Man Arrested For Allegedly Selling A Customized Anime Figure In Japan

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A 39-year-old man has been arrested in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan for allegedly customizing and selling an unauthorized customized anime figure.

Illustration for article titled Man Arrested For Allegedly Selling A Customized Anime Figure In Japan
Screenshot: Sankei

According to The Sankei Shimbun and Mainichi (via ANN), the man allegedly took the head from a Love Live figure of character Nico Yazawa and put it on the body of a Darjeeling figure from Girls und Panzer Darjeeling (see photo), violating the characters’ copyrights. Why? In Japan, holders of said copyrights license official figures and those who sell customized versions thereby violate that.


The unauthorized figure was reportedly sold at an online auction for 3,000 yen ($27) last fall and discovered during a “cyber patrol.”

Authorities recovered around 1,000 figures from the man’s house and are investigating questionable deposits totaling around $77,000.

The suspect has confessed to the charges, admitting to selling the figure to help make ends meet.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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Wait wait, Bash, you gotta clarify; is this bootlegging or was he arrested for kitbashing?? I’m assuming this is straight up a form of bootlegging but the way this is written out it almost seems like the guy was arrested for “body swap kitbash”, which, I’m seriously hoping isn’t an actual crime in Japan. Because there’s whole Gunpla circuits dedicated to just that.