Alarmed Russian parents demand ban on ‘Death Note’ manga series


A group of parents in the central Russian region of Ural called on President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to ban the popular “Death Note” manga series, complaining in an open letter to him that it is harmful to children.

According to local media reports, a 15-year-old girl left four “Death Note” comic books along with a suicide note before jumping from a window of her 13th-floor apartment in Yekaterinburg on Feb. 20.

Local police are investigating a possible connection between her death and the manga series, which details murders committed by putting the names of targets on a notebook given by Death.

In the letter, the parents of the girl demanded that sales of the books and related DVDs be banned, arguing that “Death Note” helps generate interest in death among children and badly affects their emotional development.

All 12 volumes of the “Death Note” series were translated and published in Russia by 2012.

Manga are so popular among Russian children and youngsters that they can be found at bookstores in regional cities. They also can be browsed on the Net for free thanks to Russia’s inadequate copyright protection.

  • Joey

    This is absolutely ridiculous. If there actually is “harm,” then it has already been banned in other countries.

    Does this mean that they also have to ban Harry Potter because Voldemort cruelly murders so many people in the series?

  • Casper Steuperaert

    Why do they need Putin? They can censor themselves

  • The only books that need to be banned because they promote violence and – a proven fact – cause harm on an enormous scale are the bible and the quran…

    • lonanarcheya .

      I am an atheist, and I find the above insulting. People will be bad or good whether they read a book or not. By the same token, if you are an extremist, no amount of rationality will help you.

  • Dana

    The same “inadequate copyright protection” enables the manga to be viewed for free in most of the major European languages, most of all – in English.

    • Glen Douglas Brügge

      Which makes their whole crusade rather moot!

      • Dana

        it is rather moot to begin with. Those people was born and raised in an overprotective environment of the Soviet Union and blame most of their troubles, including the inability to communicate with their own children on the ‘lewdness and cruelty’ of the unrestricted information sources. They have never read the Deatn Note, they just hate the idea that something so uncontrollable can happen and need something to put a responsibility on… I guess.

      • Glen Douglas Brügge

        And it is ultimately the individual’s fault. If one is willing to kill themselves due to some message in “Death Note” then they were probably not all that far away from doing it for other reasons too.