Sunday, July 21, 2019

Thank You, KyoAni


You've given me anime that have made me laugh, cry, and feel every imaginable emotion! 

In this last week, Kyoto Animation suffered a terrible arson attack that killed and injured many at the studio. Not only was this an awful and despicable act, but to have happened to a studio like Kyoto Animation - responsible for producing so many beloved and cherished anime series - it was difficult to comprehend and process for many in the anime community.

On the positive side, fans stepped up and contributed over one million dollars to a GoFundMe created by Sentai Filmworks to hopefully help Kyoto Animation heal and get back on their feet. And all over social media, I've been reading posts from fans reminiscing about their favorite KyoAni shows and moments, declaring their love for the studio, and sharing the difference that Kyoto Animation has had on their life.

And I can honestly say, that Kyoto Animation has had a very positive impact on my life. Not only do I adore their shows for being achievements in storytelling and animation, but a lot of their shows have lingered in my mind and heart and have helped me grow as a person...three that immediately come to mind are K-On!, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, and Violet Evergarden.

While I didn't love K-On! the first time I watched it, since I was disappointed that "music" anime turned out to be almost nothing but cute girls drinking tea and eating cake, it is definitely one of my favorite slice of life anime. If anything, K-On! showed me the joys of slice of life anime and the moe genre. It also reminds me of why I like hanging out with my own friends. We don't have to be working towards accomplishing some epic goal together, but we can just have fun by sitting around, eating food, and watching anime.

And then there's Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid. Not only do I find it to be a warm slice of life comedy that can make me laugh and melt my heart at the same time, but it was a really eye-opening experience for me. Growing up in a Christian household, I did not always have the most progressive view towards same-sex couples and the LGBT community, and I'm disappointed in my younger self for that. 

Making friends who were gay and trans did help improve my views and pushed me to be a better ally, but Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid also played a part. The relationship between Kobayashi and Tohru was sweet even if it was a bit hilarious and over the top at times, and the way they both worked together to raise Kanna was adorable. Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid reminded me that families don't all look the same, and I shouldn't ever judge others just because I may not understand them.

Violet Evergarden had a different impact on me...it proved that I'm really a soft crybaby at heart. When this series first came out, I remember hearing that a lot of people were let down by the story and characters even if the animation and art was gorgeous. That disappointed me because I was really hoping for another great anime from KyoAni...and then I watched it for myself and was quickly blown away.

Violet Evergarden was a beautiful story about love, whether it be romantic love, love between family and friends, or connecting with those who are distant. Episode 10 will always stand out to me, and so far, it has never failed to make me cry. If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about, and if you haven't watch it on Netflix, I won't spoil it for you here. Violet Evergarden is proof that good storytelling can make you feel almost anything.

And Kyoto Animation has been responsible for so many series that have impacted and are beloved by so many in the anime community. I'm always seeing Hibike! Euphonium on my twitter feed, almost everyone knows the sadness of Clannad, and almost everyone can agree that Nichijou is one of the best comedy anime.

So while many in the anime community will be mourning this tragedy for awhile, it is also important to remember that Kyoto Animation will recover. It probably won't be soon, but they will, and I will be one of the many who will be ready to declare my love for whatever they come out with next!

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