Anime fans are aghast at the news that the Guangxi government has given its highest award for cultural excellence to a Chinese moral indoctrination anime widely derided as a complete rip-off of 5cm Per Second.
The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region recently recognised “Soul’s Window” with its highest art and literature prize.
In 2009, this animation was accused of copying wholesale scenes, characters and story from 5cm Per Second.
Online in China, a variety of articles critical of the decision have appeared, although some seem more concerned with Chinese animation mimicking foreign anime than the plagiarism issue itself.
The producers claim to have removed the plagiarised portions, making it all alright: “There is no issue – this award is being given to the revised version with the plagiarised portions removed.”
The awards body promises “further investigation” and “strict action” if it decides the allegations are true and worth acting on.