Bungeishunju's Weekly Bunshun Digital magazine reported on Thursday that the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau conducted a search of animation studio ufotable's offices on March 12 as part of an investigation on the company allegedly committing tax evasion. The report stated the Bureau conducted searches in the company's cafes in Kōenji and Tokushima, as well as the animation studio in Shimoigusa, in Tokyo's Suginami ward.
According to the report, ufotable founder, representative director, and president Hikaru Kondo was allegedly directly receiving some of the revenue accrued from the studio's merchandise sales.
No charges have been filed against Kondo or ufotable. Weekly Bunshun Digital stated it contacted the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau but a Bureau spokesperson said the organization could not comment on particular cases. The magazine also reached out to ufotable, who directed the magazine to ask Kondo directly, who did not respond. The magazine stated that according to its sources related to the situation, Kondo admitted to authorities' suspicions.
Kondo founded ufotable in 2000, and the studio is perhaps best known for its various anime adaptations of Type-Moon's Fate franchise, including Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works. The studio is currently producing the Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel anime film trilogy, the second film of which debuted on January 12 in Japan. The studio has also made anime adaptations of Type-Moon's The Garden of Sinners, and the Katsugeki: Touken Ranbu television anime. ufotable will premiere the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba television anime on April 6.
The company also sells merchandise and goods for the various anime it has produced, and runs a number of cafes through which it sells some of its merchandise. The company also organizes the Machi Asobi anime event in Tokushima. The events have had over 1 million attendees since they began in 2009.
Source: Bunshun Online