Over the past two weeks in Russia, 6 children have committed suicide. The true motives behind the suicides hasn't been found yet, but child psychologist Olga Makhovskaya has taken it upon herself to give an answer. Out of all things, she blames anime.
"Of course anime by itself cannot be the cause of teenage suicides. But it is a visual art that attracts many teenagers and that intensifies all their feelings. And death, the heroics of death that is typical of the Japanese culture a lot more than other cultures, often serves as a measure of friendship or loyalty. To jump down from a high-rise together holding each other's hand—it is specifically typical of girls' behavior," she added. "Heroic adventures of girls, stories of inseparable friendship between girls—these are all anime stories. It is a whole subculture that despite varying story lines and styles all romanticizes death. And one cannot exclude indirect influence. It also erases borderline between reality and virtual culture. Sometimes virtual culture due to its graphic imagery appears to be brighter and richer than real life."
It's such a delicate topic to discuss. I feel that these events are so fresh that we shouldn't be labeling anything until a thorough investigation takes place. With that said, I cannot believe this psychologist is blaming anime. There's absolutely no connection to anime here. We don't even know if the kids watched anime, or what they watched if they did!
Music, movies, TV shows, video games and now anime. Every generation finds a scapegoat to explain away things they just don't understand. Let's just hope this anime blame is an isolated incident.