crime

Anime studio boss at loss for words as he mourns bright, young staff

29 Comments
By Tim Kelly and Sam Nussey

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

29 Comments
Login to comment

I forgive everyone, especially the mentally ill.

What kind of fire escape situations were available in this building? Fire extinguishers? Rope ladders to toss from windows? Water extinguishers on the ceilings?

We need more information on this situation with the building codes.

I see so many stairwells in places like Shibuya blocked with restaurant boxes and chairs. It is the first thing I check when entering a building with restaurants.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of all the victims of this horrible act. I cannot fathom the level of depravity it would require to commit such a vicious crime.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Question many unsuccessfully tried to get to the roof, according to fire officials and thus most of the victims are believed to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to an experts, why is no one questioning the owner of the building or chief held accountable? Can someone from Japan Today tell us in a followup?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Nothing excuses what the accused did. Nothing. But has this president dropped a clanger by claiming financial generosity in his statement?

Why mention paying out bonuses to the poor deceased? Is this the president defending the claims of plagiarism by the murderer? I would like the accusation of plagiarism investigated. Not that it would ever excuse the murderer for what he did. Never.

I also think there should be big questions asked about the fire escapes. This president is alive because he did not work in that building.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

@TigersTokyoDome

I would be very surprised if the boss if trying to boast about his generosity here. I does not seem like that to me. Culturally, a lot of bosses of small firms are quite paternalistic, considering employees like family. In Japan, receiving your first ever salary or bonus is also considered something of a life event, marking one of the final milestones in your journey to adulthood. The boss gives with pride and expectation, the employee receives with a mixture of pride and humility. Presumably the president has been through this ritual many times over the years. I am not trying to read his mind, but as the first bonus is a key landmark at the start of the career journey as part of his "family", it is not surprising that his mind turns to the payment of these bonuses when he thinks of their potential cut short.

I think until quite recently, many companies made a big show of paying first salaries and bonuses in cash to show appreciation and build loyalty. Even if most payments these days are bank transfers, I would read these comments in the light of that tradition. Although you are quite right that in a, say, European cultural context, these remarks would seem very off-color, there really is nothing sinister or unnatural about it.

RIP to these young people.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

jpn_guy, I've lived here for 16 years. My family are Japanese. The presidents comments are unnecessary.

I have never heard comments about paying out bonuses after such deaths and I don't see what paying out bonuses means in light of young people losing their lives in such a manner. This president will need to talk about fire certificates and about plagiarism instead.

But like you say Rest In Peace. But I would like this story investigated thoroughly instead of only throwing the book at the murderer (there is a risk the police will only concentrate on the prosecution instead of the accusation too). And it is important to know why this murderer did what he did.

Mental illness would not have the foresight to cover the ground floor and windows in petrol. Nor to travel to that small office all the way from Saitama. This killer had a reason, albeit absolutely unnecessary to murder so many.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

But has this president dropped a clanger by claiming financial generosity in his statement?

Why mention paying out bonuses to the poor deceased?

Its not about the company president. He was illustrating how many of those who passed away were just starting their careers. New job. First bonus. And boom! Passed away too young.

Careers are a big part of people’s lives. Getting a bonus in one way signifies that your job is not just a part time thing, but a real, new beginning. The president just wanted people to understand.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Nothing excuses what the accused did. Nothing. But has this president dropped a clanger by claiming financial generosity in his statement

The man’s in shock, Tigers. What should have been a routine day at work for seventy of his young workforce instead became a holocaust. Let that sink in for a moment.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

President in shock surely but maybe partly indirectly responsible for some deaths, can't people understand ?

Imagine just imagine one second if those bonus he's talking about were used for fire safety measures which could have saved so many.

Here is for international comments, it just shows the cultural differences of efficiency in learning by taking initiatives in view of new event.

I accept how the Japanese say RIP and no follow-up for years (or ever), but as far as I am concerned and like many westernes thinking, we want that type of lethal event not to occur even tomorrow. Hence our due interrogation about very easy questions which did not get very strangely any answer so far.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Imagine just imagine one second if those bonus he's talking about were used for fire safety measures which could have saved so many.

We are all always so smart in hindsight. I see no evil intent in his talking about bonuses, and the suggestion that he consciousy skipped on fire safety measures is unconvincing, unless you have proof for that.

What I see is negligence. Obviously, escape doors should not have been locked. But then again, clearly they did not expect a nutcase to firebomb their building.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The guilty party is whoever designed that building without adequate fire escapes. Shonanbb lists measures right from the start including rope ladders. The students could not open the hatch to the roof and that was their only hope of surviving. Everything tragic comes from this lack of escape. Can this tragedy serve as a wake-up call to everyone working in smaller buildings?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I wonder how he got in and poured all that gasoline without anybody noticing. Clearly no one thought anyone would do that. A crazy man chose a random target and killed many innocent victims. It makes no sense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Willib

Thinking before was used to be my job (still manu do), checking designs and on site, before end of works and sometimes while occupied, from a simple dwelling to terminal airports or huge shopping malls.

Of course there is no clue so far but I am not the journalist of investigation here. What are those journalists waiting for to ask the serious questions ?

I understand the role of a president of a company as a person who would officially be in charge of personnel safety, indirectly. Not simply a capital investor who give bonuses or attend nomikai .

Hence my fair additional questioning.

Indeed this arsonist act was dire but sure it was not gasoline burning and explosions that killed most of them.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The building codes including the fire regulations are available in English and online.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@TigersTokyoDomeJuly 20 08:36 pm JST

Nothing excuses what the accused did. Nothing. But has this president dropped a clanger by claiming financial generosity in his statement?

No. The bonus is de facto a right rather than a privilege in Japan AFAIK anyway, so paying it doesn't mean anything than him doing the standard thing. What it does say is the youth of the dead - it is equivalent to saying "They've just passed probation!"

Frankly, I think people are too eager to victim-blame here. Trying to put plagiarism which may not even be true on the same table as a multiple murder case implies that they are close to equal in value, that the presence of plagiarism can be a viable mitigating factor. It is not and no action should be taken to even suggest such. If anything, his subjective belief should be used to further increase his punishment since the use of a trivial factor indicates a serious contempt against society and disregard against the value of other things (hooliganism), and should only be seen as an aggravating factor.

The measure of whether he is negligent about fire safety should not, BTW, be formal compliance with a building code made by bureaucrats, but the average practice of real businesses of approximately the same size and resources. For example, I know the office building I work in does not have a fire suppression system. I don't think I even saw a fire extinguisher. Nor is the (only) staircase as free of obstructions as the manual demands. The fire doors are open when the manual suggests they should be shut. It does have a fire alarm, though.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why mention paying out bonuses to the poor deceased?

Because he was letting us know how talented his staff were and just how much he appreciated them.

If he's at a loss for words, let me help him out. Water sprinklers in the ceiling. That would have been nice. Maybe don't cheap out by using a building that wasn't intended as an office. The list goes on. Enjoy counting your money.

This is just repugnant, ignorant and below disgusting.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So many of you blaming the boss and the building designers. Yet none of you have the first clue just how violently quickly gasoline combusts. It sticks and water does not kill it so easily. The carbon monoxide and other gases would have been overpowering very very quickly!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The building was constructed has an office and according to the codes. Time to review the codes but fire bombing, terrorist bombs, gas attacks etc are not considered part of the norm otherwise the buildings would have to be a bunker.

Sprinklers are useless against gasoline fires and can make them worse. Never throw water onto a fat fire. You need salt or a blanket or cover to stop the oxygen flow.

Many died from the smoke.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I hope this terrible tragedy is a catalyst to change and improve fire safety. At the very least all companies should practice evacuation procedures regularly. If they had done so they might have realized the door to the roof would not open. Honestly, however, in case of a fire I would head down not up, and/or I would try to jump out a window if it was 2-3 floors or less. I imagine the smoke spread so quickly that the victims did not have time to take such measures.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

People are starting to make stuff up. Happens all the time with these tragic events.

Building wasn't an office? How do people know that? The building withstood the intense heat of a massive gasoline fire suggesting the building is reinforced concrete. The company would need a permit to operate a business from the building. The building would have to be constructed according to the codes. If the codes are not good enough, you can't blame it on the company. The door to the roof couldn't be open from inside but the firemen opened it from the roof suggesting it wasn't locked.

This crime is a tragic domestic terrorist attack with a fire bomb.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The bonus is de facto a right rather than a privilege in Japan AFAIK anyway, so paying it doesn't mean anything than him doing the standard thing. 

This is only partially correct. Bonuses are only usually paid after the first full year of employment, in the 2nd year. He paid them a bonus as a reward for good work. Sounds like a good boss to me.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This company has three studio buildings in Kyoto. One in Osaka and another in Tokyo.

http://www.kyotoanimation.co.jp/en/company/office/

I worked previously in art studios in London. There are many inflammable liquids, glues, cellulose, some can explode from fire. Always paper everywhere.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'll never forget this incident and never forgive that criminal. He absolutely needs to be imposed a severe punishment. No matter how highly grudge against the matter, he shouldn't have jump into the murder.

My sincere condolences.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bonuses are only usually paid after the first full year of employment, in the 2nd year.

That hasn't been my experience. People who start work in April usually get no summer bonus, or just a token amount, but they do get the winter bonus.

That would fit with what Hatta says;

Some of them joined us just in April. And on the eighth of July, I gave them a small, but their first, bonus

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“ If they had done so they might have realized the door to the roof would not open.”

There hasn’t been any evidence announced showing the the door could not be opened. We only know that the victims did not succeed in opening it. According to reports in the TV news, the fire department has specifically said that the door was not locked.

I’ve also seen some photos taken inside before the incident. They show people working on computers, not with paper and paints etc. They also showed very little in the way of clutter, especially compared to your average small Japanese company. Which is not to say it proved that all corners of the building were always in that good condition, it was only a few photos after all. However it makes me question what evidence do people have for constantly repeating that the holding was full of dangerous paper, solvents, and what not. I asked before if anyone commenting here had actually been inside and could tell us what it was actually like.

Note that it was reported that they were compliant with fire code and passed regular inspections.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Holding— building

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“A 27-year-old neighbor said Aoba had once grabbed him and yelled at him over a noise dispute.”

This is written vaguely. It was Aoba causing the noise and disturbing his neighbors. He has a history of creating noise and damage problems in more than one residence.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

we want that type of lethal event not to occur even tomorrow. Hence our due interrogation about very easy questions which did not get very strangely any answer so far.

Exactly as Jonathan Prin says. I don't see why we would want to hear about bonuses being paid to those deceased when there are more important things to say.

The mass murderer will be prosecuted and the story of plagiarism will get buried because of his crime.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Good blog post about the company and studio with photos

https://blog.sakugabooru.com/2017/03/10/anime-craft-weekly-33-kyoto-animation-studio-tour/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites