Another Kyoto Animation Copycat Arrested Following Arson Threats

A second person has been arrested in the wake of the Kyoto Animation arson for making threats to conduct a similar attack on a local business. A 25-year-old man was arrested in Japan after sending an Osaka-based gaming company threats regarding arson and murder.

As detailed by Anime News Network, the man was arrested after police were called in over the threatening messages he sent to employees at Visual Arts, a visual novel company based in Osaka.

"I'm getting the gasoline ready," one of his tweets wrote.

The suspect, who has been named as Toshiki Benikawa, allegedly sent several messages which threatened arson and murder. These messages were felt particularly hard given Visual Arts' connection to Kyoto Animation. The company has a brand called Key which had some of its visual novels turned into anime by Kyoto Animation like Clannad.

Given the recent uptick of arson threats in Japan, police are taking each one very seriously following the tragedy which befell Kyoto Animation in July. This summer, the company's Studio 1 was set ablaze by a disgruntled man who accused Kyoto Animation of stealing his novel. The suspect set fire to the building which left 35 dead and more than 30 others injured. Currently, the 41-year-old suspect has been identified, but police are waiting to continue criminal prosecution as the man has been in hospital for severe burns.


This is not the first copycat threat to crop up in Japan since the Kyoto Animation arson, and fans fear it will not be the last. Last month, reports surfaced that police were summoned when an irate fan threatened Square Enix with a similar attack. The suspect, who was reportedly upset about lost data on a mobile game, specifically mentioned Kyoto Animation in his theats which prompted police response.

Originally started in 1981, Kyoto Animation Studio has become known worldwide for its work on creating popular anime television series such as K-On!, Free!, Full Metal Panic, and more. It has also created a number of animated films such as A Silent Voice, K-On! The Movie, and Free! Take Your Marks to name a few. Noted as the "first successful animation studio outside of Tokyo," Kyoto Animation has a long history within the industry and we hope that its history will continue into the future. Founded by Yoko Hatta and Hideaki Hatta, the company proceeded to become an LLC in 1985 and then a corporation years later in 1999. One of the studio's apparent strengths according to experts was its "sensitivity to the wonders and quandaries of every day life."