Korean Game Accused of Plagiarizing Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Ends Service 5 Days After Launch
posted on by Kim Morrissy
A Korean smartphone RPG by the name of Gwisal-ui Geom (The Ear-Slaying Sword) announced on Monday that it is ending service on April 29. The announcement has come mere days after the game's initial launch on April 24.
The game was accused of plagiarism online in Japan and Korea for its strong resemblance to aspects of Koyoharu Gotouge's hit manga series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Not only does the protagonist bear a physical resemblance to Demon Slayer's Tanjiro, his family was also killed by demons, and he goes on an adventure to vanquish them.
Although the announcement does not directly address the accusations of plagiarism, it says that the game is being halted due to "various problems." The staff expresses their apologies for their "immaturity" and for "causing discomfort to others." In-game purchases have already been blocked ahead of the game's official closure.
The game's developer Tennine earlier denied the accusations, telling Korean game news site Game Meca that people only think that the two properties are similar because of the Japanese-style clothing and the basic premise of fighting demons. Game Meca reported that patrons of the game's official café were being chased out of the establishment after bringing up the plagiarism accusations. The site further reports that parts of the gameplay strongly resemble another Korean smartphone game called Sodeumaseuteo Seutoli (Sword Master Story).
Gotouge launched Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba in Weekly Shonen Jump in February 2016. Viz Media is publishing the manga in English digitally and in print, and Shueisha's MANGA Plus online service is also publishing the manga digitally in English. Viz Media describes the manga:
Since ancient times, rumors have abounded of man-eating demons lurking in the woods. Because of this, the local townsfolk never venture outside at night. Legend has it that a Demon Slayer also roams the night, hunting down these bloodthirsty demons. For young Tanjiro, these rumors will soon to become his harsh reality…
Ever since the death of his father, Tanjiro has taken it upon himself to support his family. Although their lives may be hardened by tragedy, they've found happiness. But that ephemeral warmth is shattered one day when Tanjiro finds is family slaughtered and the lone survivor, his sister Nezuko, turned into a demon. To his surprise, however, Nezuko still shows signs of human emotion and thought… Thus begins Tanjiro's request to fight demons and turn his sister human again.