Japanese Man Gets 4 Years in Prison for Gundam-Related Arson
Most toy collectors often form, shall we say, unique attachments to their pop culture possessions, but there are times when our geeky brethren take their obsessions a step too far (or way too far) -- as in the case of Yoshifumi Takabe, a 30-year-old Japanese factory worker who recently attempted to kill himself by burning his house down (with him in it) after his mother attempted to throw out his collection of Gundam models.The story -- which originally ran on the Anime News Network -- reports that Takabe became distraught upon learning that his 55-year-old mother had gotten rid of his valuable collection of Gundam models, leading him to douse himself and his room in kerosene and igniting it with a lighter. Fortunately, both Takabe and his mother escaped with only minor injuries, but the 2400 square foot home was destroyed in the resulting inferno.
As numerous sources have pointed out, Takabe claimed that his collection was "like my life partners" and argued he "would rather burn to death with them than have them thrown away," however, a Kobe District Court charged him with arson of an inhabited building and sentenced him to four year in prison. Requests for leniency from his defense were denied by Judge Hiroshi Mori.