Man Arrested for Threatening Kemono Friends Anime Director Tatsuki
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Police arrested 21-year-old male Kyoto resident Fukuta Kishimoto on Tuesday on suspicion of intimidation and forcible obstruction of business. According to the police's statement, the suspect had been threatening anime staff and cast members over the Internet.
According to the Sankei Shimbun newspaper and the public television network NHK, the suspect had been posting on message boards threatening to murder anime director TATSUKI (first Kemono Friends anime, Kemurikusa), as well as a Kemono Friends voice actress, her family, and staff members, by stabbing and setting them on fire. The threats allegedly referenced the July 2019 Kyoto Animation fire that killed 36 people and injured 33.
According to Sankei Shimbun and NHK, once the voice actress reported the threat to the police, the anime staff had temporarily halted work. NHK identified the voice actress as Yui Ishikawa (Kemono Friends 2's Kyururu, Attack on Titan's Mikasa Ackerman).
According to the investigation, the suspect admitted to the charges and said in a deposition that he had a personal grudge against the director, but did not intend to actually hurt him.
TATSUKI posted in May that he had filed a police report after receiving threats that began in April on himself and others. Ishikawa also filed a police report due to threats that began in April.
The 12th and final television episode of director TATSUKI's Hentatsu anime aired on March 21, and it featured a teaser for a new work. TATSUKI confirmed on Twitter that he is making a new project. The television anime version of TATSUKI and irodori's Hentatsu project began airing in Japan in January.
TATSUKI directed the first season of the Kemono Friends television anime at the studio Yaoyorozu, but not Kemono Friends 2. He then directed the Kemurikusa anime series at the same studio, and the 12-episode series premiered in January 2019.
Sources: Sankei Shimbun via Hachima Kikō, NHK