Otaku USA Magazine
Kyoto Animation President and More Respond to Arsonist’s Death Sentence, Appeal Filed

kyoto animation

Yesterday the Kyoto District Court sentenced Shinji Aoba to death for the 2019 arson at Kyoto Animation that killed 36 people and injured nearly as many. In response, Hideaki Hatta, the president of Kyoto Animation, stated:

In accordance with the rules of law, we have received the appropriate response and judgement. To the judges who carried this heavy responsibility for such a long period of time, and to the investigators, police, court clerks, and all others who were engaged in conducting a fair investigation and trial, I wish to express my deep respect.

Even after the judgement, the sadness I feel has not changed in the slightest. I feel nothing but pain in my heart when I think of the members of Kyoto Animation who lost their lives, those who were injured, and of the sadness of their loved ones.

I pray that remembering the animated works that they put their hearts and souls into, and the surviving members’ efforts every day to continue making such works, will connect their spirits to us, including those who have joined Kyoto Animation since the incident took place.

We will devote ourselves to continuing to value our workers, display their individual talents, and create animated works from here on.

Dr. Takahiro Ueda, the physician who treated Aoba after the arson, and who said tragedies like these need to be prevented, ultimately agreed with the sentence as well, saying:

I believe you could say that saving [Aoba’s] life was meaningful, as it allowed for him to stand trial. I’m sorry, though, but I have absolutely no sympathy for him, and want him to feel the weight of the crime he committed.

Most of the victims’ families also agree with the sentence. One father who lost his daughter disagrees, and remarked publicly, “I didn’t want (Aoba) to be sentenced to death,” and, “If he is executed, what will be left?… The death penalty does not suit Kyoani, which creates gentle and enjoyable animated films.”

Meanwhile, Aoba’s defense team, who argued that he is delusional and therefore not mentally fit, have filed an appeal over the death sentence.

One woman who was widowed commented, “I want the defendant to accept the verdict and sentence.”

Source: The Asahi Shimbun, SoraNews24


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.