It’s ok for your kids to watch “Death Note”


On Friday, October 26th at 10pm, Death Note will premiere on YTV in Canada.

If you haven’t seen it, please read my review because I won’t be repeating the synopsis. Safe to say, it’s a rather twisted and violent homage to youthful morbidity. But more important than that, it is a new kind of morality play that challenges the viewer with moral ambiguity. And that’s a good thing.

Death Note has been banned in China because it’s “harmful to children’s psychological development” and promotes death fantasies. Apparently, a lot of kids in China were making “Death Note” notebooks and writing people’s names in them. People they didn’t like.

As disturbing as that sounds, I can’t help but be reminded of the pop culture fears of my childhood: Heavy Metal and video games. Listening to Black Sabbath was supposed to lead to homicide and devil worship. Playing Space Invaders was going to turn my generation into mindless killers. Come on. We have all learned, I hope, that individual responsibility trumps pop culture. We are not, especially young people, so gullible and naive to be completely brainwashed by a song or a story or a game.

And don’t forget that kids are kids. Death fantasies are a part of growing up, as morbid as that may sound. And instead of banning this stuff, why not focus on whether or not these kids actually have a problem? Or here’s a crazy idea for all you parents who worry about Death Note: watch the show. Read the manga. Then, sit down with your kids and talk about it.

Death Note forces you to deal with your own feelings about right and wrong, without telling you what those should be. It allows kids – and adults – to figure out for themselves what justice really means. And isn’t that exactly what all great morality plays are supposed to do?


5 comments so far

  1. josh on

    I agree. I’m 19 and I read DeathNote and watch the show on Cartoon Network…(Yes I realize it’s a kid channel but hey what can I say?)

  2. Jalisa on

    Forgive me for not typing out an extensive response, but I’ve been crapping art out like there’s no tomorrow, and I’m feeling slightly drained. But I couldn’t resist replying to this.
    I love you, man!

    I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said: “And don’t forget that kids are kids. Death fantasies are a part of growing up, as morbid as that may sound. And instead of banning this stuff, why not focus on whether or not these kids actually have a problem?” I can understand why some of the older generations would have issues with this, considering that they may not have been exposed to the heavy level of violence that we are experiencing in our current generation, but I’m sure the average human being can establish right from wrong, and fantasy from reality and aren’t about to go rampaging around the city writing their names in little notebooks. If they do, and take it seriously, I pity them for having such a lame life , but really now.

    Something that’s off topic and slightly caught me by surprise was that **/YTV/** was one of the first to air this in English (possibly in all of Canada!) Correct me if I’m wrong. I never really considered YTV to be so on top of things, although I suppose if there was a high enough demand for it from the viewers, they would likely go for it. Do you know anything about as to why YTV was so quick to pick this up, Pedro?

    That’s all for now folks! Remember, keep fit, sane as possible, and have fun! 😀 *dances to Body Break*

  3. Melissa on

    Actually, Josh, Cartoon network IS a kids channel, but after 8:00 pm or so, it turns to adult swim, which plays death note and the other anime, plus shows like futurama, family guy, and Robot Chicken. ^_^ So adult swim isn’t for kids.

  4. Kairi on

    Loads of my friends have seen the live action and well, they loved it and we’re all, like, 14/ 15

  5. L on


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