Kyoto Animation is one of the most famous animation studios in Japan. It is an animation studio founded in 1981 and based in Kyoto. They keep producing high-quality anime works, and that attracts people from all over the world. I am also a fan of Kyoto Animation, so in this article, I would like to introduce my favorite animation works of Kyoto Animation.
Haruhi Suzumiya series
This series made the name of Kyoto Animation famous all over the world. Many people played famous “dancing” performance with cosplay costumes. It first came out in 2006, so the drawings may seem a bit old if you are going to watch it for the first time now. However, the quality of their animation never gets old as well as the attraction of the story. There are two TV series (one of them is a spin-off) and one film.
Outline of Haruhi Suzumiya: (From Kyoto Animation’s website):
““I’m not interested in the normal human kind. If there are any alien, time traveler from the future or person who has supernatural power, come to me. That’s it.”
The girl’s name was Haruhi Suzumiya, who did the strange introduction right after the entrance to the high school. It’s quite normal to think “It’s never going to happen apart from SF stories”.
But she didn’t think so. She was serious from the bottom of her heart.
When we realize her seriousness, our ordinary life has been already changed to her extraordinary life!!
The story of extraordinary school life is now here!”
Available on Netflix (As of July 2019) * Availability may depend on your country
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions (Chunibyo Demo Koi Ga Shitai)
Chunibyo is literally translated as “middle-school second-year syndrome.” The term is used to describe those who have delusions of grandeur who desperately want to convince that they have hidden knowledge or secret powers. The main character, Yuta Togashi, used to have such symptoms, and he meets this girl Rikka Takanashi, who is in the middle of Chunibyo. The transition of their relationships and growing up to adults as the story goes on are expressed very well. Also, the quality of animations when they transfer themselves to the “Chunibyo” world is fantastic. You would be able to feel the neat work of Kyoto Animation’s animators.
Outline of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions (From Kyoto Animation’s website):
“Yuta Togashi was used to be “chunibyo” (self-conscience).
Even though he ended it as he graduated from junior high, it has become an embarrassing memory which he wanted to erase into the dark depths.
“Vanish into the embrace of dark flames!”
The signature phrase is also enough to make him ashamed of himself.
On the day of entering high school,
“Seal it for the rest of my life!”
he decided to break up with his chunibyo mind to spend satisfying high school life.
Just at that time, he happened to meet a girl.
The girl was Rikka Takanashi who was in the middle of chunibyo.”
Available on Amazon Prime Video (As of July 2019) * Availability may depend on your country
K-ON! is a story about the everyday lives of high school girls who are involved in playing in a band. Although they are the members of a band club, they barely play instruments, and they mostly chat each other with a cup of tea. These everyday figures of the girls are drawn really pretty and never get bored of watching them. But don’t underestimate. The songs they play are quite good. (I could not believe that beginner high school girls can play that well! haha)
Outline of K-ON! (From Kyoto Animation’s website):
“In a Spring, when freshmen decide what club they will join in, Ritsu Tainaka visits light music (“keion” in Japanese) club with her childhood friend Mio Akiyama.
But since the entire members of the club have already graduated last year, they need four new club mates to keep the club existing.
They welcome Tumugi Kotobuki as the 3rd member and search for the last one.
Then Yui Hirasawa who is a beginner in instruments comes to join to the club, but she misunderstands light music as a music which is easy to play like whistle.”
K-ON! Movie is available on Amazon Prime Video (As of July 2019) * Availability may depend on your country
Sound! Euphonium (Hibike! Euphonium)
This series is about a high school wind music club. The main character decides to keep playing euphonium in high school, and the club sets a goal to win the national competition of wind music. The story of their high school youthful life filled with passions and purity is impressing and touches our heart. I could not watch this one without tearing my eyes. The story is set in Kyoto; beautiful pictures of landscapes of Kyoto is another excellent point of this series. Not only the quality of pictures but the music is fascinating, too.
Outline of Sound! Euphonium (From Kyoto Animation’s website):
“Spring of the 1st year in high school. Kumiko Oumae who had belonged to the concert band in her junior high school years, visited the high school concert band with her classmates Hazuki Katou and Sapphire Kawashima.
And there, she happened to see Reina Kousaka, who was a Kumiko’s classmate in her junior high. While Hazuki and Sapphire decided to join the band soon, Kumiko hesitated to do so.
Reina reminded her about a certain experience at a tournaments of concert band in junior high school.
They will find out precious things through their activities in the concert band. This is a story of the girls’ youthful life, filled with their passion and purity.”
A Silent Voice : The Movie (Koe No Katachi)
This one is a story about a boy and a girl with hearing difficulties. The harm he caused because he was just a child continued until he grew up, became a high school student, and meet her again by coincidence. Since he met her again, he starts to change as well as friends around him. The movie included some painful expressions, and some parts were hard to watch for me. The expressions of hurt feeling were stunning, and it shows the great techniques of staffs in Kyoto Animation.
Outline of A Silent Voice : The Movie (From Kyoto Animation’s website):
“Shoya Ishida is a kind of boy who hates being “bored” the most.
He was a leader of the class at the elementary school and had an interest in transferred student Shoko Nishimiya with no harm.
Meeting with her released a boy from tedious days.
However, Shoya isolated from others because of the incident happened between Shoko.
5 years later, they grow up into high school student in different places.
Shoya keep close his mind since the “incident” and decides to go visit Shoko.
This is a story of a boy try accept a girl, people around him, and himself -.”
Available on Netflix (As of July 2019) * Availability may depend on your country
This is a story about a girl, Voilet, who had no feelings after experiencing devastating wars. She gets involved in delivering letters after the war, and she gradually learns about love and how to love people.
Kyoto Animation has produced many more fantastic works than the above six works we have introduced in this article. They not only involved in creating their own animation works but also engaged in many Ghibli films, too. We hope you will have a chance to watch one of them and get to know more about Japanese animations!
In July 2019, there was an arson attack to one of the studios of Kyoto Animation (KyoAni), one of the most famous and remarkable animation studios in Japan. Many people were killed and injured by this attack.
People who felt heartbroken from the recent fire to one of the studios of Kyoto Animation were not only us. The news tells sad and angry comments from anime fans all over the world. Some of the things we can do to support Kyoto Animation is to watch their fascinating animations, purchase their creations, and spread their works. Some of them are available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. (Availability may depend on your country). Kyoto Animation has set up a bank account to accept donations. Also, the licensing company Sentai Filmworks has set up a donation page to raise funds. You could help Kyoani by donations, too.
We hope this article will be an opportunity to spread the beautiful works of Kyoto Animations. We would like to show our deepest condolences to those who lost their lives and the quick recovery to the injuries that occurred. #PrayForKyoani #PrayForAnimation
Information in this article is as of July 2019.