In the late Bubble era, the chilling case of “otaku” serial killer Miyazaki Tsutomu firmly established the supposed link between anime-loving social outcasts and sex criminals. The witch-hunt was kicked off by the (now disputed) discovery of his collection of over 5,000 videotapes — many of them pornography and anime — after his arrest in 1989. The resulting moral outrage at the otaku subculture lasted close to a decade and is almost difficult to fathom in this era of otaku symbolizing “Cool Japan.”
After nearly twenty years on death row, Miyazaki was finally executed yesterday. Given the opacity of the Japanese justice system, it’s hard to speculate, but one can’t help but wonder if the recent Akiba massacre had any impact on the timing.