Leiji Matsumoto Settles Suit over Plagiarism Claim

posted on by Egan Loo
Yamato co-creator accused writer of lifting lyrics from Galaxy Express 999

On Thursday, manga and anime creator Leiji Matsumoto (Space Battleship Yamato, Space Pirate Captain Harlock) settled a lawsuit with singer-songwriter Noriyuki Makihara over Matsumoto's claim that Makihara had plagiarized his Galaxy Express 999 manga. Matusmoto had claimed on Japanese television that Makihara admitted to copying a phrase from Galaxy Express 999 in the song "Yakusoku no Basho" (The Promised Place).

According to Makihara's lawyer, Matsumoto apologized to Makihara and agreed not to raise any more objections about the song's lyrics. Makihara had filed a defamation lawsuit against Matsumoto in March of 2007, and the Tokyo District Court had ruled in Makihara's favor last December. The court had ordered Matsumoto to pay 2.2 million yen (about US$24,000), but Makihara's lawyer said that there is no money being exchanged for the settlement.

In the 21st volume of the Galaxy Express 999 manga, the protagonist states:

"Jikan wa yume o uragiranai
Yume mo jikan o uragittewa naranai."

[Time does not betray my dream
Nor must my dream betray time.]

The phrase in Makihara's "Yakusoku no Basho" song is:

"Yume wa jikan o uragiranai
Jikan mo yume o kesshite uragiranai."

[My dream does not betray time
Nor does time betray my dream.]

The musical duo Chemistry had released the song as the title track of its Yakusoku no Basho album in the fall of 2006. A sample of the song can be heard on Sony Music's website. Matsumoto has dealt with the legal system before in his dispute with producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki and Tohokushinsha Film Corporation over the rights to the Space Battleship Yamato anime.

Source: Jiji Press

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