Fire department officials in Kyoto said they have confirmed 33 people died in a suspected arson attack in Kyoto. They say 36 others were injured.
The fire broke out around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday at the studio of Kyoto Animation. It took firefighters nearly five hours to extinguish the blaze. Officials say about 70 people were in the building at the time of the fire.
Police say one suspect, believed to be in his 40s, has been taken into custody.
The man was reportedly seen pouring a flammable liquid inside the building before it went up in flames. Witnesses also say he was heard yelling "die" in Japanese.
NHK has just obtained footage of the suspect being apprehended. He is now being treated at a nearby hospital.
The circumstances leading up to the alleged arson are still unclear. But the head of the studio said that he had recently received some threatening emails.
President of Kyoto Animation, Hideaki Hatta, said, "They were addressed to our office and sales department and told us to "die"."
Kyoto Animation has been in operation since 1981 and has gained critical acclaim around the world.
The company has produced a number of popular shows such as "K-On" and "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya."
The series was known for its dance sequences at the end of each episode. Its popularity surged when fans began posting videos of themselves dancing to the song "Hare-Hare-Yukai."
An expert says the studio has had an indelible impact on Japan's animation industry.
Visiting Professor of Meiji University, Ryusuke Hikawa said, "The name of Kyoto Animation is a strong brand with its sophisticated directorial and production techniques."
He added that Kyoto Animation is known as the first successful studio outside Tokyo.