TOKYO — A person was convicted of homicide and different crimes Thursday for finishing up a surprising arson assault on an anime studio in Kyoto, Japan, that killed 36 folks and drew an outpouring of grief from anime followers worldwide.
The Kyoto District Court docket mentioned it discovered Shinji Aoba mentally succesful to face punishment for the crimes, and the choose was anticipated to announce the penalty later within the day, in response to NHK tv and different Japanese media.
Aoba stormed into Kyoto Animation’s No. 1 studio on July 18, 2019, and set it on hearth. Most of the victims had been believed to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Greater than 30 different folks had been badly burned or injured.
Prosecutors mentioned Aoba was in search of revenge after pondering the Kyoto Animation had stolen novels he submitted for a corporation contest.
Aoba, 45, was severely burned and was hospitalized for 10 months earlier than his arrest in Could 2020. He appeared in court docket in a wheelchair.
Aoba’s protection legal professionals argued he was mentally unfit to be held criminally accountable.
About 70 folks had been working contained in the studio in southern Kyoto, Japan’s historic capital, on the time of the assault. One of many survivors mentioned he noticed a black cloud rising from downstairs, then scorching warmth got here and he jumped from a window of the three-story constructing gasping for air.
The corporate, based in 1981 and higher referred to as KyoAni, made a mega-hit anime sequence about highschool ladies, and the studio educated aspirants to the craft.
Japanese media have described Aoba as being regarded as a troublemaker who repeatedly modified contract jobs and flats and quarreled with neighbors.
The hearth was Japan’s deadliest since 2001, when a blaze in Tokyo’s congested Kabukicho leisure district killed 44 folks, and it was the nation’s worst recognized case of arson in trendy instances.