The British tabloid newspaper Daily Mail reported on Friday that a 14-year-old Russian boy committed suicide after seeing a character in the Naruto Shippūden anime die. According to the paper, Leonid Hmelev leapt more than 100 feet (30 meters) from an apartment building and died instantly.
The newspaper reported that Hmelev was devastated after seeing the death of the character Itachi Uchiha. (The death first appeared in the original Naruto manga in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 2008.) Daily Mail said that Hmelev left a message about “planning an ending” on a social networking site.
After his parents reported him missing, they and their neighbors searched for him and found his body two days later on November 1. The Daily Mail reported that his 38-year-old father Ivan said, “I always told him he spent too much time watching the TV – he didn’t know what was reality and what was fiction anymore.”
UNICEF and The New York Times reports that Russia has the third highest rate — 22 per 100,000 — of teenage suicide after Belarus and Kazakhstan.