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New Kuroko's Basketball Threat: Chemicals in Snacks

posted on 2013-10-24 19:00 EDT
Also: rice vinegar in curry & spaghetti sauce

The Sankei Shimbun newspaper is reporting on Thursday that the 7-Eleven convenience store chain and other companies, including Sankei Shimbun, have received new threat letters that said that the sender has put agricultural chemicals in various Kuroko's Basketball confectionery snacks in a 7-Eleven store in Chiba Prefecture.

The letter featured a title that read, "Urgent Statement," and said that the sender had put chemicals into the snacks. At stores in Tokyo and in Saitama Prefecture, other letters read that the sender put rice vinegar in curry pouches and spaghetti sauce packages. Store staff have yet to find any packages with holes or other abnormalities.

On October 15, Sankei Shimbun, Sophia University, 7-Eleven, and several other convenience store companies received threat letters. The letters had claimed that the suspect had poisoned some of the "Voi-Colle Kuroko's Basketball Wafers 2" cookies in 7-Eleven stores, and also said that "X-Day" would be on the final day of Sophia University's school festival. 7-Eleven will continue to keep the wafers removed from stores until "X-Day," which will be on November 4. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department is currently searching for the suspect.

A few days later, convenience store chain Family Mart stopped selling the "Ichiban Kuji Kuroko no Basuke ~Seirin & Kaijō~" lottery merchandise line due to a poison threat. The Circle K Sunkus store chain is also considering suspending sales of the merchandise. Banpresto had planned to sell the Ichiban Kuji products line near the end of October. The line would have included character dolls and plush toys as well as other products. Last December, Banpresto had delayed the start of a previous Ichiban Kuji line for the Kuroko's Basketball franchise, and it was postponed until mid-January.

Relatedly, the news organization J-Cast reported on Wednesday that the editorial department and the editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine Tsukuru received threat letters on October 22. J-Cast also reported that NHK and Kyodo News received the October 15 threat letters in addition to Sankei Shimbun. Tsukuru plans to publish information and updates about the incident from now on. The magazine, which is known for its commentary on mass media, had published an article in April featuring Nobuo Sumino, the head of Shueisha's comics and contents sales department, stating that the second season of the Kuroko's Basketball television anime series would premiere in September.

Background

Since October 2012, locations linked to Kuroko's Basketball creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki have received threat letters with powdered and liquid substances. A source in the investigation of the threats said there is a high possibility that the liquid sent to Sophia University (Fujimaki's alma mater) on October 12, 2012 could emit a lethal dose of hydrogen sulfide if vaporized.

Several Kuroko's Basketball dōjinshi events throughout Japan have been cancelled in the aftermath of the threats. The "Shadow Trickster 3" event did proceed without incident at the Big Sight on last October, shortly after the center received its first threat. The official "Kuroko no Basuke produced by Namco Namja Town" event in Tokyo ended 19 days early as a result of the threats, and Animate Café Tennoji in Osaka cancelled a planned Kuroko's Basketball collaboration event. Comic Market (Comiket), the world's largest dōjinshi event, barred Kuroko's Basketball items and circles last December.

In February, the organizers of the Comic City dōjinshi events barred circles from selling Kuroko's Basketball items at March 17's Haru Comic City 18 event, after they received a request to do so from the management of the Tokyo Big Sight event complex. The same organizers had barred Kuroko's Basketball from the Comic City Osaka 92 event on January 6, and then cancelled February 10's Double Clutch event outright. However, they held the Comic City Tokyo 131 event at Tokyo Big Sight and insisted on allowing Kuroko's Basketball circles. Comic City Tokyo 131 proceeded without incident on January 27.

The second season of the Kuroko's Basketball anime began airing earlier this month in Japan. Crunchyroll is streaming the anime outside of Japan as it airs.


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