Violet Evergarden’s Animation Studio’s Arsonist Faces Death Sentence Amid Depleting Mental Health

Kyoto Animation Arsonist, Shinji Aoba, Finally Sentenced to Death.

Violet Evergarden’s Animation Studio’s Arsonist Faces Death Sentence Amid Depleting Mental Health

SUMMARY

  • In 2019, an arsonist set fire to Kyoto Animation Studio, a well-known anime production company that created works such as 'A Silent Voice' and 'Violet Evergarden'.
  • The man who caused the incident, Shinji Aoba, has finally received a death sentence.
  • Many of the animation staff were killed after being trapped on the studio's upper floors as the fire spread.
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Popular anime series and movies producer Kyoto Animation Studio which produced anime like Violet Evergarden and A Silent Voice was burnt down by an arsonist in 2019. Shinji Aoba, the man who was responsible for the incident, has been finally sentenced to death amid depleting mental health.

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Violet Evergarden
Violet Evergarden

Aoba is said to have developed resentment towards Kyoto Animation also referred to as KyoAni because he thought the company had stolen concepts from novels he entered into a competition. Aoba claimed that KyoAni had stolen from his work, but the court could find no proof of this.

Many of the animation staff were killed after getting cooped up on the upper floors of the studio as the fire progressed. Japan observed a national mourning period following the attack, which was among the deadliest cases in recent decades. For survivors and the relatives of the victims who are still in shock over this terrible and destructive attack on the animation studio, the decision brought much-needed justice.

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Kyoto Animation Arson attack Was One of the Worst Cases in Japan

According to Japan Times, On July 18, 2019, early in the morning, Shinji Aoba attacked Kyoto Animation’s Studio 1 building in the Fushimi ward of Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. In addition to destroying most of Studio 1’s supplies and computers, the arson claimed the lives of about 36 people and injured 32 others. 

The suspect, who was not employed by the studio, came through the front door with roughly forty liters of gasoline. He splashed the surrounding area and a few employees with gasoline before setting it on fire. The suspect tried to escape after setting himself on fire while lighting the fuel, but police caught him. 

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Kyoto Animation Studio
Kyoto Animation Studio

He spent more than ten months in the hospital recovering from potentially fatal burns before being taken into custody by the authorities. The official indictment was issued on December 16, 2020. On September 5, 2023, Aoba eventually entered a guilty plea to the charges. 

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Kyoto Animation Arsonist Sentenced to Death

On January 25, 2024, Presiding Judge Keisuke Matsuda handed down the death penalty for Shinji Aoba, finding that Aoba was mentally competent and solely accountable for his criminal deeds. The judge gave an explanation, stating that Aoba had a delusional disorder according to psychiatric reports that were obtained after his indictment. 

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A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice

But his hesitation just before he set the deadly arson showed that he was aware of the consequences and was acting with reason. In the end, Judge Matsuda determined that the maximum penalty allowed by law was necessary due to the severity of the crime and its impact on the victims’ families and society at large. 

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President of Kyoto Animation Hideaki Hatta issued a statement via his legal team following the delivery of the death sentence verdict. He conveyed his admiration and appreciation for the jury’s duty-driven conduct during the protracted trial. In addition, President Hatta expressed that their deep sense of sorrow and regret has not altered, even in light of the fact that justice has been served.

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Written by Tarun Kohli

Articles Published: 1383

Konichiwa! With a Master's Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and a 2-year experience in Digital media writing, I am on my way to becoming one of the biggest anime content writers in my country. My passion for writing and Anime has helped me connect with Fandomwire, and share my love and experience with the world.