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Censorship | China may have banned 38 manga and anime series, including Attack on Titan and Death Note, but fans are still finding ways to read and watch them — and Death Note is one of the most popular topics on the social media service Sina Weibo. “Chinese authorities are used to a certain degree of permeability in their various bans and directives,” says Jonathan Clements, author of Anime: A History. “The issue with a lot of Chinese censorship isn’t about a blanket ban that keeps 100% of material out. It’s about making life as difficult as possible for people who actually want it. A ban like this is about restricting casual access.” [BBC News]
The Connecticut State Police are investigating a seventh-grader who allegedly created a Death Note-inspired booklet containing the names of classmates. The student won’t be permitted to return to Griswold Middle School for the remainder of the year, which ends Friday.
In an email sent Tuesday to parents, Griswold Public Schools Superintendent Paul K. Smith said that although students had been aware of the booklet’s existence, it wasn’t brought to the attention of the administration until Monday. The police were called immediately.
Attack on Titan, Death Note and Black Butler are on a list of 38 manga and anime the Chinese Ministry of Culture has designated as “severely improper content” and banned from print or digital distribution within the country.
The ministry announced Monday it has shut down eight websites and sanctioned 29 more for carrying comics and anime that either were unlicensed or featured violent content, and it’s threatening to issue warnings and fines to websites that don’t remove the blacklisted titles.
Police and prosecutors near Pittsburgh are expected to decide today whether to press charges against a fifth-grader after he allegedly posted a Death Note-inspired note in his elementary school containing the names of five or six students. The boy has been suspended.
“After conducting the investigation, we found it is based on the anime Death Note,” Burrell School District superintendent Shannon Wagner said in a statement to WPXI News.
In Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s hit manga turned anime and live-action movie franchise, a high school student sets out to rid the world of evil using a supernatural notebook that kills anyone whose name is written in it.
Takeshi Obata, the renowned artist of Death Note and Hikaru no Go, made his first U.S. appearance earlier this month at New York Comic Con, where he participated in a couple of panels, met with journalists and signed autographs. Viz Media, which played host to Obata, was on hand to capture video (below) of the artist banging out sketches of Death Note characters Ryuk and L for undoubtedly ecstatic fans.
Obata spoke with ROBOT 6’s Brigid Alverson at the convention about character design, saying, “The clothes I put the characters in obviously become part of the characters, so I am really careful about how I dress them, for sure. I take a lot of care in that.”
More than 500 volumes of such top-selling manga as One Piece, Naruto and Death Note debuted today on comiXology as part of a new North American distribution agreement with Viz Media.
The publisher, which already had its own self-contained app for multiple platforms, brought its digital catalog to the Amazon Kindle in October; just days later, comiXology announced a deal to distribute titles from Viz Media Europe and its subsidiary Kazé to French-speaking European countries. Amazon purchased comiXology in April.
Whether it’s a sudden shared nostalgia or something in the water, something lately is inspiring artists to reimagine Little Golden Books. Last month, Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California, debuted “Little Golden Tales,” an exhibit that included, among other works, Breaking Bad depicted as a heartwarming scene from those childhood favorites.
And now Matt Reedy is offering his take with his adorable Little Golden Manga, featuring FLCL, Death Note and Attack on Titan for the pre-school set. Nothing could possibly go wrong, right?
Welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? Today our special guest is Kevin Colden, whose comic work includes Fishtown, I Rule the Night, Vertigo’s Strange Adventures and Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper, among others. He’s also the drummer for the band Heads Up Display.
To see what Kevin and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below …
Manga | A 14-year-old middle-schooler in Owosso, Michigan, has been suspended indefinitely after a classmate found a Death Note-inspired note containing the names of two students and times, and turned it over to a teacher. In Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s Death Note, the hit manga turned anime and live-action movie franchise, a high school student sets out to rid the world of evil using a supernatural notebook that kills anyone whose name is written in it.
Although the incident with the Owosso student was turned over to police, who forwarded the case to the prosecutor’s office. Police and school officials say they don’t believe the teen intended to harm anyone, and that no one was in danger.
Digital comics | A free digital comic starring Wallace & Gromit, the popular animated UK duo, has been downloaded more than 500,000 times since Nov. 7, leading one eBook blogger to wonder whether The W Files is the “FIRST eBook best-seller.” (If it’s free, can it still be considered a bestseller?) Released by Titan Publishing, the free iPhone app marks the 20th anniversary of Wallace & Gromit. Subsequent issues cost 99 cents each. [GalleyCat]
Digital comics | Marvel is giving away 1,000 one-year subscriptions for its Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited online service to enlisted military personnel through Jan. 7. [Air Force Times]
Publishing | Reed Stevenson looks at the growth of manga in Europe, where the market is expanding at a pace of 10 percent to 15 percent each year: “Sales of printed manga books have fallen in Japan in recent years but grown elsewhere, particularly among European young people who are consuming such titles as Naruto, Fruits Basket and Death Note with the same appetite as an earlier generation showed for The Adventures of Tin Tin and The Adventures of Asterix. [Reuters]
“Don’t sell any more Death Note tickets” the woman working the ticket book said to her co-worker as we walked into the movie theater.
“Excuse me?” I said, more than a little flustered. Had my worst fears proven true? Had we — myself, my friend Craig and Jog — arrived to bucolic downtown Lancaster to catch a special showing of L: Change the WorLd, the third live action film in the Death Note series, only to discover it was sold out? Damnation! I knew I should have bought those tickets ahead of time online!!
The ticket seller looked me and my companions up and down suspiciously. Why were three grown men, all clearly over the age of 21, coming to see some anime spin-off?
“It’s pretty crowded in there,” she said jerking her head in the direction of the theater. “I don’t think you’ll be able to find a seat together. Are you sure you want to get tickets?”
I nodded. We had come so far. No bunch of teenyboppers was going to keep me from enjoying the latest adventures of my favorite barefooted, mussy-haired, possibly autistic detective, no sir.
“It’s kind of crazy in there,” she said as she leaned forward to give me my change and ticket, as if relaying covert safety instructions. I felt like Jim Phelps. “They’re getting kind of rowdy.”
If anything, that made me want to attend the screening even more. In my mind’s eye I imagined being seated next to some 16-year-old Goth Lolita and her friend (or possibly mom) as they wondered whether L or Light made a better uke. I pictured being surrounded by Local Ryuk Cosplayers Union #671, the arms full of apples ready to throw at the screen a la Rocky Horror Picture Show, only for mang-style!
How could I not want to partake in that?
So tickets in hand my friends and I headed down the hall to the theater.