You’re an adult. It’s your life. Your body. Make your own choices. But if I’m going to offer one bit of advice, it’s this: Don’t do illegal drugs in Japan. Just don’t.
Case in point: The Japanese media reported that voice actor Ai Takabe, who starred in the comedy-slice of life anime Kill Me Baby, was arrested for drug possession. According to Yahoo! News Japan, a small amount of cocaine was allegedly found at her home.
In the West, famous people get caught with drugs all the time. We’re kind of used to it, no? In Japan, if you are famous and caught with drugs, your career isn’t just over, but it’s like you get deleted from ever existing.
[via Kill Me Baby Wikia]
It is possible to make a comeback after such an arrest, but difficult. You’re viewed as damaged goods. Instead of appearing in Toyota commercials, you’re appearing at local pachinko parlors.
(Note: Even if you are not famous, getting arrested with drugs in Japan will totally mess up your life. If you are a foreigner, they will deport you. The drug laws are strict, and the police are not fucking around.)
2ch notes that after Takabe’s arrest was announced, she was erased from the credits on the Kill Me Baby official website.
[Photo via 2ch]
She’s also been dropped by her agency.
And even on Amazon Video, Kill Me Baby is not available.
Oct 28 - 7:45am Update: Bandai announced that today it’s no longer streaming Kill Me Baby as well as the 2009 anime Sweet Blue Flowers and the 2011 anime Wandering Son. Takabe voice characters in both.
I’m guessing the anime’s creators want to stir clear of the negativity the arrest is bringing to the show. People, like Twitter user doshirogu777, have been uploading fan art, showing Agiri Goshiki, the Kill Me Baby character Takabe voices, behind bars or holding narcotics. That’s probably what the show’s producers were trying to avoid, even though the show aired in 2012.
Takabe hasn’t been found guilty of anything yet. She’s still awaiting trial. But in Japan, cops don’t typically make arrests until they’re certain there’s a conviction—which might explain the country’s astronomically high conviction rate (it might not, though). You’re guilty until proven innocent.
[Photo via 2ch]
As elsewhere around the world, we can see more broadminded approaches to drugs and drug laws, Japan is strict as ever. (Japan has a funny history with drugs. When I first arrived here around the turn of the century, however, shrooms were legal. They were made illegal shortly before the country hosted the World Cup, possibly over fears that foreigners would go bonkers.)
We’ve seen this play out time and time again, most recently with Aska of the popular pop duo Chage and Aska. If you are in Japan—whether you are famous or not—don’t do drugs. There are many other countries that are far more hospitable to controlled substances than Japan. Try those places. Not here. At least, not now.
Top image: doshirogu777
To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter@Brian_Ashcraft.
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