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Creator / Kyoto Animation

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Kyoto Animation is the anime studio responsible for Munto, Full Metal Panic! (Fumoffu and The Second Raid), Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, K-On! and adaptations of three Key/Visual Arts visual novels: AIR, Kanon, and CLANNAD (although they were also separately adapted by Toei Animation). Held to high regard for their usually good animation quality (the animation tends to be more fluid, on-par with Western-made cartoons, not to mention mouth flaps often being more articulate rather than being stuck in one position), their almost disturbingly realistic backgrounds (which are very often based on real locations), their generous use of little touches to spice up the character animation, and their fondness for using the bloom and flare effects for its visuals.

Since the success of K-On!, the studio has become known for a distinctive style of character art used across different series. If you compare Yui (from K-On!), Chitanda (from Hyouka), Tamako (from Tamako Market) and Mirai (from Beyond the Boundary), you can see that they each have subtle differences, enough to mark them as separate shows, but share similar large eyes delinated by thick lines, rounded faces, child-like proportions and soft colours. There have been exceptions like Nichijou and Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, which instead used the original mangas' more simple, geometric styles.

In 2007, the firing of Yutaka Yamamoto, also known as Yamakan, led to lots of people resigning after Lucky Star's original run and creating another studio called Ordet. But that's another story.

From 2010 until 2014, the studio shifted focus from adapting works from outside sources (not completely — they still did Hyouka within this time period), to producing works from their own in-house publishing house. They have an annual writer's competition to see which author gets their work published, but rarely giving grand prizes in any categories, with Violet Evergarden being the sole exception thus far — indeed the ones usually getting adapted into anime (see Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!, Beyond the Boundary, and Myriad Colors Phantom World) are actually the honorable mentions. The shows from this period onward tend to be hit-and-miss as a result, as far as sales success go.

After nearly five years of in-house work, KyoAni returned to adapting outside series, with Shouji Gato's Amagi Brilliant Park, and Sound! Euphonium by Ayano Takeda, the latter of which got a second season airing at the end of 2016.

Despite what their name might suggest, they aren't based in Kyoto, but in Uji, a different town in Kyoto Prefecture. They also have units in Osaka (Animation Do, responsible for the smash hit Free!) & in South Korea (Studio Blue, formally known as AniVillage). They are especially noted for keeping all their staff of salary and in-house, along with a relaxed production schedulenote , making them one of the best places to work in the entire anime industry.

On July 18, 2019, in one of the worst post-World War II mass murder incidents in Japan and single greatest tragedy within its animation industry's history, a 41-year-old man set fire to Kyoto Animation Studio 1, murdering 36 people and injuring 33 others; the perpetrator was later apprehended by police.

While only ten victims were initially named due to respect toward the victim's families, a heated dispute with law enforcement over the social impact of the attack resulted in the names of all the victims being abruptly disclosed on August 27, 2019.

In addition to an outpouring of ongoing condolences and messages of support from the world and national leaders, fans and businesses have raised over US$26.8 million to help the studio and its victims recover. Sentai Filmworks, who distributes much of KyoAni's output in North America, set up a GoFundMe page to help victims and their families. The drive cracked $1 million in under a day and $2 million in under a week.

Two years after the incident, Kyoto Animation made a triumphant return to TV anime in 2021, with a second season of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid in July 2021. In addition, a series of 2 minute shorts of little vignettes from Dragon Maid was also shown, all created by newly groomed talent at the studio.

Works produced by Kyoto Animation:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime series 

    Feature-length anime movies 
  • Munto: Tenjoubito to Akutobito Saigo no Tatakai (April 18, 2009) note 
  • The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (February 6, 2010)
  • K-On! (December 3, 2011)
  • Takanashi Rikka ・ Kai: ~Gekijouban Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!~ (September 14, 2013) note 
  • Tamako Love Story (April 26, 2014)
  • Beyond the Boundary I'll be Here
    • Beyond the Boundary I'll be Here - Kako-hen (March 14, 2015) note 
    • Beyond the Boundary I'll be Here - Mirai-hen (April 25, 2015)
  • High★Speed! - Free! Starting Days (December 5, 2015)
  • Gekijouban Hibike! Euphonium (April 23, 2016) note 
  • A Silent Voice (September 17, 2016)
  • Free! Timeless Medley
    • Free! Timeless Medley - Kizuna (April 22, 2017) note 
    • Free! Timeless Medley - Yakusoku (July 1, 2017) note 
  • Gekijō-ban Hibike! Euphonium: Todoketai Melody (September 30, 2017) note 
  • Free! Take your Marks (October 28, 2017)
  • Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!: Take On Me (January 6, 2018)
  • Liz and the Blue Bird (April 21, 2018)
  • Hibike! Euphonium: Chikai no Finale (April 19, 2019)
  • Free! Road to the World - the Dream (July 5, 2019) note 
  • Violet Evergarden Side Story: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll (September 6, 2019)
  • Violet Evergarden the Movie (September 18, 2020)
  • Free! The Final Stroke (September 17, 2021-April 22, 2022)
  • Gekijōban Tsurune: Hajimari no Issha (August 19, 2022) note 

    Involvement in other productions 

For a more extensive overview of their work see their entry on ANN

Tropes usually associated with Kyoto Animation productions:

  • Animation Bump: KyoAni's biggest draw is how detailed their animation is, always going an extra mile with all of their shows. Even a supposed simple Slice of Life show like Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid goes hard enough on its action scenes to get nominated for "Best Fight Scene" in Crunchyroll's Anime Awards show.
  • Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: Kyoto Animation has become rather infamous for introducing massive amounts of subtext between female characters, only to let it go unanswered and open-ended. While there is debate whether this mere negligence or a conscious choice to not dissuade male shipping, this practice still garnered the studio a bad reputation among the yuri fandom.
  • Company Cross References: During their pre-inhouse period, the studio was notable for their tendency to do Shout Outs and casting gags to their own series. This tendency died off after K-On's adaptation.
    • Haruhi Suzumiya has a couple of shout outs to Full Metal Panic! and AIR.
    • Lucky Star has innumerable Shout Outs to Haruhi, being the favorite show of the Otaku Surrogate Konata... who is voiced by Aya Hirano, Haruhi's voice actress (as well as in the English dub, where Konata and Haruhi are both voiced by Wendee Lee). Konata uses the Haruhi songs "Hare Hare Yukai" and later "Koi no Mikuru Densetsu" as ringtones, has a big collection of Haruhi merchandise, cosplays as Haruhi at the Cosplay Café where she works, and much, much more. After all, "This is advertisement for us, so it's better!" Similarly, Kagami's favourite series happens to be Full Metal Panic!, leading to Shout Outs in that direction as well. There are also some shout outs to anime produced by Sunrise, which is KyoAni's parent company; Tsukasa's favourite series is Sgt. Frog, which gets its fair share of references, and Konata is a fan of Code Geass. And of course, when the girls go on a field trip to Kyoto, Konata wants to visit the KyoAni studio itself. These inside references are anime-only, and are not found anywhere in the manga on which it is based.
    • An interesting example: in AIR: Nayuki, Ayu, and Makoto from Kanon show up with the original voice actors, much like Kyon and Yuki do in Lucky Star... only this was before Kyoani ever animated Kanon. This makes it more of a shout out to the fact that they were both created by Key/Visual Art's.
    • CLANNAD had at least two in the first episode - a desaturated opening, à la Haruhi, and a subverted version of a P.O.V. Cam like the ones Kanon was filled with. Mai's sword and Sayuri's magical wand (along with their ribbons) make a brief appearance as theater props, and Sayuri's giant purple anteater makes a star appearance in a crane game. The second season has what could only be Akiko's infamous "special jam". Sanae's bread simply tastes bad and is hard to eat. Akiko's ultimate jam blurs your senses. Put them together, and you get knocked out Miyazawa gang members. A WMD indeed, even in the hands of Nagisa. Sayuri's anteater can be seen in the Furukawa household after Ushio lives with Sanae and Akio.
    • They brought this back in Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!: Take On Me; the movie has multiple references to other KyoAni works:
  • False Camera Effects: Their anime series tend to utilize heavy use of blur, focus, chromatic aberration and bokeh. This is particularly noticeable in Sound! Euphonium, especially its pilot episode.
  • High School: With two exceptions, every single one of their works either takes place in a high school or stars a high school student.
  • Real-Place Background: Most of their anime series use real locations in Japan as reference for backgrounds. They're so detailed and accurate to real life that fans have managed to track down the exact locations and angles of the places on which the backgrounds of individual scenes in their series were based.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Leans heavily towards idealism. Many of their works place special value on the aspects of friendship and growing up for example, and their works overall prefer happier endings.

Alternative Title(s): Kyo Ani