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#TodayinHistory: The 2nd Year Anniversary of the 2019 Kyoto Animation Arson Attack

Written by: Jei Beltrano | Published on: July 18, 2021 at 12:13 AM PHT (GMT+8)

"Merciless. Inhumane." This is how the whole world described Japan's 2019 Kyoto Animation Arson Attack, the deadliest massacre of the modern Japanese era unfolding right before the eyes of the animation industry and all the supporters alike, which happened exactly 2 years ago on July 18, 2019.

Aerial view of the fire engulfing KyoAni's Studio 1 - PHOTO: The Hollywood Reporter

On July 18, 2019, a devastating fire broke out at Kyoto Animation's Studio 1 building located in Kyoto, Japan due to an arson attack killing 36 people and injuring 33 others.

Kyoto Fire Department putting-out the fire. - PHOTO: The New York Times

The attack is considered as one of the deadliest massacres in Japan since the end of World War II, the deadliest building fire in Japan since the 2001 Myojo 56 building fire, and the first massacre ever to have occurred at a studio associated with an entertainment company.

A closer-look of the building after the two-day fire incident. Photo: Bloomberg

Kyoto Prefectural Police apprehended the 42-year-old suspect (40 at the time of the incident), Shinji Aoba, who allegedly used gasoline to start the fire. Witnesses stated they heard him accusing the studio of plagiarism. Police arrested the suspect after 10 months of hospital care due to injuries on May 27, 2020 on suspicion of murder and other offenses. He was formally indicted on 16 December 2020.

Arson suspect Shinji Aoba being discharged from hospitalization. - PHOTO: The New York Times

After the incident, fans from different parts of Japan and even foreigners pay visited the site to give respect and send out prayers to the victims and their families. Flowers, memorabilia, message cards, were offered by the visitors as a way to show their support.

A woman offers her prayer for the victims and families of the incident. - PHOTO: AP News