Trace Plus


Virtual schoolgirl courting sim Love Plus is either being subjected to the highest form of flattery or the lowest form of plagiarism.

Love Plus likely needs no introduction, but mobile phone game developer GREE’s new title “HimeKoi” (“Princess Love”) likely does.

Rather than being a virtual girlfriend on the DS it is mobile phone visual novel, but has otherwise been noted as being hauntingly similar to Love Plus.

The HimeKoi promotional material:


The 2ch-created comparisons:





There was some initial suspicion that the characters and art were merely created by the same artist responsible for the Love Plus originals, but in a Twitter updated Mino Taro himself explicitly denied any involvement with the game.

In addition to the suspected artistic plagiarism, the actual game itself appears to be a lift of Love Plus – a dating game on a mobile device with three schoolgirls, each with similar design to Love Plus, seems too much to ascribe to the low-level copying which goes on all the time in the gaming industry, 2ch reasons.

All this suggests the usual excuse of Japanese enterprises caught ripping someone off (i.e. blame it on a freelance artist and have the art replaced after being discovered) might not wash as the entire product looks to be a very deliberate and quite well made (even going so far as to have quality seiyuu) Zynga-esque remake…

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    Comment by Anonymous
    15:20 22/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I dunno. I reckon this is more indicative of the generic nature of these games in general. Taking simplified characters and rotating three separate pictures to fit over a fourth - well of course there will be similarities!

    This looks like it was inspired by the success of Love Plus to stand on its shoulders (and maybe even dry hump its leg), but direct plagiarism? Dubious claim imho.

    Avatar of Ikuhisashiku
    Comment by Ikuhisashiku
    16:01 22/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Well, that could be said for the characters maybe. There's bound to be some similarities between their art eventually. But when you add in the fact that the game itself also seems like nothing more than a bad copy? It just seems like too much to be a mere "coincidence."
    Then again, that's just my opinion.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:49 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    How many variations are possible on a dating sim/interactive novel though? The protagonist and the girl have to "meet cute" as they used to say in the theatre business, and with schoolgirls that usually means at school or at a school activity. Also, for the promo art, there are basically a set of standard poses, and the samples are all head shots, so there's always going to be some similarity. It IS interesting that the poses, head shapes and eyes all go together, but no anime artist is going to spend an extra penstroke on the shape of the face.

    If the dialogs and the decision tree that lead to getting/not getting the girl match closely, that's another matter. They should at least be able to vary the plot enough to make it seem different.

    Avatar of Bond Travolta
    Comment by Bond Travolta
    16:07 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Well, I too think it's more of the matter of imitating Love Plus's art to attract players just as how it was successful in the former. Cell phone games are, after all have the reputation of copying the success of other successful games.

    On the art style, who can point fingers when One Piece & Fairy Tail have the exact same art style yet being done by different artists? Sometimes this is perceived as the duplicates being under the apprenticeship of one same artist; on another, said companies are just doing it because they know it'd sell better that way and are lazy to come up with their own unique art direction.

    Avatar of JayArclight
    Comment by JayArclight
    16:11 22/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I don't see it. I see SOME similarities but I think calling it plagiarism is kind of a stretch.

    Avatar of Yuuki
    Comment by Wisteria Berlitz
    18:52 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    but the game offers some of the same things,and the three girl setting

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:24 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    And all First Person Shooters are pretty much identical to each other. What's your point ?

    Avatar of Yuuki
    Comment by Wisteria Berlitz
    01:50 23/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    erm...most of this dating games doesn't have mobile functions(messaging) and the 3 girls have somewhat the same kind of eyes

    Avatar of Neko Musume Classic
    Comment by Neko Musume Classic
    15:12 22/11/2010 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Wow that was a quick subject change. Nice save.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    16:05 22/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Ah, well....
    One had to come around, sooner or later.

    Avatar of King Tiger
    Comment by King Tiger
    21:39 22/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.4)

    i was expecting this to happen sooner than it did but now that it happened my expectations have been fulfilled

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:20 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    What was it before?

    Avatar of Rainney
    Comment by Rainney
    15:28 22/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.7)

    The 'HimeKoi' girls aren't nearly as pretty as the Love Plus girls.. If they were gonna trace, they could have done a better job of it. :\

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:00 23/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    They really don't look all that similar. Sure the faces look somewhat similar but is that really a shock? I'm sure if you compared any two manga/anime characters you would find some similarities between them.

    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    02:07 23/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    This gets the Nick Simmons seal of approval.

    Avatar of Darkrockslizer
    Comment by Darkrockslizer
    23:56 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Same as WoW will own every other MMO out there, even if somebody will make something better later after all.

    ...Well, a bit off topic... but yeah, in this case it's really just a 2nd grade replica.

    Avatar of BlaqCat
    Comment by BlaqCat
    00:19 23/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hm. Was Himekoi made in China? If so, it's expected they'd have the "just steal it" creation mindset.

    Avatar of PirosThe3rd
    Comment by PirosThe3rd
    22:06 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Love plus is better.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:51 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    In GREE's shit

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    00:48 23/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Another chinese quality game?

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:12 22/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    well, most anime characters uses a stamp for a face neways right?

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:57 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Oh... OH! I see it! The EYES!
    Srsly, they look alike no more than bunch of generic japanese idols.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:45 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I'm sure there's enough lonely pathetic japanese nerds out there for both games,lol

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:36 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    There wouldn't be any ground for legal action anyway, unless it'd be a carbon copy of the "original" game. Actually, i would say good riddance. If they manage to to deliver a better game, then i don't have a single problem.
    Seriously, nowadays, practically everything is a copy of something else. The only difference is in extent.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:56 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    The eyes... THE EYES!!! THEY ARE BACK!!!

    Comment by Anonymous

    Love Plus Hookers strike again. They like that type of villains who reborn in every new season. ^_^

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:10 23/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Oh please, those visual similarities are superficial at best. You can't just go with the face. I could superimpose any other two bishoujo characters and get similar results. It's called ANIME STYLE.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:44 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    the writer of this news, is jobless shit person.

    try to find another work pliss

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    21:17 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The writer of this post can't even spell "please" correctly.

    Try not to skip your English class, kid.

    Avatar of Rene
    Comment by Rene
    22:34 22/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Your avatar is raep bait.

    His post is troll bait.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:42 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    who's your avatar? i'm falling in love..

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    03:31 23/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Victorique De Blois from Gosick;

    The Perfect Gothloli Package.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:33 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I don't think it's traced, it's just a somewhat generic style, images are bound to look alike.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:51 23/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    So moeblobs are indistinguishable from one another.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:01 23/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    No. Fail. Your content sucks, so instead of trying harder you just delete the comments you don't like. This is shit. Get news that isn't from 2ch for once. It's like me making a japanese video game blog but I only post shit I heard from /v/. Bad. Writing.

    Avatar of Ben
    Comment by Ben
    01:24 23/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    You could also blame the fact that dating sims lack variety anyway, lol.

    Avatar of PrinceHeir
    Comment by PrinceHeir
    23:22 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    im surprised it didn't come sooner than later.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:27 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The only real similarity I see here is the eyes--and even then, it's enough to raise eyebrows, but not enough to scream "Plagiarism".

    If anything else, they tried to make it look similar on purpose.

    ...and honestly? Though this may sound like blasphemy, I find these girls cuter. WAAAY cuter.

    Avatar of Kris
    Comment by Kris
    20:42 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'm not really seeing it, both sets of characters have very similar faces, even to each other. If I had some time, I would also do a overlay of each character from the same game's faces, as well as some random characters from anime.

    Pointed chins, big doe like eyes, minimal facial features otherwise, all pretty much stock and trade when you are drawing an anime style girl.

    Avatar of shiroki
    Comment by shiroki
    16:50 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    2ch, defending the uniqueness(!?) of their waifu

    Avatar of Sinkross
    Comment by Sinkross
    16:56 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    how DARE THEY?

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:45 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'll give the guy the benefit of the doubt, the only thing I see thats remotely similar is the eyes. If anything he probably traced/referenced the eyes and thats it.

    Avatar of Tex_Arcana
    Comment by Tex_Arcana
    15:25 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It's worth noting that the girls look cuter.

    Interactivity-wise, I'm sure it's a step backward.

    Avatar of Bond Travolta
    Comment by Bond Travolta
    16:10 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yes, specifically saying that pony tail one.

    Know what'd make otaku come with this game? Being on a cellphone, interactivity function like phone calls with the girls are sure to sell.

    Avatar of motaku96
    Comment by motaku96
    15:56 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The eyes really give it away.

    Avatar of Sido-nii
    Comment by Sido-nii
    15:38 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Serously, 2ch users have too much free time...

    Avatar of Yuuki
    Comment by Wisteria Berlitz
    18:53 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    2ch has lots of people,remember the no. of people that voted for that guy in Inazuma Eleven?

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:30 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because number of 2ch users is 11,700,000 people.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:22 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Trace or not, who care. Which one make profit, that's all the matter.

    Avatar of alex251
    Comment by alex251
    19:14 22/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Stupid 2ch-ners should be happy they have now 2 game to play and 6 waifus to choose from :)

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:52 23/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    In a world like ours where ideas are a dime a dozen I will never understand why such obvious plagiarism is an option. You can pop onto pretty much any indi game development forum to request storywriters, artist, even programmers, and get a whole lot of responses from many people that have their own ideas on how your general idea could be done. Sure a lot of what you'll get are crappy ideas, but you'll also get a lot of really good ones as well, so much so that you'll have to decide which to pursue.

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