animation’s president Hideaki Hatta’s desire to demolish the charred remains of the studio and turn the site into a memorial park is still nothing more than an informal proposal. The city of Kyoto’s call for stricter gasoline purchase regulations still hasn’t become official legislation. With so many things still in limbo, it can feel like the emotional healing process, which admittedly will never be complete, can’t even begin.

However, in one of the company’s few official statements since the tragedy, it wants the world to know that Kyoto Animation will go on, and will keep fighting to deliver works of emotional art.

The English version of the statement, which was also posted in Japanese, Chinese, simplified Chinese, Korean, and German on Kyoto Animation’s website, reads:

An unprecedented atrocity has robbed many of our friends and colleagues of their bright futures and has left many deeply injured. News from all over the world tells us that amazingly many number of people has sent us their hearts and prayers, which are like candles in the darkness, for those of us trapped in the darkness of deepest grief.

There are many friends and colleagues who are hospitalized and suffering, fighting for their lives. Please give us some time.

We promise that Kyoto Animation will continue to create animation that help people have dreams, hope and impress them. Kyoto animation will continue to make its employees and staff lead happy lives, and contribute to society and local community. I assure you that Kyoto Animation will not give up, we will not go quietly into the night…we will not vanish without a fight!

– Kyoto Animation Co. CEO Hideaki Hatta

[Note: In Japanese, the words for “make” and “let” are identical, and it’s likely that Hatta intended to say that Kyoto animation will continue to let (in the sense of allow/assist) its employees and staff lead happy lives.]

While Kyoto Animation does have a second studio, with the immense loss of human life the company suffered it wouldn’t have been entirely surprising if the organization had decided to go on an indefinite, perhaps even permanent hiatus. The surviving members of Kyoto Animation, though, appear committed not to let one person’s hatred destroy prevent them from doing what they, and their fallen colleagues, love.

Kyoto Animation has set up an official bank account for donations, details for which can be found here.

Source: Kyoto Animation
Top image: Kyoto Animation
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