These otaku were a little too interested in trains. 

We’ve all been teenagers, so we all know that when you’re in the throes of puberty, you do a lot of dumb things. From climbing revered monuments to playing chicken with cars, middle school and high school students are not known for controlling their impulses, however ridiculous they may seem. Still, that doesn’t make them immune to consequences, which is why four mischievous high school students were arrested this week for throwing smoke bombs at trains.

As far as dumb things to do, that’s pretty extreme, but it seems like the four boys had innocent intentions: as train otaku, they wanted to see a train make an emergency stop.

Apparently, on the evening of February 8, the four boys–who all attended the same private high school in Tokyo at the time, though one no longer attends–threw smoke bombs that they’d ordered online onto tracks of the Chiyoda Line, causing smoke to billow around a railway bridge over the Arakawa River in Adachi Ward, in northeastern Tokyo. As a result, trains were forced to make emergency stops, and service along the line was disrupted. The train otaku took a video of the smoke with their phones, which they later shared online, though it appears to no longer be available.

▼ A railway bridge similar to the one where the crime occurred

The next day, the boys did the same thing in Hachioji City, western Tokyo, where they threw smoke bombs at trains on the Chuo Line, one of the most crowded train lines in Tokyo. They were then arrested on February 15 and charged with forcible obstruction of business.

After their arrest, their phones were analyzed, and the phone of the young man who wasn’t attending school was found to have a video from January, in which he and two of his friends pulled a switch that cut off the wiring of a train at Mitaka Station, causing a six-minute delay. As a result, they were arrested again on May 7 and charged with a second count of forcible obstruction of business.

▼ Officials inspecting the scene of the crime in February

As of May 29, all four boys have admitted to the crimes, saying things like, “We wanted to see the trains make emergency stops.” Unfortunately, their overzealous admiration of trains, innocent though it may have been, caused trouble for approximately 30,000 people trying to utilize the Chiyoda line, as well as the Tokyo Metro, who has said they’re considering filing a damages suit against the boys. And that’s not even including the trouble caused to the Chuo Line by the other two crimes.

As it doesn’t appear that there was any malicious intent on the boys’ part, this is probably just a case of otaku zeal gone too far, even if their activities could almost be counted as terrorism. At least in this case of teenage stupidity no one was hurt, unlike when a bunch of teens decided to stretch a nylon rope across a road to see what happens.

Source: TV Asahi News via My Game News Flash, FNN Prime,, TBS News
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