New Report Gives Update on Kyoto Animation Arson Suspect

This year, the anime fandom bore witness to one of Japan's most tragic moments in recent years. In July, Kyoto Animation was targeted by a disgruntled man who allegedly set fire to one of its studios. To date, 36 victims have died from the attack with plenty others injured. Now, fans have gotten an update on the suspect behind the attacks, and it seems they've made strides in their own recovery.

As reported by Sora News 24, the suspect Shinji Aoba has been in the hospital since the July arson happened. The man was found away from the Kyoto Animation building with canisters of gasoline, and when he was taken into custody, Aoba reportedly told officers the studio "stole" his novel which prompted the attack.

The suspect was injured during the attack, but sources informed Kyodo News the 41-year-old man has made progress. After being bedridden and unable to speak due to severe burns, new reports say Aoba is mobile and able to sit up in a wheelchair. Currently, the doctors are hoping to rehabilitate his ability to walk as Aoba regathers his ability to speak. At this time, reports say the suspect is able to hold basic conversations with the hospital staff but nothing beyond that.

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While Aoba is able to speak, reports say the man hasn't mentioned the arson. Currently, he's preoccupied with physical therapy, but there is more on the plate for the suspect. An arrest warrant has been put out for the suspect, but Japanese law prevents it from being executed until doctors approve of his physical fitness. As Aoba continues to heal, he takes a step closer each day to being questioned about the attack, and netizens hope the investigation will help give peace to the families of those who died in the attack.

Of course, there is nothing that can heal the damage done, and fans are still reeling from the senseless tragedy. Earlier this month, reports confirmed the 36th victim had passed away when a female employee in her 20s died after succumbing to septic shock. The woman was one of several still being treated in the hospital for injuries sustained during the fire. As for those employees who escaped the attack unscathed, work has resumed at Kyoto Animation but many of the studio's fan-events have been cancelled for later this year.