The real Death Note

Have you ever heard of the Death Note? When you write someone’s name in it, that person will die. Death Note was a manga published in Shonen Jump. It became a big hit for its peculiar world view, and worries that it might adversely affect its young readers. It wasn’t just popular in Japan, but all over the world. This wasn’t always good news, however, as copycat crimes emerged.

In Belgium, a dead man was found with a note tucked under his armpit that said, “I am Kira.” The criminal didn’t have a Death Note, but they were a fan of the manga.

In Russia, a girl who was a big fan of the series killed herself. As a result, Putin banned sale of the manga so it wouldn’t continue to negatively affect children.

In Japan, anonymous bulletin boards are popular these days, but in the past people used their real names. Various problems arose from this, and incidents such as slander often made the news. One thread in particular was titled “Give the real names of those you want killed.” Several people who were named in the thread actually died. The most famous of these involved people who died in a highway bus accident on the Kanetsu Expressway in 2014. It might just be a coincidence, but it also might not be…

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