A Russian court has banned several popular Japanese animated series including Death Note, Tokyo Ghoul, and Inuyashiki after concerns that teenagers would mimic on-screen violence. The trial took place on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, at St. Petersburg’s Kolpinsky District Court.
State prosecutors previously requested the court to ban Naruto, Elfen Lied, and Interspecies Reviewers in December 2020. “Every episode contains cruelty, murder, violence.” stated the St. Petersburg court system. On December 18, 2020, five lawsuits against 49 Russian streaming websites distributing anime was filed.
During the hearing on January 20, 2021, the anime Death Note was declared “potentially dangerous for a modern child” by Oleg Erlikh, an expert from the prosecutor’s office (Erlikh heads the family pedagogy department at the St. Petersburg Academy of Postgraduate Pedagogical Education).
“The name ‘Death Note’ itself is already — when there’s the problem of suicidal behavior — enough of a name to say that there is an indirect, but sufficient, motivating effect on a child. This prompts children to think in this direction and damages the psyche of minors” – Oleg Erlikh
At this current time, the ruling bans two websites from distributing Death Note and Inuyashiki. While one website is not allowed to distribute Tokyo Ghoul. Mediazona correspondent Alexander Borodikhin, mentions 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).
I’m Jake Caprino, who is more commonly known by the online alias Swaps4. I’m a business owner based in Japan. I enjoy writing about anime, video games, and bits & pieces of Japanese culture.