Arama They Didn't

9:01 am - 12/04/2013

Cute credit cards could send you to the slammer


You better watch out. Having a credit card with Idolmaster characters plastered across the surface is good enough to get you arrested in the U.S these days. That is precisely what happened to a Japanese Twitter user’s father on a recent trip to Los Angeles. The card was so cute that it was mistaken as a fake, which resulted in the Japanese man being arrested by local authorities. Maybe a wonderful Disneyland trip was ruined in the process but we may never know the full extent of what actually happened.

[Spoiler (click to open)]

Idolmaster is a popular simulation game with countless spinoffs, where the player assumes the role of a producer for pop idols. The main goal is to groom your attractive idols for stardom through a random assortment of mini-games and activities. For lovers of the game, the official Idolmaster Visa credit card is available through the Mitsui Sumitomo bank in Japan. It comes with a cast of pop idols covering the front of the card so you can be cooler than all your friends who have generic blue and gray credit cards.


While it might not seem odd to have a credit card with pictures of idols from a game or cartoon in Japan, the same can’t be said for the U.S. Anything too cute for comfort might be seen as a child’s toy and any man carrying a cutesy card might raise a few eyebrows as well. Let’s face it, not too many men carry around credit cards with adorable young girls on them in the U.S., so it’s not surprising that authorities suspected this man of fraud (it seems that my Labrador Retriever credit card is the threshold for cute as I’ve never had a problem using it in the U.S.).

What is surprising is that they actually went as far as arresting the man for using his anime idol girls as a form of payment. Thankfully the man’s bank in Japan followed up on the case quickly, offering their apologies and telling the man to wait until the evening for a free meal. Talk about compensation. Granted it’s not really the bank’s fault but couldn’t they offer a bit more?


Luckily, it’s not every day we face such bizarre circumstances. However, there are a couple of things we all can learn from this credit card mess up. Whenever you find yourself abroad and in trouble you had better contact the nearest embassy or consulate and talk to someone face to face. Otherwise nobody will understand why you were carrying around a suspiciously cute credit card.

Finally, it’s probably a good idea to not use credit cards in the U.S. or abroad with cute cartoon or video game girls unless you are seeking some personal time with the police. Your best bet would be to save those for use in Japan where they are perfectly acceptable forms of payment.


fauxparadiso 4th-Dec-2013 06:09 am (UTC)
This is a bit surprising given all those Capitol One cards that let you put Mickey Mouse and all kinds of juvenile shit on them. But I guess with it being an international card they were suspicious. Still shouldn't have been arrested, just questioned if they doubted the validity.
evilblueberry 6th-Dec-2013 03:27 pm (UTC)
If it was JCB card it's not really international. You can just use it here and in Japan. My local Japanese store actually offers special stuff to JCB customers. The only time someone should be held is if the card doesn't work.
umbrellaphone 4th-Dec-2013 07:42 am (UTC)
If the authorities here can't get any lamer.
ichigobanana 4th-Dec-2013 08:20 am (UTC)
The hell? Here you can have unicorns and kittens on your credit cards, why not anime characters? The US really overdo it... D:
ocha_suki 4th-Dec-2013 08:51 am (UTC)
and here i am having Taz (tasmanian devil) from looney tunes chara or batman on my master or visa CC...why can't anime chara? :p
arsinoi 4th-Dec-2013 03:46 pm (UTC)
Man, what would I give to have an Idolm@ster Visa too even if nobody ever took me seriously! I'm such a fan of the game! And don't get me started on the Tales Of card I saw the other day. Japan why you get all the cool stuff and we're stuck with the lame ones?
akai_byara 4th-Dec-2013 04:11 pm (UTC)
Couldn't they just check the card before arresting him? This is so stupid.
k0dama 4th-Dec-2013 05:01 pm (UTC)
Arrested for being too cute ;_;
fantaesticbaby 5th-Dec-2013 07:31 am (UTC)
i have mickey mouse on my japanese bank cards lol
bang2tang 5th-Dec-2013 10:08 pm (UTC)
is this a hoax?
If he is really a swindler why he didn't use fake card that looks similar to original ones?
glimmeringneon 6th-Dec-2013 04:27 am (UTC)
If its a legitimate credit card, no matter how cute it is, it should be fine.

Those police officers based it on looks not on substance. Awful.
evilblueberry 6th-Dec-2013 03:32 pm (UTC)
hmm.. sounds like someone can play the racism card for this. Like the article and others have said hello kitty and stuff are always on credit cards even personal pics of family members. Look up what apple stores do to Asian (usually chinese) customers. JCB is used a lot especially in rich areas so it's not an unknown card. All I know is you can question it was fake only if it doesn't work when using it.

If i were that guy I'd sue them especially after bribing him with a free meal.
sweetrain23 7th-Dec-2013 03:26 am (UTC)
JUST ONE FREE MEAL? What the hell...they should just offer not charge the man at all for the bill AND offer free food. That's so mess up to just offer one meal after an arrest.
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