Photo/IllutrationMourners pray at a flower stand on Aug. 18, one month after the deadly arson attack on a Kyoto Animation studio in Fushimi Ward. (The Asahi Shimbun)

  • Photo/Illustraion

KYOTO--On the one-month anniversary of a deadly arson attack at a Kyoto Animation studio here, anime fans and others came on Aug. 18 to pay their respects to the 35 victims, many in their 20s and 30s.

Michio Hayashi, 62, offered flowers at a stand set up near the studio in Fushimi Ward around 10:30 a.m. It was his sixth visit, including one on July 18.

“When I came on that day, plumes of smoke were rising, and I heard a sound like an explosion twice,” said Hayashi, who lives in the same ward.

“I am as mortified as I was on that day,” he said. “I want to come as long as the flower stand is here.”

Satoshi Yagi, 18, a university student, traveled all the way from Akita in northeastern Japan.

He said he has been always cheered up by “Sound! Euphonium,” a Kyoto Animation anime about a high school music club.

“I am filled with grief because those who produced excellent works lost their lives,” he said.

At Shojokein temple in Kamigyo Ward, five priests conducted a memorial service for the victims.

The priests, who range in age from their 20s to 40s, are fans of Kyoto Animation titles.

Ryusei Kobayashi, 35, one of the priests, stopped playing the saxophone after graduating from a university where he belonged to a brass band club.

He picked up the instrument again after watching Kyoto Animation's popular anime “K-On!” about a high school light music club.

“I was able to get back to the basics after watching the anime’s characters throwing themselves into their music,” Kobayashi said. “I wondered what I could do for those in my generation who died violent deaths.”