The Japanese newspaper, The Mainichi reported on Friday that 8 men have been arrested by the Kyoto, Hyogo and Akita prefectural police forces on suspicion of infringing the Copyright Act by selling bootleg figurines of characters of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba" franchise.
Kyoto Prefectural Police arrested a total of five people including Tsutomu Morimoto, 45, a hairstylist from Osaka's Abeno Ward. According to the police, the suspects were accused of selling 4 to 12 model figures each via online auction between February and June with the knowledge that the merchandise was duplicated without permission from Aniplex Inc. Three of the accused told the police they obtained the merchandise from the Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. One of the accused denied the allegations, claiming they did not know that the figures were not licensed merchandise. The five arrested individuals allegedly sold 44 total figures for a combined 57,980 yen (about US$550).
The figures were replicas of figures that were only available through convenience store lotteries and as claw machine prizes.
The bidders complained about the fake merchandises, as the items sold were of different colours from the original products and not having the manufacturer's imprint.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga written by Koyoharu Gotouge's, debuted in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in February 2016, and ended its run on May 18, 2020, with 205 chapters.
The TV anime adaptation aired from April 6, 2019, to September 28, 2019, with 26-episodes. The book franchise also includes several novels.
Shueisha revealed last November that the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga was the company's second highest-selling manga in 2019, second only to Eiichiro Oda's One Piece manga.