You may have heard of the anime Violet Evergarden, Haruhi Suzumiya, and CLANNAD, but do you know who was behind the stunning visuals for these titles? Turns out the group that made all three of them was Kyoto Animation, aka Kyo Ani. After finding the name I wanted to go and learn a lot more about them, so I did.
In the year of 1981, Yoko Hatta had left her previous place of work to move to Kyoto. There she co-founded a company with her spouse Hideaki. It wouldn’t be until 1985 when Kyoto Animation was born. They would not make themselves very known until 1992 when they co-produced Noroi no One Piece with Shin-Ei Douga. This work brought about the debut of Yoshiji Kigami, a man who went about animation in a very humane way. Now Kigami had never worked within Kyo Ani but he did inspire them to create their style of animation and workspace. Their workplace and style of animation leaned towards the side of positivity and equality. This is where they started turning all of that positivity into fuel to wanting to become a greater more known studio.
In the early 2000s, many animation studios were calling on Kyo Ani to help them out due to them being known to not do things halfway and putting as much passion as they could into their works. They were called onto helping the production of titles such as Doraemon and Shin-chan. Even companies that aren’t in the animation industry had called upon Kyoto Animation such as certain companies in the gaming industry.
Kyo Ani really started becoming popular in 2006 when they took upon the task of animation The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya a show that was loved by most of the anime community. If you didn’t already know, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya or more commonly known as Haruhi Suzumiya is about a boy named Kyon who meets a girl named Haruhi who has powers that can alter the universe. Now the thing that sets this apart is that it doesn’t focus on the male lead as is common with other anime, but rather focuses on the female aspect of the show. This is another part of what Kyo Ani’s personal style is.
In the present day Kyoto Animation has over 50 works under their belt, most being immediately loved such as A Silent Voice and Miss Kobayshi’s Dragon Maid. Things can’t always be great though, in july of 2019 there was an arson attack on Kyo Ani killing over 30 of their staff. A year has passed since then and they’ve bounced back pushing out more positivity and back to focusing on the female presence in their shows and their workspace.
Like I said before, the fact that Kyo Ani focuses a lot on the female presence and extreme positivity not only in Anime but in their studio is just another part of their personal style. This is what makes them different from others, this is what makes them special, this is what makes them Kyo Ani.
Interested in reading about other animation studios? Check out this article on Studio Ufotable here!