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Death Note, Inuyashiki, Tokyo Ghoul, Elfen Lied Anime Banned from Streaming in Russia on Some Sites Due to Lack of Age Restriction

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda & Crystalyn Hodgkins
Court sends investigation into Aki Sora anime to Russia's Minister of Internal Affairs

The Russia-based news website The Moscow Times reported on January 20 that the St. Petersburg's Kolpinsky district court in Russia has banned the Death Note and Inuyashiki anime from distribution on two unspecified websites, as well as the anime Tokyo Ghoul from one unspecified website. The Russian newspaper Kommersant additionally reported on January 20 that the court also banned the Elfen Lied anime from a website in addition to those three titles.

Kommersant reported that while the shows on these websites were banned specifically because the websites did not adhere to age restrictions for the titles, the court and the experts who appeared at the court hearing also criticized the titles in general. The prosecution stated in December regarding one of the series that "every episode contains cruelty, murder, [and] violence."

The Kolpinsky district court's Joint Press Service's Telegram channel listed five requests in December from a prosecutor's office to prohibit the streaming of certain titles, including the ones mentioned above, as well as Naruto, Interspecies Reviewers, Aki Sora, and Terror in Resonance. The court mentioned 49 links to specific websites that did not adhere to age restrictions on these titles. Kommersant reported in December that only four requests to the Kolpinsky district court were filed, but only for halting the distribution of certain anime titles on three unspecified websites for offering content to underage viewers.

The Moscow Times' report noted that the Kolpinsky district court's ruling on January 20 only banned the anime titles listed above, and only on the websites listed in the requests. However, according to Kommersant, Roskomnadzor (The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) has the authority to ban other links containing the same media in the future without the need for more legal proceedings.

Kommersant additionally stated that an investigation regarding Aki Sora will be directed to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Vladimir Kolokoltsev, to be reviewed for possibly violating Russian law.

ANN could not confirm if the specific websites banned hosted legal or fansub streams of the anime.

The Death Note franchise has been controversial in Russia for years. In 2013, the Parents Organization of the Ural Federal District of Russia sent an open letter as an appeal to President Vladimir Putin to ban the manga because of its perceived harmful influence on children. Local media stated the source of the controversy came from a February 2013 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.

Thanks to Casimir for Russian translation assistance with this article.

Thanks to Mikhail Koulikov for the news tip.

Sources: The Moscow Times, Kommersant (Марина Царева) (link 2, Марина Царева), Kolpinsky district court's Joint Press Service's Telegram channel


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