There is no denying the popularity of the anime "Love Live!" and its follow-up "Love Live! Sunshine!!," especially among its legions of die-hard fans, the Love Livers. In fact, despite "Love Live! Sunshine!!" having ended its run about a month ago, enthusiasm hasn’t seemed to die down in the slightest.
On Jan 26, the official website for "Love Live!" posted a warning — the fourth to date — on their news page advising fans to calm down and adhere to the basic rules of human interaction etiquette.
It reads as follows: “Recently, some people are not observing proper manners and are disturbing the viewing experience of others in the audience. Conflicts between customers has also been triggered by this behavior. Because this may lead to legal trouble, we ask everyone to please follow the rules during viewings and please heed the warnings of the staff promptly.
If an improvement in behavior is not seen, the theater staff may deem it necessary to eject you. This may also impact the scheduling of any future live viewings.”
The term “live viewings” refers to a range of events from concerts and conventions to public screenings. The range of “not observing proper behavior” is wide, from reports of relatively mild human centipedes ending up the skirt of one of the characters to the assault and robbery of a fan who received chocolate from one of the voice actresses.
The following video shows a Love Liver destroying a rack of magazines or pamphlets reportedly because he wasn’t given a special edition item when purchasing his movie ticket.
Again, this is the fourth such warning, with the first two asking fans to not engage in trespassing or otherwise intrusive photography in the city of Numazu, where "Love Live! Sunshine!!" is set. The third advisory was to remind fans to respect the personal space of cast members and to not bother them during their private lives.
This latest warning has been embraced by the sane segments of the Love Liver population with many lamenting that it has had to come to this.
“There have been some really intolerable things recently.”
“Finally, it came.”
“Took them long enough.”
“Sad that the official website has to address this.”
“If they were true fans, why would the do something to damage the reputation of their favorite work?”
“It’s a problem, but other fans trying to solve it with violence is also a problem.”
“Because of some people who can’t control themselves we get all get this crap. What the hell?”
“I hope live venues and theaters are going to be cracking down on these troublemakers more and more from now on.”
“I went to a live viewing in Shanghai. It was very uncomfortable. I’m happy to hear that the producers are advising staff to kick these people out!”
So while it’s clear that this is just the work of a few bad apples, it still begs the Seinfeldian question: who are these people?
It’s interesting that given anime’s notoriety for works of graphic sex and violence, it’s "Love Live!" of all things that’s triggering certain people to get all wild and out. You certainly don’t see any Junji Ito fans bothering others by turning into giant snails or tearing their own heads off, do ya?
However, it is a testament to the success of "Love Live!" in that it affects people so deeply both in positive and less positive ways. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail so all of the hard-working, "Love Live" loving-n-living fans can continue to enjoy it for years to come.
Sources: Love Live! Sunshine!!, Naver Matome
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