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Key frame, storyboard data recovered from server at arson-hit Kyoto Anime studio

The arson-hit Kyoto Animation Co.'s 1st Studio building is seen in Kyoto's Fushimi Ward on July 29, 2019. (Mainichi/Shunsuke Ichimiya)

KYOTO -- Digitized key frames and storyboards were recovered from a server left undamaged in an arson-hit Kyoto Animation Co. studio in Kyoto's Fushimi Ward, with all data intact, a lawyer representing the company told the Mainichi Shimbun on July 29.

A new production was in the making at the 1st Studio building in western Japan when an attacker started a deadly fire on July 18, and most of the paper-based materials were lost in the flames. But the remaining digitized animation data will enable Kyoto Animation to continue working on its new production and lead to other possible recovery efforts.

The server was located in a small room with concrete walls on all sides next to a recording room on the first floor of the studio building. Although the hallway area was badly burned and almost all desks and personal computers on every floor were damaged beyond recognition, the fire did not reach inside the server room.

Apparently, the server did not get wet when the fire was being extinguished and a sticky note attached to it before the attack had remained there.

The lawyer representing Kyoto Animation told the Mainichi that almost all of the paper-based materials including key frames for the company's ongoing production had been lost in the flames, but "a lot of digitized key frame and storyboard data was retrieved" -- likely including a large range of data for the new production.

Furthermore, not all materials of Kyoto Animation's works were stored at the 1st Studio building, and materials such as finished products, storyboards and key frames of its past productions are stored in other studio buildings.

Meanwhile, the Kyoto Prefectural Government launched a consultation service for victims, bereaved families, local residents and witnesses of the arson attack on July 29. A woman apparently related to Kyoto Animation reported over the phone that "it's too painful to go to work" around 1 p.m. on the same day.

A person in charge said the woman told them she felt at ease and hung up after they listened to her talk for about 30 minutes.

Several people residing near the studio have expressed mental and physical troubles. A woman who took care of a Kyoto Animation employee after they fled the site immediately after the attack said she feels "extremely heavy both mentally and physically."

An expert emphasized that there are people who do not have the energy to use such a consultation service and that various forms of care are necessary.

(Japanese original by Yoko Kunimoto, Yoko Minami, Shunsuke Ichimiya and Nao Goto, reporting from Kyoto)

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