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Kuroko's Basketball Threats Lead to Increased Security at Sophia University

posted on 2013-11-04 19:00 EST
At least 250 threat letters sent in October alone; Tsukuru magazine head posts letter contents

On Monday, TBS News aired a report on the heightened security on the last day of Sophia University's school festival, after the university received threat letters last month. The threat letter had said that "X-Day" would be on the final day of Sophia University's school festival on November 4. Sophia University is the alma mater of Kuroko's Basketball creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki.

TBS noted that it too had received a threat letter that said, "I am the criminal of the Kuroko's Basketball threat incident, the Mysterious Person of 801 Faces. I have decided to kill Kuroko." TBS also notes that the Tokyo Metropolitan Police are currently analyzing security camera videos in the area surrounding a postbox where one of the letters was mailed.

TBS additionally noted that about 250 threat letters were mailed to various stores and news organizations in October alone. Yahoo! Japan also reported on Monday that the letter sent to the Tsutaya video and bookstore rental chain contained lighter fluid, and the letter sent to Sankei Shimbun said, "I will go to bookstores that sell Kuroko volumes and completely burn them down." Another letter said, "In all I have sent letters to 500 places." According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, the majority of the letters mailed last month were mailed from Saitama Prefecture on October 12. The contents of the letters differed, and the subjects of the letters to news media stated "Criminal Declaration" whereas the subject of the letter sent to Shueisha said "Declaration of War."

Tsukuru's Editor in Chief Posts Contents of Letter

Last month, Hiroyuki Shinoda, the editor in chief of the monthly magazine Tsukuru, also received a threat letter. Shinoda then published a lengthy article on Yahoo! Japan on October 22 describing the overall situation with the threats, and he also posted the contents of the letter he received (pictured below). Tsukuru is known for its commentary on mass media, and the criminal noted it had sent a package to the magazine in hopes that Tsukuru would publish information about the letters sent in October even if the Japanese mass media decided to refrain from reporting on them. So the criminal sent to Shinoda copies of all the letters that were mailed out.

Shinoda noted that in one of the letters he received, the sender, again going by the name "the Mysterious Person with 801 Faces," explained that he/she was inactive for a while in sending threats because he/she was in negotiations with Kuroko's Basketball's publisher Shueisha and the Weekly Shonen Jump editing department, but the negotiations broke down. The letter adds, "Neither the editorial department or Fujimaki understand anything. I have no choice so I have decided to take serious action."

The letter to Shinoda also mentions previous cases where Tsukuru has criticized the media, which Shinoda mentions means the sender must read the magazine to some extent.

Shinoda also listed some of the subject lines for the letter copies it received, which notes that letters were also sent To Production I.G, Nippon Cultural Broadcasting, Shin Nihon Publishing, exhibition venues, Toyama Highschool, Maihama Ampitheater, commercial facilities, the Japan Basketball Association, newspapers, weekly magazines, television stations, exhibition venues, anime goods stores, amusement parks, CD stores, game stores, and the Jump Shop.

Tsukuru will also publish more detailed articles in its December issue, and the magazine will continue to report on the case from now on.

Background

Since October 2012, locations linked to Kuroko's Basketball creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki have received threat letters, including some 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 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 convenience store chains 7-Eleven and Family Mart as well as other companies such as Sankei Shimbun received new threat letters in October 2013 said that the sender has put poison and agricultural chemicals in various Kuroko's Basketball confectionery snacks. As a result, 7-Eleven temporarily removed the "Voi-Colle Kuroko's Basketball Wafers 2" cookies, and Family Mart stopped selling the "Ichiban Kuji Kuroko no Basuke ~Seirin & Kaijō~" lottery merchandise line. The Circle K Sunkus store chain is also considering suspending sales of the merchandise.

Major rental chain Tsutaya also confirmed last month that it is removing all Kuroko's Basketball DVD and manga rentals from its stores. Japanese bookstore chain Yurindo and Reliable, a Japanese book and stationary store chain in Hokkaido, are also removing Kuroko's Basketball merchandise from its shelves. Several other bookstore chains such as Kinokuniya, Sanseido, Junkudo, Miyawaki, and other bookstores, plan to continue carrying the manga despite receiving threat letters.

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

[Via Jam Guru, 0takomu, Yaraon!]


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