Starting in October, someone has been sending mysterious envelopes from an Osaka City post office to people and businesses associated with the anime and its creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki, including the network airing the series, the publisher of the manga, and Fujimaki’s old high school. So far, over twenty locations have been targeted. The letters have included vague threats and a liquid which has been identified as a potentially lethal dose of hydrogen sulfide.
The most current recipient of a terrorist threat was Comic Market 83. ‘Comiket’ is the largest comic convention in the world, attracting about four times the visitors as the famed Comic Con. It’s primarily a market for fan-made comics, or ‘doujinshi,’ many of which are parodies (often erotic parodies) of popular manga and anime series. As such, titles featuring characters from Kuroko’s Basketball were expected to have a big presence this year (especially in the yaoi contingent); but not anymore.
At the urging of the local police force, Comic Market has decided to ban works featuring Kuroko’s Basketball, lest they incur the wrath of the terrorist. They’ve also instituted heightened security measures, including bag checks to look for hazardous materials.
I wonder how this would have played out in the west. Would we play it safe, as the organizers of Comiket did, or would we refuse to give in to the demands of the terrorists and hang giant Kuroko’s Basketball posters on the front of the venue? I won’t presume to lecture them on their choice, as I’m not the one under threat, but it’s sad that fans of this series have to suffer because of the demands of one crazy person.