Ohisashiburi, it’s been a long long time I know but I just had to say something after what took place on Sunday.
By now every AKB48 fan will have found out what happened on Sunday evening at an AKB48 handshake event in the Iwate Industrial Culture Center Apio building when a 24 year old man came to the handshake event, hid a foldable saw under his jumper and violently slashed Rina Kawaei and Anna Iriyama in an unprovoked attack which brought terror to what is usually a peaceful and fun event for fans and AKB48 members to interact with each other.
I’m quite surprised that it’s taken this long for such a terrible thing to happen if I’m being honest. There has been minor incidents before in a couple of handshake events but nothing quite as frightening and terrifying as this one. One thing is for certain – things will never be the same again. Believe me, things will change and it’s about time too. Security has been blamed for lack of body and bag checks but to be honest nobody expects AKB48 fans to suddenly attack their idols. The only problem is, this man wasn’t an AKB48 fan. He was a man on a mission to intentionally injure a human being. He picked this venue as there was a lot of people there. He didn’t go on purpose to try and murder an AKB48 member. It’s only thanks to the swift actions of a member of staff that we aren’t reading about a murder incident in the papers. Nevertheless, this unwelcome news has gone global with even the BBC picking it up. Rina and Anna are extremely lucky to have gotten away with minor injuries, it could have been a lot worse. Thank God both girls are fine – physically that is. The mental scars though will take a long time to heal. Both girls had emergency surgery for wounds to their hands and head and left the hospital yesterday to a scrum of media personnel waiting for them.
So what does this mean for events of this kind in the future? There will be tighter security that’s for certain as this kind of incident MUST not happen ever again. I believe metal detectors are being touted in being used, probably stricter body searches too. Inconvenient for people perhaps but if all this means the girls will be safe then I’m all for it. To cancel all future handshake events would be a mistake. It’s a big part of the ‘idols you can meet’ concept and would be a huge loss to fans and I’m sure the members as well. They love meeting their fans.
Anyway, I wish both girls and the AKB48 staff member a speedy recovery.
UPDATE: Both Annin and Ricchan have broken their silence online and I’m glad to hear that they are feeling better. I’m sure reading all the well wishes and how concerned everybody is for their well being will make them happy. Don’t rush back to your work girls, please take some time out to recover and get over this traumatic experience. It’s good to know that you’re both smiling once more.