After a long wait, things are moving forward with the Kyoto Animation arson trial. On May 8, pre-trial proceedings will begin at the Kyoto District Court.
The court, prosecution, and defense will be figuring out things like the trial schedule, the number of days needed for the trial, what evidence there is and other prior issues. It sounds like the trial will occur between September and December this year. This matches up with an early report from Kyodo News in January where an investigative source said that prosecutors were speaking to family members about their desire to have the trial start in 2023 during that very timeline.
The arson attack in 2019 killed 36 people and injured another 33. Mostly it was people inside the Kyoto Animation building who suffered, though a man walking by also was injured due to smoke inhalation.
Shinji Aoba, the prime suspect who will be going to trial, has confessed to the arson. He believes that a generic scene in one of Kyoto Animation’s anime was stolen from one of his ideas and said that was his motive behind the arson. After the fire, Aoba was treated for his own burns and was also given mental evaluations. He was indicted in December 2020.
In 2022, at the third-year anniversary of the attack, Kyoto Animation put out this statement:
“These three years that we have spent missing those who are gone feel like both an instant and an eternity. 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.”
Kyoto Animation’s work is beloved around the world, and some of their titles include A Silent Voice, K-On!, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Sound! Euphonium, and Violet Evergarden.
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.