Anime series including Death Note are reportedly being banned in Russia over fears that young viewers may mimic the violence they depict.
We’ve all heard the old wives’ tale that video games make kids violent, but it seems that Russia is more concerned with animated shows than virtual worlds.
According to The Moscow Times, a St. Petersburg court has banned anime shows Death Note, Tokyo Ghoul and Inuyashiki after concerns they could incite violence in teenagers [via Kotaku].
The court claimed that the ban was issued as “every episode contains cruelty, murder and violence”.
The bans were issued to two Russian state sites that provide access to the shows. This was part of a wider lawsuit filed against 49 sites. While only the three shows mentioned have been banned so far, prosecutors have also called for the likes of Naruto and Elfen Lied to be given the same treatment.
There’s no doubt that this will worry Russian anime fans, as well as disrupt their ability to watch their favourite shows.
According to the website Meduza, it’s still unclear how Russia’s censorship agency will view the court findings.
“As underscored by Mediazona correspondent Alexander Borodikhin, it’s still unclear whether or not this ban applies to the anime series as such or just the content posted on ‘jut.su,’” says the website.
“That said, he warns that Russia’s censorship agency, Roskomnadzor, could interpret the court ruling as a “ban on the content in general” (in other words, on the anime series themselves).”
In a nutshell, this means that anything classed as anime could find itself suffering the same fate as its peers. With Russian authorities like the Academy of Postgraduate Pedagogical Education branding the shows as “potentially dangerous for the modern child,” it’s not looking good for the genre’s presence in Russia as a whole.
This isn’t the first time Death Note’s found itself in bother with Russia. The series was previously linked to a 15-year-old girl’s suicide. In 2013, a group of parents went straight to Vladimir Putin himself to argue their case for manga being banned to protect the country’s youth [via Kotaku].
Needless to say, it’s going to be a long year for Russian anime fans waiting to find out the fate of their favourite genre.
Are you surprised to see that Russia is cracking down on popular anime?
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