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NEWS: Youka Nitta to Quit Manga Work, Back Catalog Pulled


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xanderion



Joined: 13 Jul 2008
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:06 pm Reply with quote
Is it because I'm French that I'm more surprised by how lightly American people seem to take this kind of matter?
In my country, brands are forbidden on TV shows (I'm not talking about the commercials) and there are strict rules for mentionning a label. Meaning it is forbidden to say the name, but if you mention it, you have to mention every labels existing or involved in the show. Logos and brands are blurred or pulled off.

A few anchormen got a temporary suspension of their job after failing to respect this rule. It seldom happens, as usually their punishment is to pay a fine, but some did get suspended.
It might be unbelivable for you, but it's the way things are here.

So back to Youka Nitta's case. It's not overraction to my POV. They are Japanese, so the way they think is different. She didn't quit by herself. Her publishers, after pending and pulling off all her works from their catalogue, have to apologize officially to the readers alongside her. The BLCD company which was working on releasing a drama based on ber manga had to cancel the project and also publicly apologized to the public. She had to leave that apology message at her website.

They can't afford to continue releasing or promoting or selling her works in fear that newer products can later be used against them in a lawsuit if they prove to infringe some copyrights or potentially worsen her case, even if they don't for some litigious referencing.
For now, her publishers removed her from the public eye as a protection for them and for her while they're trying to work things out. An apology might be enough in the United States, but in Japan, it is just the first formal thing to do. The real sanction will come later.
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mufurc



Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Posts: 612
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:42 pm Reply with quote
I'm not American either, and I was also surprised at people insisting that it's no big deal in the earlier topic... (In my country we have similar laws about mentioning brands and copyrighted stuff as you seem to have in France.) Even if it wasn't copyright infringement it's still blatant plagiarism which I think is a quite serious offense, especially when it's been going on for such a long time. (She says she didn't know it was against the law - I can believe that, but more importantly, does this mean that she thought blatant plagiarism is okay if it's not illegal? If yes then sorry but I think she really deserves what she gets.)

Anyway, as xanderion said, the author apologizing to the fans and declaring to stop working is pretty much the standard procedure. It's what is expected of her. It doesn't necessarily mean that she's really leaving forever, only that she's withdrawing for a while, the question being how long this "a while" is going to be. The reason why I feel that she's overreacting is that her reactions in general (that I've read anyway) seem a bit too similar to the usual reactions, followed by a flounce, when a fanartist is caught red-handed.

In any case, I'm sure she'll be back.


Last edited by mufurc on Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:51 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Emichan



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 83
Location: SF Bay Area
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:45 pm Reply with quote
I guess she just doesn't have the connections that Kayono does.

Shoujo mangaka Kayono was caught a few years back tracing from fashion and other book photos and copying layouts from another artist, yet she got away with it thanks to her connections (her mother being an influential mangaka herself). In fact, the person Kayono ripped off (yaoi mangaka Takashima) was the one who had to stop publishing for a few years! Crazy.

I think it's disappointing what Nitta did, but I think it would warrant a suspension for a while, not quitting entirely -_-

It's amazing how many US comic book artists do the same thing, and get away with it, and no one cares.
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poonk



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 1490
Location: In the Library with Philip
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:14 pm Reply with quote
Emichan wrote:
Shoujo mangaka Kayono was caught a few years back tracing from fashion and other book photos and copying layouts from another artist, yet she got away with it thanks to her connections.
Wow, I didn't realize she (Kayono) basically ripped off an entire action sequence from Wild Rock (well, at least she's got good taste Smile ). That, in my opinion, is worse than referencing photos/ads for buildings/rooms/etc. (the other examples given in the linked page), or even generic poses (which is what Nitta did), because in Kayono's case, she's not just borrowing a random, unrelated pic and incorporating it into an existing storyline; instead, it appears that she basically used everything, from the poses to the layout itself. A few of these poses, by themselves, you could argue are generic "action" poses. But used in the same sequence/layout, it's pretty blatant.

And, not to go too off topic, but why in the world would Takashima be the one to go into hiatus!? Couldn't they just compare the publishing dates, or was it more complicated than that? I'm sorry, this is probably old news but I'm a fan of Takashima and I somehow never heard of this... *out of the loop, apparently*
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sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 1080
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:31 pm Reply with quote
This is really sad. What she did was wrong, but she also did so much that was right. I do hope she comes back later. Her drawing is so distinctive that a pseudonym will be useless, but hopefully she can make a new start, and maybe even finish all her series that all her fans love.
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CCSYueh



Joined: 03 Jul 2004
Posts: 2707
Location: San Diego, CA
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:55 pm Reply with quote
I seem to recall seeing Milli Vanilli making some bucks off their little scandal. George Harrison certainly survived the plagerism lawsuit over stealing "My Sweet Lord" (From "He's So Fine").

Do you see why I saw "Over-reaction"? Entertainment types here show up exploiting their scandals.

Saturday Morning children's show actor Paul Reubens arrested in an adult theater-getting work now.

I still say Woody Allen marrying his adopted daughter is plain ikky, but his past work is still highly reverred. He may still be making stuff. I never really liked his stuff so I don't pay attention.

Roman Polanski can't come back to the US, isn't it? But he pops up from time to time in stuff filmed wherever he's living.

Thank god the people & Hollywood forgave Robert Downey Jr for his little indiscressions because he is a damned good actor. I just hope he can keep his head on straight & keep it up but he does have other issues (I seem to recall the mom's claim he's bi-polar which means if he goes off his meds, he may fall off the wagon)

Yes, Nitta feeling forced to quit seems an over-reaction. It is horrid she feels that backed into a corner
Maybe it IS an American thing. Gee, some disgraced Japanese feel the need to commit suicide--that's good? In America one has always had the option of moving to a different place, starting over. My grandmother did. We don't really poke noses into our neighbor's pasts. If someone needs help, we do help.

Frankly DMP has in the past commissioned work from a Japanese artist to be released here & I can't think anyone here wouldn't buy an original title from Nitta over this. I'd think their only concern would be the Japanese publishers not licensing titles to them over it, but if the concern is Libre & whoever being sued, then a foreign company's dealings would have nothing to do with them.
It's not like some cloak & dagger stuff where she stole a story from someone & printed it as her own--the poor wronged author killed his/herself...wait, that was a Detective Conan plot...and I think I saw it on Remington Steele.

Hells Bells, back in the 70's my sister & I would watch scripts pass from one title to another. One year one script made it to 6 different titles we watched (6 Million Dollar Man, a couple cop shows & the rest detective shows). Change the character names & situations to fit each title & tada!-start filming. The basic details were similar enough anyone with a brain recognised it was the same story. Maybe the girlfriend kidnapped in one title became the sidekick in another kidnapped, but it was the same friggin script.
Of course that was before vcrs so they might have figured they could get away with it.

And no, I don't think we block out brand names anymore. Used to. Now it's product placement/more money for the production. Need doughnuts for a scene? The ad department starts calling the doughnut companies to see who will give them free donuts or even pay to have their product used in the show/movie.
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mufurc



Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Posts: 612
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:18 pm Reply with quote
CCSYueh wrote:
Do you see why I saw "Over-reaction"? Entertainment types here show up exploiting their scandals.

Well, it seems like Nitta won't capitalize on this scandal at YaoiCon...

CCSYueh wrote:
Yes, Nitta feeling forced to quit seems an over-reaction. It is horrid she feels that backed into a corner

Nah, she's not forced to quit, she's forced to, ah, stand in the corner to repent and think about what she did. Saying "I'm sorry for disappointing all of you, as of now I quit draing manga (and maybe commit seppuku while I'm at it)" is something she needs to say, it's part of the apology. She's supposed to mean it, of course, but it doesn't necessarily mean that she's quitting forever. In a year's time or so nobody will remember this incident, and she may be even given the chance to come back if she's so inclined. The question is if she'll be inclined to or not - that, I suppose, depends on many things. She may even really mean to quit now because she's so emotional over losing face but I'm quite sure she will change her mind later.
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luisedgarf



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 542
Location: Guadalajara, Mexico
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:03 pm Reply with quote
CCSYueh wrote:
In America one has always had the option of moving to a different place, starting over.


Except that in East Asian countries like Japan and South Korea, moving to another country because you were a failure in your native turf is one of the worst things that you can do. If you don't believe me, you should ask all the Koreans who live in Mexico and working in Mexican flea markets (tianguis) or working in smuggling foreign stuff to Mexico. Most of them (if not all of them) are people who were failures in their native land for some reason.
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CCSYueh



Joined: 03 Jul 2004
Posts: 2707
Location: San Diego, CA
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:03 pm Reply with quote
mufurc wrote:

CCSYueh wrote:
Yes, Nitta feeling forced to quit seems an over-reaction. It is horrid she feels that backed into a corner

Nah, she's not forced to quit, she's forced to, ah, stand in the corner to repent and think about what she did. Saying "I'm sorry for disappointing all of you, as of now I quit draing manga (and maybe commit seppuku while I'm at it)" is something she needs to say, it's part of the apology. She's supposed to mean it, of course, but it doesn't necessarily mean that she's quitting forever.


I don't know the Buddhist or Shinto religions all that well, but America is basically Christian, so we have this concept called repentance where one confesses one's sins, makes reparations if necessary & "goes & sins no more".
But yeah, standing in a corner, saying 5 "Hail Mary's", etc, IS enough, isn't it?
Not that I'm Catholic, either.


Quote:
If you don't believe me, you should ask all the Koreans who live in Mexico and working in Mexican flea markets (tianguis) or working in smuggling foreign stuff to Mexico. Most of them (if not all of them) are people who were failures in their native land for some reason.


Not going there. THere are some pretty racist hispanics out there. I've sat there smiling politely while Hispanic co-workers say the worst things about the local native Indians (lazy!) & mentally thinking if I didn't have to keep the peace & work with this person, I'd say something. My parents lived in a run-down area of Huntington Beach a few years back & my father commented the Asians would play on the basketball court & Hispanics would wait for them to finish their game & vice versa-no mingling, no mixing.

Failures in their own lands? Wasn't Australia where Britain sent their criminals? So was Georgia, wasn't it? America was settled by people who came here for a better live, right? That probably means they were some sort of "failures" in their own land.
And we have our share of immigrants who have come here where they were looked down upon for being from a "bad" family or the wrong side of town.
Hell, look at all the hispanics who daily risk crossing our deserts to enter America illegally to work. They're always finding bodies in the desert or the river of illegals who didn't make it.
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Sakurachan1



Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 42
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:38 pm Reply with quote
Wow what an extreme reaction to this by Youka Nitta. Even James Frey continued to work, and he was exposed for basically fabricating his "non-fiction", then was publically humiliated by God ,I mean Oprah, on national and international TV. He barely said he was sorry.

I guess my concern is, so she traced some photos, is the community saying that somehow her entire catalog of visual work is copied from outside sources? As a fan of hers I certainly wasn't let down by this news, she's said in the past that she drew from outside sources - what I didn't get was the need to actually trace, but I'm not a mangaka working on a deadline, and I certainly didn't, and still don't see this mess as a reason to stop supporting her.

I hope she can pull through this and return after the firestorm.
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Cait



Joined: 29 May 2008
Posts: 503
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:44 pm Reply with quote
CCSYueh,

You might also recall that one of those poor fellows in Milli Vanilli committed suicide after their lip-synching scandal, which, seriously, is not comparable to a scandal about plagiarism. Lip-synching is mortifying to be caught at, but it isn't illegal.

As for these recent events I can't say I'm surprised in the least. In fact, I'm glad that it has turned out this way. For Nitta and her publisher this was the only ethical course to take. For the foreign posters to this thread, I'm in the same boat with you guys. I seriously don't understand why my fellow Americans think this is no big deal. Well, no, I do understand and that understanding is what irritates me. American fans are apathetic, and not only that, they take for granted that they live in a capitalist society where everything is sold.

Brands only appear in films and on television in the US when the owners of those brands pay for product placement. No commercial venture in this nation would ever dream of granting free advertizing to any product. Logos do, in fact, get blurred out here and for two reasons: 1. the aforementioned advertizing, and, 2. because if the rights owners of those products/trademarks do not want to be associated with the context of the placement they can (and will) sue.

Will Nitta quit drawing for good? Who knows. If she's married and has children I wouldn't be incredibly surprised if she just chose to stay a housewife for the rest of her life. If she's single and this is her whole career I would have to wonder what she plans to do financially from now on. Being an artist and giving it up over a scandal like this is an issue, because it isn't like she can just go into art in some other field and being so famous even if she has other skills, where is she really planning to go? I can only assume that she has enough money saved up to coast her through the next year or so until she can find her bearings again, or maybe lean on her family for support in the short term.

It seems to me that Libre is ready to wash their hands of Nitta and possibly for good. Maybe in a few years she'll consider making a comeback, finish her ongoing series, but I bet you it will be with a different publisher, assuming Libre lets go if its rights to her work. If they don't and they don't pick her up again, say goodbye to Haru wo Daiteita and feel glad the DVD was released in the US before this scandal broke. Go buy your copies now while they're still in print.
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Emichan



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 83
Location: SF Bay Area
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:58 pm Reply with quote
CCSYueh wrote:
I seem to recall seeing Milli Vanilli making some bucks off their little scandal.


Er, except that Milli Vanilli were unable to capitalize on their scandal. They faded into obscurity, made one or two pathetic attempts to come back, and one of them ended up killing himself.

But anyway, in Japan, scandals are handled a bit differently. Popular idols can get suspended/banned by their company from working for a year or more just for being seen in public with a girlfriend or boyfriend (just being seen, not even a sex tape or anything).

If your "image" is supposed to be one thing, and you are caught doing something else, no matter how ridiculously innocent by US standards (underage smoking OMG!!), people tend to freak out and there is talk of 'career in trouble!' But there usually is a period where they can't work and then can come back. Here, such scandalous behavior is pretty much expected and glorified, and people get suspicious if there isn't a scandal Anime hyper

Nitta may be feeling awful now (either about what she did, or just about getting caught, heh) but hopefully she will learn from this and come back after an appropriate period of atonement, under a new pen name. Her artwork is easily identifiable, and she has the talent to do stuff without copying - it looks like all those rips were used as pinup/chapter title pages- so if she can manage to come up with title pages on her own, she should be fine, eventually...
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luisedgarf



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 542
Location: Guadalajara, Mexico
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:15 pm Reply with quote
[quote="CCSYueh"][quote="mufurc"]
CCSYueh wrote:

Not going there. THere are some pretty racist hispanics out there. I've sat there smiling politely while Hispanic co-workers say the worst things about the local native Indians (lazy!) & mentally thinking if I didn't have to keep the peace & work with this person, I'd say something. My parents lived in a run-down area of Huntington Beach a few years back & my father commented the Asians would play on the basketball court & Hispanics would wait for them to finish their game & vice versa-no mingling, no mixing.

Failures in their own lands? Wasn't Australia where Britain sent their criminals? So was Georgia, wasn't it? America was settled by people who came here for a better live, right? That probably means they were some sort of "failures" in their own land.
And we have our share of immigrants who have come here where they were looked down upon for being from a "bad" family or the wrong side of town.
Hell, look at all the hispanics who daily risk crossing our deserts to enter America illegally to work. They're always finding bodies in the desert or the river of illegals who didn't make it.


What I'm trying to say is that Koreans and Japanese normally works in "honorable" stuff here in Mexico (like working for a subsidiary of a Japanese or Korean bussiness, as a CEO or a bussinessman, etc) but those guys from those countries that works in "dubious" stuff (like smuggling, drug trafficking, working for a Mexican company as a low-class employee, working in a flea market, etc) are normally people who were failures in their countries (commited a crime, expelled from a school, are/were members of the yakuza or Korean mafia, ex-convicts, etc)


Last edited by luisedgarf on Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Shousetsuka



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Posts: 25
Location: Nagoya, Japan
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:18 pm Reply with quote
I'm sad to hear it; I just hope it cools down after a while. Scandals in Japan are always big news whenever someone gets caught, but I'm hoping that things get better for her soon. I'm also hoping she gets a lot of fan support to encourage her, even if her stories are getting pulled. I think she'll need all the support she can get right now. I haven't read her stories in years now, and I also don't approve of her tracing, but I do want to support her, since she's an awesome and kind lady.
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BleuVII



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 672
Location: Tokorozawa, Japan
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:45 pm Reply with quote
CCSYueh, you're absolutely right about the way the respective religions have influenced cultural mindsets over the centuries. America still opreates on the paradigm of redemption, but in Japan (and Korea to an extent), there's no concept for starting over, save from death and rebirth in the cycle of reincarnation. People wouldn't verbalize it this way, and may not even believe it, but the influence on cultural mindsets is still there.

Anyway, my only reaction to reading this story was: "Wow, a typical Japanese reaction." I've never read any of Nitta's work, but hopefully this doesn't end her career.
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