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Japan – Social Media Violence and Youth Fascination with Anime, Viewpoints

Japan - Social Media Violence and Youth Fascination with Anime, Viewpoints

The Japanese media is now focusing on social media and a recent twenty-one-year-old Yuka Takaoka who stabbed a man in his apartment in the Shinjuku district of the capital, leaving him in critical condition. She said that she loved him too much and  that she was overwhelmed with emotion and could not stop stabbing him – according to the local press. This attacked drew attention in the media as this type of action is called “yandere” which is a character that has such parallels in Japanese cartoons or anime. But Japanese anime is very layered and has been documented as a social pressure valve, allowing those who are outcasts to fit in – in their way.

The action is often a theme in the Japanese anime as a person who will, by any means necessary, resort to violence in order to fulfill his or her love. Just like in the popular anime, the Japanese woman was sitting in the back of the police patrol car being taken away and giving the cameras a smile – she claims she wanted to kill the man she loved and then kill herself. The police checked her social media accounts and the was actually playing out the scene with cosplay (dressing up in costumes) – she took pictures of herself smoking and sitting on top of the badly injured body of her victim. The more shocking part of the story is that many social media platforms have come to her aid and fully support her in her current predicament.

There are even Youtube videos uploaded showing anger at those who are mistreating her as she is so much like loved members of the anime world – it seems there is no line drawn between this criminal and her lookalikes in their favorite anime ….. she is now living a life of someone who is not part of the real world. Welcome to Japan.

Our View: Although we strongly condemn this act of violence it seems that these articles are written by Americans and other English speakers who know nothing about Japan and nothing about Japanese culture. Any Japanese will tell you that 1. there is a very low crime rate in Japan with murder far less in Tokyo than New York, London, Paris and other major cities and 2. the world of anime is  stress (and much research has been done here) reduction on a massive scale. Many of those watching Japanese anime feel they have released stress and can move on with their lives, we tend to agree.




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