”Get in the damn prison cell, Shinji!”
In the current otaku culture boom, there are more opportunities than ever for fans to cosplay. Aside from major anime-related conventions like the twice-a-year Comiket, there’s an increasing number of local events that allow fans to dress up as characters from their favorite animated series and movies.
But Tetsuya Fujisawa is doing what he can to take cosplay to a bold new venue: home burglary.
The 37-year-old Fujisawa, a resident of Iizuka in Fukuoka Prefecture, has been arrested and indicted on charges of breaking into a home two towns over in Munakata. At the time of the break-in, which took place on February 6, Iizuka was wearing an Evangelion cosplay outfit modeled on the plug suit uniforms the anime’s mecha pilot characters wear. Underneath that he had on a woman’s one-piece swimsuit and black tights.
▼ Looks like an anime convention booth, but it’s actually a public display of police evidence.
Fujisawa (who judging from the color scheme of his Eva outfit, is a Kaworu fan) is accused of stealing some 17,000 yen (US$153) in cash from the home, whose occupants were out at the time of the burglary. That’s a pretty modest haul, but would still be enough to purchase a couple of decent-quality Evangelion figures. Police have also named Fujisawa as a suspect in a total of 10 burglaries that have taken place in the area since the start of the year.
If convicted, this will be at least Fujisawa’s second stint in prison, as he previously served time for…burglaries committed while wearing cosplay outfits. In his previous heists, he wore outfits such as a sexy bunny girl getup and a Spider-Man costume. The Marvel superhero outfit is a strange choice for criminal activities, but maybe Fujisawa was confused by the way the Japanese TV series Spider-Man was fond of calling himself the “Emissary of Hell,” or got the character mixed up with the real-life Osaka criminal dubbed “Spider Man” by the police.
Given Fujisawa’s previous M.O., investigators are working off the theory that he was also doing cosplay at the time of the other burglaries from this year that he’s suspected of carrying out.
Now, at this point, some of you might be wondering how accurate it is to call what Fujisawa did “cosplay.” After all, it’s not unusual for criminals to wear disguises when pulling a job, right?
But there are a few critical factors to take into account. First, during Fujisawa’s Evangelion break-in,