Dengeki Prize Winner Guilty of Simmonsing


Award-winning illustrator Shirokitsune has been found guilty of first degree Simmonsing by 2ch’s Plagiarism Police.

The artist in question, responsible for illustrating a number of magazines and doujinshi, was found to have freely helped himself to art from various manga and Pixiv profiles.

As is the custom with such shameless types, he splashes “unauthorised reproduction of modification of these works is forbidden” around his (now defunct) homepage.

Some of the comparison images used to ascertain his guilt:



Notably, he won a coveted Commendation in the Dengeki Taisho awards, a prestigious set of awards which includes tens of thousands of dollars in prize money.

Top illustrator Yoshitaka Amano, renowned for his work on the Final Fantasy series, is said to have singled out Shirokitsune’s work for high praise.

Once the plagiarism came to light, the CEO of publisher ASCII Media Works himself publicly apologised and revoked the honour.

2ch for its part actively hounded the wicked plagiarist, forcing him to close homepage, Pixiv and all; his current status is unknown save for the fact that he is obviously keeping a low profile.

Nonetheless he is unrepentant, apologising whilst saying he intends to “keep practicing and continue” his demi-artistic activities in future, but carefully avoiding mention of what it is he actually did and stressing that it “has no connection to my commercially published work.”

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    • Hahaha. I actually didn’t realize what he was referring to at first and kept trying to think what the word meant.

      But to answer your question: no, of course not. Plagiarism happens all the time – Artefact is just using topical humor as he is wont to do.

  • I wonder how many other illustrators do the same practices. A pose here, a flower here, a skyline there- save a few hours on rendering all the mess the guy didn’t feel like doing.
    Here’s the thing though about that way of viewing it- if he is an illustrator and he didn’t feel like doing all that work but felt pressured to do it- in my opinion he should have drawn what he wanted in the first place. Then no problems generally arise, unless you want to be a simmonsing and try to think you can pay ‘homage’ to a piece of work in a commercial format demanding original material.

    If you like it so much, draw it for yourself- you get the experience and no flak for no properly acknowledging the artist you so called ‘paid homage to.’
    I do that a lot, and artists before have done that as well, and it’s unfortunate that this douche-bag never got the memo.

  • This is called “sampling” people from the music industry do it too, like Jay Z’s Big Pimpin sampling from the Egyptian piece “Khosara”

    It would surprise you that people who do all those CG and Matte paintings for movies and concepts do the same thing, but with photos because it’s harder to trace photography to one particular source. We do it mostly for textures and backgrounds.

    But for this case, of course it’s always a bad idea to sample from pre-existing artwork because such artwork already has a distinct feel to it, like if Leonardo cut and paste something from Michelangelo’s works- it wouldn’t be less noticeable because Michelangelo’s rendition of what was cut and pasted was truer to the real thing he was trying to draw and paint- it would be noticeable because it was Michelangelo’s particular rendition of that object. So of course, it would stick out in a Leonardo painting- even if both Leonardo and Michelangelo’s works both reflected the era that they lived in.

  • The interesting part is: No one would’ve even noticed if it wasn’t for 2ch.
    And here’s the thing that should get you: If no one had noticed that, everyone would still be happy with it.

    Including the plagiarized authors.

    Yeah, the guy ripped off other people’s work, but he did it in such a way everyone appreciated…

    I wonder the real reasons behind this though.
    Is it lack of talent, or lack of time?

    The fact that several good artists are doing this (I’m not talking about Simmons) seems to point out some sort of problem in the whole business…

  • he’s not a very good illustrator, but he is good at photoshopping stuff so at least you have to give him that.

    his only error was that he was discovered. probably got lazy in even trying to make his tracing more discrete.

  • it doesn’t really match. its like the basics. there will always be a likeness of something. try to draw a sun on the right side of your image. there are a lot of drawings that have a sun on that same spot. if you know the basics of drawing there will be a thousand of more that will have the likeness of your work unless you will buy all the “billions” of artworks that exist and start to compare it one by one and keep erasing until you won’t get a match to avoid the plagiarism thingy which is too stupid for those who want to get attention that there is a similarity.

  • Mkay….maybe I’m just not looking hard enough….but all I see out of whats being compared are poses and background clips. And yeah, they range from somewhat identical to mirror images. At least from my not-so-artistic perspective. But it looks like the characters themselves are still original. *shrug* It doesn’t seem to be on the same level as Simmons’ copy/paste plagiarism. Meh, but again….that’s just from my own lacking artistic perspective. Feel free to point out something I may not have noticed.

  • Honestly, who (with a life) cares?

    I prefer a good copy over an bad original, anyway. If it’s out there you can’t magically unthink it. Copyright isn’t as good as it sounds.

    Think about Einstein suing people for using his work to build a freaking bomb. Yeah, it’s in the past, but pretty much the same thing and no one gave a shit.

  • This isn’t nearly as bad as some of the previous cases. This is just a case of a good artist who got a little lazy with some of the finer details.

    I wouldn’t think a dude should have his career ruined over it, though I approve of any awards being revoked.

  • My drawing is seriously bad, but at least i have the decency to draw my own work, regardless of how rubbish it might be. Also seeing as how his actual skills aren’t bad i have trouble understanding why he even needed to plagiarize

  • First off, how in the hell does 2chan Find all of these things? Are they that bored?

    second, everything he copied didn’t seem to bad…Its not like he’s just tracing the image..

    whats the big deal?

  • This artist drawing style is a homage to Simmons way of drawing… I hope it stop spreading though.

    In other copie… homage news:
    It’s REALLY sad how mediocre people wins any kind of award with crap like this…

  • People like this really piss me off. It’s bad enough that they trace someone else’s work but for them to try and make money off of it is just pathetic and an insult to any real artist.

  • OK, so given that most humans look pretty similar, and that anime/manga has a certain style, plus there are only a limited number of possible poses/stances a human character can do without looking disfigured.

    How the hell do the 2ch idiots expect that with so many illustrators and artists who do hundreds of artworks, that there aren’t going to be coincidential similarities from time to time?

  • I really liked that drawing of neko-Miku.
    Come on, it’s not like shirokitsune had copied whole characters or scenes. Without reuse of code software engineering wouldn’t exist. Copying other’s work without payment may be bad but level seen here doesn’t really bother me. Winning prizes with this was unfair for other artists though.

  • Please remember that plagiarism only requires you to be 20% different…

    OP girl: different hair, different eyes, different mouth, different clothes, but same pose. (The amount of times this has happened I don’t want to think about…)

    The grey-scale looks way too similar…almost like hitting the flip button on paint and calling it good. (Can’t defend this one at all..)

    Half his flower arrangement had the same flowers as another picture…as if there aren’t popular flower arrangements IRL? The work is similar but not traced.

    The white haired anime girl is so generic I’ve seen the same one plagiarized 30,000 times apparently. Other than similar (not same) hair, eyes, and one arm angle this is fairly different.

    Girl is sleeping. Different clothes, different hair, subtly different face, added the ear.

    He copied an image of a location that was a copy of someplace that really exists? lol

    The flower for comparison has some detail work done but definitely looks traced. It looks like he modified one and kept modifying it to make his other flowers. (Again though he copied something that exists IRL)

    The sky is actually plagiarism …which is funny as he didn’t *need* to plagiarize the sky if he can draw the rest of the skyline that well. There are changes but they don’t amount to 20% IMO (for that part). It could be argued that doesn’t represent a ‘significant’ portion of either piece. (That’s also important btw)

    Ambiguous shadow vs ambiguous shadow…

  • In this case, because of the Moe subculture, people who didn’t know any better would dismiss it like it’s just another anime crap. (and from the looks of it- all that these artists do is copy off each others’ style so that in the end, the differences are only apparent to people from, say, 2ch. I mean same-ness isn’t such a bad thing, because it creates a sort of culture. It’s when people make clones of each other within that culture that makes the thing cheaper. And then, there’s the homage thing. When done poorly, it can look like a mockery. When done too well, it will look like a rip-off- or worse, it would look like the homage-maker is trying to one-up the thing s/he admires. (that’s the case with the Matrix and the guy who directed Ghost in the Shell- in an interview, Mamoru Oshii said he felt insecure when the first Matrix film came out. But no one really cared whether or not the Matrix ripped off GitS, except the insane obsessive elitist anime fans.)

  • why are they doing detective work over art? They should fight more serious crimes.

    Maybe if Bin Laden said that he’ll kill all the pixiv/moe/whatever artists, these fuckers would’ve caught him faster than the American government can.

    On the news: ‘angry anime nerds and shut-ins catch Bin Laden’

    It would’ve been like that 4chan football bombing threat.

  • Barbarian of Gor says:

    I don’t buy it.

    How many ways can you draw “Moe”?
    And aren’t some expressions/poses “Standard/Cliche”?

    Nick Simmons I was going out on a limb and arguing he didn’t cross the line into “true plagiarism” just skimmed it for liking (and, IMO, doing FAR better) “Bleach”. But this isn’t tracing. It’s just obeying the same “Moe Rules” thing.

    And, yes, you CAN copy a pose (accidentally or otherwise) in so limited a system.

    Years back, I was at an “Art gallery exhibition” and a few “Minimalists” were the highlight. With some relatives of mine, I whipped out my notepad and holding it in my hand drew the images near 100% from 5 feet away, holding in my hand, no references. Did all “Minimalist” ones in 15 secs to 1 minute. Then I went to a fairly good sculpture and in 5 minutes drew something that 95% resembled it.

    And why I’m bringing this up is that if an illustrator, and these professional Japanese ones are far better than me, thinks “Cute Moe girl with this expression, that pose, that particular angle” he’ll likely draw that so well some pathetic toad nerd could scream plagarism and with computer editing (rotation, zoom, x/y manipulation) claim they’ve discovered plagarism.

    I think it’s like that part from “Cool Devices: Fallen Angel Rina” – the crazed Otaku – “You’ve ruined the image of my virgin Rina! I won’t forgive you!!!”

  • The only things worthy of being called valid plagiarism are the 1st and 2nd pics. The others are just examples of extreme degree nitpicking.

    Look, are poses copyrighted item now? So if I draw someone sitting the way like picture #5, does it mean I’m plagiarizing a work? Great, it means I’ve been plagiarizing for my whole career of drawing hobby, then – for I’ve been taking poses from a whole ‘nother lots of works. Sure, I do not condone blatant TRACING of someone else’s work and make it public while claiming that it’s yours – but is there no excuse for being inspired to draw the same pose (without tracing it, i.e. draw the same pose from ground up)? Also, if I wish to draw a background which is a famous landmark, and decide to trace it from a photo in a tourism brochure, will I be called ‘plagiarizing’? The same goes for flower and those small tidbits. Really, now.

    If this level of nitpicking continues, artist might choose to keep a low profile and never submit a work for any award whatsoever. Because, really, can one find a really original style of art nowadays? Much less ‘original’ pose and ‘original’ background, and other ‘original’ elements.

  • It’s obvious that he has talent and can do well if he tries, but it looks like he decided to be lazy and plagiarize stuff anyway. I mean, he even copied that flower bouquet! Really?! How hard is it to find photo references and use those as a basis while still using your own imagination.
    Shit is sad.

  • I think his art is great, It’s a real shame that those retards on 2ch got nothing better to do but search for plagiarism. Like the flowers as an example, honestly they’re seriously grasping for straws on that shit.

    If I draw a circle and someone else draws a circle, but puts a star in the middle obviously they’re fucking copying me!! I noticed he copied backgrounds, but artist do that shit all the freaking time who cares? If he wants to draw some chick laying against a goddamn tree how many freaking different ways can it be drawn before it overlaps when he straight traces it maybe, but he clearly redrawing it using the first as a reference..

  • My opinions are not popular I know but I’d say that the truly lamentable thing is that he pastes that copyright notice in his work, not that he makes the shops nor that he sell the stuff.

    All this attention on what minute details he copied overlook what he did create, and on the whole overlook the fact that these things are enjoyable own their own even if they are rips so they have value.

    That’s why I release stuff under permissive licenses, of course I realize the original authors didn’t not even this guy did, but I think this should be a lesson for him and for us as a culture. Remix is in the air, embrace it.

    But not, instead everything must be locked down.

    • You don’t realise how corrosive this is to the industry. A company unknowingly including heavy plagiarism like this could be sued or forced to recall its game/rag/etc, to say nothing of having their name dragged through the muck if they did nothing.

      Imagine what a nightmare would ensue if companies just started ripping everything off and debasing artists to the level of mere Photoshop technicians – it would be like China.

      And of course this leaves aside the ethical dimension entirely.

  • in the end everything will be plagiarism and nobody will be allowed to publish his work anymore.I mean it can’t be possible that people will always know how to draw differently and maybe they will not even see or remember such work they saw from others and still draw it in a similiar style.
    Where does that leave us?

  • with almost 7 billion humans on earth you could probably call anything plagiarism as after some time every character design or pose will be created a second time without the author even knowing that something very similar already exists