Social media posts about “limitless explosions” draw police response.

With an unprecedented volume of new anime being produced and aired on TV, it’s harder than ever for a series to remain in the hearts and minds of viewers after its finale airs. A huge exception, though, is schoolgirl idol franchise Love Live!, which aired the final episode of its second arc, Love Live! Sunshine!!, all the way back in December, but still boasts an incredibly active (and free-spending) fan community.

Love Live! Sunshine!!

Part of that is thanks to the way Love Live!’s handlers keep the franchise in the spotlight with innovative promotions and events. Last weekend, for example, Love Live! Sunshine!! concerts were held at Saitama’s MetLife Dome. But while fans were looking forward to two days of singing and dancing, organizers were worried about the possibility of something they didn’t want on the itinerary, as multiple comments on social media alluded to plans to bomb the venue, which can hold over 30,000 attendees.

In the days leading up to the event, a social media user posted multiple messages including the concerts’ names and comments including “500 successive explosions” and “I can make limitless explosions.” He also posted photos and videos of firecracker-like objects taped together.

Anime, being an entertainment media, generally isn’t something that you want to take too seriously. On the other hand, potential bomb threats are always going to be taken seriously, especially by the police. The social media posts eventually came to the attention of law enforcement, and investigators were able to determine that they were made by a 17-year-old third-year high school student from the town of Seto, in Okayama Prefecture.

On June 7, the boy was arrested on charges of forceful obstruction of business. Upon questioning, he admitted to the charges, though he denied having any serious intent to bomb the concert. “I wanted attention,” he told the police. “I wrote the posts, so it can’t be helped if people thought I wanted to blow up the event.”

Following the arrest, the concerts were held as planned, with fans packing the MetLife Dome on both Saturday and Sunday. Considering how hard it can be for Love Live! fans to get a date, it’s nice to know that their weekend plans weren’t washed out by one unbalanced individual’s troubling behavior.

Sources: Asahi Shimbun Digital, Mainichi Shimbun via Anime News Network/Egan Loo
Top image: YouTube/BandaiChannel