Tokyo Babylon 2021 Anime's Staff Apologizes for Referencing Costume Designs Without Permission

posted on by Alex Mateo
Character costumes mirror Korean girl group member, Volks doll

The official website for Studio GoHands' Tokyo Babylon 2021 television anime posted on Friday an apology from the anime's staff for referencing costume designs for two characters from other sources without permission. The designs appeared in a visual and character design illustrations. The staff has removed all images and videos from the official website, and announced that it is changing the designs immediately.

The staff unveiled the character design images on November 19. On November 20, the staff received an message that there was a possibility of plagiarism regarding the anime's costume designs. The two designs in question were those of the characters Hokuto and Subaru Sumeragi. One of Hokuto's costume designs (seen above) appeared to reference a promotional photo featuring Yeri from the Korean girl group Red Velvet in a photo taken to promote the group's The ReVe Festival EPs released last year. Studio GoHands' reinterpretation of Subaru (seen below) appeared to be modeled after a Volks doll and outfit, which was sold as an "onmyoji" accessory online and appeared in catalogs in 2017.

The same-day investigation revealed that the character design materials were plagiarized. The staff admitted that verification on materials and copyright awareness was not performed sufficiently, and that declining compliance work led to it overlooking the improperly referenced designs. The staff expressed apologies and gratitude to the costumes' rightsholders, and revealed that it plans to form a more effective compliance team to prevent future situations like this.

The new anime is slated to premiere in April. The studio GoHands (K) is producing the "brand-new anime set in Tokyo in 2021."

The cast includes:

Shingo Suzuki (K: Missing Kings, K: Return of Kings, Coppelion) and Susumu Kudo (K, Coppelion, Hand Shakers) are directing the anime at GoHands, and Jun Kumagai (Aquarion Logos, Persona 3 the Movie series, Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū, Bungo and Alchemist -Gears of Judgement-) is in charge of the series scripts. Makoto Furuta (Seitokai Yakuindomo, K: Seven Stories - The Idol K) is designing the characters, and Furuta and Keiji Tani are serving as chief animation directors.

The main animators are Takayuki Uchida and Hiroshi Okubo, and Okubo is also designing the mecha and props. Chinami Watanabe is editing. Fumiyuki Go is directing the sound, and Noriyuki Asakura (Rurouni Kenshin, Knights of Sidonia) is composing the music at King Records.

Aoi is also singing the opening theme song, and Mizuki is singing the ending theme song.

Tokyopop and Dark Horse Comics published CLAMP's original Tokyo Babylon manga in English, and Dark Horse Comics describes the story:

It's 1991, the last days of Japan's bubble economy, and money and elegance run through the streets. So do the currents of darkness beneath them, nourishing evil spirits that only the arts of the onmyoji - Japan's legendary occultists - can combat. The two most powerful onmyoji are in the unlikely guises of a handsome young veterinarian, Seishiro, and the teenage heir to the ancient Sumeragi clan, Subaru.

CLAMP serialized the manga in Shinshokan's South and Monthly Wings magazines from 1990 to 1993, and Shinshokan printed seven regular compiled volumes and then five volumes in the smaller bunkō paper size. Kadokawa has since published a three-volume keepsake edition. Tokyopop published the seven regular volumes in English, and then Dark Horse Comics published the manga in two omnibus volumes.

The manga already inspired an original video anime episode in 1992 and a second one in 1994. It also inspired two live-action music videos and one animated music video in 1992, as well as a live-action film in 1993. The lead character Subaru Sumeragi would later appear in CLAMP's X manga and its anime adaptations.

Source: Tokyo Babylon 2021 anime's website via Hachima Kikо̄

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