Otaku USA Magazine
Kuroko’s Basketball Suspect Captured

One story we’re very happy to report at the end of the year is the capture of the man allegedly responsible for a year-long terrorist campaign against the creator and fans of Kuroko no Basuke, the popular basketball manga and anime series.

It was a bizarre tale filled with poisoned letters, death threats and event cancellations amid intense speculation on why, exactly, the culprit was targeting manga author Tadatoshi Fujmaki. The incidents began in October 2012, when students of Sophia University, a prominent school in the center of Tokyo and the alma mater of Fujimaki, found a suspicious container containing poisonous hydrogen sulphide and a note reading “I hate Fujimaki.”

It was the start of a campaign of threat letters, often containing potentially deadly chemicals, sent to locations like Fujimaki’s former high school, as well as TV stations that broadcast the anime version of Kuroko. Several Kuroko no Basuke doujinshi events throughout 2013 were
canceled, and retailers were forced to pull Kuroko items and DVDs from their shelves.

Finally, police were able to track and arrest 36-year old Hirofumi Watanabe as he was posting more threatening letters at a post box in Shibuya. When arrested, Watanabe reportedly said, “I lost the game.”

Why the grudge against Fujimaki? Watanabe told police he had never met the manga-ka, but that he was jealous of the artist’s success.

Fans of Kuroko no Basuke, not to mention Tadatoshi Fujimaki, can breathe a sigh of relief after over a year of fear and doubt.

Source: Japan Today

Matt Schley

Matt Schley (rhymes with "guy") lives in Tokyo, and has been OUSA's "man in Japan" since 2012. He's also written about anime and Japanese film for the Japan Times, Screen Daily and more.