crime

Anime director arrested over online massacre threat

36 Comments

Police in Osaka said Monday they have arrested 42-year-old anime technical director and storyboard artist Masaki Kitamura after he allegedly threatened to commit a massacre.

Kitamura is accused of accessing the Osaka city official website on July 29 and of using the inquiry page mail form to write, "I'm going to commit a massacre in the city in early August. I'm going to ram a truck into pedestrians, then stab whoever I can with a knife before committing suicide."

According to police, the threat was similar to the one that preceded the killing of seven people in Tokyo's Akihabara district in 2008, Fuji TV reported. Police analyzed the IP address from which the message originated and discovered it was linked to a high-speed wireless LAN device owned by Kitamura. According to the police, Kitamura has so far denied any knowledge of the threats.

Police say they are also investigating the possibility that Kitamura was involved in a bomb threat sent to Japan Airlines on Aug 1.

Kitamura was an assistant director on both seasons of "Mobile Suit Gundam 00." He was also a director of the 10th installment of "Gundam Evolve" and an episode director on "Ergo Proxy", "GUNxSWORD", "Intrigue in the Bakumatsu - Irohanihoheto", "Yu-Gi-Oh!", "Wolf's Rain," and other series.

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36 Comments
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It is possible to highjack (piggyback) almost any wireless internet connection. They should not be so fast in assuming it was Kitamura.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Lets wait for the bashing of anime to begin... Nevermind the effects of violent games, movies and tv shows. Anime is the same as anything else and most of the people interested in it know the difference between anime and reality.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

The use of his IP address is circumstantial at best. In the tech-savvy countries we live, not a few people are capable of hacking or piggybacking a wifi LAN. He very well could have been set up by someone with a grudge. He could be you, so don't be too quick to judge.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Police analyzed the IP address from which the message originated and discovered it was linked to a high-speed wireless LAN device owned by Kitamura.

But, how many of us have wireless LAN that can be hacked or flat out unprotected? How hard is it to get on your LAN and do the same thing?

I'm no expert, but I have used other's wireless networks, not my own.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

It could have been easily done by a hacker as I am in the hacker prevention business and this is too easy for a beginner to do.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This type of thing would be something they could do in their sleep. The person would have to be without a brain to write those comments from their own device and since Kitamura-san is a technical director he can not be that dumb.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

And many Japanese are accused of being quick to condemn anyone so much as questioned by police! I guess the Japanese are not the only fools guilty of rushing to judgment eh?

But I have little doubt that a confession will be sleep-deprivationed out of him within a couple days. Hardly ever fails, that old thing.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Difficult one. seems the evidence is clear, following the IP address but it couldve easily been a hacker with a grudge. Either way lets hope its just a threat and nothing more.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I agree with KariHaruka's comment - and I'll add that just as there are live action films and TV series for adults and families, there are also anime and manga for adults and families.

Always amazes me that western adults can laugh at people into comics and animation, yet they flock to see films such as X-Men, Batman and Avengers... which of course are based on comics.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Thunderbird2 "Wolk's Rain" was awesome.

I think he could have been hacked because if you do not disable your LAN wireless internet browser, it's too easy for someone else to use it. I have young nieces who think it's nothing to get onto any LAN/Bluetooth internet connection in the area, our laptop's have this service available for us to use. But I disabled mine.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

on July 29 and of using the inquiry page mail form to write, “I’m going to commit a massacre in the city in early August.

So he writes this in July, threatening an attack in early August... and cops pick him up near the end of August. Way to go J-cops!! Wait until AFTER he's supposed to commit the crime, and THEN arrest him. Just the quality of policing I've come to expect in Japan. The only wonder is that they didn't just pick a random person and arrest them instead.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Moron

2 ( +6 / -4 )

He is not guilty of anything yet, he has been arrested under suspicion.

At present, he is only guilty of being an adult who likes children's books and films.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

So it belonged to his wireless LAN? Anyone stop to think that maybe someone else was access his internet via his wireless signal? Happens often, when I lived in Japan I noticed that there were quite a few open networks in the neighborhood I lived in.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hopefully the police there know how wireless networks work. Keep your networks password protected.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Anime itself is not to blame, but the person behind the intentions whether influenced or not by anime..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Bye~bye idiot. 42 years old? Or was he really hacked and framed? Anonymous and its ilk have no limits if they feel the want to harm someone.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

People who are calling him a fool because he's connected to anime... Do you really think 14-year-old hikkokimori are the creators of anime? Really, there are a lot of adults making a lot of serious coin creating anime for those hikkokimori and others.

And yes, we might as well convict him before he gets to a court; just like our native brethren do... arrested=guilty, right?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

sickko

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I LIKE anime a lot, though some go to extremes and into isolations

0 ( +1 / -1 )

lol i bet he left it somewhere on accident and someone found it and said that threat, or could be hacked or framed. Who knows maybe anime drove him crazy?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Making such threats should be taken seriously, but let's remember even if it was him, he never actually killed anyone. Could've been a sick joke, a comment made under stress, or a stupid line that for some reason didn't have actual meaning. The point is he's not a killer as of now, he made the comment almost two months ago and he didn't do anything. Let's not act like he's actually a murderer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I’m going to ram a truck into pedestrians, then stab whoever I can with a knife before committing suicide.

Thanks for the heads up!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

geez... That's just terrible!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyone connected with Yu-Gi-Oh should be given the chair! (Kidding, sort-of)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

poor guy is overworked, stressed...T___T

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Any Publicity is good publicity. "Buy the the book" for the full story.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Publicity stunt for next anime?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What a total moron.

Of course he's going to deny it: "Yes, officer, 'twas I... please arrest me forthwith..."

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If this 42 year old really sent these threats, THROW THE BOOK at him! If he was set up, then the police come up with some hard core evidence to prove that this guy is guilty, and not being set up etc..after the AKIHABARA incident, the Japanese police will not just sit around and wait for another horrible massacre to take place!!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

wow. a 42 year-old who is into anime also happens to be an unhinged lunatic? Who'da thought?

Sad - but true, hoserfella. Only a few days ago we had the awful story of the unhinged middle-aged dropkick who beat up his poor little 3 year old girl after she beat him playing children's video games - and now this.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

overworked maybe?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

“I’m going to commit a massacre in the city in early August. I’m going to ram a truck into pedestrians, then stab whoever I can with a knife before committing suicide.”

Please do the world a favour, anime freak - carry out this threat in the reverse order. You won't be missed!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Anime has gone to his head.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Subliminal effects of anime?

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

wow. a 42 year-old who is into anime also happens to be an unhinged lunatic? Who'da thought?

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

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