In what is either an act of exaggerated melodrama or craven cowardice, figure maker Kotobukiya has voluntarily suspended the impending August release of their テイルズ オブ デスティニー リオン・マグナス / Tales of Destiny “Leon Magnus” (or “Lion Magnus”) figure, citing the “social effects” of the recent Akiba incident.
In fact it seems the stabber had something of an interest in Leon, having drawn him at some length… ten years ago when he passed out of his middle school star pupil phase of life.
Here is Kotobukiya’s terse statement (original):
Taking into account the social effects of the recent deadly incident in Akihabara, we have decided to voluntarily cancel the upcoming release of “Tales of Destiny – Leon Magnus” for the time being.
[Vapid platitudes to pre-orderers omitted]
With PR acumen sure to magnify the attention paid to their supine decision several fold, they have seen fit to delete even this announcement and pretend nothing has happened (except mysteriously the figure disappeared from their site and pre-orders are cancelled). Currently the statement is cached here, so all 2ch can fulminate over it.
And the cause? Ten years ago, a fifteen-year-old boy sketched Leon in his graduation yearbook, accompanied by some English notes (which the media seems delighted to highlight). The sketches were just boring character studies as you can see, no stabbing involved, though the pose is similar to that of the figure.
Above two images via the lovely NekoAreBlog, rest via 2ch.
Despite being a great Tales fan, I couldn’t bring myself to replay the latest remake of ToD, particularly as it has a rather narrowed focus on fujoshi magnet and maid fancier Lyon, let alone take much interest in one of my least favourite Tales characters in figure form. Still, the principle of their decision, and its handling, is most unsightly.