Otaku USA Magazine
Doctor of Kyoto Animation Arson Suspect Talks Preventing Tragedies Like These

A ruling in the Kyoto Animation arson case is scheduled to happen tomorrow. Shinji Aoba, the defendant, has confessed to the arson, which killed 36 people and wounded almost as many. The prosecution is arguing for the death penalty, and the defense is trying to mitigate what Aoba might face, saying he is mentally delusional and does not have full comprehension. Dr. Takahiro Ueda, the physician who treated Aoba’s life-threatening burn wounds after the arson, has his own thoughts, and they concentrate on prevention.

Dr. Ueda was hesitant at first to work on Aoba, then decided “to bring the truth to light, he [Aoba] cannot be allowed to escape through death.”

Some time later, while together in a medical vehicle, Dr. Ueda says that Aoba stated, “I’ve no choice but to feel regret.” Questioned as to why he committed the arson, Aoba allegedly claimed that he’d been “pushed into a corner.”

It seems Aoba liked the kindness of the people at the hospital, and remarked he wouldn’t have started the arson if he’d known people like that before.

This gave Dr. Ueda the sense that tragedies like these could be prevented, and part of it is to work against isolation. Reportedly Aoba was abused by his father, and Dr. Ueda mused, “His [Aoba’s] was a particular kind of upbringing, but he isn’t the only one out there. We have to consider the possibility that this could happen even in the communities we live in.”

In his recent interview, there’s no word on how Dr. Ueda would like to see the ruling to go. However, he did make it clear that he was “frustrated” because people aren’t thinking about what caused the arson and how to prevent things like it in the future. Dr. Ueda believes he has a better understanding of Aoba’s “true feelings” after this experience.

Source/Photo: The Mainichi Shimbun


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.