Naruto’s popularity can’t be questioned. Its fan base consists of people from a diverse age range.
However, young Naruto fans must be wary of idolizing their favorite cartoon characters too much.
This has been circulating around the otaku circuit for quite a while, but it’s only now that I realized how grave the issue behind the story is. It was reported that a 10 year old Naruto enthusiast passed away because he imitated stunts he saw from his favorite cartoon. The boy had asked his friends to bury him in a sandbox to copy a Naruto stunt he saw on TV.
The young boy was rushed to the hospital, revived, but later died of respiratory failure.
Naruto can’t be blamed for this sad event, but parents should make sure that they tell their kids that cartoons are fictional, and what they see on TV is risky behavior in real life.
This occurrence really saddens and bothers me. First, because it shows that kids can be in danger if parents don’t inform them well about how to perceive and discern fiction from reality. Second, because Naruto will be seen by others as something that is harmful to children. I hope this incident raises people’s awareness, especially parents, to be more watchful with their children—It’s really sad when you find out that someone actually dies because of something he or she loves dearly.