Chikae Ide, a mangaka specializing in the romance genre, is known in Japan as the queen of ladies’ comics. Her latest book and manga — both titled Poison Love — are about how she was scammed by a man pretending to be in love with her.
In fact, the man not only pretended to be in love with her, but pretended to be Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo, best known for starring in the Marvel movies as Bruce Banner/Hulk. The man, who still has not been identified or apprehended for his alleged fraud, reached out to Ide on Facebook, writing in English that he was Ruffalo. Ide was doubtful, but still answered and told a bit about herself. He said kind things to her, and when she wrote to him about escaping from a violent ex-husband, he wrote back, “I will never make you feel sad.”
While she still had her doubts, those went away during a brief video chat with the man. The man apparently faked the video so well to look and sound like Ruffalo that she was convinced. He said he was getting a secret divorce, and he and Ide unofficially married.
Photo: Kenta Sujino
And he kept asking for money, sometimes using the divorce as an excuse to explain why someone with as much cash as Ruffalo would be asking for financial help.
The fraud went on for about three and a half years, and during that time Ide sent him 75 million yen (about $523,200). She has not gotten any of that money back. Her children aided in convincing her this was a fake and getting her away from the man.
Ide says her new work Poison Love is meant to help prevent scams from succeeding. “As I got older, I grew more worried about my health and losing my job,” she said. “The swindler found a way to fill the void in my heart.”
Source: The Asahi Shimbun
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.