The Kyoto Animation arsonist, Shinji Aoba, may be in prison right now, but it looks like he has inspired other insane individuals to commit horrendous acts. Shigeru Okada, an unemployed 38-year-old resident of Tokushima Prefecture, recently attacked the Acty Annex building on 14 March. He performed his attack when a local idol group was performing inside. Okada lit a fire inside the building at around 1:00 p.m. though luckily, the bar manager managed to put out the fire. The manager saved around 70 people that day, while police captured the arsonist.
If the manager had not put out the fire, it might have been a bigger incident as well. Police also found a canister full of gasoline at the scene of the crime, as well as a knife. The suspect also seems to have deliberately spilled some gasoline in the hall outside of the third floor elevator doors. The investigators believe it was an arson attack.
Surveillance cameras and a dashboard camera from a nearby taxi led the police to arrest the arsonist. And during questioning, he admitted to setting up the fire. He also said that he was trying to imitate the Kyoto Animation arson incident, which has killed 36 people, including well known animators and anime directors. Investigators also found that Okada purchased around 14 litres of gasoline from a self-service station a few hours before trying to burn down the building.
Police are yet to determine Okada’s motive for the attack.
As for the man who inspired Okada for the act, Aoba was an entrant to various KyoAni contests, and he blamed the studio for stealing his story. He would send them threats until he finally made good on his promise last July 2019. He brought two containers of flammable liquid to Studio 1 and lit it up. He would tell investigators that he has a grudge against the studio, and that was why he burned down Studio 1. The fire killed 35 people, including many legendary anime figures like Amagi Brilliant Park director Yasuhiro Takemoto and Sound! Euphonium character designer Shouko Ikeda.
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