Tuesday, May 20

When people take anime/manga a bit too far...

Medicom's Figure based on the franchise

....It wasn't until the anime was distributed outside Japan that the copycat crimes began. The first Death Note-related controversy took place in China in 2007: Students took death notes to school, prompting the government to ban products and conversations related to "scary magazines based on popular Japanese stories."

A few months later, in a case local police like to call "the manga murder," two human thighs and a matching torso were found on a Belgian hiking trail next to a handwritten note that read, "I am Kira" -- a phrase used in the original manga. Some suspect a serial killer was involved; others call the incident a grisly prank played by med students with access to spare body parts.

Then, students in South Carolina, Virginia and Alabama were suspended for carrying around death note replicas that listed their enemies.

Some parents and teachers are furious that such a morbid idea is being marketed to children, and some have called for Death Note, in its various incarnations, to be banned in the United States.


Wired Article

This is a form of social impact that is largely unforseen, but just like any medium of ideas, anime/manga can also drastically alter people's perceptions on reality around them. Another famous case that is based on the name which not covered in the Wired is Edison Chen's Hong Kong artiste sex scandal where a poster goes by same name, responsible uploading the pictures that rocked the Hong Kong pretentious entertainment industry; destroying lots of female artiste career there (notably Cecilia Chung Pak Chi). Somehow this name becomes synonymous with this story, thanks to Death Note presence of said name. K-I-R-A.

Another thing made me chuckled is puritanical zeal of US parents. It is like they don't their children to be streetwise or something. Heh.

It is a very interesting side effects from a largely popular anime/manga franchise.

2 comments:

anime hunt said...

I like death note manga, but not the anime. The story of murdering people by writing the victims name was original, but I think they should put a warning and it should be for mature readers.

Stormy001 said...

This is problem of preception, in US, anything animated is considered kiddy whereas Japan has proper lines between adult orientated animation and vice versa. Hence there is no warning over subject content for Death Note in USA, I suspect.