KUIBA: The “Chinese Naruto”


An upcoming Chinese anime, KUIBA, is being touted as the “Chinese Naruto,” and will be the first Chinese anime ever to be distributed in Japan.

Several trailers show off an anime with modern production values and a distinctly familiar artistic style:

The anime is due to begin distribution in late 2011. International distribution deals in Japan, Europe and America have already been closed.

Publishers Vasoon are apparently intending it chiefly for overseas audiences as an export anime, something of a first for a Chinese studio, and apparently a necessity as low station fees and rampant piracy in China proper rule out the domestic market as a viable target for any animation of quality.

Additionally, the anime is intended as a modern Japanese style “ACG” franchise incorporating anime, manga and game titles, an ambitious objective for an as yet unproven title.

Reportedly the makers have analysed the elements of such shonen giants as Naruto and One Piece in order to establish which led to them becoming international hits, and then replicate them in KUIBA – top of their list is the quality of art and character designs:

“If we draw them nicely, people will surely think they are Japanese in style. So, instead of trying to avoid looking Japanese, we decided to tackle the issue of beauty directly [by adopting a Japanese style].”

Character designs are predictably enough based on the inescapable Chinese literary classic “Journey to the West,” hence the stave wielding monkey martial artist. The story is said to be unconnected however.

The other major element of shonen success is of course the inclusion of the usual hackneyed shonen themes of courage, teamwork, triumph over adversity and so on – these are promised in abundance.

Observers can be forgiven for noting that this seems a very Chinese approach, not that they can necessarily be blamed for wanting to design a hit rather than happen upon it by chance.

The creators claim originality all the same however:

“The feelings are those of Chinese, so they differ from those of Japanese or Americans. With these different values the work we create naturally differ a great deal as well, so from this persepctive it’s 100% Chinese originality.”

The noted propensity of China’s fledgling animation industry for plagiarism may be a cause for concern – distributing plagiarised works in nations where the rule of law is well established would likely only result in costly legal action and the withdrawal of the franchise from all but the most backwards markets, suggesting it will need to be avoided at all costs.

On the other hand, the imposition of unfamiliar ethics may be just what the Chinese industry needs to establish itself as an independent creative force rather than a mere parasite.

Just whether Japan and the west are ready for Chinese furries riding horsebirds is another matter however…

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    Avatar of DFC
    Comment by DFC
    02:09 02/11/2010 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Combining China and Naruto into one? My hate meter cant handle this..

    Avatar of kamiru
    Comment by kamiru
    07:07 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    your meter doesn't go up to 9000??

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:18 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    As for design, the main character does not appeal to me. I think it's an ugly nut.
    So much for using good artists on a disagreeable project. :(

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:35 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Hmm?... Akiyama took Journey to the West and made Dragonball... Kishimoto got inspired by Dragonball and made Naruto... Now some Chinese took Naruto and reincorporated the Journey to the West.

    Dunno what will it be but it doesn't seem original at all...

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:42 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Hm, in what regards is this manga similar to Naruto? I just see the standard storylines of all Shonen. And that orange jumpsuit which is somewhat similar to Naruto's is nothing more than a slight modification of the outfit SonWuKong wore in a popular show of the ninetees.

    Certainly this is nothing as outragious as the similarity between ToLoveRu and Urusei Yatsura or the first chapter of Metaluca and the first chapter of DragonBall, no?

    Avatar of 9lantern
    Comment by 9lantern
    21:17 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Somehow watching that trailer made me want to cry.


    Comment by Anonymous
    00:31 10/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    wtf naruto.....how is tat naruto u fuking noobs..
    and as for this type of anime they are pretty much all the same...
    the hero being a fuktard and never gives up
    e.g. naruto, bleach and one piece

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    14:43 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So full circle and everything returns to the original primordial slimy ooze?

    Avatar of BrownBear
    Comment by BrownBear
    13:56 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Errm, orange = naruto? Thats super lame dude!

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:52 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    None of them seems original to begin with. I just don't understand how come such typical shounen to the max can be so popular.

    Avatar of TenguSan
    Comment by TenguSan
    11:08 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i am pretty sure at this point that they make this crap just to piss the Japanese off >.>

    they are definitely rather blatant with their obvious and frequent rippoffs, all being horrible quality ^^;

    Avatar of Shippoyasha
    Comment by Shippoyasha
    15:55 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Very sad to see their most ambitious animation effort is the most derivative thing ever, not only from the Japanese animation but from their own cultural stories of Journey to the West, which is one of the most overtly used themes in 'retellings' in history... Way to go China... way to go.

    And LOL at them trying to navigate through their own piracy biting at their ass.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:55 03/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    If you want to call 'similarities' a problem, then you should ask why are most of the chinese cartoons based on "The Journey Going West" and not as varied as the different takes on myths like the Japanese have done? The idea that they are calling it a "Chinese Naruto" shows that they are attempting to leech off the Naruto name rather than stand up on its own.

    Surely we can agree art in all forms are intriguing. Even the stealing of Transformers and making a trash version in China is amusing. What, they couldn't make a totally different one but had to base it on Transformers? So... sad?

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:25 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm about ready to barf my diner out. I mean c'mon?! that's just wrong! hate meter is showing 9999999

    Comment by Anonymous

    I hope they get sued.

    Avatar of MasterYuke
    Comment by MasterYuke
    10:32 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    mine's at about a million and a half.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:23 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Hahaha, are they serious ?

    The animation looks like pure crap. What is this, 3-5 fps ?

    Meh, chinese quality...reminds of the chairs that exploded and ripped a bunch of chinese a new ahole...hahaha

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:18 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You don't watch much anime, do you? The fluidity is actually slightly above average for anime standards. Whether this will help it escaping mediocrity is a totally different question though. At least the female character designs are cute...

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:28 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What is this?

    Give us 1/2 Prince Anime instead!

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:43 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    was i the only one who found the chinese voices hilarious...

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:41 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I would say its Avatar: The Last Airbener not Naruto. That runts facial expression is often the same, he uses staff and is suited in orange (well, so is Naruto). Art is quite similar too.

    Anyway, it looks pretty nice as animation, dunno about plot, gonna see it in future.

    China deserves to be hated, for more than 1 reason, but this thing may give them +1

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:42 04/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    That leaves tham at infinity -1 on the hatescale then?

    Avatar of Y10NRDY
    Comment by Y10NRDY
    08:32 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'd love to join in on the bashing but I got so irritated by this article that my blood pressure rose and caused a severe stroke. I am now paralyzed from the neck down and communicating via electronic relay from my hospital bed.

    Avatar of moqadmodar
    Comment by moqadmodar
    08:34 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    wow, the treilers looked awesome
    but it is china we're talking here, so i doubt the real show would be that good

    moreover, WTF, he speaks exactly the way naruto does, except for the dattebayooo
    and wearing an orange outfit?


    Avatar of Riiku
    Comment by Riiku
    08:53 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    :puke: :puke: :puke:


    *vomits all over the place*

    Avatar of PikachuEXE
    Comment by PikachuEXE
    08:22 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    maybe you can make a hate list, then put this at the top

    Avatar of Marik
    Comment by Marik
    07:50 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    my eardrums exploded at the sound of the voice actors, and my eyes are bleeding T_T...this 'anime' gave my body cancer

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:31 05/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's good. You needed it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:44 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Impressive...for the chinese.

    Avatar of Aqualung25
    Comment by Aqualung25
    13:18 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    NO......Just No...

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:19 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It doesn't look alike dragon ball or Naruto.

    Mention you that "Dragon Ball's ideas are from "Journey to the West" of chinese classic novel.
    So you can't say that they ripped off from dragon ball, they just ripped off from thier own classic novel.

    And about someone saying that this is Ripped off from the Naruto...
    I tried to look and look, but i don't see anything ripped off from naruto.
    because he wear orange color clothing he is ripped off from the Naruto?
    This is nonsense.
    There is many character who wear Orange color clothing.
    Seiyuu? please I didn't hear any naruto's voice.

    This is first step of Chinese animation, and it is good try.
    but some of you guy are here just to reject these Chinese animation before it even release.

    Reminder [I am not Chinese and I don't hate Japan, more over I am in love with many japanese anime and I don't think that this is Perfectly good anime too because it feels like some frame are missing]

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:24 03/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wonderful attempt at trying to bring another viewpoint to this debate, but your comments will not be appreciated here, as its populated by Japanese worshippers who hope they can someday miraculously become Japanese, but will never be.

    Good try though, but unfortunately, sanity is difficult to restore here in SanCon, only fear and hatred of all things non-Japanese.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:55 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "100% Chinese originality"


    Comment by Anonymous
    12:08 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Looks a lot more interesting/creative than Naruto, then again that's not really saying much, is it?

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:03 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dude at 0:32 (first vid) that monster looks like a monster from YuGiOh (Ccapac Apu)

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:05 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Way to go, China.......

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:17 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    what is wrong with the chinese language?

    Avatar of kamiru
    Comment by kamiru
    13:51 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    it pass through china quality checking?

    Comment by Pyrolight
    15:23 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Maybe people are just not used to the pitch changing "sing song" nature of it.

    That and if Japan hates it, they must hate it too lol.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:46 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Look really interesting O_O

    except for this apedogthingy of main character -.-

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:17 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Son Goku is a monkey though. That's why they call him the monkey king.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:35 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Better than that one furry war propaganda show from North Korea.

    Avatar of Barbarian of Gor
    Comment by Barbarian of Gor
    14:10 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Flom each akkolding to he abirity, tu each akkolding tu he need!"

    Not that they bashed "Dragonball" that started as a super liberal interpretation of "Journey to the West" and went on a weird/wild tangent to .... wherever...

    Seriously, though, I welcome this!

    Frankly, I have no particular love of Japan/Japanese culture. I like the Anime/Manga culture in that visual arts are respected as a storytelling medium, it's not just "Kids or a porno cartoon done by Bakshi every decade". I bet the Chinese can make some incredible Animation!

    And, really, they produce:

    1. The computers used to help in animation, made for pennies and tax break/subsidized to almost Zero coming to AmeriKKKa but priced just under what it'd cost to make them legit in AmeriKKKa.
    2. Lots of coding work on software packages. Beats letting a top programmer dictate their wages.
    3. The very boxes/software packages sold around the world, again with a cost/markup/tax subsidy like #1.
    4. They print all the books, too...

    Talk about stupid...
    Punching a hole in a dam to run a paddlewheel for "Free" energy not caring that the real generator loses 9 parts for every one gained and it's not a good idea to just punch a hole in a dam. And a stupid society to see what should be called "Fraud and Treason" to be "Good business practice".

    But, hey, the Chinamen know how to sieze an opportunity:

    "Dah Rahst Kapitarist shar sherh us dah Lope wit witch we shar Hang him!!!"

    "Confucius say; Der a Sukkel boln Evely minute! Acturarry, someone erse say rhat! Ha ha! Vely Much Humor!"

    "Nevel Give a Sukkel an even blake!"

    "Rike taking Kandy flom baby!"

    So I actually look forward to seeing what they make, imitative or non or both.

    "Hero" is one of my favorite movies, just a bit under "Conan the Barbarian", a Chinese chick I dated years ago turned me on to it. I'd even help them a bit on music and stories and I mean for "Flee" long as I got some credit and they didn't put a dunce cap on me and beat me for my "R/L" non-PC jokes! "Yu need Le-Education! Yu know how Lound Eye sound tlying our ranguage? Demented!"

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:55 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What's next?

    Chinese K-On!? O_o

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:08 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    you didn't have to give us that image...

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:50 04/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh I'd actually love to see how that'd turn out. :D

    To see how crappier the show could get

    Comment by Dark Mage
    13:59 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'll call this show Narutoball.

    Instead of a monkey like tail like Goku in Dragonball the main character has a face like a monkey's butt.

    Avatar of Guro
    Comment by Guro
    14:04 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Much more enjoyable with no sound. I can't stand the Chinese talking.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:17 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    some people cant stand the sound of english either.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:09 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    amen to that.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:47 02/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "it’s 100% Chinese originality.”"


    *trying not to ROFLMAO*

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