Sexually transmitted diseases come in many variations, some being benign and some even life-threatening. Studies have shown that the risk of infection is especially high for teenagers, due to inexperience and lack of proper sex education. Recently, however, there has been a sudden peak in the reported cases of teenage STDs, and the suggested explanation might come as a shock for the anime community — a new study conducted has speculated of a possible link between the diseases and Kuzu no Honkai, a series with an ongoing anime adaption about underage children having casual sexual relationships.
According to Dr. Jordan Herbs of the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington, the increasing rate of infections might be explainable by how teenagers are eager to pick up impressions but do not yet possess the necessary critical thinking to distinguish reality from fiction. In this regard anime is especially dangerous medium, as it has tendency to mix fiction with relatable elements, such as everyday school life.
“Usually anime is very detached from realistic sexuality, culminating in for example comedic nosebleeds. Because of this I’m afraid children will misinterpret Kuzu no Honkai that is missing these comedic undertones as ‘realistic’ portrayal of human relationships and start considering having unprotected sex out of revenge or to fill an existential void the new ‘cool’ and ‘pop’ thing to do,” Herbs tells to Anime Maru.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services has reported a significant increase in STD rates in teenagers, comparable to Kuzu no Honkai viewership. Specifically, these rates have seen a 15% increase since the show began airing in January 2017, and a 44% increase since people realized the show contained yuri.
Herbs wants Kuzu no Honkai to serve as a wake-up call for the people to realize the negative effects the medium has on children. Herbs strongly advises that people shouldn’t copy their behavior patterns from anime.
Kuzu no Honkai is just the latest trend in anime-related health issues. For example following Gamon Sakurai’s Ajin many teenagers committed suicide to test if they in reality would turn out to be immortal demi-humans. Statistics on causing most anime-related injuries are still dominated by Naruto, which has caused a large amount of arm-related injuries as children are attempting to imitate the ninja-like running style, which actually is very impractical and unbalanced, causing numerous serious injuries yearly.