The trial for Kyoto Animation arson suspect Shinji Aoba will begin on September 5 at the Kyoto District Court, four years after the terrible fire that killed 36 people and injured 33 others. Ahead of this, a documentary concentrating on Aoba’s doctor will air today on Kantele, Fuji News Network’s Kansai region flagship station.
Aoba, who was indicted in 2020, received burns all over his body, and his care was entrusted to Dr. Takahiro Ueda. Dr. Ueba felt it was important to keep Aoba alive, remarking, “I was overwhelmed that if I let him die, I would disappoint [the victims and their families].” It seems he wanted to make sure Aoba would be able to stand trial.
The one-hour special, titled The Documentary: Beyond the Fire ~The Kyoto Animation Incident and 29 Years For the Woman Who Was Set on Fire~, will additionally share the story of Masumi Okamoto, who is the National Association of Crime Victims and Surviving Families’ lecturer. She survived an unrelated arson in 1994 and has been a victims’ advocate to make sure they get proper medical treatment and help.
Atsushi Itou is listed as the narrator.
As for the trial, it’s scheduled to have more than thirty hearings over the course of several months. Starting this month there will be ten hearings, followed by another ten in October. That means two to three hearings a week. If all goes according to plan, we’ll know the verdict on January 24 next year.
Kyoto Animation has put out multiple statements over the years since the arson attack. One of their statements said this:
“When the sadness feels like it’s about to overwhelm us, what gets us through, what guides us, is the memory of the days we spent with our friends, and the love we shared for animation.”
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.