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It occurred on the crossing just before the big construction site next to Mandarake Complex. It's absolutely incredible to think that something like this happened where we were standing less than 48 hours ago, but given the recent spate of stabbings across Japan coupled with the news coverage Akihabara's been getting lately, it was probably only a matter of time.

Looks like they got him in the alley right in front of the new Asobit City, near Super Potato and such...

I wonder if any of this will go on the official tour?

It's 7:18 A.M. here in Memphis, TN, and I awoke from a hot, restless sleep to only start off the day reading a short, dreadful article covering this even over on CNN.com. The place I went to right after reading that was here only to see that you're already on the ball. I find it extremely sad and disappointing. Here in America we get stories about depressed students rampaging across college campuses and their high schools. Look at how America reacts to them as well, such as the Virginia Tech massacre. Now I am wondering how Japan is going to react to this, considering it was in a vastly populated place. And the guy was even able to kill 5 people and injure 12 others with a knife before even getting stopped. I mean, that's ridiculous. Japan, in my eye and as well as others, has always been viewed as a safe haven from the rest of the world. A place where people aren't as violent or crazed. So I am very curious to see how this affects Akihabara and Japan in general, especially considering how easy it was for this guy to go on a spree like that. To me, this is an event I just never thought would or could have happened in Japan.

It is a proof of fact that Akihabara became to the most popular town in Japan now. Many crimes will break out in Akihabara from now on also, like Shinjuku, Ikebukuro or Shibuya.

A similar thing happened to Harajuku back in the '90s, when the cops began a crackdown on street peddlers and dancers for no really good reason (at least this time, they now have a good excuse with dead people lying about). The area has since recovered as a tourist spot, but by all reports, it is merely a ghost of its former self.

As anyone who has been to a kegger knows, the party is over when the cops show up.

Of course, everyone is still waiting on the "is he an otaku or not?" question. Even if he is, the whole dynamic has drastically changed since the days of Tsutomu Miyazaki, the first "otaku killah."

I wonder what the fallout would be in the wake of the Japan government's willingness to promote it's supposed "soft power" via anime, manga, games...and Akihabara.

Firstly, I want to know if everyone is who reads this blog and their friends/families are okay. No info has been released about the victims except their ages. I'm at the start of a strong "it could have been me" panic because I was there that day.

Thankfully, I was nowhere near the mayham at the time it happened. I arrived at around 2pm and spent an hour or so at the new BK and Yodobashi. There was no indication there or at the station that there was anything unusual.

I decided to head to Chuodori via the underpass on Myojin Street and saw that part of the street was blocked off. People were swarmed around, taking keitai shashin of seemingly nothing.

I saw the truck.
Thought it was just a traffic accident, nothing to see here.

As I made my way closer to Chuodori, I saw more and more emergency personel, clusters of people being interviewed, CSI evidence tags on ground in the alley by Asobit.

Was able to squeeze my way through the looky-loos to Chuodori. The street was blocked like any other Sunday, only no pedestrians were being allowed on it, only cops.

Checked Yahoo!Keitai for any info on what happened. Nothing. And no one I asked seemed to know much either. In the distance, a small lumpy shape covered in a white sheet. I tried not to think what it might be.

I remember thinking that the usual sewerey aroma that wafts up from the gutters in Akiba seemed stronger than usual. Decided I'd find out what happened when I got home and to get the hell out of Dodge.

A friend and I have plans to go back and pay our respects next weekend.

Anime News Network lists the victims as

* Katsuhiko Nakamura (male, 74 years old)
* Kazunori Fujino (male, 19)
* Kasuhiro Koiwa (male, 47)
* Naoki Miyamoto (male, 31)
* Takahiro Kawaguchi (male, 19)
* Mai Mutō (female, 21)
* Mitsuru Matsui (male, 33)

Glad to hear that you're OK. I'm getting a lot of "were you in Akihabara?" messages from friends. It's funny how people think you are ALWAYS there, not matter what's going on. But you actually were...

Thanks for sharing and take it easy.

Funny you should say that. When I got home, I was greeted by my neighbors with, "You weren't in Akihabara today, were you?"
That's how I found out.

"I wonder what the fallout would be in the wake of the Japan government's willingness to promote it's supposed "soft power" via anime, manga, games...and Akihabara."

While I never believed in "soft power"argument.I thought violent element in anime,manga and games were already well known in abroad.Anyway foreigners had said nearly the same things right after the sarin gas attack by Aum Shinrikyo in 1995.
Akihabara's place in the world will remains somewhere between Singapore and New York.Less controls than the former,much safer than the latter.

Nice to hear that here everyone is safe...

During the sixties Manson never killed anyone (almost personally), the good thing in this case is the fact that we don't have an "otaku guru" telling people to kill everyone... that guru in a certain way has been Shoko Asahara. He has never been an otaku guru but, before the sarin terrorist attack, he was in synch with the otaku subculture... Now the akiba killer is just a crazy guy who choosed Akiba since on Sunday there isn't a more "media dense" area in the
World. There isn't a group behind him, nor a subculture supporting his hate/killer instincts, he just wanted his 15 minutes of fames, so it's pretty impossible to stop this kind of tragedies...
1989 is 20 years ago, in all these years the otaku culture permeated the Japanese society (and Jpop culture) so, this time, I think the "Otaku is socially dangerous" meme will not get grip in the Japanese mediasphere.


One thing that really irritating is the fact that Akiba, almost on sunday, since a couple of years a go started to be like a zoo: "normal" people go there to watch otakus in their habitat. And also on this tragedy there were idiots waving to the camera during a news broadcast from Akiba after the tragedy:
http://www.japanprobe.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/shameless-on-camera.jpg

it's nice to know that good ol' Patty and some people who read him in Japan are safe.

I'm really glad you all are safe.

Patrick, thanks for your response to my post, btw.
I keep obsessing over the news reports and thinking that if I hadn't overslept, I would have been right in the middle of it all.

As I continue on this mini freak-out I'm on right now, going back and reading your brief words of support is helping to calm me down.

I'll try to take it easy, and I know these feelings will pass.

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