The founder, representative director and president of the anime studio Ufotable, Hikaru Kondo, admitted the charge of violating the Corporation Tax Law and the Consumption Tax Law by failing to pay 138 million yen (about $ 1.25 million) in taxes. Ufotable is famous for his adaptation of Demon Slayer.
Kondo apologized to the justice of Japan and admitted that he thought his tax evasion “would not cause problems for his animation studio.” The prosecution said in its opening statement that Ufotable and Kondo hid some of the company’s coffee and merchandise revenue from 2015 to 2018 to protect against future business downturns.
Demon Slayer’s household is charged with tax evasion of approximately 441 million yen (about $ 4 million). This seems like bad news for his most successful anime adaptations and Kondo may not have thought about the consequences.
Demon Slayer Study Admits Tax Evasion
Following the indictment of Kondo and Ufotable on July 9, the animation studio behind series such as Kimetsu no Yaiba, acknowledged the accusation of the Tokyo Prosecutor’s Office and assured that the company had already filed a corrected tax return and paid the corresponding amount.
Previous reports have varied slightly on how much Ufotable should be. For example, the indictment in July set 137 million yen (about $ 1.24 million) in taxes, while earlier newspaper reports The Mainichi Shimbun in 2020 they claimed 139 million yen (about $ 1.28 million) in taxes.
Both accounts differ from the 138 million yen (about $ 1.25 million) reported at today’s preliminary hearing. The Mainichi Shimbun reported last year that Kondo allegedly hid around 30% of the profits from some of Ufotable’s anime-themed restaurants in Tokyo and stored them in a private safe at home.
Another magazine reported in April 2019 that Ufotable allegedly owes it 400 million yen (about US $ 3.57 million) in taxes, citing a source from the Tokyo Regional Tax Office.
In addition, it is suspected that the Ufotable Japanese Animation Studio supposedly embezzled funds raised at a charity auction for the Tōhoku earthquake of 2011, a violation of the Penal Code that carries a possible prison term of no more than 10 years.
The Tokyo Regional Tax Office conducted a search of Ufotable’s offices in early March of that year as part of an investigation, but did not end up pressing charges. Hikaru Kondo finally resigned as president of the executive committee of Machi Asobi, the Tokushima event of which Ufotable was once the main organizer, in May 2019.
What animes does the Ufotable study encourage?
Hikaru Kondo founded Ufotable in 2000, and the studio is perhaps best known for its recent television anime Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and its hit film. Demon Slayer –Kimetsu no Yaiba –The Movie: Mugen Train, as well as the various anime adaptations of Fate / Zero and Fate / Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works.
The studio recently wrapped up the third and final film in the Fate / Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel anime film trilogy in August. On the other hand, the Demon Slayer manga launches a trailer for a special art exhibition and plans to premiere its second anime season in fall 2021.