Anime piracy and fake anime merchandise may be quite rampant here in Southeast Asia, but it also happens in Japan. In fact, the Okayama Prefectural Police arrested a 32-year old unemployed many for selling fake illustrations. According to police reports, the suspect sold fake autographed illustrations supposedly drawn and signed by the likes of Makoto Shinkai, Hayao Miyazaki, Masashi Kishimoto, and even the late Shigeru Mizuki.

Usually, original autographed illustrations sell for tens of thousands, and sometimes hundreds of thousands of yen. However, the suspect was auctioning off fake ones that famous illustrators and mangaka purportedly signed. According to reports, one man from Okayama Prefecture bought one of his fakes for 17,000 yen, while another man from Aichi bought one for 7,750 yen.

Allegedly, the suspect displayed 279 fake illustrations online. And when the police raided his home, they found even more fake illustrations from other famous artists. According to Sanyo News, Makoto Shinkai himself confirmed that what the man is selling are fake. Shinkai reportedly noticed the fake illustrations last September, and then announced them to be fake in his blog.

In times like these, we must be wary of what is fake, and what is original. Here in Southeast Asia, bootlegs and pirated anime merchandise are everywhere too, so we must be careful.

Source: Sanyo News