Unofficial or not, they look good. Screenshot: TBS News
A 34-year-old resident of Shibuya in Tokyo has been arrested for violating Japanese copyright law after selling Demon Slayer cakes without a license.
According to Kyodo News, the women sold the cakes via Instagram, with customers submitting the desired images to be made into frosting, cream and sugar. The suspect allegedly charged between 13,000 yen ($ 114) and 15,000 yen ($ 132) per cake. As of July 2019, it is believed to have made more than 6,500,000 yen in sales. That’s over $ 57,000!
It’s also a lot of cakes.
The Metropolitan Police Department has released photos of the criminal cakes in question, which can be seen in the TBS News clip above.
Demon Slayer is one of the most popular manga and anime of all time. Due to its great popularity, it has been slapped on a whole range of products in Japan, causing sales of some products to increase. For example, it was a game-changer for a Japanese canned coffee company.
Due to Demon Slayer’s selling power, its copyright holders have been particularly strict and sensitive. In July, Kotaku reported that the Demon Slayer-inspired merchandise led to arrests. The products didn’t explicitly mention Demon Slayer or introduce the characters, but hinted at the popular franchise by replicating its now iconic green and black plaid pattern.
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This last case is more explicit. The cakes feature the instantly recognizable Demon Slayer characters and logo. That’s why, when the production company saw the Demon Slayer cakes on Instagram in February 2021, they contacted authorities. Additionally, ANN reports that a Japanese bakery named Workshop Priroll already has an official license to make and sell Demon Slayer cakes, which are priced between 4,860 yen ($ 43) and 5,940 yen ($ 52).
“I thought that if I did [the cakes] with popular anime characters, I could sell them, ”the cake suspect reportedly said, admitting that she had violated copyright law. “I knew it was a crime.