Tag Archives: arson

*UPDATE* Kyoto Animation Studio Fire| 34 Confirmed Dead

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Aerial shot of Kyoto Animation

Famed anime studio, Kyoto Animation was destroyed during an arson attacked on Thursday morning. Local authorities stated that there are 34 dead and 35 injured during the attack. Local Kyoto news media have quoted police stating that a 41-year-old man broke into the studio and began pouring gasoline inside the office and reportedly, on some employees as well, although this has not been confirmed.

The 41-year-old man has now been identified as, Shinji Aoba. Aoba reportedly shouted “Drop dead” or “Die” before igniting the gasoline. Neighboring residents witnessed hearing an explosion sound before watching the three-story building be engulfed in flames. The fire was reported at 10:30AM (JST).

Kyoto Animation has produced many popular anime titles such as The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kanon, Lucky Star, Clannad, and K-On! More recent titles include Violet EvergardenSound! Euphonium, A Silent Voice and Free!. 

By Mike Hattsu, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=80489687
The animation studio in 2015

Current Reports

At the time of this updated publication, local authorities have stated that there are 34 dead and 35 are currently in hospitals in critical conditions. Of those 34 dead, NHK reported that 12 were men, 20 were women, and one still remains unidentified. The building had approximately 73 people inside when the incident occurred. The Kyoto Fire Department has concluded with the rescue operation and can confirm that no one else is in the building. About 30 fire engines reported to the scene and extinguished the blaze at 3:19 PM (JST) about 5 hours after the fire was ignited.

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“They are the people who carry Japan’s animation industry on their shoulders, I can’t bear to accept the fact they are being hurt or losing their lives.”  – Hideaki Hatta (Kyoto Animation, CEO) via CNN Japan

Kyoto Animation’s CEO, Hideaki Hatta, told local reporters that for the past few years, he had to contact the authorities due to death threats being sent to the company. There is no direct link between the death threats and Aoba.

According to Hatta, the studio usually has strong security requiring special ‘key cards’ to gain access to the building. However, on this particular day, the studio had visitors and the security system was turned off for the convenience of the visitors.

Suspect

30 minutes prior to the attack, Aoba had purchased 40 liters (10.6 Gal.) of gasoline from a gas station located less than a mile away from the studio. Aoba placed the gasoline inside carrying cans and put them onto a hand pushed trolley, then made his way towards Kyoto Animation. Witnesses stated that Aoba entered the studio and shouted “DIE” before igniting the fire and attempting to flee on foot. According to local police, a male Kyoto Animation employee managed to chase Aoba down and detain him in the streets.

Aoba was injured during the attack, sustaining serious burns to his feet, chest, and face and was taken to the hospital. During transport, he admitted to setting the fire. Unused knives and a hammer were found near the arson site. Authorities have delayed any further interviews with Aoba as he is currently in the hospital for treatment. Local Kyoto media have reported, that the suspect is not a former employee of Kyoto Animation and has no other direct connection with the studio.

Motive

His motive has not been specifically established, however one possible motive was during Aoba’s arrest, as he was shouting that Kyoto Animation had stolen his ideas and accused them of plagiarising.

AfterMath

“The amount of damage is huge. I don’t know in detail”

CEO Hideaki Hatta stated during a press confess on July 19th. Valuable human resources have been lost. Animation materials such as drawings, animations cells, and computers have all been destroyed during the fire,

KyoAni recently released, Free! Road to the World and Sound! Euphonium the movie. In July of 2018, Kyoto Animation announced a “completely new” project titled “Violet Evergarden Gaiden” a film set to be released on January 10th, 2020.

Kyoto Animation Studio 1 (Arson fire location) produced the majority of the animation for its anime series. With such heavy loss, cancellations or major delays in upcoming series and films are to be expected.

Response

Fans began expressing their love for Kyoto Animation as reports of the incident spread, with many going on social media to share their favorite Kyoto Animation anime titles. Many fans have attributed this tragic loss as losing a museum with high cultural value.

 

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KyoAni character smashup | Artist: ピロ水 Source: 平成同人物語

#PrayForKyoani and #StayStrongKyotoAni are being used to share these posts.

Anime licensing company, Sentai Filmworks has also stepped in and created a fundraiser, to help support Kyoto Animation in their time of need. In just 24 hours fans have raised over $1M, but its not over yet.

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HELP KYOANI HEAL 


Kyoto Animation has given us, the Anime community, characters we treasure and storylines we will remember for a long time to come. Its time for us to give them something in return. Please consider a donating, Thank you. This is a developing story that we will continue to keep updated with all of the latest information. If you have any information pertaining to this particular story and like to contribute, please contact The Kitsune Network at Contact@TheKitsunetwork.net Thank You!

Sources: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4, Link 5, Link 6, Link 7, Link 8.



UPDATES: This article has been edited to reflect current details and information regarding the Kyoto Animation arson attack. Dead toll, suspect name, aftermath, and additional information about the incident have been updated as of 7/19/19 at 4:56AM This is a developing story that we will continue to keep updated with all of the latest information.

UPDATES: NHK reported that a male Kyoto animation employee passed away on the night of July 19th, making the death count at 34. Updated as of 7/19/19 at 1:23PM

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Anime Los Angeles 2019: CAR ARSON |*UPDATE* VIDEO CCTV FOOTAGE RELEASED

We usually see pretty crazy things that happen at anime conventions in general, but on early Sunday morning at around 1:30AM, Anime Los Angeles attendees, alongside other non-con hotel residents, woke up to what was initially thought of as an active shooter situation at the Folk Inn Hotel in Ontario, CA.

It was later discovered that it was not an active shooter situation but rather, an arson fire that destroyed a total of SEVEN cars.

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Both the Folk Inn Hotel and its neighboring hotel, The Azure Hotel & Suites were evacuated, however, According to eyewitness Nora Moto, who staying at the Azure Hotel, employees, as well as hotel residents, were knocking on doors advising people to leave and evacuate their rooms immediately. Nora Moto told The Kitsune Network, “People were panicking because they thought it was an active shooter[…]the fire burst the tires and people thought someone was shooting up the place.”

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Nora added that the initial reports of an active shooter caused mass panic inside the Azure Hotel lobby causing people to run out into the streets, some going towards the Gateway Hotel, adjacent to the Ontario Convention Center, to stay away from the “active shooter”.

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We were able to speak to a police officer after the fire was out, the officer at the scene told us that, a person of interest was detained by police. An eyewitness saw individual pouring gasoline on ONE car and then setting it on fire, the fire then spread to the adjacent cars. The individual then sped off in an unidentified car, but not before the eyewitness was able to record their license plates number.

Authorities are yet to find a motive behind this terrible crime. It is unknown if the arson had any relation to Anime Los Angeles or any of its attendees. No official statement has been released by the Ontario police or fire department.

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According to ABC 7 news:

“surveillance video[…]showed a man walk up to the main vehicle, pour two cans of gasoline all over it and then he flicked a match on it. The manager said the match didn’t start the fire, so the man in the video then pulled out his lighter to set the vehicle ablaze.”

*UPDATE*

27 year old, Matt Masumi Toyotome, an Anime Los Angeles attendee, is currently in custody and in the West Valley Detention center on suspicion of arson. His bail is set to $250,000.

Sources have told us that, Matt Toyotome targeted a 2015 Subaru Outback belonging to fellow con attendee, Julia Moreno Jenkins, whom Matt had an obsession with for years. Authorities were able to arrest Matt at his Riverside home shortly after the fire without incident.

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Jenkins’ Facebook profile photo

According to a friend of the victim who has chosen to remain anonymous, Matt had been harassing Jenkins for about 3+ years prior to this incident. The feud began when Matt, Julia, and a group Power Ranger fans created a fan-made YouTube series titled, Armored Rangers.

It was during the production of this series that Matt developed an obsession with Jenkins, even though Jenkins had been in a relationship since 2013. When the series ended, the group went their separate ways, however, Julia stayed on the YouTube scene with another series and became well known in the Power Ranger community.

Our source added, that Matt was not only obsessed with Julia but also, jealous of her new found fame with the new YouTube series. Over time Matt began to express his feelings for Julia and began harassing her by going to her house uninvited, dropping off gifts and following her around conventions.

It is unclear on what specifically made Matt commit this act, however, is it speculated that Matt’s advances toward Jenkins were rejected during convention prompting the attack.

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What’s left of Jenkins’ 2015 Subaru Outback; Although an eyewitness did see Matt pour gasoline to the car, Matt possibly bought gasoline from the adjacent, Quick Gasoline gas station.

Other affected cars owners, we are aware of another con attendee, father, and son, whose car caught fire as well. Most of the burnt cars were rentals from the hotel as well.     

Julia was not the only one affected by Matt’s actions, several of the other vehicles belonged fellow ALA attendees, such as Sabrina Snowdon whose, 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport [seen below] was completely destroyed.

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Photo provided to us by Sabrina

VIDEO FOOTAGE:

“I only had liability insurance, so my insurance will not cover me and I got it for $27,000. It was a really good working 2015 Subaru Outback. [. . .]I appreciate everyone who has helped be here for me during this ordeal, and thank you all for encouraging me to go through with starting a go fund me. I can’t say thank you enough for the cosplay community being so supportive and helpful to me in just every way.” – Julia Jenkins via Go-FundMe

Jenkins, as well as those whose car was affected, have since created donation accounts reaching out to the cosplay community for help.

For those who wish to be donors and help out the victims of this horrible crime, you can do so by clicking any of the following donation links below:

Julia’s Go-FundMe
Sabrina Snowdon’s PayPal

Vane’s ko-fi Account

Leon’s Paypal

[We’ll be updating links as more information is released.]

 

[PHOTOS] Aftermath of the car fire: