Would J. Jonah Jameson be ame-zingly happy to see this menace off the streets?

Thanks to the popularity of Japanese animation, Tokyo has the unique distinction of being a place that many people have seen extensively in animated form before ever actually setting foot in it. This can sometimes lead to a bit of disappointment for out-of-town otaku when they discover that real-world Tokyo is not, in fact, an anime.

However, a recent arrest suggests the city might be part of the Marvel world. For several months, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police have been chasing after a criminal the investigation team has named “the Ame-zing Spider-Man,” suspected of roughly a dozen burglaries, and now they think they’ve finally caught him.

On November 1, officers arrested 26-year-old Hiroki Horiguchi on charges of breaking into a rooftop office in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood in April. Investigators say Horiguchi smashed an exterior window to gain entrance to the office, then made off with 66,000 yen (US$610) in cash. The incident took place in April, and based on the methods used, the police believe Horiguchi might in fact be the secret identity of the Ame-zing Spider-Man.

The oddly spelled and hyphenated “ame-zing” isn’t an attempt by the metro cops to avoid the notoriously aggressive copyright lawyers of Marvel’s corporate parent Disney, though. Instead, it’s the Japanese word ame, meaning “rain,” since the robberies all took place on the nights of rainstorms or typhoons, with offices on rooftops or high floors of skyscrapers being the targets.

▼ If you’ve ever wanted to hear a 100-percent earnest Japanese newscaster say “Ame-zing Spider-Man,” here you go.

Horiguchi has yet to make a statement, opting to remain silent while ostensibly waiting either for further advise from his legal counsel or for a team of supervillains to break him out of lockup.

Sources: Nitele News 24 via Livedoor News, YouTube/FNN.jpプライムオンライン
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