2 Students Arrested for Suspected Love Live! Sunshine Manhole Vandalism

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Numazu city police announced on Monday that they arrested two students, ages 16 and 17, on suspicion of damaging the Love Live! Sunshine!! manhole covers. The 17-year-old suspect is from Kasukabe, Saitama and the 16-year-old suspect is from Nerima, Tokyo. Both suspects are friends but attend different high schools. Police are still investigating based on a video shared on social media, including whether any other individuals are involved with the alleged damage.

Early this year, the city of Numazu, Shizuoka launched a crowdfund campaign to install nine manhole covers featuring the faces of the Aquors idols from Love Live! Sunshine!!. Numazu is the anime's real-world setting and has routinely collaborated with the show to increase tourism efforts.

Unfortunately this latest effort drew unwanted attention from jokers and vandals. A video shared on Twitter by user @syaruhakasudayo shows three individuals near the Yō Watanabe manhole cover. In the video, one passerby steps on the cover while walking, causing the cameraman to yell in distress. While the cameraman briefly pursues the first individual, another person is shown using a tool to make scratching motions on the manhole cover. The cameraman again yells out in distress.

The video appears to be a prank, it isn't immediately apparent whether the tool actually damages the cover or not. The video was shared on May 27, and it was later reported that the manhole cover was scratched that same day. The Yō manhole cover was further vandalized that week when it, Dia, and a third manhole cover were spray-painted. This was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back as Numazu officials decided to remove all of the Love Live! Sunshine!! manhole covers from the streets.

The city updated its official website after the arrests and wrote "I strongly hope that such things will not happen again in future." There are still no immediate plans for if and when the manhole covers will be restored.

Source: Shizuoka Shimbun via Yara-on!

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