Startling video has commenters terrified and outraged, but the star herself has a different response.

With spring finally here, last weekend the Kanto Little League Senior Division, in which junior-high-aged athletes compete, held its opening ceremony. The festivities took place at Jingu Stadium, one of Tokyo’s most prestigious baseball venues, and to make things even more special Ami Inamura was present to throw out the first pitch.

▼ Ami Inamura

The 22-year-old Inamura is a gravure/swimsuit model and media personality, but she wasn’t chosen simply for her looks and charm. Inamura played baseball herself in the Kanto Little League’s Senior Division where she was her team’s captain and starting pitcher. Even now, the Tokyo native often appears in promotions for sports teams and events, and often shows off her batting form during photo shoots.

When Inamura took the mound at Jungu Stadium last Sunday, players from 202 various Kanto Little League teams stood around her in a horseshoe formation. She threw three pitches, with her fastest clocking in at 96 kilometers (59.7 miles) per hour, not far off her personal best of 103.

But while the aim was to get the junior high schoolers in attendance fired up, the promotion apparently worked a little too well. After Inamura threw her third and final pitch, the horde of hundreds of boys started creeping in closer and closer, and within seconds the swarm closed in on Inamura so tightly that she could no longer be seen.

Online reactions have been heavily critical of the boys’ actions, with comments including:

“My God that’s creepy.”

“Watching this makes a chill run down my spine.”

“This is wrong wrong wrong.”

“This is the same as being a chikan [train groper.]”

Considering how protective Japanese media organizations usually are of their talent, it’s surprising that crowd control was so lax around Inamura. However, even as many online are calling the video terrifying and the players deplorable, Inamura herself seems to be taking the incident in stride, tweeting:

“To all the players who were at the stadium today and were worried about me, I’ve got no problems and am totally fine!!! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone play their best!!!”

Still, if Inamura comes bac for the league’s opening ceremony in 2019, we imagine there might be some ropes separating her and the teams of hyped-up kids.

Source: Hachima Kiko, Nikkan Sports, Gamble Journal via Hamsoku
Images: YouTube/太郎タロウ