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Russia Blames Anime for Suicide, Crime, and Homosexuality
By Kasaix • 1 year ago • 17 comments

It's fair to wonder why we're discussing Russian politics of all things here. Well, we're all anime fans, and they're taking a shot at our hobby. It's a dangerous act to scapegoat things. If it starts a trend and continues on like this, there's no telling what could happen.

Oh yeah, that is Natalia Poklonskaya, a Russian official who became a cute anime girl meme. No idea what she's actually like, but she is cute. But I digress, back to Russian officials screwing with us.

State-run news agency RIA Novosti quoted an expert at the state-sponsored Center for Protecting Children Against Online Threats as saying: 

“They make a lot of quality cartoons in Japan. They’re not dangerous if you don’t watch them all day. It’s another thing entirely if the characters are teenagers, like their viewers, who are also homosexuals, who smoke and drink and even cut their veins.”

We've previously discussed something similar to this, but framed with video games. If someone sees a fictional person committing a terrible act, and decides that would be a fun thing to do, that person was messed up before they took up a remote, or watched an anime series. There are two incidents that jump to mind, and both involve Naruto. Two kids were playing around in sand, and tried to replicate one of Gaara's moves by burying his friend's head in the sand. Sadly, that kid suffocated to death. Another incident saw someone commit suicide after Uchiha Itachi died. Both of these incidents are tragic, and no one here is making light of them. However, these incidents are likely being used by the Center for Protecting Children Against Online Threats to justify their attack on anime, which is just lousy.

They continue to lay blame on "underground" animation networks peddling "atrocious content", who apparently specifically target teens prone to criminal acts and suicide. Just so we're clear, this is nonse. There's no real evidence that backs this claim. 

These people claimed to have saved a bunch of kids who were going to commit suicide after watching anime. Ehh...I'd like to see evidence, comrade.

The Head of the Center for Protecting Children Against Online Threats, Vladimir Rogov, also wrote on social media about the topic:

“It’s best to restrict access to questionable groups: even if they’re playing in the background – their content will slowly ‘seep into the brain’. We’re against radical measures, but it’s time to place anime culture in Russia on the right track.”

Reading between the lines, they would prefer the state to run anime studios, or to ban them outright.

What do you fine people make of Russia's attack on anime? Sound off in the comments below!