Bandai Namco Denies Idolish 7 Plagiarism Allegations
posted on by Eric Stimson
Given the plethora of idol-themed media out there with similar characters, art styles, and themes, it can seem that some of them are carbon copies of each other. Unfortunately, that's exactly what some fans have taken to saying about Idolish 7, a mobile game about male idols. Last month, skeptics posted images on Twitter comparing Idolish 7 trading cards with those from other idol franchises, especially The [email protected] and Uta no Prince Sama.
@solty_so even provided evidence that Idolish 7 artwork had been traced from The [email protected] SideM.
In addition, speculation has been swirling that the female idol Aruto Kisaragi is a self-insert character for Ayaka Negishi, Idolish 7's producer; similar allegations have been made about the manager, Tsumugi, who seems like a self-insert character for Arina Tanemura, the character designer.
Bandai Namco Entertainment, which owns Idolish 7, responded to the controversies with several statements posted on the Idolish 7 website on September 9. It examined the questionable artwork with a legal expert and determined that the allegations were baseless. Yet it also recognized that some of the art "invited misunderstanding" and promised to "put more effort into producing work full of originality." The self-insertion claims were rejected. Complaints about staff tweets that leaked secret information like titles and character names were also dismissed, although some staff was determined to be "careless" with their private Twitter accounts, and Negishi provided a statement apologizing for some of her tweets (her account has been deleted). Sōkichi Shimo'oka, the overall producer, also apologized to fans for the misunderstanding and thanked them for their continuing support.
Despite the controversy, Kamikaze Douga, the animation studio behind the music video for Idolish 7's "Restart Pointer," is holding a seminar series on its animation. Tanemura will also launch a second manga based on the franchise in LaLaDX magazine on October 8.