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Russian Parents' Group Appeals to Putin to Ban Death Note Manga

posted on by Karen Ressler
Open letter cites negative influence on children

The Parents Organization of the Ural Federal District of Russia sent an open letter on Wednesday as an appeal to President Vladimir Putin to ban the manga Death Note because of its perceived harmful influence on children. The letter asks for a regulation of all manga and both the anime and live-action adaptations of the series.

According to local media, the source of the controversy comes from a February 20 incident in Yekaterinburg in which a 15-year-old girl committed suicide by jumping out of the 13th story window of her home. Police found a note in the room she jumped from that read "I can't live anymore," along with four volumes of the Death Note manga. At the time, police investigated if there was any connection between the suicide and the manga.

The manga series has previously been banned in several Chinese schools in 2005 and 2007. Also in 2007, a Tawanese educational bureau asked teachers to be on the lookout for "negative influences" caused by the manga series, but no ban was put in place. In 2010, New Mexico's Albuquerque Public Schools held a hearing about banning the series, but the ban failed the vote.

In February 2012, the international radio broadcast service The Voice of Russia posted an article that discussed a possible link between anime and a recent wave of suicides among young people in Russia. In the ten days prior to the original article's posting, six junior high school students committed suicide in Russia. The article noted that most of them had a strong interest in Japanese anime while they came from good families and received good grades.

In November 2012, the British tabloid newspaper Daily Mail reported that a 14-year-old Russian boy committed suicide after seeing a character in the Naruto Shippūden anime die.

UNICEF and The New York Times reports that Russia has the third highest rate — 22 per 100,000 — of teenage suicide after Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Source: Jiji.com

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