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Japanese Man Burns Down House Over Gundam Models

| 11 Aug 2009 20:51
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A 29-year-old man in Japan has been arrested after burning his house to the ground following a fight with his mother over models from the Gundam anime/manga franchise.

Yoshifumi Takabe, a 29-year-old factory worker from a town near Kobe, Japan, was arrested this weekend after he allegedly burned down the house he and his mother lived in. Takabe doused his room in kerosene and set it on fire in a suicide attempt while distraught after learning that his mother had thrown away his "valuable" models from the iconic Gundam franchise, the suspect reportedly told police.

Despite intending to kill himself, both Takabe and his 55-year-old mother escaped the fire unharmed. The two-story, 2,700 sq. ft. house, on the other hand, was completely burned to the ground.

Okay, you know what? On the one hand, I can understand the guy being upset. Beyond obviously being a (rather passionate) fan of the franchise, Gundam models can get kind of pricey. Right now, I have nine or so models on my desk here at the office, probably worth anywhere from $250 to $300, ballpark. And those are medium-quality kits, even.

The highest-quality model kits (like, say, this Perfect Grade Astray Red Frame, for example) can run you anywhere from $150 to $200, and if this guy was as devoted a fan as he appears, he probably had a few of those in his collection. So, we're potentially talking a loss of a few grand here - he was perfectly right to be angry.

But... driven-to-suicide-and-burning-down-the-house angry? That's a bit much, wouldn't you think? On the bright side, this is unlikely to be blamed on a videogame, for once. For all Japan has odd taste in games, I don't think they have Super Arson Setting Master Ecstasy ... yet.

(Now for a completely unrelated game, Gundam fans: Can you name all of the Mobile Suits in the above image just based on their head design?)

(Kobe Shinbun via ANN via Kotaku)

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