2ch’s Plagiarism Police Quite Amazing


Manga plagiarism seems to be getting lazier and lazier – the latest example actually succeeds in leaving watermarks on plagiarised photographs on the cover of the book itself.

However, perhaps more noteworthy than the plagiarism itself is the diligence of the people responsible for uncovering it.

The manga in question is 隗ヨリヒトカイヨリ式 / Kaiyorihitokaiyorishiki, by Kazuaki – a relatively obscure BL title.

Some analysis of the manga’s cover finds it to be using copyrighted photography:


Here the watermark from the original image is actually left as part of the book’s cover… Removing the shadows was also apparently too much effort.


The cover in use as signage:


The publisher has already apologised and withdrawn the title – however, with the original publication date being 2007, the damage (such as it is) is done.

As ever, the shamelessness of the plagiarists is matched only by the amazing rigour of 2ch’s plagiarism police – 2ch’s crowning achievement:


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  • I notice how all these big animation studios and male artists reference photos and no one seems to blame them for anything. But once Kazuaki (well, well, well, what do you know, a female) artist uses a reference, RAWR TIME TO GET OUT THE PITCHFORKS. >_> It’s all those jealous fujoshi out there who are pissed at Kazuaki for having her art appreciated while they just sit in their miserable lives. Amazing? Police-worthy? Detectives? How about a bunch of bitter faggots?

  • Use references for drawings isn´t plagiarism ¬___¬;;;

    Do you think that Michelangelo or Leonardo Da Vinci were plagiarist? And they used rudimentary obscure cameras. Those 2chan guys has too much free time

  • Those clowns should get themselfes a life. What the fuck is wrong with using those resources given to produce an artwork efficiently??
    Those Artists get paid for their time for god’s sake. Why spend 4 hours copying a resource pic by hand when filtering takes about 20 minutes and produces the same?

    If they state that this can’t be art, they better check out andy warhol and stfu

  • Really… I’m getting sick of this 2ch tings.. don’t they have anything better to do? What’s wrong with using actual pictures for your drawing references? No one suffer any losses from those anyway. If they think they’re so high and mighty to condemn other peoples’ work, Why don’t they try to draw an illustration or manga by themselves? I really want to see that…

  • People seems to not understand the wrongdoings being done by the artist. It’s not hard of a concept to grasp.

    The artist used copyrighted photo created by a photographer to produce her manga which she’s profiting off of.

    Reference other works all you want, just don’t try to sell it.

  • This hypersensitivity is so screwed up. Do people yell at movie producers for filming stuff in pre-existing settings? No. Film makers aren’t required to build the canyon or castle up from scratch to make a good movie and neither should manga artists.

    Using blatantly copyrighted images is downright stupid and dishonest on their part, though.

  • Referencing is okay, looking at an image and trying to redraw it is okay.

    Taking an image, placing it directly onto your work, adding filters adjusting color etc. and selling it for profit is not okay. If she had bought the rights to the image(s), then the situation wouldn’t be like this.

    The author herself know what she did wrong, too. Which is why she apologized so quickly.

    2ch did some good this time, as fans we should believe that the artist will not cheat us.

    • But where do you draw the line? Many people will say referencing something is wrong too as they say it’s just tracing. Even if there is a difference And if that was a free to use image?

      “Taking an image, placing it directly onto your work, adding filters adjusting color etc. and selling it for profit is not okay”

      That is usually called MATTE painting and they do it in many many different things. Even movies. Lord of the Rings for instance.

  • Plagiarism is when you copy a source without the proper reference to the holder. Sure the mangaka use it without the consent of most of the resource they got the pic from, but its not something that people have to be so fussy about.

  • octoberasian says:

    Isn’t plagiarism the theft of copyrighted works?

    Copying scenes of nature, buildings in the open, or even other objects commonly seen outside is not plagiarism. If it was, every damn painter in the last couple centuries would have had their paintings confiscated for plagiarism, including all animes made in the last few decades which used real life places as references.

    2ch makes absolutely no damn sense accusing them of plagiarism when in fact it’s just real life objects they’re using in their works.

  • Wow, so much stupidity wrapped up in a huge waste of time. The majority of these cases of “plagiarism” is just referencing. Is it what we’ve come to? So paranoid about copying things that we can’t use real life references to improve our art? I don’t know if you know this 2ch, but people learn to draw things by REFERENCE! It’s one thing if you trace another person’s drawing and call it your own, but real life references, seriously?! Manga-ka and animators are not creative Gods (well not most of them at least). There’s only so much they can do purely from their heads while drawing. They’re not architects, they can’t always design their own buildings especially considering the time constraint within their jobs. So just try and appreciate their works rather then going “OMG I MUST FIND PLAGIARISM! IT WILL BE THE END OF US!111!11!” You’re not a hero for finding these “plagiarism” incidents, you are just wasting good time you could be using more productively, like reading more manga/watching more anime. :3

    • You DO know the difference right? These aren’t referenced images they are talking about in the article. These are taken, manipulated, filtered, altered (probably by photoshop\sai but any paint thing will do) then palced right into the image. Big difference between taking a photo or part of one and altering it to put in your own work and using one for reference.

  • Wow, artists use REFERENCES?! Who would’ve thought. Considering a lot of manga takes place in real world settings like Japan and whatnot (fantasy aspects aside), wouldn’t it only be natural that they base the backgrounds off places that actually exist? Besides, mangakas are not architects. Just because they have some decent artistic ability doesn’t mean they can (or want to) create sceneries and buildings from scratch when there’s some perfectly nice settings to take inspiration from.

    It would only be offensive if the artist just took pictures of landmarks then made them into black and white images and used THAT as the background. Not just cause it’s lazy, but because it’s rather jarring when you compare the photorealistic backgrounds with simpler character designs. I’m looking at you, Ken Akamatsu.

  • It’s funny how people rage on 2ch because some of its users uncovered cases of plagiarism.

    It’s rather commendable. Has everyone already forgot about Nick Simmons? That was the English anime communities detective work.

    Did anyone rage about those guys and say they have no life when they uncovered his plagiarism? No.

    It’s actually kinda ironic that some of you say they have no life. Has anyone ever told you that you have no life because you watch anime or play video games? You’re becoming hypocrites now people.

    • That’s different, he took pages from existing manga and just basically colored them with different colors to make it seem like his own. He didn’t take his own photos from photostock, or public domain photos and use them as a reference. The reason why people noticed is that they didn’t have to go do any detective work, they seen it immediately. Not to mention the fact that he didn’t use those pictures as references, he basically traced them line for line.

      Using a public domain photo for commercial purposes isn’t bad as long as it says so in the copyright despite what anyone says.. as long as they obey the copyright they aren’t really in the wrong. And all artists use photo pictures for those drawings, if I was them and some of my fans started to complain, I’d just flip them off and tell them to stop buying.

  • also one has to understand not all things are copyrighted even though people have the right from the start that its made, the thing is for a material to be considered to be copyright it has to go under some paper works that can be protected by the copyright acts if not then its considered either open domain or private use this can be said of the internet as mostly they can be considered as open domain per-se unless you uploaded something that you really bought for it… in which case can’t be exactly called as piracy… so 2 things one world

  • Since when is it wrong for an artist to use photographs to work from? Most modern artists do, including the late Norman Rockwell. It allows them to inject a realism that would be lacking if they only worked from their own imaginations.

    Plagiarism is when you copy off the work of another artist, not you use a photo as a reference.

  • This is retarded… when you draw you use references in oder to archive realism.

    in the other hand, manga had always a strong use of photo backgrounds, cities, landscapes, streets and houses to keep production under control for editorial deadlines.

    Yukata Kikuchi, Ryoichi Ikegami, Masakazu Katsura, Satoshi Shiki and a long etc works with photograpic references… Luis Royo used a lot of photo references in his pics, same for alex ross.

    at last they are not doing a complete page copypasted from movie clips and magazines like Greg Land.

  • Real Life steals from Manga/Anime ? Lolwut o.O

    nah come on. it is just a boring mixture of stealing the whole image and “referencing” the only reference i see is the temple pictures and the house landscapes. So why shouldnt they use interesting buildings that already exist ? It may not be very creative, but i do like those sorts of backgrounds too. But picture 1 and 10 are sure not “referencing” xD

  • I really don’t know what is the problem?!? Some Mangaka that have the opportunity to go over-seas to visit European cities, go for a walk in search for inspiration from real buildings. Photographes are nothing but reality seem trought a lens nothing else more. If a mangaka use photos to inspire himself there is nothing wrong…

  • Funny I heard of this news from a friend. Is this not the same as using for reference? Isn’t plagiarizing copying someones art example: that incident with bleach and that American comic artist? Can you plagiarize real life images?

    • Plagiarism is a poor wording for this situation. Plagiarism may be completely legal, while reference may be illegal. For example, it’s completely legal to plagiarize Motzart’s work, because everything he ever made is public domain and under no copyright restrictions. However, using a copyrighted work as a reference may be illegal, as I am about to explain.

      The correct legal terminology is copyright infringement and respectively fair use.
      Using a portion of any copyrighted work (including photographs) without permission, is copyright infringement, unless it falls under the protections of fair use. Now, there is no cookie cutter definition for fair use, but generally speaking, using only a representative sample of the original work such as a book excerpt, a very low-resolution image, a few minutes out of 2 hour long movie, etc… is considered fair use provided that you correctly credit the original author. When you think of it, it does make sense. It protects journalists when they write negative reviews, it protects people when they record home made videos and accidentally capture a portion of a copyrighted song/movie, it protects parodies of copyrighted works and a lot more.
      On the other hand, using someone else’s work to create a derivative work without their permission clearly violates the second requirement (original author is not credited) and may possibly violate the first depending on the judge’s decision.


  • this seriously pisses me off
    I usually don’t like to use the term that someone has no life


    don’t know why I’m raging, but I AM

  • Don’t really see the problem.

    A lot of concept/matte painting artists actually use photographs as base for many of their amazing art. They only cook with water too.

    Of course, to be on the safe side, an artist should rather do own photographs to base their stuffs on.

  • 003 and 004 don’t constitute plagiarism in my eyes.

    For 003, that is a very common lay out in temples. The tatami pattern and layout are both very common, and several elements in the photo are not used at all.

    For 004, there are many houses of that exact same style all over. There are quite a few differences between the two, if you look closely, and these are the same kind of differences you’d see between many different houses of the same style.

    • It’s plagiarism, not referencing, since it involves the use of copyrighted images without permission of the copyright holder. It would be different, though, if the artist actually owns the images. You would call that referencing.

      And yep, 2channers are that bored, and skillful.

      • Then every anime that had a field trip to Kyoto and had visits of the Kinkaku-Ji and Kyomizu-Dera would be plagiarising, because I doubt that animation studios have the time to actually take the pictures themselves (unless it’s KyoAni, just because they’re right there).

        As a matter of fact, any form of Animation that used real locations would then be guilty of plagiarism, because no studio has the time to take all of them themselves, and would just pull them from online or a book (unless they’re huge, like Disney or Ghibli).

        Besides, these are just pictures of infrastucture in the public sphere. These aren’t pieces of itellectual propety. I would call it plagiarism if these images copied an original piece of architecture that was from another Manga, Anime, Movie, Visual Art or what have you. Or if someone copied a hairstyle or a weapon or clothing that came from another piece of media, not from real objects or photographs of real objects. This is just overly pedantic.

        The watermark, sure I can give you that. But everything else is just pure boredom and stupidity.

        • Those pictures were copyrighted. That’s the crux of the argument, really. The mangaka can’t use them unless they owned them(took the pictures themselves).

          It wouldn’t be to draw images using a copyrighted photo as reference, though – same as using a live model. However, what we found was just editing, cropping and pasting.

  • 2ch gets my respect this time. At least the plagiarism are really blatant this time instead of randomly accusing artists as plagiarists just because of coincidental identical poses.

    Hmmm… I think I saw an intriguing drill hair meganekko <3 Hope that's not a trap.

    • Although you think it’s plagiarism, it really isn’t that much of a big deal… It’s like going outside and drawing a building as a reference, but instead, the artist opts for pictures.

      How is that wrong? Except people who has never drawn before think it’s a huge scandal, because they think drawings are miraculously made by the power of the mind.

      • For me at least, this isn’t about whether it’s ‘wrong’. It’s about being honest about what you did.
        If you copy photographs from the internet, just say so. Because if you don’t, there’s a presumption that what’s on the page is your own work.

  • Personally I really like her artworks…. But still…
    One of her manga’s backcover started it all….. It was just way too ovbvious….. And now everyone’s just digging out all of her drawings trying to find something… 2chan sure is good at destroying other’s lifes… And ofcousre, her fault.

    Maybe it’s time to buy her new artbook before it goes out of print , heh.

  • ChaosAngelZero says:

    What’s rare? Moonspeak for “good sauce”?

    I’m certainly impressed with these guys’ research, they should apply at their local police stations. Maybe some of them already work there.