Russian District Court Has Banned Death Note And Other "Violent" Anime

Looks like St. Petersburg lawyers have several anime series written in their little black book.


A Russian district court banned several anime series on Wednesday, including Death Note, Inuyashiki, and Tokyo Ghoul, over claims that Russian teens have been reenacting the violent scenes found in these series.

In a statement announcing the registration of five lawsuits against 49 websites, the St. Petersburg court system said: "Every episode contains cruelty, murder, violence." State prosecutors also put Naruto, Interspecies Reviewers, Terror in Tokyo, and Elfen Lied forward to be banned this past December due to their violent content.

On Wednesday, St. Petersburg's Kolpinksy district court ruled that Death Note and Inuyashiki would be banned from distribution on two websites, while Tokyo Ghoul has been banned from one. The court heard arguments to ban the other four anime, as well as the song "I Ate Grandpa" by Russian rapper Morgenstern, on Wednesday. The song was put on the chopping block because of its title, though no further argument was provided for why it should be banned.

During the hearing, an expert for the prosecution, Oleg Erlikh, reportedly said that Death Note could be "potentially dangerous for a modern child." Erlikh runs the family pedagogy department of the St. Petersburg Academy of Postgraduate Pedagogical Education.

According to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency, only the listed websites involved in the rulings will be affected by the court's decision, so in theory, the shows are not banned completely across the country. However, Mediazona correspondent Alexander Borodikkhin has suggested that the censorship agency Roskomnadzor may treat the ruling as a general ban of the shows.

Some Russian parents have been advocating to ban Death Note since 2013, after a 15 year-old girl who had a Death Note collection died by suicide. This year, the St. Petersburg media reported that she had been wearing what appeared to be a white dress shirt and red tie styled after Death Note's main character.

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