Now that the world has had a chance to wrap its head around the senseless killings that took place in Akihabara on June 8th, various details about the killer and reactions from around the world have begun to pour in. Before we get to the killer, here is the list of the victims and some words from their friends and family (taken from Mainichi):
Kazunori Fujino (male, 19) “It's all too sudden, I'm furious. It's like I'm having a bad dream.” - Father
Takahiro Kawaguchi (male, 19) “I wish it was a bad dream. Even if you have problems in your life, you shouldn't kill others to relieve your stress. There's no room for sympathy (for the suspect).” - Father
Mai Mutō (female, 21) “She was the type of person who would inspire other people. I'm filled with sadness.” - Classmate
Naoki Miyamoto (male, 31) "I'm saddened. I hope that society will never witness this kind of thing again." - Father
Mitsuru Matsui (male, 33) “He was a kind and delicate child, who would offer a helping hand when I was carrying luggage. Why did he have to be involved in such an incident?” - Teacher
Kasuhiro Koiwa (male, 47) “We would like to mourn over him and quietly send him off. We cannot deal with the news coverage. Please understand our feelings.” - Family
Katsuhiko Nakamura (male, 74) “My husband had a lot of things he wanted to do. He is now probably worried about the future of his children and grandchildren and hopes that this kind of thing would never happen again,” - Wife
That's a photo of the killer, Tomohiro Kato, 25 (Japan Probe.) Mianichi reports that Kato may have been angered some time before his rampage, when his work clothes went missing and he assumed he had lost his job:
They also report that Kato had been posting several other angry messages from his phone and on 2chan before the killings. The messages map his progress over six hours as he travels to Akihabara (translation via Patrick Macias):
Kato then drove his two ton truck (that's a big truck, by the way), running over three people before jumping out with a knife. From the Washington Post:
According to Danny Choo:
After he was apprehended, he was quoted as saying:
Danny also points out the creepy “Anyone would have been fine” statement, listing three other recent attacks in which the perpetrator used those same words.
Finally, Marxy posts his own thoughts, resulting in some of the best, and dare I say insightful conversation in the comments. One comment points out that apparently a police officer was chasing Kato while he continued to stab people, only pulling his gun after Kato surrendered. Also, pop band AKB48 (who are named after and perform solely in Akihabara) apparently went on with their show without any acknowledgment of the incident. It would seem that much of the media is focusing on an extremely thin connection to anime and manga (despite practically everyone ever through the history of time doodling pictures in the margins of the school notebooks/cave walls) and even possibly video-games (with zero proof) and yet talking not-at-all about possible mental illness.
Plenty of people will be beating their chests and waving their own moral flags over this one for a long time. Personally I find there is very little to say.
Video of Kato being apprehended:
From other sites around the web