Hi fellow weirdos! Javi here with some baffling internet phenomenon born in Japan

I think we can all agree that almost anything on the internet is sacred. The anonymity that it brings probably gives people more leisure room to be an edgier version of themselves that they would not show in a million years in public. This is probably how perplexing content thrives. An example is the Nevada-Tan character, which is based on a terrible real tragedy.

On June 1st of 2004, a 12-year-old girl (Girl A) slit her 11-year-old friend’s throat with a utility knife and let her die before getting help. Both of them were at the time in an empty classroom at their elementary school while the rest of their classmates were having lunch. Both girls started to drift apart in 6th grade and recently had a petty disagreement that led Girl A to commit the crime. As you could expect, soon news about the incident started to come out, and one picture of the perpetrator leaked to the internet, especially to 2chan. There, Girl A could be seen wearing a Nevada pullover sweatshirt. Because of this and the fact that the perpetrator was unusually cute and murderous, they nicknamed her “Nevada-tan”, and started to produce endless fanart of her. These works would eventually reach Western internet communities, where they found this character just as appealing.

As many reports would show later, Girl A was feeling extremely isolated by her peers, so she started focusing her attention on the Internet. There she wrote Battle Royale fanfiction (one of her favorite films), play the “Red Room” flash horror game, and took a keen interest in gore imagery. These facts ignited even more interest in her and the whole Nevada-Tan mythos. Often you can see this character depicted in some sort of “yandere-mode”, with her sweatshirt bloody, right after killing her victim. It is rumored that when this phenomenon was at its peak, Nevada University had an unusual rise in sales of its apparel. True or not, still a quick Google search shows you that some even dare to cosplay as Nevada-tan, emulating her outfit to a tee.

How distasteful this is, it’s up to you to decide, but one thing is sure: Girl A did something terrible that destroyed not only her friend’s family but hers too. The worst thing is that it seemed that she did not grasp the severity of her crime until it was too late. She was institutionalized and released in 2014 and, she led a normal life after. Still, her legacy keeps on and will disconcert us probably until the internet keeps being the internet.

More Japanese Deep Dives