I used to assume anyone with the nickname “Chainsaw Man” was automatically cool. I was wrong.
● First World Problems
Iga City in Mie Prefecture is famous as the home of ninja, those stealthy assassins and intelligence gatherers notorious for their delicacy and sophisticated techniques to go unnoticed and get the job done. So, it is about as ironic as it gets that this is also home to “Chainsaw Man.”
Get your checklist of everything a ninja wouldn’t do ready…okay: Chainsaw Man (born Kazuki Hasegawa) recently became famous for the crime of threatening delivery company employees with a running chainsaw and recording the whole thing on his smartphone so that he could later post it on his own YouTube channel.
According to reports and Chainsaw Man’s own video evidence, he was feeling frustrated that the router which he had purchased on Amazon had not arrived. According to delivery company Yamato Transport, they had attempted to deliver it on the evening of 2 December, 2016 but Hasegawa was not home to accept it. So, in keeping with procedure, they returned it to the office.
▼ Yamato Transport is a leading courier in Japan and famous for their black cat logo
Hasegawa was none too pleased with this minor everyday inconvenience and in the early hours of 3 December transformed into his alter-ego: Chainsaw Man!
● To the Chainsawmobile!
Chainsaw Man headed straight over to the Yamato branch in Iga but was thwarted by a locked door and no employees in sight. After five minutes of wandering around the perimeter of the office hollering for someone, an employee finally emerged.
Chainsaw Man began revving his blade while hurling obscenities at the staff and accusing them of “delivery fraud.” After demanding that the Yamato employees “hand over the package” they patiently collected his personal information to retrieve it.
After a few moments which Hasegawa spent pacing around like a tiger in a cage, the Yamato workers came out with the box and humbly apologized. Also, while it is debatable that he is either emotionally unstable or a sociopathic self-promoter, it can definitely be said that Chainsaw Man is no thief. In the video he can clearly be seen paying out the full COD charge before leaving with his package and chainsaw.
On the drive home – like the true YouTuber he is – Hasegawa did an unboxing of his new product on a video that he would post soon after. For the record, it appeared to have been an Aterm Lte Mobile Router capable of holding multiple SIM cards at once.
Image: NEC Platforms
● Crime doesn’t pay, and that includes crime on YouTube
Naturally, it didn’t take John Shaft to track down this suspect. Having both given his full name and address to the Yamato staff and posted full documentation of his crime on the Internet, he was swiftly picked up by police.
In the ensuing trial, prosecutors requested he get one and a half years in prison. They accused Hasegawa of committing the act in order to bolster viewership on his YouTube channel. Chainsaw Man had been an active YouTuber for seven and a half years and earned an estimated total of 450,000 yen (US$4,000) as a result.
However, the 27-year-old former truck driver denied that the act was a scheme to get money. Instead, he claimed that he was genuinely angered by not receiving his router and wanted to make a “violent performance” to vent his frustrations. He also made an “apology interview” for YouTube in which he expressed his deep regret to the Yamato staff.
Hasegawa also admitted to all charges against him and is now awaiting his sentencing on 22 March. Certain facts, like how he obscured the staff’s faces throughout the video he posted, do seem to indicate an intent to post the video and general cool-headedness lending credence to the prosecution.
On the other hand, as we have seen in the past, it is possible to get away with killing someone in Japan provided you show remorse and make the appropriate reparations. Whether this will work in Hasegawa’s favor remains to be seen, but even if it does he will have to deal with being forever branded as “Chainsaw Man.”
It’s an uncertain future for the young man, but there is one thing we call all be sure of: That must have been one hell of a router!