Japanese police in Osaka arrested 42-year-old animation director Masaki Kitamura today for allegedly threatening to drive a truck into random pedestrians and “then stabbing whoever I can with a knife before committing suicide.” Kitamura, who has directed or assistant directed animated series such as Yu-Gi-Oh, Wolf’s Rain and Mobile Suit Gundam 00, made the threat on the Osaka City government’s website. He had planned to carry out the attack on August 5th in a shopping area on Otaku Road, which houses gaming and anime stores. Police ID’d the IP address of the online posting to a wireless connection owned by Kitamura, although the director denies that he was responsible for the threat and says, “I’m completely innocent.”
If the police are to be believed, Kitamura enjoys making threats of all kinds. They are also investigating whether he made a bomb threat against a Tokyo-to-New York Japan Airlines flight on August 1st. That threat, which also turned out to be false, forced the plane to turn back to Tokyo’s Narita Airport.