A Japanese court has sentenced 45-year-old Shinji Aoba to death for the 2019 arson attack on Kyoto Animation studio, leaving 36 people dead.

The Kyoto District Court found Aoba guilty of murder and arson, with the presiding judge describing the crime as “truly atrocious and inhumane.” Aoba claimed his work had been plagiarized, leading him to set fire to the renowned studio using gasoline. The rapid spread of the blaze trapped many inside the three-story building, resulting in 36 deaths and at least 32 injuries.

Aoba, who had unspecified mental health issues, pleaded not guilty during the trial, citing a mental disorder. However, the judge ruled that Aoba could determine right and wrong at the time of the incident, rejecting claims of insanity. The 2019 attack marked Japan’s worst mass killing since 2001 and surpassed the Tokyo sarin gas attack in 1995.

Kyoto Animation, known as KyoAni, was celebrated globally for producing high-quality animations, and the incident left fans mourning the loss of life and creativity from a studio that prioritized its employees. Founded in 1981, KyoAni’s notable works include “Free!,” “K-On!,” “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya,” and “Violet Evergarden.”