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Naoki Saito is a highly regarded artist and illustrator of hundreds of different cards from the Pokémon Trading Card Game (you can see a few up above). Unfortunately, there’s a dark side to his popularity. As reported on by Video Games Chronicle, Saito has apparently been the victim of obsessed autograph hunters ambushing him and making him feel uncomfortable in various settings.

In a lengthy post on Twitter/X, Saito explains exactly why he feels it’s necessary to take a break from autographs, in spite of being happy to sign cards previously. According to him, fans have ambushed him at the end of multiple events. Some have even gone so far as to follow him in his car, or call event staff under false pretenses just to find out where he is. These events have led to him feeling generally unsafe. Saito says he may even need to decline event work for a while until the situation calms down.

Fandoms can certainly reach an ugly tipping point if they aren’t monitored carefully in situations like this. Hopefully, things calm down soon and Saito can get back to giving autographs in polite, controlled environments. See below for Saito’s original statement in Japanese.

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