The Russian anime community is under fire from the government for “promoting teenage suicide.”
Kanon © Visual Arts / Key / Hyakkaya
Without citing any sort of evidence, the state-sponsored Center for Protecting Children Against Online Threats states, “we’re against radical measures, but it’s time to place anime culture in Russia on the right track.”
Yelena Ivanova, who is an expert from the center, commented, “They make a lot of quality cartoons in Japan. They’re not dangerous if you don’t watch them all day.”
So, the main concern is that the youth is spending too much time watching anime instead of forming social relationships. That can’t be too bad, right? Too much of a good thing is bad for you.
But it gets so much worse. Ivanova followed up with, “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.
It’s no secret that Russia is anti-homosexual — you can be arrested simply for loving the same sex. The anti-smoking and drinking angle is a bit ironic, seeing as how 39.1% of Russians smoke (the highest in the world) and the per capita of alcohol consumed is 15.76 liters (fourth-highest in Europe). Sadly, the teenage suicide rate in Russia is 25.8 per 100,000 citizens, which is among the highest in the world.
Let’s compare this to anime. Sure, there is a lot of homosexual content, but the industry is obsessed with censoring teenage drinking and smoking. Just ask Grand Blue and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure fans about some iconic censored scenes. The topic of suicide and self-harm is also taboo, meaning it’s nearly non-existent in anime.
But that doesn’t matter, because the Russian government believes that anime plants the seeds of social vices in the viewers. Vladimir Rogov, head of the center, said, “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.”
Who’s to blame for this brain-washing of the youth? Some nefarious yakuza group or the NHK? Nope — it’s the United States and China. That’s right, these two nations are funding underground animation studios to fuck up the Russian youth.
If you want, you can read the full report in Russian at the RIA Novosti state-run news agency.