The man who set fire to the Kyoto Animation Studio in 2019, Shinji Aoba, has been sentenced to death by a Japanese court. The fire, which killed 36 and injured dozens more, was started by a man who claimed his competition submissions had been plagiarised by the studio.
The man's lawyers had sought a lighter sentence on grounds of mental incompetence, but the Judges rejected the assertion and decided that Aoba knew exactly what he was doing.
Chief Justice Masuda is quoted with the following: "I have determined that the defendant was not mentally insane or weak at the time of the crime."
Aoba entered the building pouring petrol on the floor. The subsequent fire trapped many young animators on the top floor where they perished. Aoba himself suffered burns to 90% of his body and was arrested following his recovery.
The studio was well-loved by anime fans globally, responsible for hits such as The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and K-On! Many of the families of Aoba's victims attended court on Thursday to hear the verdict.
Aoba will be executed by hanging.