Soul’s Window: China Rips Off 5cm Per Second

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China’s reputation for originality and respect for copyright is once again cemented with the news that a Chinese company, working in partnership with a state propaganda department, has plagiarised wholesale Makoto Shinkai’s popular and visually striking anime movie “5 Centimeters Per Second.”

You can see much more of it below (the Chinese version is on top):

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Soul’s Window” (心灵之窗) is ironically enough billed as a “moral anime,” a genre which dominates China’s heavily censored animation industry. Exciting themes of selfless dedication to party and state promised, and the heroic actions of the People’s Liberation Army play a central role.

The hatred of viewers toward just this kind of tedious preaching in anime is cited as one of the problems faced by the industry, coupled with a complete lack of artistic freedom, and the inability to export such naked propaganda.

Even more notable is that fact that the anime is apparently co-produced by the local Communist Party propaganda department, showing just how deeply the Chinese government cares about such matters.

State censors have approved its “healthy ideological content” for nationwide release on TV and at cinemas, with 52 episodes planned.

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Rarely has anime plagiarism been so bold.

The original work made heavy use of photographic reference, but of course these were taken in Japan by the original studio, so it is curious to see them crop up in a Chinese production.

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Voices have been raised in China calling for the development of a domestic anime industry, and the removal of pernicious Japanese anime from China; it appears one response will be to simply copy parts of Japanese anime and call it domestically produced…

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