Kyoto Animation Co., Ltd. (Japanese: 株式会社京都アニメーション Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Kyōto Animēshon), abbreviated KyoAni (京アニ), is a Japanese animation studio and a light novel publisher located in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. It was established in 1981 by former Mushi Pro staff. Presided by Hideaki Hatta, the company is also affiliated with studio Animation Do. Unlike most animation studios, Kyoto Animation’s animators are salaried employees rather than freelance workers. Therefore, Kyoto Animation animators are able to focus more on the quality of each frame rather than on meeting frame production quotas.
On the morning of July 18, 2019, an arson attack was carried out at Kyoto Animation’s first studio that resulted in at least 35 deaths.
One of the founders, Yoko Hatta, was employed by Mushi Production, and she became independent from the studio when she moved to Kyoto after she married Hideaki Hatta. The couple founded Kyoto Animation in 1981, with Hideaki as the president, and Yoko as the vice-president. It became a limited company in 1985 and a corporation in 1999. The logo originates from the kyō kanji (京), the first character of Kyoto. Early in its history, it was involved in the production of Kiddy Grade, InuYasha, Tenchi Universe, Nurse Witch Komugi, and Generator Gawl. Kyoto Animation also produced the vocal opening and ending sequences for four installments of Konami’s long-running baseball game series Jikkyō Powerful Pro Yakyū (Power Pro).
Since 2009, Kyoto Animation has hosted the annual Kyoto Animation Award to find new stories, later publishing them in their KA Esuma Bunko imprint. Winning submissions have a chance of being adapted into an anime. Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, Free!, Beyond the Boundary and Myriad Colors Phantom World were based on novels that received an honorable mention in this competition. In 2014, the novel Violet Evergarden became the first work and so far the only one to win a grand prize in any of the three categories. According to Dani Cavallaro, Kyoto Animation has become recognized for its high production values and “sensitivity to the wonders and quandaries of ordinary life”.