Interest Man Arrested Over Modified, Risqué One Piece Figures
posted on 2012-05-30 16:30 EDT by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Police in Chiba Prefecture arrested and searched the home of 33-year-old Yūichi Inamura from Tokyo on Wednesday on suspicion of violating Japan's Copyright Act by selling unauthorized, custom figures of the female characters from the popular anime One Piece.
According to the police, Inamura sold three figures of the character Nami on an internet auction site to three men in Nara Prefecture without first acquiring permission from Toei Animation. He allegedly sold them in February and March for approximately 40,000 yen (about US$506) total.
The figures were what fans call "ma-kaizoku figures," which can depict characters as nude, in sexual situations, or in other manners not neccessarily approved by the original creators. Some examples of ma-kaizoku Nami and Boa Hancock figures that were auctioned online in March can be viewed here. (Warning: links contain partial or full nudity and are not safe for work.) A safe-for-work image of one of the example figures is pictured at right. These example figures were auctioned by several sellers, who have not been identified as Inamura.
The Chiba prefectural police are investigating the possibility that Inamura imported figures that were mass-produced in China. (Many ma-kaizoku makers simply customize figures readily found on retail store shelves.)
In January 2011, police in Niigata Prefecture arrested two men on suspicion of auctioning a modified Kamen Rider W figure online without Toei's permission.
Update: The example auctions also include Boa Hancock. Thanks, Sunday Silence.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history