Kuroko's Basketball Threat Leaves Part of Comiket Vacant
posted on by Egan Loo
Photographs of Comic Market (Comiket) 83, the largest dōjinshi event in the world, show the starkly empty area that would have been the Kuroko's Basketball section on Sunday. The event decided to bar all Kuroko's Basketball circles from participating after receiving a threat letter on October 29.
About 900 fan circles reserved tables to sell self-published items inspired by the Kuroko's Basketball manga and anime, but the Comic Market Preparations Committee is refunding their entrance fees.
The 900 barred circles represent about 8% of the total number of circles (11,700) on Sunday. This is the first time in the event's 37-year history that it has exercised "self-restraint" on this large a scale.
By comparison, manga author and illustrator Yoshitoshi ABe photographed part of the same East Halls of the Tokyo Big Sight complex during Comic Market 82 in August:
Later on Sunday, some attendees did file into the area once reserved for Kuroko's Basketball; they were allowed, but not encouraged, to sit down and use it as a resting area. However, the area remained mostly empty.
The organizers are also spending extra funds to step up security in cooperation with Tokyo Big Sight and the police at this weekend's event. The measures were said to include bag checks for hazardous materials, but ANN's reporter was not subjected to a check on Sunday. The Sankei Shimbun website reported on Monday that Comic Market will lose more than 10 million yen (about US$117,900) due to the entrance fee refunds, beefed-up security, and other effects of the threat and Comic Market's response.
Since October, at least 50 locations linked to Kuroko's Basketball creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki have received threat letters with powdered and liquid substances. A source in the investigation said there is a high possibility that the liquid sent to Sophia University on October 12 could emit a lethal dose of hydrogen sulfide if vaporized.
At least six Kuroko's Basketball dōjinshi events were canceled last month. Tokyo Big Sight received a threat earlier in October, but the "Shadow Trickster 3" event proceeded without incident there on October 20. The official "Kuroko no Basuke produced by Namco Namja Town" event in Tokyo did end 19 days early as a result of the threats, and Animate Café Tennoji in Osaka cancelled a planned Kuroko's Basketball collaboration event. Additionally, Banpresto has delayed the start of its Kuroko's Basketball Ichiban Kuji lottery line, and the Comic City Osaka 92 dōjinshi event has asked dōjinshi circles to show self-restraint by not distributing any Kuroko's Basketball-related material at the January 6 event.