Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is on the cusp of its second season, and fans are looking forward to what the show has in store. But for right now, all eyes in the fandom are turned to ufotable as the anime's studio has an ongoing legal battle. The studio's founder has been embroiled in a tax evasion suit for months, and the executive just admitted to the charges during a preliminary hearing.
The news comes straight from Anime News Network as it received word from Hikaru Kondo's preliminary hearing. It was there the ufotable founder admitted to the charge placed against him. Federal officials have accused Kondo of violating the Corporation Tax Act and Consumption Tax Act after failing to pay roughly $1.25 million USD in taxes. Now, Kondo has admitted he did violate the acts, and he also issued an apology to fans of ufotable.
This admission comes months after Kondo was formally indicted on these evasion charges. The Tokyo Public Prosecutor's Office delivered the charges in early July, and ufotable was quick to respond to the ordeal. The studio said it had already filed a corrected tax return with officials and paid its revised taxes.
During Kondo's recent hearing, the prosecution took time to illustrate how the founder rigged the tax game. According to the team, the founder hid the income they sourced from ufotable cafes and merchandise from 2015 to 2018. The prosecution alleged this was down to offset any major windfalls at the studio should ufotable dip year over year. According to The Mainichi Shimbun, Kondo reportedly stored roughly 30% of profits from the studio's themed cafes in his own home to avoid reporting it. So clearly, there was some sketchy activity going on.
At this point, there is no word on the punishment Kondo will face for his crime. The founder did resign as ufotable chairman in May 2019, but his tie to ufotable is hard to overlook. And thanks to the wild success of the Demon Slayer anime, it was best for Kondo to exit the studio before it began raking in cash unlike ever before.
What do you think about this whole situation? Do you think Demon Slayer's popularity has helped mitigate backlash against ufotable? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.