The Taiwanese Internet idol had recently announced her retirement, and it was her last public appearance.

Idol singers and performers are immensely popular, owing to their “girl (or boy)-next-door” personas, which are amplified by regular meet-and-greet events. But the closeness that their fans often seem to feel with them can also leads to dangerous obsession and possessiveness, as shown by recent incidents of inappropriate gifts given by fans, and by their ferocious anger at romantic developments in their favorite idols’ lives.

One 48-year-old Japanese man was so devoted to Taiwanese Internet idol Dora that he was apparently consumed by suicidal thoughts when she announced her retirement from idolhood. After she shared on her Facebook page that she would no longer be uploading content or performing live, he traveled to Taiwan to see her final performance at the Nankang Software Park in Taipei.

But after watching her for the last time and even speaking with her personally, he was apparently so struck with despair at the fact that he would never see her perform again that he chose to commit suicide right before her.

▼ Dora Zhou Yingxin

Wielding a fruit knife, the man kneeled on the ground and attempted to disembowel himself in the traditional samurai ritual of “seppuku”. Nearby bystanders quickly came to his aide and Dora called the police, who removed the knife from his possession and questioned him. He could not speak any Mandarin but explained his feelings in halted English, confessing to suicidal thoughts and depression because of Dora’s retirement. Thankfully, his wounds were shallow and the man survived, though he was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Dora, also known as Zhou Yingxin, is a small-time Internet idol with a little over 134,000 followers, but her pretty features and cute voice seem to have completely won over fans’ hearts. After the incident, she posted on her Facebook page, “Life is precious. Please don’t do anything to make your family and friends worry.”

This isn’t the first time a Japanese fan’s emotions have caused them to turn to violence; in 2016 one fan was so upset at the distant treatment he received from his favorite idol that he stabbed her more than 20 times. With such events on the rise and idol groups like AKB48 maintaining dominance on popularity charts, it might be time for the entertainment industry to consider not only the safety and well-being of the celebrities, but also the cultural and social implications of “idol culture” that has grown among their fans.

Source: Biglobe News via Hamster Sokuhou
Featured image: Twitter/@cutiespress