We decided to watch television during brunch today and I came across this anime from GMA 7 called Detective Conan. The episode that we watched explored the mystery of a girl that died in what appeared to be self-inflicted wrist cuts inside a locked bathroom.
In that episode, not only did they show the graphic wounds on the suicide victim, they went on and explained how this particular case could be a possible murder by pointing out what the actual steps for committing suicide would have been. They explained that the girl locked the bathroom in an attempt to suffocate herself by mixing two poisonous chemicals. While they did not exactly name the chemicals that were to be used, they did discuss that since chemicals x and y did not work, the victim may have thought that they best way to kill herself is by cutting her wrists.
While the plot was interesting for me as an adult, I was bothered at the time slot where this show was placed. I asked blog-friend, Denis Claves, who works in an ad agency what the target audience for the 9am-1030am cartoon block in local networks is and he told me that they are targeted to children aged 3-6 years old.
Now, I am not one of those people that blame television for violence. I believe that if a kid shoots his peers after watching Robocop, then that kid is sick in the head and needed therapy, and it is not the shows fault per se. I do believe however, that in their formative years especially, kids have to have parental supervision when watching violent or sexual programs. I do believe that certain topics like suicide should not be aired at a time when most parents are at work and most kids are left with the nanny or are left alone in front of the TV so they don't get rowdy and disturb yaya while she telebababads.
I looked up Detective Conan on the internet and I found out that this show is actually one of the most watched animes in Japan these days. In the US, this is also shown on FOX Family Channel but on the 11pm time slot on what they call the Adult Swim block which is geared for audiences over 17 years old. That makes perfect sense because the theme of the show is totally NOT for kids. Showing it on a 9am-1030am block is not only a display of thoughtless planning, it is utterly irresponsible.
While this particular episode would not encourage your kids to commit suicide, they sure would pick up a thing or two if they ever think of doing so. I know I did. That's a scary thought.