Otaku USA Magazine
Kyoto Animation Arson Trial May Finally Happen in 2023

kyoto animation

The deadly 2019 arson attack on Kyoto Animation (sometimes referred to as “KyoAni”) has cast a shadow over the anime world. Now Kyodo News, a major Japanese news source, says that it heard from an investigative source that prosecutors are talking to family members about their desire to have the trial start this year between September and December.

Shinji Aoba, the suspect, has said he committed the arson because he believed a generic anime scene was plagiarized from his work. While he was indicted in 2020, there is still no official word on when the trial will start. The Kyoto District Court, prosecutors, and defense lawyers are in talks about when things will proceed. And before the trial itself, there should still be jury appointments and pretrial proceedings.

Along with talking to grieving family members about a possible start date, prosecutors are asking them if they want to take part in the trial. According to Kyodo News, quite a few of them said yes.

Aoba, who has spoken openly about committing the arson, has received two mental evaluations. Kyodo News predicts that the main argument the defense can give is that their client is not mentally competent to be held criminally responsible.

The 2019 arson caused the deaths of 36 people and injured many others.

Some of Kyoto Animation’s most popular titles are A Silent Voice, K-On!, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Sound! Euphonium, and Violet Evergarden.

At the third-year anniversary of the fire, Kyoto Animation gave this emotional 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.”

Source: Kyodo News


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.