Anime fandom can often be a double edged sword. While the passion many fans have can be harnessed for creative or positive things, it can also be driven more toward negativity depending on the situation. There are even rarer times when this passion can be dangerous, so those who work in enthusiast stores can sometimes be the unfortunate targets of this negative passion. A famous anime merchandise chain in Japan, Animate, found itself as the victim of one fan's particularly focused and troubling side as they received several death threats and more.
As reported by SoraNews24, Animate began to received emails referencing the recent Kyoto Animation tragedy earlier this Summer, "Instead of the people from Kyoto Animation, all of you should have been killed," and more direct threats such as, "I’m going to make sure to kill every last one of you."
Shockingly, one email even included the word "Die" repeated over a reported 3,852 times in a row. Following the tragic arson at Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio building, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police have taken threats like these more seriously. This is especially true when it comes to the more anime related targets. Following an investigation, the Tokyo Police found the source of the emails -- which honed in on a two-week period of dozens of threatening emails over the Summer -- and arrested a 34 year old woman soon after.
Investigating further, the woman has been doing business with the Animate chain since 2014, but her account was suspended due to numerous canceled orders. She had grown angry with the suspension and decided to send several threatening emails, and later admitted the charges. Explaining herself with the following, "I was angry because I didn’t agree with how [Animate] had handled the situation," the woman was arrested before these death threats either grew more severe or followed through.
This all stems from a heightened period following the tragic events over the Summer. On July 18th at around 10:30 AM JST, Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio was struck by a tragic fire. Reports indicated that the fire has resulted in over 30 casualties, and over 30 injured as of this writing. With 30 fire engines responding to the fire, firefighters were able to completely extinguish the fire five hours after in began. The fire was investigated as an arson, and the suspect responsible has reportedly been identified and their potential motive has been revealed. Kyoto Animation president Hideaki Hatta is also considering erecting a memorial park in the place of the tragedy.