Date: 2008 October 24 18:46
Posted by Joe
Sky News are running an article about the possibility that manga could inspire murder, and how it frustrates anime fans. It cites the current case of Meredith Kercher, a 21 year old student who was stabbed to death in Italy in a house she shared with other students. It mentions that the prosecution of the case are highlighting that Raffaele Sollecito (one of the accused) was acting out a "dark fantasy", inspired by his manga collection. BBC News have more coverage of the same story.
The Sky News article states the comic book in question is called "The Last Vampire", we believe this to be the manga version of Blood: The Last Vampire, which is published in English by Viz.
The article then goes on to mention a death in Belgium linked to Death Note (the details of which it doesn't cover), followed by the Lindsay Hawker murder case.
Then the article takes a more positive twist as they ask anime expert Helen McCarthy more about anime, manga and it's link to violence. Helen states:
"The argument always hinges on the same issue: finding excuses for our own innate violence and lack of self-control so we don't have to face up to the fact that all human beings, ourselves and our children included, are capable of terrible things."
She then highlights a common connection with such cases:
"Most of the European and American stuff would be things the prosecutor's - and jury's - own children might have in their possession, so it's important to find something that marks out this person as different."
The article also highlights that Japan is still widely perceived as an alien culture.
The article then goes to quote "web forums that exist to discuss manga", sadly it doesn't say which forums or link to them, but just quotes "them". We've tried searching for the quotes they use, however all that's returned is links to the Sky News article in question.
The article then concludes with a thought from Helen McCarthy, and how such shocking events could change manga readers preferences and even put them off manga.