The director of such popular anime fare as "Yu-Gi-Oh," "Wolf's Rain," and "Mobile Suit Gundam 00" finds himself in a heap of trouble today after Osaka police pegged him for serious online threats of violence.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Masaki Kitamura was arrested for one threat against the city and its residents, and is also under investigation in relation to a separate bomb threat directed at a Tokyo-to-New York flight.
A threat of violence reminiscent of a 2008 crime was posted to the Osaka City government's web site on July 29, where police allege Kitamura expressed his intent to carry out an attack on August 5th in a pedestrian area known as "Otaku Road." The writer stated he would ram a truck into pedestrians in the area and "then stab whoever I can with a knife before committing suicide." Otaku Road is a popular destination for anime and game fans with its numerous electronics and gaming stores. The online threat was traced to a wireless IP address owned by Kitamura, who denies knowledge of the posts.
During the summer of 2008, a similar attack was carried out by Tomohiro Kato, in which Kato drove a truck into pedestrians in Tokyo's Akihabara game and electronics district before randomly stabbing people. The 2008 massacre killed 7 and injured 10.
Additionally, police are now investigating Kitamura's involvement in a Japan Airlines bomb threat made on August 1st. The Tokyo-to-New York commercial flight was forced to turn back two hours after take-off following the bomb threat. After landing, no explosives were found.