The Kyoto Animation Company

April 22, 2018

by Hiroaki Kawakami & Yurie Natsume

Today, the Japanese animation market is active all over the world. Lovers of Japanese animation in foreign countries call it Japanimation. And one of the sparks of this popularity is The Kyoto Animation Company, which was leading the animation industry when Japanese animation was not well-known. Now, we’ll explain the history of The Kyoto Animation Company and its attractive points.


In 1981, The Kyoto Animation Company was founded by Yoko Hatta. At that time, she was working at Mushi Productions, which was founded by Osamu Tedzuka. She later left the company and moved to Kyoto, where she married Hideaki Hatta, who later became a president of The Kyoto Animation Company. It started out as a limited company in 1985, and then became fully incorporated in 1999. Incidentally, the company’s logo is based on the kyo kanji, which is the first character of the Japanese kanji for ‘Kyoto’. In the middle of 1990’s, they took part in several Ghibli animation productions by Hayao Miyazaki. Typical examples are Porco Rosso (Kurenai no Buta) and Kiki’s Delivery Service (Majo no Takkyubin). The Kyoto Animation Company became highly acclaimed around that time. After the 2000’s, the company produced the TV animation Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu. This was their first prime production in 2003.

Production Style

The Kyoto Animation Company makes many kinds of TV animation. The most representative genre is romantic productions, like AIR, CLANNAD and Kanon, with the origin of these productions being games. In addition, they have also produced some comedies, like My Ordinary Life (Nichijou), and mysteries, like Hyouka, which is popular among fans of Japanese animation. As we can see from these examples, The Kyoto Animation Company is creating TV animation for a broad base of viewers.

One remarkable feature of the company’s style is its drawing in animations. For example, when they began making TV animation, they were drawing human eyes a lot bigger: approximately one-half of the face. Subsequently, this style became mainstream in the drawing a faces in animation. Likewise, in recent years, they have been drawing human hair so delicately, and this way of drawing is close to being at the forefront of the animation industry.

Another point worthy of special mention is how beautiful and elaborate the landscape in their animation is. In fact, some of the landscapes in their productions are based on real places. For example, the TV animation Sound! Euphonium (Hibike! Yufoniamu) is set in Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture. By basing the landscapes on real-world places, they can draw the landscapes in animations with high accuracy and high pixels. In this way, we can enjoy seeing real beautiful landscapes in animation.

Hibike! Yufoniamu

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

One of the most famous TV animations created by The Kyoto Animation Company is The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu). It was based on a series of light novels written by Nagaru Tanigawa. Immediately after televising, this animation attracted people’s attention immediately, and the popularity of this production became a social phenomenon in 2006 and 2007.

In the story, Kyon, the leading character, is a student at North High School in Nishinomiya, Hyogo. In the entrance ceremony of the high school, Kyon meets an eccentric and occult girl named, Suzumiya Haruhi. One day in class, she suddenly told all classmates, “First off, I’m not interested in ordinary people. But if you are aliens, time-travelers, psychics or strangers from another world, come see me. That’s all.” After this incident, Kyon come to be at the mercy of Haruhi’s whim by accident. Furthermore, Yuki Nagato, who is an artificial human created by the data overmind; Mikuru Asahina who is an actually time-traveler; and Itsuki Koizumi, who is an psychic; all gather around Kyon and Haruhi. Haruhi is determined to establish a club called the SOS Brigade, short for “Spreading excitement all Over the world with Suzumiya brigade.” This work is a story that describes and illustrates their extraordinary daily life.

As you can see, The Kyoto Animation Company has many attraction points and has made a big influence on the animation industry and society. Nowadays, domestic and overseas fans of Japanese animation are calling The Kyoto Animation Company: Kyo Ani. And because their works feature real-world places as the background landscapes for the stories, many fans choose to take a trip to visit these places from other prefectures or oversears. The popularity and impact of their productions has been having a positive effect on the economy. In this way, animations are not just wonderful works of two dimensions, but also the golden eggs from which are expected enormous economic development. Watching the animations made by Kyo Ani, you can feel the magnificence of the landscape in Kyoto or other prefectures. If you are interested in the creative works of this company, please watch one.

Kyoto Animation culture

By Keisuke Sakamoto, Tsukasa Sumikawa and Kinjyou Tetsuya


              Kyoto Animation Culture

Have you ever seen Japanese animation?  The quality of Japanese animation is very high and often admired by people in other countries. What do you think about animation? Perhaps Tokyo is mosy well known for animation culture. Especially, Akihabara is the most famous for Japanese animation. Not only Tokyo, but also Kyoto. is famous for animation culture. We will introduce attraction of Kyoto animation.


1 History of the Kyoto Animation Company

Kyoto Animation Company, Ltd. was founded in 1981. Its office is located in Minatoku-Tokyo. This company opend an animation school. Kyoto animation is not it Anime Studio. A husband and wife team of Mr. and Mrs. Yata founded the Kyoto Anime Studio, but only Mr.Yata manages it at the present time. in the 90’s, Kyoto animation designed a package of games. The most successful and famous character which was made by Kyoto Animation is Noroino-One-Piece. this work is made only by the staff of the Kyoto Animation office. In 2005, Kyoto Animation became a brand. In 2006, animation of Suzumiya Haruhi was broadcast. At the same time this animation became the most popular animation in Japan. In 2009, an animated move made K-ON! famous. Because, of his popularity, the musical instrument which a character used in the animated movie got a sales boost and a book series was published.


2Kyoto Animation Production

Kyoto Animation made various animation series


In 1990 Noroino-One-Piece was introduced. This story is horror and the animation consisted of a short story. This animated story was the first product which was made by Kyoto Animation.


In 2005 made AIR. This animation is a love story and it was a trilogy. AIR was originally a computer game. It was made into an anime by Kyoto Animation. There are 12 episodes in all.

3.Suzumiya Haruhi-No-Yuutsu

In 2006, Kyoto Animation created the popular character, Suzumiya Haruhi. This animation is an SF story and Kyoto Animation is very famous since Kyoto Animation’s careful work is widely recognized. Yuutsu means depression in English. This anime is separated into 2-parts. There are 28 episodes of Suzumiya Haruhi-no-yuutsu in all.


In 2007, Kyoto Animation created Raki☆Suta. This animation focuses on daily life. Raki☆Suta helped establish otaku culture. There are 24 episodes.


The next Kyoto Animation series is CLANNAD. This animation is impressive. CLANNNAD was originally a computer game like AIR. This anime is separated into 2-parts. There are a total of 44 episodes.


In 2009, Kyoto Animation made K-ON!. This animation story about band club. This animation economic effect is 150 million. K-ON! caused a social phenomenon. This animation most sold in Kyoto Animation Company. K-ON! made young people entering band club in Japan. also, K-ON! became a movie. K-ON! is extremely popular with a lot of people even now. This anime is separated into 2-parts. There are 41 episodes in all.


In 2012, Kyoto Animation made Hyouka. This animation is based Japanese literature. Hyouka was originally a novel. This anime is separated into 2-parts. There are 22 episodes in all.


In 2003, Kyoto Animation made Free!. This animation story is about a water polo club. all Free!’s characters are handsome. So, Free!’s characters are very popular with young girls who likes animation. This anime became a movies. Free!’s main character is a man who never before appeared in work of Kyoto Animation. This anime is separated into 2-parts. There are 25 episodes in all.

Theseabove animations are representative of Japanese animation.


This animation movie is going to screen in 2006, in September. This animation movie story is about a girl who was bullied because of her hearing disorder by a malicious boy. This animation wants to tell people about how it is difficult for people to communicate with a handicapped person. The story’s setting is Gifu Prefecture. Koe-No-Katachi is originally a comic. The original piece won the best comic in 2015. Because of this the movie will very interesting. Also, I recommend for people to see this animation movie. There were 7volumes in the original piece.


3 Location

Kyoto Animation Corporation’s head office is located in Kowata, Uji City, Kyoto-Prefecture, Japan. A lot of fans of this anime visit this place. Many of them take a photo in front of here with themselves. They have two studios to produce animation. The first one is in the Fushimi area, Kyoto, Kyoto. The second one is in close to the head office in Uji. And under the second studio, there is Kyo-ani shop. Many anime products are sold here. The branch office is located in Akasaka, Minato Ward, Tokyo. A subsidiary is in Chuo Ward, Osaka and named Animation Do. To go to the head office or shop, a person must get on the Keihan Rail-way Uji line and Get off at Kowata Station.


4 Jobs at Kyoto Animation


The designer not only paints a picture but is also an entertainer.

Video designer specializes in making a fair copy finely.

2.Digital Painting

Kyoto Animation uses software named RETAS STUDIO Paintman to color or fix pictures.

3.Scene Maker

It is very important for this worker to use poster colors freely. Recently, scene designers must paint a picture, by scanning materials


5 Production System

There is no outsourcing production company. All animation, fine arts, photography and production are done by an in-house system. However, the digital effects are outsourced under the close supervision of the staff.


6 Recommendation Anime

We’d like to recommend the best three stories of Kyoto Animation.

Third Place, AIR

The reason that we choose it is that it is a moving story and the town scenery is very beautiful. The opening song’s name is Tori-No-Uta. This song is very majestic. The character who we recommend is Misuzu KAMIO because she is very cute.

Second Place, K-ON!

The reason that we choose it as second runner-up is we think that it has funny comedy and a character who makes an impression. The appearance of the character is very pretty. We want to enter a band club when we watch K-ON!. The character which we recommend is Azusa NAKANO. She plays the guitar and she is very serious.

First Place, Hyouka

The reason that we choose it as No.1 is that it is the most mysterious animation of Kyoto Animation.   Hyoka teach us about old Japanese literature. Another reason is that this animation combines comedy and mystery. Our recommended character is Titanda Eru. She likes reading a book. She has a spirit of inquiry to know about people.