As the anime industry comes to terms with the horrifying Kyoto Animation fire which left 35 dead, it seems others are being inspired by the attack. According to a new report from Japan, a 40-year-old man was arrested in Tokyo after threatening to target Square Enix with a copycat arson.
As reported by Anime News Network, authorities in Shinjuku arrested the man after he allegedly sending Square Enix a threat and caused "forcible obstruction of business" at the video game developer.
The man is accused of sending a threat to Square Enix on July 23 through its official website. Police say the 40-year-old demand a refund from a video game the company developed, and he went on to threaten Square Enix by saying he'd repeat the Kyoto Animation fire for the company. When visited by the police, the man said he was upset after he lost a mobile game which Square Enix developed. A search was then done of the man's house, and no arson-related materials were found.
This is just one of a few copycat threats to crop up in the days since the Kyoto Animation fire. In Hokkaido, a 63-year-old worker was arrested after he posted threatening messages to LINE which referenced the deadly fire. According to police reports, the suspect sent a threatening message to her former boss at a nurse home which read, "I'm off to get revenge. Maybe it'll be the Hokkaido version of KyoAni?" After being approached by police, the suspect did admit to sending the message though it was meant as a joke.
As for Kyoto Animation, investigations into the arson are on-going. The suspect who admitted to starting the fire was last said to be recovering from extensive burns in an unknown hospital. Survivors of the fire recently got back to work at a new office, and the CEO of Kyoto Animation has told fans the company plans to come back stronger than ever after taking time to recover from the unspeakable tragedy.
“Kyoto animation will continue to make its employees and staff lead happy lives, and contribute to society and local community,” Hideaki Hatta wrote in a recent statement. “I assure you that Kyoto Animation will not give up, we will not go quietly into the night...we will not vanish without a fight!”