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Dengeki Steals Dead Man’s Boobs

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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.

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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.

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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…

Source: FamiNetsu. If you’re interested in seeing examples of a variety of other plagiarism uncovered, see this fine site: traces, rips and copies of all kinds.

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12 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    Rather than embarrass themselves after the fact, the publishers should do their own investigation before releasing the product. Especially if it is a first-time author/illustrator.

  • http://seripa.hp.infoseek.co.jp/trace.html
    Iono…. about this site one. If you believe that than you’ll just kill of your character in animation. It’s double edge sword. If they believe in that then their artwork will be worser or it won’t resemble to original artist when they roll it out to animation. Don’t you think about it people. Comeon.

    A realist perspective noone can accomplish a compeling anime alone, unless you wanna finish 40+years or something. It’s idiotic to say tracing if you’re in the work for animation. The people who accused of tracing , never draw in their life. These “trace” prosecutor are just killing off their own potential animators, and you’ll end with so call “FAIL ANIMATION DRAWING” on sankaku articles.
    Examples:
    1 http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2009/01/11/akikan-epic-fail-anime/
    2 http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2009/01/05/minamike-okaeri-drawing-fail/

    I WISH I can tell THOSE people that.

    • Hello there :), I want give a personal thought about this trace problem. As BuggyBY has said for the last picture it was merely a pose reference. I’ve won some comic contest in the past years as comic drawer, I’ve realized my drawings by imagination without lookin directly to other pictures, but when you do this as daily job, you must look to reference photographs and other artist’s jobs. We often imagine that artists are very skilled when they do some drawing autographs or other goodies at various manifestations (I did too), but for the artist it’s a sort of endurance test, he only draws what is more simple for him (face, half body etc…). If you look at the illustrations of Hiderou Horibe, they are at 100% a copy photographs of real life models, his skills are pointed (as a majority of illustrators we can see here and there) to render in straight lines those body and costumes, often (probably due to lack of time) they are traced directly from photos and then with a lot of work, they’re re-drawn with straight lines and “anime-eyes”. Hope it helps…

        • Thank you very much for your kind words, and moreover your insightful comments.

          What you say is very interesting indeed, and makes perfect sense when we consider how Japanese popular art gets split into standard illustrations for mass consumption, and doujin/amateur type works, and also how the great majority of artistically inclined Japanese are not classically trained… the exceptions stick out (like Hiroaki Samura or Masamune Shirow), but are of course a tiny minority, else Japan would be a land of art colleges.

          The Mark Maggiori case is certainly extreme… Difficult to see how he ever though he could get away with that.

        • Dear Artefact, I think that most of japanese art fans (hope we are talking about japanese people) if they’re not drawers they can only become very outraged. The problem is that considering japanese pop/manga culture (in visual terms) probably most of fans lack of study of classical art,considering the time to make an illustration (think about a classic bishoujo game) it takes a lot of hours to make a clear sketch and many hours to coloring. Those illustrations will be consumed in little time by the industry and buyers, so most of drawers that don’t work in the industry and put a lot of efforts to realize them for personal sites, probably become outraged too. So we have two categoris of people. I saw also the japanese sites example of plagiarism, they are bad example of the problem, most of pictures (just maybe one or two of the bunch are a valid proof) were compared without a sense, they just look quite similar because the rules of established japanese character design (when you draw in a polish “3d form” and straight lines form, example : they don’t have a distinct mark ala “ASTERIX”, or Nagai or Moneky Punch) and coloring techiniques(photoshop manuals accepted by companies, and sold to a market of aspiring illustrators, just explains the same techniques to color hairs and skin used by beginners). If you want look at some *true plagiarism” you must look to Mark Maggiori at http://www.catsuka.com/maggiori.php. You will be shocked! I forget to excuse for my bad english (it’s not my native language) and I think this site probably is the best on the web for layout and entertaining contents, it’s a feast for eyes! 🙂

    • I only know of what’s published on the Wiki – it looks as though his works span a number of manga, eroge, and the mentioned PC Angel covers, as well as some artbooks, one published posthumously. Quite a varied portfolio.

      You can see a cache of his homepage here. The very last revision is a memorial, revealing he passed on due to acute heart failure, at the age of only 36.

      If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.