Last January, the news that the three series “Death Note”, “Tokyo Ghoul” and “Inuyashiki” were banned in Russia under certain URLs caused a stir. Now a court in the city of St. Petersburg turned its eyes to a very specific genre: Isekai anime.They ruled isekai promotes reincarnation belief that life after death is more exciting than the current one.
Isekai anime to promote faith in reincarnation
On April 26, 2021, the District Court of St. Petersburg declared that, after a review, it had decided to ban the Isekai anime “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime” and “KonoSuba” – but only on certain websites that lacked the “18” label. The law on the protection of children from harmful information is invoked.
In order to be truly sure that these anime poses a danger, “experts” were also brought in who are familiar with pedagogical support. They concluded that the two series promote faith in reincarnation.
In a statement, it said: “The court has ruled that, for example, KonoSuba promotes reincarnation belief, showing that there can be a more fulfilling and interesting life after death, free from parental control.”
It also explained that the post-death world is shown as a colourful and full of adventures with the possibility of a simple life with alcohol, sexual relations and illegal activities, while real life is described as bleak.
Prohibition only applies to certain pages
However, it was not only the two Isekai anime that were affected: in the course of the trial, the Idol series Zombie Land Saga, the harem anime Princess Lover! and the comedy anime NekoparA were added to the list of banned works among certain URLs.
Although the St. Petersburg District Court did not give a specific reason for this, some of the material shown in the titles mentioned was considered pornographic.
The ban currently only applies to four piracy websites, which do not have a license for the series anyway. What further steps the Roskomnadzor, the censorship authority of Russia, will take now is not yet known.