‘Demon Slayer’ Animation Studio Ufotable And Company Founder Indicted For Tax Evasion

According to Anime News Network, the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau found that Kondo minimized the company’s income for the fiscal years ending in August 2015, 2017, and 2018, underpaying ¥109 million in corporate taxes.

Studio founder Hikaru Kondo, 51, has also been indicted, according to The Japan Times. Kondo stepped down as the company’s president in 2019.

Japanese news organizations are also reporting that the studio is facing a charge of misappropriating funds that were raised at a charity event benefitting victims of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, a violation that carries a potential sentence of up to ten years in prison. In a statement on Ufotable’s website, the company says that it has fully repaid the amount it owed the government.

The news of Kondo and Ufotable’s tax evasion comes amid growing awareness of how little rank-and-file workers earn in the anime industry. This story suggests that even though many artists don’t earn a living wage working in Japan’s animation industry, there’s plenty of excess money floating around studios at the management level.

The animation studio worked on various series, which includes both shows like Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and more recently games like Tales of Arise. Other credits include Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, Fate/Zero, and Ninja Nonsense, God Eater, etc.

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