CAMDEN, NJ― The Camden Police Department, already suffering from a critical shortage of manpower, has a new problem on their hands.
Since last week, an abnormal surge in interest in the State of New Jersey from Japanese tourists has contributed to increased reports of muggings in urban centers statewide. “It’s unclear why they’re here,” Camden police officer Miguel Hernandez told Anime Maru. “We don’t get many tourists here in Camden. Most of them stay in Philadelphia. There’s not much to see here anymore. Sometimes you get the ‘urban explorer’ types in Camden trying to take photos of run-down buildings and such, but somehow, I don’t think these guys are here to do that.”
The victims of the muggings are shockingly homogenous― mostly Japanese men in their 20s and 30s, bespectacled, carrying backpacks, and wearing cargo shorts. “I don’t know how these guys are still alive,” Hernandez said, looking through case files. “They’re practically screaming ‘rob me’, with those pockets and those heavy-looking backpacks.”
Outside the station, a victim volunteers to speak with me. His name is Satoru Miyamoto, 26, from Hyogo. When I asked him why he was in New Jersey, he told me that everyone here was on a “pilgrimage” to visit Princeton. They were not here, however, to see the famed university, but rather, because a character in the new Japanese cartoon Hanayamata hails from that town. “We had no idea New Jersey was this dangerous,” Satoru said. “The show makes New Jersey seem like such a pleasant place. There’s no way anyone as well-adjusted as Hana-chan can be from a place as dangerous as this.” According to Satoru, he successfully made the trip from New York to Princeton. After walking around the town for a few minutes and taking some token photographs, he headed for Philadelphia, and was mugged while stopped at a gas station in Camden. When asked if the entire experience was worth it, he shook his head emphatically. “No,” he said. “I can’t recommend this for anyone, not even for the most die-hard fans of Hanayamata. Not only did I lose most of my stuff, Princeton totally sucked. There was not a single small blonde girl in sight. All I saw were men with pink polos, popped collars, and white shorts. It was the worst.”