"Kakkoii!" (He's really cool), one blogger posted. "When he was arrested, I thought his disheveled black hair and the line along his neck to his jaw made him look so sexy. . ." another sighs.
It seems 30-year-old accused murderer Tatsuya Ichihashi, captured by police in Osaka port on Nov 10, is attracting a following of female admirers.
Ichihashi spent 2 1/2 years on the lam after allegedly murdering 22-year-old English teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker in his Chiba apartment in March 2007.
But these celebrity groupies appear to be willing to overlook Ichihashi's transgressions. The son of physicians, he's tall (180cm), has a lean and mean physique, a talent for illustrating and can converse in a foreign language.
Nikkan Gendai (Nov 17) reports that blogs like 2-channel have opened threads (http://gimpo.2ch.net/test/read.cgi/lifesaloon/1258286080/l50x) to appeal to Ichihashi's growing fan base, where he has been bestowed with affectionate nicknames like "Ichi-sama" (Lord Ichi) and "Tobo Oji" (the fugitive prince).
For these scatterbrained airheads, idolizing a notorious desperado is the thing to do.
"It's really cool that someone who'd gone on the run in his bare feet had the vitality to save up 1 million yen while working at a construction job," another post reads. "And despite that, Ichi-sama was so cute to have wept buckets when his family's dog died."
"Ichihashi is also popular with males, and there's a chance that some of those posts were made by 'nekama' (males who pose as females on the net)," an unnamed IT journalist is quoted as saying.
Some posters even go so far as to fantasize having sex with him.
The Gyotoku police station where Ichihashi is currently incarcerated has reportedly received letters addressed to Ichihashi. One woman apparently even came to hand-deliver an album of doggie photos.
This would not be the first time females have been starstruck by a criminal suspect. After the Aum Supreme Truth doomsday cult released sarin nerve gas on the Tokyo subways in 1995, Nikkan Gendai recalls the cult's charismatic "Minister of Information," Fumihiro Joyu, attracted a brigade of groupies who became known as "Joyu gals."
"From his image on wanted posters, Ichihashi seemed like a hunk, and I suppose this had a strong impact on some young women," Masumi Kurata, a writer knowledgeable about female psychology, tells the tabloid.
"Some women have become infatuated. They see him as a man of mystery, like a hero in a romantic comic story," Kurata continues. "Hunks -- and fallen hunks -- pique their maternal instincts. Some are attracted to shadowy men, and there's no end to women who wind up marrying men on death row."
As for the blog posts, Kurata explains that women who ordinarily wouldn't indulge in such careless remarks lose self control in the anonymity of cyberspace.
"They needn't take responsibility for what they post, so they let themselves go," she says.
What's the world coming to, Nikkan Gendai wonders -- when dopey females get the hots for criminals?© Japan Today