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Smiley Kikuchi’s grim crusade began in 1999 when he suddenly fell victim to intense online vitriol over the brutal rape, torture and murder of a high school girl committed 10 years earlier by four teenage boys.

“One day my manager insisted I check out the online bulletin board on the website of the talent agency I belong to,” says the mild-mannered comedian known for delivering acerbic jokes with a deadpan grin.

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