Russian Parents Call for Putin to Ban Death Note

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Russian Parents Call for Putin to Ban Death Note

image

Teen suicide prompts call for manga censorship.

The Parents Organization of the Ural federal District of Russia has called upon President Vladmir Putin to tackle one of the most pressing issues facing Russian society; a manga which ended in 2006. According to the local media, a letter from the organization calls for the President to halt sales of the Death Note manga, anime TV series and the two live-action movies.

Apparently, the call for the ban stems from a tragic incident that took place back in February, in which a 14-year-old girl committed suicide by jumping out of the 13th story window of her home. Unfortunately, suicidal teenagers are not uncommon in the land of vodka, borscht and easy stereotypes for lazy writers. Russia has the third highest rate of teenage suicide per capita in the world, with 22 out of every 100,000 teens choosing to take their own lives. This, to me, speaks of a much larger problem, but Russian police instead chose to investigate the four volumes of Death Note found amongst the girl's possessions.

For those of you who missed it; Death Note tells the story of Yagami Light, an intellectually gifted teen who finds a magical notebook which, among other things, will kill anyone whose name is written in it. Light quickly goes off the deep end and begins enacting a keikaku (translators note: Keikaku means plan) to more-or-less take over the world. It's a profoundly silly, yet undeniably tense, cat and mouse thriller, with just enough of a Burton-esque flair to its visuals to bring in the Hot Topic crowd.

According to ANN, this isn't the first time Russian authorities have been called upon to investigate anime and manga imports. A Voice of Russia article from February of last year implied there is a causal link between anime and an ongoing wave of teen suicides. The article noted that many of the teens who had chosen to take their own lives came from well-to-do families and good educational backgrounds, and that many of them were anime fans.

Now, I'm no statistician, but I did read a lot of manga in my youth, and I strongly suspect the higher suicide rate amongst manga fans has less to do with the content they're reading than it does the way they're treated for reading it.

Source: Jiji.com via ANN

Permalink

Seriously?
Is it just me or do people have a habit of blaming things that have most likely nothing to do with the matter, whenever something happens?

School shootings? Videogames!
Suicide? Manga!
Livestock getting sick? Witchcraft!

Dear me we might actually one day have to try to be parents rather than banning things.

At the rate people are blaming things we might eventually start blaming the colour of wall paper when we have banned all other things whilst completely ignoring the actual problems.

Rex Dark:
Seriously?
Is it just me or do people have a habit of blaming things that have most likely nothing to do with the matter, whenever something happens?

School shootings? Videogames!
Suicide? Manga!
Livestock getting sick? Witchcraft!

Nope. You are correct. Barely anyone especially those in power want to take any kind of responsibility for the bad shit going down.

What.

I really wish I could leave it there, but the Escapist has this completely nonsensical demand for there to be actual thought put into posts. So anyways, in my experience, fiction is rarely the sole thing that drives someone to extreme behavior. Sometimes it's the trigger, but a trigger is just a final incident that blows the top off a giant can of underlying issues. Maybe she read something in there that reminded her of a traumatic experience, but it wasn't the experience in of itself. And hell, there's no guarantee that's what pushed her over the edge anyways.

So long story short: don't try to ban things that may or may not be triggers. Try to fix the damn problem, of which there will almost never be just one. But that takes time. Effort. Money. Understanding. Far easier to point your finger at one thing and claim it's responsible. Ban it, declare victory, move on and keep the fact that the problem is exactly as prevalent as before out of the press long enough to figure out the next best thing to blame.

This is literally the dumbest thing I've ever heard, this isn't just scapegoating, it's scapegoating without a damn shred of cohesive logic. There's nary even a mention of suicide in all of Deathnote, save a handful of Lights kills, and plot points I won't spoil for you here. Fortunately I don't think Putin is crazy enough to buy into the blatherings of these lunatics, but then again South Park is still banned in Russia to my knowledge, and I've been proven wrong before...

I'm sure this is a completely justified investigation and not an attempt to find a scapegoat and avoid actually fixing anything.

Damnit! Why couldn't they have found the Twilight Saga amongst her possessions?

Rex Dark:
Seriously?
Is it just me or do people have a habit of blaming things that have most likely nothing to do with the matter, whenever something happens?

School shootings? Videogames!
Suicide? Manga!
Livestock getting sick? Witchcraft!

It's just a lot of old people blaming things they're scared of because these things are foreign to them.
They don't have any actual understanding of these things and since they survived their youth, it must be something the youngins are doing differently.
Manga? We never did any manga, so that must be the cause.

"The article noted that many of the teens who had chosen to take their own lives came from well-to-do families and good educational backgrounds"
Clearly its the good educational background thats the real cause here.
*facepalm*

It's the same reversal of cause to effect we've seen with EVERYTHING linked to suicide or violence.

Wouldn't it seem more likely that rather than anime/videogames/heavy metal/[insert things kids do now days that us older folk just don't understand] making kids depressed or suicidal, depressed individuals would be more interested in these things?

We're talking about kids that are suffering from mental illness and are likely withdrawn from society and interaction with others. They would likely be interested in things like anime and games due to that isolation, rather than perfectly well adjusted people just becoming suicidal by reading manga. Why does this seem painfully obvious to me but not half of the world?

And besides, this is Russia we're talking about. Being depressed and grim is practically the national past time.

There a couple thing I've always wondered about all those parents organizations. Like, what are the kids of the members of those groups like? And how do those kids turn out when grown up? Do they think the same as their grumpy parents? I want to know.

Also, every time I hear about those kinds of knee-jerk, nonsensical reactions, I am reminded of this old animation:

Grey Carter:

Now, I'm no statistician, but I did read a lot of manga in my youth, and I strongly suspect the higher suicide rate amongst manga fans has less to do with the content they're reading than it does the way they're treated for reading it.

I totally agree with this. I kept the fact that I used to read manga and watch anime a secret because everyone at my high school who did read/watch it was essentially viewed as a loser or a dork. It is a real shame to see this happen.

P.S. I never read Death Note but I liked the TV show. Light taught me how to eat potato chips.

Playing devil's advocate a little here, we have to remember that people outside our hobbies lack a lot of what we would consider foundational knowledge about them. Add to that the nigh-impenetrable culture that often surrounds manga/anime/etc. due to its extremely high "buy-in," and you have a recipe for misunderstanding.

This gets compounded by the fact that so many people cry and scream and kick and yell whenever "our culture" gets blamed for contributing. We moan and scoff and belittle and deride anyone that doesn't understand it... but we do precious little to explain it, or to make outsiders feel welcome in the culture.

And that could very well be a feature of any subculture that actually contributes to suicide rates. It's not the content itself, but it's the exclusive nature of the culture. First, it makes people feel special to be part of something others don't know... and over time, that can lead them toward increasingly alienating tendencies -- but often by their own choosing.

I've hand many students over my years as a teacher, and consistently those students with the most-apparent self harm issues have also been big fans of anime, manga, and related cultural items. It's not a 1:1 correlation, and I don't for one second believe anime in any way leads to that kind of thing, but there is clearly some link between the two. I think, instead, there is occasionally an aspect of "geek culture" that causes people to self-isolate.

It happens more the less mainstream a culture is. Not usually because people pick on the person with weird hobbies, but rather because the person can't find a like-minded soul to share the hobby with. Sports people participate in teams. Band people have other band people. But certain other subcultures lend themselves to being more individual -- and this can become anti-social.

Banning any particular medium, or any particular items from that medium, is far from the correct answer. But pretending the type of hobby a person chooses, and how that person engages in that hobby, has no impact on their mental health? Ignoring the fact that certain cultural markers seem to happen a little more often around certain awful events?

TL;DR: Yes, sometimes geeks get picked on for their hobbies. Other times, we isolate ourselves by the way we engage (perhaps overindulge) in those hobbies. And, with a medium that is not inherently social, we must consider the possibility that there are unhealthy effects it can have in that isolation.

Dude, the whole point of Death Note was staying alive. With Light goin' around knocking people off once he knew their names, all the people I was rooting for didn't have a chance to even think about ending their own lives. And if I only had the first four volumes, I'd hold off the journey of no return until I'd finished the series.

By the way, is there any good manga like Death Note? I enjoyed it immensely, but I don't really talk to the person who recommended it to me any more.

Well by that logic, clearly "well-to-do families and good educational backgrounds" are equally to blame. What? Their logic, not mine.
Anything both fictional and empowering, if you want to have your art blamed for the downfall of society or whatever, it must contain empowerment. Jus as Light was empowered by finding the death note.

Daaaah Whoosh:
Dude, the whole point of Death Note was staying alive. With Light goin' around knocking people off once he knew their names, all the people I was rooting for didn't have a chance to even think about ending their own lives. And if I only had the first four volumes, I'd hold off the journey of no return until I'd finished the series.

By the way, is there any good manga like Death Note? I enjoyed it immensely, but I don't really talk to the person who recommended it to me any more.

Manga? Ask someone else.

Anime with a philosophical theme that won't bury you in power-ups or contrived combat reasons? Ghost in the Shell.

1337mokro:
Dear me we might actually one day have to try to be parents rather than banning things.

At the rate people are blaming things we might eventually start blaming the colour of wall paper when we have banned all other things whilst completely ignoring the actual problems.

It happened with every generation, no doubt it will happen with ours. There's always a vocal minority.

I seem to remember reading on Cracked.com that there was a Japanese dating sim and your choices of love interests included a sexy teenage version of Vladmire Putin (named "Putina"). That should be a little higher on his ban list

Edit: On topic, maybe they committed suicide because they have parents who were so disinterested in their lives that they'd rather blame manga than accept the responsibility for their own child's death

DVS BSTrD:
Damnit! Why couldn't they have found the Twilight Saga amongst her possessions?

If I weren't going to hell already, I'd be doing so for laughing at this.

Also, theat picture? Good thing I pulled a night shift and wasn't plannning on sleeping anyway. Now I only need to persuade my bladder to wait until 7:00 when the office lights are on.

flarty:

It happened with every generation, no doubt it will happen with ours. There's always a vocal minority.

Thats actually something I was thinking of the other day. The idea that in say 50 years them darn teenagers will be doing something so unknown/alien to me that I might sound like parents groups now. Creeps me out, to be honest.

How about we care about the teenager before we play the blame game guys?

Seriously the lack of apathy that goes on in the whole world for matters like these depresses me sometimes. Can't we all just get along?

PBMcNair:

flarty:

It happened with every generation, no doubt it will happen with ours. There's always a vocal minority.

Thats actually something I was thinking of the other day. The idea that in say 50 years them darn teenagers will be doing something so unknown/alien to me that I might sound like parents groups now. Creeps me out, to be honest.

My guess is that it will involve either genetic engineering, extreme cosmetic surgery, or technological integration (VR systems or cyborg enhancements, take your pick) since these things already seem to creep people out and it seems like they will become more prevalent as technology improves and new generations have less taboos against them.

While a suicidal teen is tragic, shit like that happens all the time. And while people blaming random stuff for bad things is mostly dumb, it's only natural, when they are afraid of something they don't know.

Also...
How come there are no Putin puns yet?

Oh for fucks sake..... This is getting so stupid. I'd like to think people aren't so pathetic as to look for something alien to them to blame but...ugh.

I'm not going to lie, I tried to read this article but kept getting freaked out by how absolutely terrifying that picture is. I absolutely love horror in all of its forms, but for some reason that picture makes me want to cry.

DEEP BREATH

Okay... let's give the article another shot.

Thank you escapist for that picture. Now I have a reason not to sleep tonight.

Y'know, I'm not even that angry at this point. The finger-pointing isn't really that surprising anymore, and I don't really have the energy to get worked up over it again and again and again. Aside from those who're using a tragedy to attack something out of personal moral belief rather than any actual concern for the child, I can sympathize with their reaction.

My thoughts go out to the parents and loved ones left behind, and to all others who've lost a child, parent, or friend.

dangoball:
While a suicidal teen is tragic, shit like that happens all the time. And while people blaming random stuff for bad things is mostly dumb, it's only natural, when they are afraid of something they don't know.

Also...
How come there are no Putin puns yet?

I am 140% we won't get any.

At least it is'n't video games being blamed.

This is getting out of control, how come shit like this still exists?

On a side note that picture.......AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

But you're also assuming that Manga is looked down upon the same way in Russia as it is in the States. It might not be.

and 13th story window? Of HER home? Must be rich.

At any rate, it's sad that people want to blame everything BUT the real problem. The real problem lies in the mirror.

Still can't believe they're blaming death note. Was there any proof at all that the two were related? Sure she owned a copy but she also owns a bed and a chair should we ban those as well? Jeez I wonder if these parents even know their kids, if they really truly believe a manga is what drove their child to suicide you really wonder if they actually cared for their kid.

Death Note.

Even seven years afters its production, it apparently can drive people insane.

... Somehow.

-_-

Ah, Russia. The country that deals with angry punk rockers by doing shit that accomplished nothing but making sure that everyone with a Black Flag shirt wanted Putin's head and deals with suicidal anime fans by telling them that their choice in media is wrong.
Basically, they're like that one really religious couple that's in every neighborhood, the one that clearly should not be having children because they don't know how to functionally deal with other people, but they do and said children end up either OD'ing on heroin or roadie-ing for Deicide.

Well that's different. Usually it's video games being blamed for things. I suppose it's refreshing in a slamming your head against a desk sort of way.

Rex Dark:
Seriously?
Is it just me or do people have a habit of blaming things that have most likely nothing to do with the matter, whenever something happens?

School shootings? Videogames!
Suicide? Manga!
Livestock getting sick? Witchcraft!

Livestock going missing? Aliens

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here