Many who viewed the video worried that his behavior could escalate. 

Train otaku are just what you might imagine from the name: die-hard fans of Japan’s complex yet extremely efficient train system. But just like anime and mobile game otaku who would do anything for their 2-D crush, some train otaku are willing to go to wild extremes for their love of trains, even so far as dangerous or illegal acts like forcing them to make emergency stops and stealing train parts.

But an alarming video of a man throwing fireworks and shouting at an oncoming train, posted by Japanese Twitter user Masaaki (@masaakiyumiaka), may not be the work of a train otaku. No one knows why he behaved as he did, but many are worried that his behavior is more than just for a misguided love of trains.

In the video, which was taken at around 6 p.m. on September 15 at Moriguchishi Station on the outskirts of Osaka, the man is seen standing on the opposite side of the rail lines from where the video is being filmed, facing partially away from the camera towards the direction of the oncoming trains. As an announcement that a train will be passing by soon is played, the man appears to be fiddling with something in his hands.

If you keep a close eye on his hands, you can see the flash of a lighter before he glances back over his shoulder for a moment. Apparently unperturbed by any bystanders, he then tosses a series of small fireworks onto the rail line, backs up as they go off on the tracks, and then strikes a strong-man pose as he yells something unintelligible at the train rushing up.

A different video of the same incident taken by another netizen shows the man picking up his backpack afterwards and walking off. Later, however, when station security guards caught up with him, the man appeared to bow low to the ground in apology. Later reports stated that police believe the man, who is in his fifties, has a mental disability, though they did not specify what kind.

Luckily, all 400 passengers on the train passed by unharmed, and the firecrackers did not cause any significant delay to the train schedule. Still, Japanese Twitter users who saw the video were alarmed by the man’s behavior:

“Moriguchishi Station doesn’t have many station attendants, and that place on the platform is kind of far from the main gate, so this is a big problem…”
“Maybe he’ll be charged with obstruction of business.”
“What in the world happened to this person? I hope his actions don’t escalate…”
“He’s not inebriated because he’s alert and looks around before he throws the firecrackers.”
“Lately it seems like crimes by middle-aged men have gone up. As an ordinary middle-aged man myself, I’m sorry!”
“That must have been scary for the conductor.”

Many netizens also wondered why someone was taking a video in the first place. Are they an accomplice? Or did they simply think the man was acting suspiciously and decided to take video evidence?

Either way, we’re glad that the man didn’t cause more damage than he did, and that no lives were lost as a result. The police are currently investigating the matter, so hopefully they can prevent any further acts like these from occurring.

Source: Twitter/@masaakiyumiaki via My Game News Flash
Images: Twitter/@masaakiyumiaki

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