WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Prosecutors have yet to make a decision on whether to charge local anime fan Tyler Barton, 27, with the murder of 7-year-old Anthony Bradley after an argument the pair had over the merits of the anime Sword Art Online.
According to a statement given to police by Barton, the 350-pound fan of Sword Art Online felt threatened when Bradley said that the show’s protagonist, Kirito, would have died if the show was real life. Barton also said that he frequently dresses up as Kirito and felt that his life was threatened by Bradley’s claim.
“We have seen an increase in Stand Your Ground claims among anime fans in the past 12 months,” said local defense attorney John Musca. “While Sword Art Online fans represent the largest number, there have also been a growing number from fans of shows like Magical Warfare, Golden Time and shippers of Nisekoi characters.”
There seems to be no end in sight to the epidemic of deaths caused by anime fans throughout Florida. Bradley’s death was the fourth this week in the state. In Orlando, two groups of True Tears fans had a brutal fight that left 3 Hiromi fans dead and 4 Noe fans injured. In Jacksonville, a group of basketball players were crushed to death by a crowd of female Kuroko’s Basketball fans. In Key West, a cult made up of Nagi-Asu fans drowned as they wished to live in the sea like their favorite characters.
At the state attorney’s office, a growing crowd gathered in hope that Barton would be charged. They say that they are tired of seeing news reports of deaths caused by anime fans and a lack of action from local and state authorities.
“The madness must stop,” said one protester who did not give his name. “We are sick and tired of these anime fans killing other people because they have the audacity to criticize their favorite shows.”
Inside the office, the mood was pessimistic as self-defense cases that seemed ridiculous as recently as 3 years ago are now impossible convictions.
“I know just as much as anyone that people should not be killed for thinking Sword Art Online is terrible. In fact, I think Log Horizon is the much better show,” said a representative as a brick came through a nearby window. “Unfortunately, the law is such that it’s hard to get a conviction in these cases where the defendant does not look a certain way.”
“We are fans of the anime Wizard Barristers in the office,” said another state prosecutor. “I would imagine that we are in a version of the show where (the show’s protagonist) Cecil does not have to worry about her mother in prison because she stood her ground.”
There are also rumors that the Florida House of Representatives will begin debating a bill which would ban the sale of anime and related products in the state, but skeptics believe the bill has little chance of passing.
“I know Florida has a bad reputation around the world,” Minority Leader Perry Thurston Jr. said late yesterday. “We should be looking at the root of the problem rather than banning a product and hoping the deaths stop.”