Kyoto Animation fire Man admits setting 2019 blaze
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In one of Japan’s worst-ever murder cases, the Kyoto Animation studio blaze occurred on 18 July 2019.

The majority of those killed were young animators trapped on the upper floor, and 32 more were injured.

Shinji Aoba’s defence lawyers, citing mental incompetence, are seeking an acquittal even though prosecutors are likely to seek the death penalty.

Reports say Aoba accused Kyoto Animation of stealing his work, which the studio denies.

The attack was described as “too appalling for words” by Japan’s then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2019.

Aoba, 45, who nearly died from burns he sustained, faces five charges, including murder, attempted murder, and arson.

After breaking into the studio, he spread petrol around the ground floor and set it alight before shouting “Drop dead”.

Shinji Aoba, who appeared in a wheelchair in Kyoto District Court on Tuesday, said he felt he had no choice but to do what he did. Aoba’s defence team argued that even if he were convicted, he should be given a reduced sentence due to his “state of diminished capacity”, adding that he was delusional at the time of the attack.

The court heard that Aoba believed Kyoto Animation plagiarized a novel he entered in a contest run by the company.

He was not controlled by the alleged delusions and can be held fully responsible.

According to Japan’s Kyodo News, more than 500 people stood in line early Tuesday morning to watch the trial proceedings.

Next January, a verdict is expected.

Fans appreciate KyoAni’s quality productions, which include films and graphic novels.

K-On! is one of its most popular animation works. Haruhi Suzumiya’s Melancholy.