Gundam 00 Assistant Director Masaki Kitamura Arrested for Massacre Threat
posted on by Egan Loo
Police in Osaka arrested 42-year-old anime technical director Masaki Kitamura on Sunday on suspicion of writing "I will commit a massacre" on the city's website. According to the police, the suspect denied the charges, saying, "I'm completely innocent."
The suspect is accused of going to Osaka's inquiry page on the Internet and writing, "I will commit a massacre in Otaroad [in Osaka's Nipponbashi area] next Sunday. I will ram into pedestrian paradise, and after stabbing indiscriminately with a knife, I will commit suicide" on July 29 at about 9:45 p.m.
Except the suicide part, the threat is similar to the killing of seven people that took place in Tokyo's Akihabara district in 2008. "Pedestrian paradise" is the traditional practice of cordoning vehicles off a particular street or streets and limiting the area to foot traffic. Nipponbashi's Otaroad is essentially Osaka's otaku shopping counterpart to Tokyo's Akihabara.
According to the authorities, they analyzed the IP address that originated the threat and discovered it was linked to a high-speed wireless LAN device owned by Kitamura.
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, Planetes, Wolf's Rain, and other series.
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