Nevada-tan: A homicide case that turned into a meme

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Probably few have heard of the meme Nevada-tan. The meme is more common in Japan and the United States. However, this meme has a macabre history.

Trust the meme story below “Nevada-tan”:

The story behind the meme

Nevada-tan: um caso de homicídio que virou meme
À esquerda, Natsumi (a assassina) e à direita, Satomi (a vítima).

Nevada-tan is a meme that emerged in 2004 that became popular on the Japanese imageboard 2chan. The meme is a character called Nevada-tan whose was based on Natsumi Tsuji.

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Natsumi, an 11-year-old girl (at the time) who had murdered her classmate, Satomi Mitarai. The homicide occurred on June 1, 2004, at the school where Natsumi was studying. Natsumi murdered Satomi with a stylus when she was alone with her.

After murdering Satomi, Natsumi returned to her classroom in her bloodstained clothes. The school where the tragedy occurred was a Sasebo primary school in Nagasaki Prefecture.

Reaction to murder and identity disclosure

The event received worldwide press coverage quickly. The first part of the international coverage appeared on June 3, 2004, when the article in the BBC News was published about the incident.

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Under Japanese legal procedures that prohibit the identification of juvenile offenders, the girl's real name has not been released and Japanese police have referred to her as "Girl A".

Despite efforts to protect the girl's identity, her real name was revealed a few days after the incident. THE Fuji TV accidentally discovered his real name while showing some of his drawings on national network.

The kanji shown in some of the photos (辻菜摘) is from the girl who signed her own drawings. When the kanji is romanized, it reads: Natsumi Tsuji. In this way, the identity of the murderer was discovered.

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When placed in custody, Natsumi admitted the crime. The basis of the murder was surrounded around a website she created. Based content is around a game flash called The Red Room.

There was also a fanfiction about the popular Japanese film Battle Royale. Satomi reportedly left derogatory comments about Natsumi's physical appearance on her website.

Natsumi was sent to the Nagasaki Family Court after failed attempts to judge her as an adult and debates about age and criminal responsibility. She was then sent to be institutionalized in a Tochigi prefecture youth hall. Natsumi was released in 2013. She was 20 years old after her release.

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2chan's appeal and “Nevada-tan” origin

Nevada-tan: um caso de homicídio que virou meme
Fanarts da “Nevada-tan”

There is no real evidence of whether or not 2chan users attempted to reveal the girl's identity. Even so, it has still become an internet phenomenon and a cult symbol.

2chan users eventually nicknamed it "Nevada-tan". "Nevada" because of the sweatshirt "Nevada" he wore during the murder. AND "-Tan" being the way a child would pronounce the honorific "-Chan".

Subsequently, the media drew attention to the unusual nature of a child killing another child. Many articles have also had many comments on Natsumi's website and the topics surrounding blood and death.

Eventually, an impressive amount of fanarts was made, showing most of the time a cute illustration or moe that resembles Natsumi. But, it is always drawn with blood on it and a stylus in hand. These illustrations are listed on various websites dedicated to information about the meme.

Nevada-tan popularity outside Japan

The trend of creating fanart it was not restricted to the Japanese web. Subsequently, after the incident, numerous websites started talking about the girl. They paid some kind of tribute to Natsumi.

In June 2005, the online store that sold the hooded sweatshirt of Nevada University (which Natsumi is seen using in photos and fanarts) reported that it was the best selling item on the site. A few weeks later, the University removed the sweatshirt from its catalog.