Wake-Up Girls! Yutaka Yamamoto Criticizes Attacked Idol
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Anime director and Ordet animation studio founder Yutaka "Yamakan" Yamamoto (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Fractale, Wake Up, Girls!) commented about a news story of a man getting sentenced to 14 years in prison for stabbing 21-year-old female singer Mayu Tomita (no relation to the former AKB48 member of the same name) on his blog on Tuesday. While he wholeheartedly agreed with the widespread condemnation of the attacker he mentioned he also believes Tomita made a mistake.
According to police, 28-year-old Tomohiro Iwazaki admitted that he had stabbed Tomita due to her returning a gift he had sent her, without clearly explaining the reason why. He had allegedly been waiting for her at the station to ask her about the gift.
"For people who work as idols (and similar professions), carelessly blocking a fan is a bad idea," Yamakan asserted. "And you can't help how it looks when you return a present."
He went on to say that he takes an attitude where he is ready to fight back at any time. Tomita, on the other hand, was not prepared and so was at higher risk. Unlike ordinary people, he said, professionals need to consider that kind of thing.
Tomita was in critical condition after receiving nearly two dozen stab wounds on the neck and chest. She later regained consciousness, and is continuing her rehabilitation. She testified in court behind a screen, sharing that she has had difficulty singing or eating due to partial paralysis of her mouth, and that she is also having trouble with her eyesight.
Prior to the attack, Iwazaki repeatedly tried to contact Tomita online. Tomita had previously reported Iwazaki's actions to the police but the police did not consider the matter urgent. The police later apologized for not taking action.
Yamakan has has a history of being critical of the anime industry. He has declared anime "dead" and criticized the anime production committee system. However, he did like Makoto Shinkai's latest film Your Name.
Yamamoto announced his next anime project is a crowdfunded film titled Hakubo (Twilight) that is slated for next year.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history