Kyoto Animation, whose studio was attacked in a suspected arson on Thursday, has been in operation since 1981.
According to its website, the company has about 160 employees. The company's head office is in Uji City in Kyoto.
Over the past 20 years, the company has produced a number of popular animation shows, such as "K-On" and "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya."
Visiting Professor Ryusuke Hikawa of Meiji University says that "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya," which was originally created in 2006 as a TV series, was one of the first Japanese animations to become popular overseas, including in the United States.
The series was particularly popular for its set sequence at the end of each installment, with the main characters dancing to the music, titled "Hare-Hare-Yukai." Animation fans posted the videos of themselves mimicking the dancing. The online phenomena symbolized global popularity of Japanese animations.
Professor Hikawa says that Kyoto Animation has established a brand name as the producer of animations with high-quality images and scripts.
He says that Kyoto Animation is known as the first successful studio outside Tokyo.
He says Kyoto Animation has made a valuable contribution to Japan's animation industry. He says he is shocked to hear the news about the fire.