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Truly terrible. These kinds of mass killings always seem to happen in obscure villages and towns, nowhere close to home, but this guy brought the horror right into the heart of Tokyo.
The Akihabara angle is hard to ignore, and certainly, this could easily commence the Second Coming of Otaku Moral Panic. They already found some anime-style drawings from the suspect — something extremely ubiquitous among almost everyone in Japan — but the images will point the blame squarely at “pop culture.” (Will his middle-school tennis club picture lead to a crackdown on clay courts nationwide?) That being said, I don’t think this guy chose Akihabara just because it’s a “popular area,” as if Shinjuku or Ikebukuro would have sufficed. There will be some kind of link.
Patrick Macias sees the killings as the massified otaku culture’s own Manson Moment. The recent Akihabara-worship was good for the economy, the media, and global affairs, but this dregs up all the suppressed fears about the dark otaku heart, justified or not. The Hokoten will close down in order to restore safety. The girl flashing panties was a help to the police on establishing the threat to the public, but this tragedy gives them surplus mandate.