A new Death Note notebook has emerged in the Human Realm. Recently, a Connecticut middle school boy attempted to recreate a Death Note, a notebook in which all names written in the stationery will die. The suspicious activity, inspired by the popular anime and manga, Death Note, is being investigated by the Connecticut State Police.
Obviously, a recreation of the eponymous notebook will bear no supernatural effects. However, the fact that the student is writing people’s names in a notebook whose purpose in the anime series is to kill is slightly disconcerting. Can one argue that this student, after just finishing the series, decided to replicate the notebook because he loved the show so much? Is it all fun and games? I mean, no one will actually die because of this “Death Note.”
Still, this action is a direct threat to someone’s life, whether real or percieved. Similarly, students can’t go around making voodoo dolls of their principals and starting using them; it’s not acceptable behavior.
About a week ago, The Animation Curation wrote about China banning Death Note and a few other anime. In that piece, we mentioned that maybe a series like Death Note is too sinister, complex and dark for children. It is definitely not a show for middle school students. It is true that violence imitates the media? This is an age old question, but in cases like this, you have to wonder.
Although the Death Note incident is not violent per se, its connotations are frightening. These incidents are the kind of things that give anime a bad name. So society, please refrain from imitating anime, especially if they are violent. Please watch them for their artistic and entertainment value only. Hey, maybe even write about them; that’s fun.