Employees at the anime studio Kyoto Animation (KyoAni) faced a horrific experience yesterday as a seemingly random attacker made his way into the studio’s building, setting it and everyone inside ablaze.
Reports say that the attacker was a 41-year-old man whose full identity is currently unknown. He reportedly bought 40 litres of petrol from a nearby gas station, broke into the building, and began pouring it on the floor. His last word before setting the office alight was “die”. The suspect then attempted to flee the scene but later collapsed on his way to a local train station due to injuries, where he was subsequently found and arrested by Japanese authorities. It took firefighters five hours to put out the flames, and 33 people out of the 74 that were in the building were found dead.
Witnesses report hearing the man screaming about how the studio allegedly plagiarised his work, repeating “You copied it” and “You ripped me off”. He resented the studio, though his real motive remains unclear. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe extended his prayers to the victims on Twitter.
KyoAni is well known for its work on anime like Violet Evergarden, K-On!, and A Silent Voice, to name a few. This was one of the most devastating mass-murders in Japan’s post-war history. Our deepest condolences go to those affected.