Q&A: What makes someone become obsessed and become a stalker? Why is it frowned upon, and is it a product of culture or evolution? [The Quora Coverage]

The question says it all. Here’s more:

I would love to hear from both sides: the victim and the stalker. So I get a broader sense of the situation not as black and white as people and pop culture make it.

stalker[ staw-ker ] noun

1. a person who pursues game, prey, or a person stealthily.

2. a person who harasses another person, as a former lover, a famous person, etc., in an aggressive, often threatening and illegal manner: Hollywood stars often have security guards to keep dangerous stalkers at bay.

Stalking – Criminal activity consisting of the repeated following and harassing of another person. Stalking is a distinctive form of criminal activity composed of a series of actions that taken individually might constitute legal behavior. For example, sending flowers, writing love notes, and waiting for someone outside her place of work are actions that, on their own, are not criminal. When these actions are coupled with intent to instill fear or injury, however, they may constitute a pattern of behavior that is illegal. Though anti-stalking laws are gender neutral, most stalkers are men, and most victims are women.

You may notice that we don’t post personal news. That will remain our policy. We will not celebrate the misery of others nor are we going to go beyond the ‘norm.’ When we speak of ‘norm,’ we exclude news about actors dating, getting married, having a divorce, getting drunk in public and making a scene. Perhaps we may mention a few in passing, but we will make an effort to avoid posting such news. There are plenty of sites willing to capitalize on that. However, we will continue talking about actors – and their acting ability (or lack thereof).

The question above has something to do with what I just said. Being a stalker (and performing the act of stalking) is the product of society and culture. When you become obsessed with an actor or anyone who is in the public eye, you tend to follow his (or her) every move. 

Before, it can be quite a challenge to do that – there are only TV, newspapers and magazines to get updates. Now that we have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and Line available 24/7, it’s just a matter of minutes that we hear the news and become aware of individual ‘opportunities’ for stalking.

Take the case of a Kento Yamazaki fan who went out of her way to go to the actor’s location shoot and personally pursue the actor. My good friend the-50-person responded to the ‘event’ @Tumblr:

I get that the actors and staff are nice, but please my friends, do NOT emulate and do something like this. It is harassment, stalking and not polite and respectful to do so. Please leave the crew in peace and let them focus on their work. This is the least we can do as fans, not go there and proactively disturb them. [ read more ]

Stalkers or obsessive fans have one thing in common – they tend to talk about themselves and everything that led to the ‘event’ as a personal accomplishment. It is no longer about the actor. In this case, some fans are saying they went to the location shoot because they are a fan of the anime – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures – or they are a fan of Takashi Miike (the filmmaker) or they are a fan of Ryunosuke Kamiki or Mackenyu or Masaki Okada. So, here are some questions:

1. If you’re from another place (YYY country) and you found out that an actor you like a lot is doing a location shoot in XXX country, will you fly over and see him?

2. If you’ve spotted him in XXX country, will you tap on his shoulder and ask him for an autograph?

3. After the actor obliged for an autograph, will you stay and watch the shoot, even though the film crew looks at you with a certain amount of worry?

4. Will you continue finding ‘opportunities’ to bump into the actor in other places in the same XXX country?

I don’t have an idea how Kento Yamazaki does his job as an actor – how he prepares for a scene, how he memorize his lines, how he interacts with fellow talents or what sort of supervision Takashi Miike do during location shoots, but I would be worried if there are obstructions. Privacy is one thing, but to disrupt work is another.

The reason why some actors have official websites or blogs is to offer the chance for fans to sign up for membership and perhaps even a link on how to send fan mail. 

As obsessive and protective Johnny and Associates have been through the years, it allowed their idols to feel protected, preventing any stalker from creating unfortunate incidents. While it is deplorable about the photo policy of the said agency, it seems rational enough if you think about it. That is debatable of course!

Perhaps Yamazaki’s and Kamiki’s (and the other actors’) agencies are not aware that fans can be resourceful that flying over to a location shoot is a (remote) possibility.  


Why is stalking frowned upon? It is an invasion of privacy and while we are social animals, we don’t appreciate being followed and observed closely like a specimen in a magnifying glass or a microscope!


What are the lessons we can learn here? I don’t know. 

I remember my dad when we watched a basketball game together, and he saw his favorite player. It was an opportunity to ask for an autograph. He didn’t, and when I asked him why he said: Watching the game is good enough for me.


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