President of Gainax, production company that made Evangelion TV series, allegedly told her “It’s practice for when you become famous.”

Anime production company Gainax has had an unusual history. Started by a band of college drop-out otaku with a passion for visual storytelling, Gainax had a handful of critical successes, but their first huge mainstream hit wouldn’t come until over a decade after the company’s founding, with 1995’s Neon Genesis Evangelion (which it has since relinquished the rights to).

But Gainax didn’t get to enjoy smooth sailing for long. In 1999, its then-president Takeshi Sawamura was arrested in connection with a company tax evasion scheme, and this week Gainax’s current president, Tomohiro Maki, has also been arrested on charges of an even more heinous crime.

On December 5, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police placed the 50-year-old Maki under arrest on suspicion of “semi-forced obscenity” involving a teenage woman who had entered into a contract with Gainax in hope of becoming an anime voice actress. Investigators say that the incidents involved a woman “whose age is between 15 and 19” (the Japanese language includes a terms for a person in their “10s,” and the woman was literally described as “in her late 10s”).

The police statement says that Maki engaged in obscene acts with the woman on four separate occasions between February 6 and 23, all of which took place at a Gainax-owned condominium in Tokyo’s Adachi Ward the company referred to as the “Production Women’s Dormitory.” Among the acts Maki is accused of are taking nude photographs of the teen, as “practice for when you become famous and people take pictures of you,” and also telling her “Your legs look swollen, so I’ll massage them.”

▼ Maki being taken into custody

The teen lodged a formal complaint with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police last February, though it’s unclear if she did so following the first of the four incidents or at a later date. Maki has admitted to taking the photos, but claims that he only did so after being asked by the teen to do so.

Sources: Yomiuri Shimbun via Otakomu, YouTube/ANNnewsCH
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