Grown Woman Threatened for...Being a Grown Woman

Aki Toyosaki is 24 years-old. A big Grand Theft Auto fan, she works as a voice actress, voicing Yui Hirasawa in K-On as well as Cinque in the upcoming Final Fantasy Type-0. She's an adult, and she'd be free to live her life as an adult.

That is, if she wasn't a voice actress in Japan.

Typically, voice actresses are not mainstream celebrities in Japan. Many of them release music CDs, but they don't usually appear on mainstream television. There are exceptions, such as Aya Hirano of Haruhi Suzumiya fame. However, there are magazines dedicated to voice actresses, and they do achieve a certain degree of celebrity in Japan, especially among Japanese gamers and anime fans.

Since voice actresses don't quite reach the untouchable heights of mainstream celebrity, they seem approachable. This is why when Aya Hirano crossed over to the seemingly untouchable realm of mainstream celebrity, her hardcore fans were pissed off.

Like other voice actresses, Aki Toyosaki is viewed as an idol by fans. There are various types of idols in Japan. While pin-up idols or adult video idols might be given more leeway with their private lives, voice acting and singing idols are supposed to be pure and chaste.

Late last week, a Japanese website called Weekly Music Ray'n (via Jin115) revealed that Toyosaki, gasp, was going out in public with a man.

Weekly Music Rayn wasn't content with breaking that entirely innocuous tidbit, but actually followed her home and began watching her apartment, finding out that she's living with a musician, who, like Aki Toyosaki, is an adult. The site even took photos of her apartment's mailbox and snaps of her walking near her apartment.

Hardcore Toyosaki fans began posting photos her CD K-on singles broken into pieces and photos of her K-on character's face crossed out in red ink. One fan even uploaded a photo of Toyosaki surrounded by bullets and a hand menacingly gripping a knife (above). Another fan wrote on 2ch. about killing her. These might be "jokes", but they are hardly funny.

The incident brought back memories of a 24 year-old male who was arrested for threatening Hirano.

This notion of voice actresses, especially those who are adults, not doing what adults do, like fall in love and live with other adults, is absurd. Toyosaki was not inadvertently perpetuating this notion—who cares if she has a boyfriend? She in no way deserves these threats and intimidation.

The majority of Japanese 2ch. commenters were taken aback by Weekly Music Ray'n. "This is scary stuff," wrote one commenter. Another noted that this appeared to be the work of a professional paparazzi.

The name "Music Ray'n" is the arm of Sony Music Entertainment that handles Toyosaki's music.

While others believed that this wasn't a deranged fan, but someone who works in the voice acting industry and had a beef with Toyosaki. This could have been a railroad job—an unsettling, unsavory railroad job.

At the end of Weekly Music Ray'n's most recent post, the site noted that from now it would concentrate on news about the following voice actresses: Minako Kotobuki, Ayahi Takagaki, Haruka Tomatsu, and, as already evident, Aki Toyosaki. The four of them make up Sphere, a voice actress singing group, and the four of them are in somebody's sights.

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(Top photo: 名無しさん@お腹いっぱい | 2ch)

You can contact Brian Ashcraft, the author of this post, at bashcraft@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.