Disillusioned fan also wanted to work at actress’ talent agency.

On January 10, police arrested Hidehiko Yokoyama, a 32-year-old resident of the town of Kikugawa, in Shizuoka Prefecture. The arrest was made following an investigation into a threatening email which was sent in July to the talent agency of Ayana Taketatsu, a 28-year-old anime voice actress with notable roles in K-ON! and My Wife is the Student Council President, who’s more recent credits include characters in Hajimete no Gal, Classroom of the Elite, and Dagashi Kashi.

The email, which was sent on July 14 using a PC at a manga cafe in Kakegawa, also in Shizuoka Prefecture, contained the statement:

“I can in no way forgive Ayachi. Die die die die.”

▼ Ayana Taketatsu, nicknamed “Ayachi” by fans

Yokoyama has admitted to sending the email. Police reports make no specific mention of what caused Yokoyama’s anger at Taketatsu, but he seems to have had a strong obsession with the performer. Yokoyama previously applied for a job at Link Plan, the Tokyo-based voice talent agency that represents Taketatsu, and was even given an interview. Yokoyama was not ultimately offered a job, although it’s unclear whether or not this was a contributing factor in his decision to send the threatening email. He was also identified by multiple Japanese news organizations as a forer “leader” of Taketatsu’s fan club.

[Update: Japan’s ANN, TV Asahi and Sankei News, and Kyodo identified Yokoyama as a former leader of Taketatsu’s fan club. BuzzFeed News reports that it subsequently contacted Link Plan, which said that it has never designatd a leader for the fan club, while acknowledging that Yokoyama was an “initiative-taking” fan who had met Taketatsu in-person.]

Following Yokoyama’s arrest, Taketatsu expressed her immense relief. “Knowing that someone could write such hateful things, it was incredibly frightening, and I can’t imagine why he would go that far.” Taketatsu said she was especially fearful in light of the 2016 incident in which aspiring idol singer Mayu Tomita was stabbed over 20 times by a deranged fan at a concert venue in Tokyo’s Koganei neighborhood, suffering severe, though thankfully non-fatal, wounds. “I’m lucky that nothing happened to me, but thinking of the Koganei stalker incident, I was afraid that I was going to experience the same sort of thing.”

Link Plan says that since 2014, it has received roughly 7,000 emails of a threatening nature towards the company or its performers, and the continuing investigation into Yokoyama will attempt to determine whether he sent any such correspondence in addition to the July 14 email for which he was arrested.

Tomita’s attacker was eventually sentenced to 14 years, six months in prison. Considering that no physical attack was perpetrated, a less lengthy sentence is likely to be handed down for Yokoyama once his trial is complete.

Sources: TV Asahi, Sankei News, Yahoo! Japan News/FNN, Jin, Kyodo, BuzzFeed News
Top image: Pakutaso