Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

March 30, 2010

Missed It: New Death Note Suspension


I initially missed this but Anime News Network made note late last week of the suspension of a middle-school boy in Michigan who kept a real-world approximation of the Death Note used in the manga and anime of the same name. In the fictional universe, the books afford an opportunity to foist death on the people whose names are written in it. In the real world... well, officials (in the broader sense) seem genuinely split whether listing a fellow student's name you'd like to see die is a passive act -- even a cry for help -- or the beginning of a potentially active one. It's not like wishing people to die is a new experience to high school students, and while I was mostly a genial teenager somewhere among the liquor bottles and Dio sticker designs in my own study hall cartooning might have been bad wishes for a person or two.

ANN's piece has a short list of North American students receiving some sort of discipline for similar offenses, which seems understandable because on one side of the split there's opportunity for an outcome that leads school officials to being sued to the point of wishing to be Death Noted. The one thing I keep thinking is despite this story occasionally repeating, the number of incidents still isn't anywhere near where I would have set the over/under the day I heard of the manga's plot.

thanks, John
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink

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