A saw-wielding maniac has attacked AKB48 members at their latest handshaking event, severely injuring Rina Kawaei and Anna Iriyama along with a staff member.
According to police reports, a 24-year-old unemployed Aomori prefecture man arrived at an AKB48 handshaking event taking place at an Iwate prefecture venue, and entered the handshaking event tent.
Once in the tent the man launched into a bloody rampage using the saw he was carrying, inflicting severe but not life-threatening wounds on 3 people – two AKB48 members, 19-year-old Rina Kawaei and 18-year-old Anna Iriyama, and a male staff member.
The perpetrator was rapidly overpowered by staff and handed over to police as they arrived at the scene, and was immediately arrested on 3 counts of attempted murder.
Initial reports indicate that apart from the omnipresent minders who oversee the actual handshaking, security at the event was rudimentary at best – attendees were able to enter the venue and approach the girls without any check of their possessions.
The three victims were taken to hospital, and though the extent of their injuries is not clear, they were all said to be conscious and in a stable condition.
Details of exactly what injuries were sustained have been vague enough to prompt macabre speculation – Kawaei’s right thumb was subjected to “lacerations” and “fracture” severe enough to prompt emergency surgery, as was Iriyama’s right pinkie (she also suffered a head wound), causing some to wonder if the attacker managed to saw off the appendages in his frenzy.
Online there has been sympathy for the victims and condemnation of AKB48’s management for allowing such an incident to come to pass – though tellingly, with it being widely understood that their business model relied on bilking the mentally unbalanced, not much criticism of the perpetrator:
“They’ll have to stop the handshaking events now, surely?”
“Will they cancel the general election?”
“This must be the end of it all… there’s no way such a greedy and sordid business can continue forever in the face of stuff like this.”
“So one of their otaku victims finally broke after being exploited a little too far.”
“Their entire fanbase is basically comprised of people who could potentially end up like this. At least check their bags, guys.”
“A saw? What a grudge he mast have had.”
“The police really ought to shut AKB down now.”
“If they can no longer do handshaking events AKB48 are finished.”
“Imagine what will happen to CD sales if they cancel them.”
“From now on handshaking events will take place with the girls wearing stab-proof gloves.”
“The lack of details about the injuries is suspect – did he sever something?”
“Open fractures can result in amputation so this could be pretty dire.”
“Must be. Lacerations and fractures don’t sound severe enough to prompt emergency surgery.”
“Ghastly. He was charged with attempted murder as well, he must have gone there to kill them.”
“The trauma inflicted on them is no laughing matter either.”
“The injuries may be something they can recover from but I doubt their mental condition will be.”
“A saw is not going to leave these girls with scars they can just paper over with makeup…”
“Only the staff member who got mixed up in this has my sympathy.”
“This is the obvious end result of Akimoto’s shameful business model. It was only a matter of time before one of the fans did something like this.”
“What were the security guards guarding when all this went down?”
“Not even a check of their bags as they went in, really?”
“Since it is now obvious to everyone that there is no security at all at these events they have just got quite a bit more dangerous.”
“So much for this show.”
“I always though it would end up like this.”
“He didn’t try to saw off their hands and take them home, did he?”