The founder of Ufotable, the animation studio behind the Demon Slayer anime, admitted to having incurred tax evasion charges totaling approximately. 1.25 million US dollars.
Hikaru Kondo, founder and president of Demon slayer Ufotable animation studio, admitted having been charged with tax evasion and issued a public apology.
The Tokyo prosecutor’s office issued a formal indictment against Kondo and Ufotable in July. At the time, Kondo and the animation company released a statement denying the allegations and said they believed they had paid the right amount of taxes. According to NHK (Going through Anime news network) in his apologies, Kondo explained that he hid some of the company’s revenue in order to protect the studio from any potential drop in revenue, and he said he hoped his crime “would not bring any problems at Ufotable “. Kondo was personally accused of evading more than 138 million yen – roughly US $ 1.2 million – while the company owed more than US $ 4 million in unpaid taxes. Kondo allegedly hid the money in a private safe at his home. Ufotable says he has now filed a corrected tax return and paid the appropriate amount in taxes.
It is not known at this time whether Ufotable or Kondo will face any further repercussions. Part of the original allegations against Kondo and the studio included the accusation of embezzling funds raised during a charity event intended to raise funds to help victims of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The hijacking Charity money is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison in Japan, although it is not yet known whether Japanese authorities are still pursuing the charge.
Prior to these allegations, Ufotable was considered one of the booming animation studios in Japan. The studio was founded in 2000 and first made a name for itself working with video game publisher Bandai Namco to provide animated cutscenes for its games, including Symphony tales and God Eater. The studio gained notoriety with its adaptation of Fate zero, and his fortunes improved further with the meteoric success of the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba animated series and its record film, Mugen train. US distributor Funimation recently announced plans to release Mugen train in a special limited-edition Blu-ray pack.
Ufotable is currently working on the second season of the Demon slayer anime, which will adapt the fan favorite arc of the Entertainment District from the original manga by Koyoharu Gotouge. Although a release date for the new season has yet to be announced, it is expected to arrive before the end of 2021. The company is also working on Girls’ work, a new series that will see the studio collaborate again with Destiny / Stay the night TYPE-MOON designers.
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