In an unfortunate turn of events, an advance screening for the upcoming Neptunia anime was cancelled when a suspicious man went on a rampage at the location. Fortunately, no one was injured.
On June 22, a Hyperdimension Neptunia event was held at Cinema Sunshine Ikebukuro, featuring an advance screening of the first two episodes of the anime and a talk session with the staff and cast, including voice actresses Rie Tanaka, Asami Imai, and Rina Satou, as well as artistes nao and Afilia Saga.
Halfway through the event, around 1:40 PM, the Ikebukuro Police Station received a call from the event staff claiming that “a man is acting violently on stage”. The suspect was soon subdued without any injured victims.
Upon investigation, the police discovered that the suspect was carrying a knife with a blade 10 to 20 centimeters long, and they arrested him for violating Japan’s Swords and Firearms Control Law, which prohibits people from possessing blades 5.5 cm or longer. The man is in his 30’s and lives in the Adachi ward.
According to several Twitter reports from witnesses, the suspect was wearing a scarf covering his face when he went onstage during the talk session and shouted out, “There’s a criminal in here!”, “Come out, Rie Tanaka!”, and “Call the police!”. He started waving around the bar and struck a table while the cast members fled to a separate room and the audience was led outside.
Photo posted on Twitter by Nitoro (@aozaki_n) at 1:51 PM
The staff on the official website of the anime apologized for the event being suspended, while Chiyomaru Shikura, the president of MAGES, wrote on Twitter:
This regards the Neptunia incident. I talked with the staff, and it seems we need to rethink how to hold these events. This obviously means security guards, as well as a sense of distance between the fans and artists. I’m extremely disappointed.
In the end, no one was injured, and the anime is still scheduled to start airing on July 12. Even if there are knife-wielding scumbags in this world, don’t let them get in the way of your hobbies.