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Comiket Caves To Terrorism: “Rather Ban Than Cancel”

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The Comiket organisers have announced their response to terrorist threats against the event is to ban all works featuring the subject of the threat – Kuroko’s Basketball – and hold Comiket 83 as normal, if absent the hundreds of circles comprised of Kuroko fans, a decision they blame on the police and venue.

The official response runs as follows:

It is exceedingly regrettable, but we must insist on suspending the participation of the below listed “Kuroko’s Basketball” circles [a long list of circles is attached], and ask any circles planning to distribute related goods to refrain from so doing.

This decision was made in order to protect the safety of participants and ensure the continuation of Comiket, and it is most inexcusable and we offer our sincere apologies.

Please also consult the tightened security restrictions for Comiket 83 [this describes baggage searches and forbidden articles].

They also provide their version of the events leading to the decision:

In October we received written threats demanding we not allow the participation of Kuroko’s Basketball related circles at Comiket 83.

As a result we coordinated with police and venue to tighten security as we did for 2008’s Comiket 74, where similar threats were received.

However, with the culprit’s threats having forced the complete cancellation of a Kuroko-only event in November, and with Jump Festa also cancelling its Kuroko-related activities, we were faced with the unprecedented and unyielding demand from the venue that we either postpone Comiket until the culprit was caught, or hold it without any Kuroko circles.

We also received similarly strong demands to not allow any Kuroko content from the police.

The venue and police raised the following objections at our discussions:

1. The threats appear to be escalating and may not end with Comiket and the venue

2. The threats were posted nearby and may actually be acted upon

3. The threats are starting to hinder non-doujin events at the venue

4. If something did happen the chaos would likely disturb nearby residents and businesses, and influence the holding of future events

5. Letting the sale of Kuroko related articles go ahead may further stimulate the culprit

We, the organisers, appreciate the nature of these concerns, but yielding to such wicked and base demands sets an odious precedent and so we would prefer to go ahead as normal with increased security, but the concerns of the police and venue were very strong and the safety of attendees is our highest priority, along with the likelihood of further restrictions on our use of the venue, so tragically we have no recourse but to go along with them.

We have no intention of issuing further restrictions and will endeavour to minimise all such restrictions in future, but there is only so much that is practical.

Obviously the person to blame here is the one making all the threats. It may be that they are only concerned with Kuroko, but this sort of behaviour may not stop at Kuroko, and could extend to anime and manga doujinshi of all kinds, and have a correspondingly negative social impact.

We’d like to express how much we’d like the culprit to stop this sort of behaviour.

Kuroko-related threats of chemical attacks have already been made against a school and have also forced the cancellation of other doujin events, and appear to be judged credible.

Some even feared Comiket itself might be forced to cancel, but it seems the result of them “considering their response” was a Kuroko ban instead, which is presumably judged a safe compromise between risking the threat of a gas attack and shutting down the world’s biggest anime event because of a crazed fan – the option of waiting for Japan’s police to catch the culprit having been overlooked for some reason.

All this has caused consternation amongst Comiket followers online (to say nothing of the poor Kuroko fans who are having their doujinshi systemically hounded out of existence by a maniac):

“Submitting to terrorism, we’ve seen how well that works.”

“So they’ve caved to the criminal? If they were going to do anything they would have done it already.”

“As usual, the police are really getting serious about this.”

“Rather than arresting people whose PCs were infected by viruses, why don’t you clods try arresting this guy?”

“Well, the safety of several hundred thousand people is at stake. Sorry fujoshi, you’ll just have to wait until they catch them.”

“They have cancelled the participation of 900 circles though…”

“It’s a bit damn late. They’ll all be preparing their doujinshi and have booked passage.”

“All this the result of some crazed fujoshi? Delicious.”

“Are they a man or a woman? I’d think a woman…”

“Seems the criminal is a real crazy though, not just the type who revels in the reaction his threats cause.”

“They’ve been making threats to any place related to the author. They are obviously completely out to lunch.”

“Why would anyone hate this manga so much?”

“What happens to Kuroko hardly matters, the real issue here is the precedent they have set. Anyone making similar threats can now expect to get any event they like shut down.”

“They have discovered how to shut down Comiket.”

“How can the police have completely failed to catch this person? They’ve been making threats for months, do they not care at all?”

“Have you seen some of the posts they’ve made? ‘Wait in fear lest I come die at your place’ – I bet the cops and everyone else would rather they did hurry up and die.”

“The culprit must really hate the author to be hounding all these Kuroko events into cancellation like this.”

“Everybody is laughing at the fujoshi now, but this has opened the floodgates to every nut who wants to get a particular title’s events cancelled. It’s not like any of the Kuroko fujoshi are going to have much love for Comiket after this.”

“Pretty amazing of them to single out Kuroko to be cancelled like this. Expect fireworks from the fans.”

“The worst thing you can do in the face of terrorism is give in to their demands. It’ll get a lot worse than this now.”

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