Police investigation starts as singer cancels all upcoming concerts.
It’s no secret that Japan’s idol music industry thrives on encouraging fans to develop an extremely strong attachment to their favorite performers. But a fan starts posting online about a desire to rape a singer, even idol producers have to admit that a line has been crossed.
Such is the case of the idol who performs under the stage name Magical Girl Riripom, who made her musical debut in 2013. On October 21, a notice was posted on the official Riripom website, which began by thanking fans for their support and apologizing for the suddenness of the announcement that as of October 22, the singer would be ceasing all idol activities. Riripom’s scheduled concerts and other appearances have all been cancelled, with the notice once again expressing regret over the inconvenience this will cause organizers and fans.
The reason behind the decision is a fan who been making increasingly threatening statements regarding the singer. Despite warnings from Riripom’s managers, the fan, suspected of posting messages under multiple social accounts with different screen names, has gone so far as to say that “Going to prison for three years for raping her wouldn’t be so bad.”
Riripom’s managers have documented the threats and presented them to the police, who advised that she stop all idol activities while they move forward with a criminal investigation and, if possible, prosecution of the fan. Riripom has also been placed in a safehouse in Tokyo, and is refraining from social media for the time being.
In light of recent acts of horrible violence that have been perpetrated on idols by deranged fans, the precautions hardly seem like an overreaction. The statement on Riripom’s website goes on to say that no decision has been made regarding whether or not the idol will resume performing after the threatening fan has been dealt with, and that the singer’s personal safety is their top priority.
While that’s an admirable sentiment, it’s somewhat undermined by the fact that, even now, the Magical Girl Riripom website lists her bust, waist, and hip measurements, as well as her shoe size, in her official profile.
Granted, listing the measurements of female entertainers is far from unusual in Japanese show business marketing, even for those without an entirely “sexy” image (although shoe size is an unusual extra detail). However, given the current situation Riripom finds herself in, having whoever is in charge of the website remove the information, and thus make it a little harder to imagine the contours of the idol’s body, seems like it would be a nice thing to do.