Dengeki Playstation magazine stands accused of freely helping themselves to dead mangaka 堀部秀郎 / Hiderou Horibe’s illustrations, in what seems to be flagrant plagiarism of the cover illustration of a 2004 edition of eroge magazine PC Angel (see above), as well as other instances (below); whilst Horibe may have passed away two years ago, observant eyes spotted the traces, and Dengeki and publisher Ascii Media Works refuse to apologise or even respond to the allegations.
The images in question have been used in a number of recent issues of the magazine, though whether Dengeki has the gall to keep using them is unclear.
Adding to the doubts over Dengeki’s conduct is the fact that the illustrator to whom the pictures are credited, and against whom blame would normally be levelled (one 桜本ナオヒサ / Naohisa Sakuramoto) does not appear to exist – searching for him brings only the articles on his alleged traces.
Might this suggest Dengeki set up something of a stooge for themselves? Not that they could blame a non-existant illustrator for this, though this may explain their reluctance to hang their non-existant illustator out to dry?
Of course jumping to conclusions over this may be unwise, but just looking at the images in question seems to leave very little doubt that they are egregious copies. For a publisher so dependent on intellectual property to be so blasé about its own violations seems to be treading on thin ice…