Kyoto Animation Arsonist formally charged with Murder and Other Charges



Last week, it was announced that the Kyoto Animation Arsonist would be indicted and was found to be mentally fit to stand trial, now news sources such as Kyodo News and NHK (Source One and Source Two) have confirmed that he has been formally charged with murder and attempted murder, arson, breaking and entering, and violating the firearms and sword control law. Since the incident, he has been bedridden and in need of daily care, he is being held at the Osaka Detention House, which has medical facilities.

While he has a medical record of mental illness, he stated to police “I thought I could kill many people by using gasoline,” and was under the delusion that there were only two victims. The reason behind his attack was the assumption that his “work” was stolen by the Studio which the President and the company denied basing any of its anime on Aoba’s submitted works, Before the attack, Kyoto Animation held public contests in which it invited submissions of draft novels with the promise that the winners could have their works animated. Crunchyroll’s Japan Correspondent, Daryl Harding has reported on this story and the exclusive response from the Company President, Hideaki Hatta, you can read it in this link.


The attack, which occurred on July 17, 2019, took the lives of 36 employees, including The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya director Yasuhiro Takemoto, animator Yoshiji Kigami, chief animation director on the Free! franchise Futoshi NishiyaSound! Euphonium character designer Shouko Ikeda, and many more. 35 more people who were inside the building at the time were also injured. 

Since the incident, the arsonist has been receiving treatments for his severe burns, including undergoing Skin Grafts but due to the lack of supply of Donor Skin for treatment which was prioritized for the victims, he was given an experimental treatment with artificial skin, a first in Japan. The Kyoto Police obtained a warrant for his arrest back in October while waiting for the suspect was able to withstand detention to formally arrest him, but due to the lack of facilities in Kyoto Police’s Detention Center and the ongoing Coronavirus Epidemic that caused Osaka’s Police Detention Center to close after an outbreak amongst the staff, police in both prefectures were hesitant to formally arrest him. As mentioned in the paragraph above, it was formally announced that the suspect will be arrested on the 27th and be held at the Osaka Police Detention Center, where trail preparations will be finalized in the facility for his arrival. Kyoto Animation Studio 1, the building that was attacked, was fully demolished in April. Kyoto Animation President Hideaki Hatta told Crunchyroll News in July that there were “no plans currently” for a newly constructed memorial site nor a replacement for Studio 1.

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