April 15, 2024

Some Pokémon playing cards are extremely sought, particularly by collectors and by resellers seeking to make a fast buck off of uncommon playing cards, or playing cards with distinguishing traits that make them extra invaluable. For instance, a card signed by illustrator Naoki Saito reportedly bought for over $100,000 in July 2023, which has had the unlucky facet impact of prompting people to harass and stalk the artist in methods he just lately stated made him concern for his life.

Saito is greatest recognized for his work as a contributing artist for the Duel Masters Buying and selling Card Recreation, Hatsune Miku merchandise, and the Pokémon Buying and selling Card Recreation. Saito has drawn over 280 Pokémon playing cards, with a lot of them hitting on-line resell markets for completely ridiculous costs, notably if he emblazoned them together with his John Hancock. This has made the mix of his artwork and his signature one thing of a collectible merchandise for admirers and fans, and a few people will cease at nothing to get their arms on signed copies of his work. Now, although, Saito is so terrified by the fervor that he could by no means signal one other card once more.

Posting to Twitter in Japanese on February 24 (and translated by VGC on February 27), Saito stated he’s repeatedly been “systematically ambushed and surrounded” by a number of individuals directly, all vying for his autograph. The scenario bought so dangerous that, at a latest occasion he didn’t disclose, Saito stated he was “adopted by a automotive for a number of minutes.” Because of this, he gained’t personally signal something till issues—and folks—relax.

“I’ve all the time been very completely satisfied to be requested for autographs, so I’ve all the time completed my greatest to answer all requests for autographs,” Saito wrote, calling the conditions by which individuals ambush him in teams or whereas he’s touring “very annoying.” He said that at some occasions, individuals determined for his autograph have “been making telephone calls to the occasion administration beneath false identities, making an attempt to substantiate my schedule.”

In a February 27 Automaton report, the editor and author Shinya Kusaka, who was reportedly with Saito on the time of the automotive stalking incident, stated that the pursuers had been so expert at chasing the artist that they adopted Saito into slender alleyways. Kusaka stated that the relentless hawking has brought on Saito “severe mental distress,” with people apparently coercing him into handing out his autograph. Some individuals, in response to Kusaka, even went so far as mendacity about their sick relations to get Saito’s signature, which simply looks like a wild low for resellers.

Kotaku has reached out to Saito for remark.

I perceive wanting a signature out of your fave movie star, whether or not that be an artist, musician, author, or no matter else. That autograph could make for a pleasant memento and a unbelievable reminiscence price retelling. Nevertheless, harassing and stalking somebody to basically drive them to signal one thing simply so you may make a revenue off it? That ain’t it, so hopefully, people will be taught to go away individuals alone. Saito is simply making an attempt to reside.