Former Gainax Representative Director Tomohiro Maki Sentenced to 2.5 Years in Prison
posted on by Egan Loo
Content warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual harassment and assault.
The legal portal site Bengo4.com reported on Monday that the Tokyo District Court sentenced former Gainax president Tomohiro Maki to two and a half years of prison for semi-coerced indecent acts. Maki was arrested in December 2019 for indecent acts that he committed in February 2019 on an aspiring voice actress, who was contracted to a production company he managed.
Maki took photographs of the victim naked, reportedly to "prepare her for photoshoots in the entertainment industry." Maki also touched her inappropriately while reportedly claiming to "massage her because her feet were swollen."
At the time, Maki was the representative director of Gainax International, a talent agency affiliated with the original Gainax studio. Maki became the representative director of the original Gainax company in October 2019, after the indecent acts in February 2019 but before his December 2019 arrest. He had been a board director of Gainax since 2015.
Maki and Gainax's other board members at the time of the arrest, as well as the company's auditor, resigned in December 2019. Gainax appointed Groundworks representative director Yasuhiro Kamimura as its new representative director on December 28.
In reaction to the sentencing, the victim said that she was naive when she was told that the nude photoshoots and inappropriate massages at Gainax's women's dormitory were necessary for promotion. The victim, who was in her late teens at the time, added that there were times when she refused, but there were times she was convinced to go along. She said she has spent the year from Maki's arrest to sentencing in anxiety, but hopes no one in the future will feel the sorrow that she felt.
Kunitaka Kasai, the attorney for the victim, added that they ask people to respect the victim's anonymity and vowed to take legal measures to protect her honor and privacy.
Hiroyuki Yamaga, Hideaki Anno, Toshio Okada, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Shinji Higuchi, Yasuhiro Takeda, and Takami Akai co-founded Gainax in 1985. (The company was formerly named Daicon Film after the anime shorts they made for the Daicon III and IV sci-fi conventions.) Khara, Anno's current anime studio, distanced itself from Gainax after the December 2019 arrest and emphasized that Maki has no involvement with Khara or the Evangelion franchise. In a magazine article later that month, Anno detailed his falling out with Gainax, which he formally left in 2007.
If you are experiencing an unsafe workplace due to sexual harassment or assault, you can speak with someone who is trained to help. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org.