Update, the official statements:
I had to readdress this point a few times because I couldn’t think of a way to write about this without being guaranteed to piss off at least a few people, though I think I managed to settle into minimum offense.
First, the particulars:
— PureIdolHeart (@Pureidolheart) November 26, 2016
The story is actually fairly clear if you use Google’s translator, so give it a go, but the important thing is this: Sakura Yuki, the Snow-chan of Kamen Joshi and Joanna Lumley fame, was recently the subject of death threats by an obviously deranged wota. The person has been arrested, and Yuki is safe, and that’s what matters, though there’s more in the details if you care to read.
Aside from the obvious concern for the well-being of a well-known personality, there’s a lot to take away from this story.
You all can take the story however you see fit, but I can’t separate this from the Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da situation; more to the point, I can’t separate this from the reaction to the Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da situation, nor can I separate this from how I reacted to the Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da situation.
The person who was threatening Yuki is a piece of shit. The man who stabbed Tomita Mayu is a piece of shit. This guy?
Piece of shit.
In every one of these cases, the idols who were assaulted were abiding by the rules. On the other hand, Aza and Gomochi did not do so, and the worse thing that happened to them was a sort of kayfabe play-action at graduation-by-firing-squad. The only thing that the rules protect is the only thing that the rules are designed to protect, and that’s the business of idol; any shield from harm that is provided to the idols, who are as fungible as any worker, is ancillary to the core needs of protecting a particular business model with and within unique cultural characteristics that make it go.
So rather than circumlocute the central issue here, I’ll say pretty much the same thing that I said about Mayu’s case (not on this site, apparently): Fans are scum. That’s fans of everything. While the vast majority of people who like and follow a team, artist, trend, whatever are just fine and no danger to anybody or anything, there are among them the ones who take it to an obsessive level, and lurking in that sewer are the unhinged who can and clearly will act on violent and otherwise destructive impulses.
No amount of sticking up for the rules within a framework of concern trolling for the idols can change that, because clearly the rules themselves are but tissue paper protection for the individual idols.
My point in Mayu’s situation was that while there’s a sort of nihilistic chaos at play when somebody goes off that deep end — we’re talking about people who aren’t bound by normal senses of morality or reason* — there’s still a burden that “normal” fans bear when it comes to the actions of someone in the community. We aren’t superheroes, and we can’t do everything on our own, but we can be more vigilant about the people who may prove more than just creepy, and be proactive about intervening or alerting the proper parties about them.
So I’m glad that Snow-chan’s okay, and I’m glad that neither Aza nor Gomochi nor any other rule-breaker we’ve heard about had it reach a bad ending. I’m glad that Mayu and Rina and Anna all survived their injuries. I just want for them (and all people, honestly) to not be in danger in the first place, and I hope that we as fans can have a positive impact on that by policing our own.
*This isn’t to stigmatize mental illness, either; there isn’t a video game setting for crazy that just needs to be turned up so high, and then a person snaps and does bad things. You probably know people with mental illness in your daily life, and you probably didn’t know that they’re under treatment because that’s exactly how it should be, people just living normally and being normal.