Canned Dogs is reporting and Moon Phase corroborates that a fifteen year old boy in Nagano has been arrested and charged with attempted murder for attacking his father with an axe (the father is still alive as of this writing). Moon Phase speculates that this is a copycat crime in the mold of the one that prompted the replacement of School Days episode 12 with a nice boat, and it’s hard to see it as anything else; given what has now become a string of such incidents it seems there is nothing we can do but throw up our hands and resign ourselves to the violence in anime for the indeterminate future being dealt solely by implements not easily obtained by the average Japanese junior high student. Like guns, or giant robots. Or boats.
I realize this post is rather flippant in the face of what is undeniably a terrible, senseless crime. I hope the father recovers safely and the boy receives the punishment – and counseling – he obviously badly needs. That said, I can’t help but be discouraged by this turn of events; this really was the last nail in the coffin of any hopes for the continuation of Higurashi any time soon, and perhaps other anime projects as well. I just hope the issue is approached sanely by the authorities and that creators don’t retreat too far from their artistic vision as a result.