Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is what you might call a runaway success, but the studio behind the anime cannot escape its taxes. A new report from Japan went live today confirming ufotable, the studio behind Demon Slayer has been charged with tax evasion. The studio and its president Hikaru Kondo are accused of violating the Corporation Tax Act and Consumption Tax Act after they failed to pay nearly $1.28 million in taxes.
The Mainichi Shimbun has shed more light on the report as a source close to the investigation told the newspaper that Kondo hid roughly 30% of the total proceeds that came from ufotable's anime restaurants. The president is said to have stored that money at home in a private safe, and the studio's mismatched revenue was purposefully altered to hide the money (via ANN).
The source claims these doctored reports were filed in 2015, 2017, and 2018. The money totaled up to about $4.11 million USD and was never taxed. That is until now, of course. The studio and its president have been founded out, so they owe the government some money.
The newspaper says Kondo used the money he stored away to fund ufotable's business. A lawyer for the president released a statement apologizing for the ordeal, and he says Kondo has corrected his tax returns to pay the requested amount.
This is not the first time Kondo and ufotable have come under scrutiny for tax discrepancies. Back in April, it was reported that ufotable allegedly owed more than $3.5 million in taxes after potentially misusing charity funds raised for earthquake relief. No official charges were ever filed by officials despite the offices of ufotable being searched, but it did cause Kondo to step down from a few of his chairman positions.
Currently, there is no word on whether this tax evasion charge could escalate, but fans are waiting to hear further updates. Kondo seems to be involved with ufotable as usual, so netizens are hoping this legal ordeal will not impact Demon Slayer's upcoming movie. The film is slated to debut this fall... that is if Tanjiro's studio is not locked in a legal battle.1comments
What do you make of this situation? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!