The Gadsen (Alabama) Times is reporting that two 12-year-old students at the West End Elementary School were arrested after school authorities discovered a Death Note-inspired notebook containing the names of faculty members, school personnel and students.  The notebook was turned over to the Etowah County Sheriff's Department, where authorities classified its contents as "terrorist threats," even though the students told their principal that it was a joke.


The two boys, who have been suspended from school, explained that the got the idea from Viz Media's Death Note anime series, which is running on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.  The anime is based on the manga series, written by Tsugumi Ohba, about a precocious teenager who discovers a shinigami's (Japanese "death" figure's) notebook.  If a person's name is written in the notebook, that person will die.  Exposure of the Death Note anime series on Adult Swim has made the Death Note manga the #2 manga property in North America according to the upcoming ICv2 Guide#54: Anime/Manga -- and three volumes in the Death Note series made the "BookScan Graphic Novel Top 20 for March."


Two other incidents involving students creating their own Death Note notebooks, one in Virginia and one in South Carolina, have resulted in discipline and suspensions for the students involved, but this is the first time that students have been arrested for engaging in this sort of an anime-inspired "joke."