Man Admits Guilty for Threatening Voice Actress Yui Ishikawa in Trial
According to Fuji News Network, a 25-year-old male, Fukuta Kishimoto, has confessed in court to having threatened the voice actress
, well-known for her roles as Mikasa in
Attack on Titan
, and Kyururu in
Kemono Friends 2
. Kishimoto was arrested in December after posting online that he had plans to stab and murder Ishikawa. The prosecution has urged the court to order Kishimoto to serve a prison term of 18 months, based on Ishikawa’s escalating fear. However, the defence is pushing for a lighter sentence. The court’s decision will be announced on February 9.
Prior to this, in June 2020, police had arrested Kishimoto on various charges including intimidation and forcible disruption of business. According to police records, Kishimoto had been issuing threats to several anime crew members and cast online.
The Sankei Shimbun newspaper and the public broadcaster NHK have reported that Kishimoto had been posting online threats hinting at the murder of anime director TATSUKI (known for the first Kemono Friends anime, Kemurikusa), a Kemono Friends voice actress (later revealed to be Ishikawa), her family, and other staff members by stabbing and setting them alight. These threats held grim similarities to the July 2019 Kyoto Animation fire that claimed 36 lives and left 33 injured. As per the Sankei Shimbun and NHK reports, after the voice actress reported the threats, it led to a temporary halt in the work of the anime crew. NHK identified the threatened voice actress as Ishikawa. According to the police investigation, Kishimoto admitted to the charges and confessed that while he bore a personal grudge against the director, he did not actually mean to cause anyone any harm.
TATSUKI, in May 2020, announced having lodged a police report after he began receiving threats that April, targeted at him and others. Ishikawa too reported to the police regarding threats she had begun receiving from that April.
Some of the characters voiced by Ishikawa in various anime include Mikasa Ackerman in Attack on Titan, Violet Evergarden in Violet Evergarden, Honoka Tsumura in Smile Down the Runway, and Kyururu in Kemono Friends 2. Ishikawa has also contributed theme songs for anime like Attack on Titan: Junior High, Heroic Age, and Girlish Number.