News Yurindo Bookstore Chain Temporarily Removes Kuroko's Basketball Merchandise
posted on 2013-10-31 18:00 EDT by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Japanese bookstore chain Yurindo announced on Thursday that it is temporarily removing all Kuroko's Basketball-related merchandise from its 35 stores in Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Chiba. The company said it received a threat letter on October 15 stating that the sender would harm the bookstore chain and its customers if it didn't remove the merchandise. The stores will still stock the manga out of sight, and will still sell the volumes if a customer requests them. The Kanagawa prefectural police are currently investigating the situation after Yurindo filed a damage report.
A public relations representative with Yurindo said, "We took into consideration prioritizing the safety of our customers. We will monitor the situation and then return the merchandise to our shelves."
Reliable, a Japanese book and stationary store chain in Hokkaido, also revealed on Thursday that it received an identical threat letter, and it is also temporarily removing all Kuroko's Basketball merchandise from its stores.
Several other bookstore chains such as Kinokuniya, Sanseido, Junkudo, Miyawaki, and other bookstores, plan to continue carrying the manga despite receiving threat letters. Major rental chain Tsutaya had confirmed on Monday that it is removing all Kuroko's Basketball DVD and manga rentals from its stores.
BackgroundSince 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 earlier this month that 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.