Otaku USA Magazine
This Is What Families of Kyoto Animation Arson Victims Are Saying in Court

kyoto animation

The trial of Shinji Aoba, who has confessed to starting the Kyoto Animation arson that killed 36 people and injured many others, has gotten to the phase where victims’ families can make statements to the Court in regards to sentencing.

One mother of a 27-year-old victim remarked that she “had a slight hope that [Aoba] would face the case, reflect on it and apologize to the many victims and their families.” Acknowledging that this hasn’t happened, she continued that her “expectations were mistaken and [she] was disappointed.” In the end, she says that she “trusts that the heaviest sentence will be imposed.”

The father of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya director Yasuhiro Takemoto wrote a letter read by the prosecution. According to him, he has complicated thoughts on the death penalty, and that “even if the heaviest sentence was imposed, it wouldn’t bring back [my] son.”

Another father made it very clear he wants the death penalty, commenting that “this is not a crime that can be atoned for with an apology or remorse.”

A different father talked about his pride in viewing his daughter’s name on Sound! Euphonium: The Movie – Our Promise: A Brand New Day. As to his thoughts on what sentence he’d like to see given to his daughter’s murderer, he remarked, “No matter what the verdict is, my daughter will not return, though justice must be served.”

The prosecution has declared that this trial is about an “unprecedented and horrific case of mass murder and arson, which was carried out as revenge for a misguided personal vendetta.” The defense, aware Japan has the death penalty and the very real possibility of their client receiving this sentence, has said that they “urge the court to consider why it is justified and appropriate to choose the death penalty when it is wrong to kill.”

The verdict — and the sentence if the verdict is guilty — is set to be revealed on January 25.

Source: Crunchyroll


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.