The 12th episode of Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai murder mystery anime aired on TV Tama in Japan's Saitama Prefecture, Sun TV in Hyogo Prefecture, and Chiba TV in Chiba Prefecture on early Tuesday morning, despite the episode's earlier preempting on two other stations due to an axe murder case — and despite the news reports of a second axe murder attempt.
Officials in the Nagano Prefecture city of Tatsuno received an emergency phone call at around 2:05 a.m. Monday morning from a woman who said, "My child wounded my husband." They found the 44-year-old husband bleeding from his head at the family's residence. About twenty minutes later, the second oldest son, a 15-year-old third-year junior high student, voluntarily appeared at a nearby police station and reportedly said, "I struck my father with an axe." Police arrested him for attempted murder.
The boy is said to have attacked his sleeping father with an axe with a 15-cm (6-inch) blade at around 2:00 a.m. Monday morning. The father received wounds up to 20 centimeters (8 inches) or longer, and some that were deep enough to reach the bone, but he survived the attack. A 16-year-old girl allegedly killed her sleeping father with an axe in similar circumstances last Tuesday morning.
No direct link has been announced between either case and any anime series, but the reportedly violent last episode of the School Days anime series was preempted on all over-the-air television affiliates. Last week, Tokai TV and Kyoto KBS preempted the same Higurashi Kai episode that the three other stations aired Tuesday morning. The last over-the-air station, tvk broadcaster in Kanagawa Prefecture, still lists Higurashi Kai on its schedule.
The Moon Phase anime information website reports on an apparent recall by Square Enix of ax-shaped bookmarks, which were to be distributed in bookstores to promote one of the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni manga.
Thank you to dormcat for the news tip.
Image © 2007 Ryūkishi07/Hinamizawa-Gosanke