Apparently this is the writer of SnK’s statement that he copied Muv Luv. Can anyone translate/confirm?
marimojinguuji, think you can take a crack at it?
Yyyyup, that first sentence says ‘I have to confess that I stole the idea for SnK from MLA. I’m very sorry. I took so much inspiration from it.’
Basically he’s saying that it made such a big impact on him that he wanted to make a big impact on other people in a huge way.
but even still, people are gonna defend the series to the death. goddamn, if i didn’t like it enough as is because of the similarities, this really killed it for me.
Further proof that visual novels is where creativity is currently at in Japan.
posting this again for people who wanted proof that it’s plagiarized.
Let’s discuss, since I feel like I must take a crack at this, too, in response to the comments.
I’ll first admit that I am not very knowledgeable of the Muv-Luv series, and anything I say about that series is taken from pure research. Of course, we haven’t seen Attack on Titan in its entirety, so it’s not a full analysis. And I’m probably not the best person to talk about this since I am not familiar with the way plagiarism works in Japan and how they perceive it. But I’ll do my best to give my argument on this.
Let’s first establish the baseline story for both series, so that everyone’s on the same level. I hope I don’t have to explain Attack on Titan as much, since most of you reading this already know what Attack on Titan is all about, so I’ll start with Muv-Luv, since that came first.
The Muv-Luv series is a harem visual novel series, so it’s the “here are a bunch of cute or awesome ladies take your pick and make them all fall in love with you” thing, with a plot on the side. A very common game mechanic for Japanese visual novels, so I’m not going to discuss the first game since this is not relevant to discussion, and I’ll just talk about the next games.
In the Muv-Luv universe, extraterrestrial creatures called BETA have originated from the moon and turned the world into an apocalyptic wasteland, save for a sparse number of military bases and a stronghold in Alaska operated by the Soviet Union. Conventional weapons do not work against BETA, so the only thing that seems to work against them are mechas called TSF because it’s the only weapon that can traverse BETA “hives” and destroy them properly from the inside.
Muv-Luv Unlimited begins with the main character, Takeru Shirogane, waking up in his house to find out he’s in an alternative universe different from the idyllic setting of the previous game. He is then pretty much drafted into military school and shares the same class with some familiar girls from his old world. Throughout the game, the cast are tasked with missions to defend the remnants of humanity from the BETA as well as attempt to communicate with the BETA in a project called Alternative IV. In the end, this plan fails and is scrapped. Two years later, the cast graduates are either evacuating the planet or staying behind to fight to the bitter end in the advent of the last resort, Alternative V.
Muv-Luv Alternative follows up on Unlimited with the Takeru waking up again in his house like the beginning of the previous game. Believing that the events of Unlimited were a dream, he eventually learns that he has been sent back in time and consequently sets out to undo the bad ending of the previous game by making Alternative IV work. Having retained his physical training and education from the previous cycle, and the plot goes on, but that’s just about the basic facts.
Attack on Titan definitely does have direct similarities. Humanity is endangered by unfamiliar creatures, The Titans. Thus, the remaining population are forced to take refuge in a limited territory, The Three Walls. Since they aren’t easily killed, Titans can only be killed by 3D Maneuver Gear and the soldier’s skill by cutting off the back of the neck. Eren Jaegar wakes up as a child with flashbacks of various unrecognizable events that occur in the SNK universe, and shortly after losing his mother and his home district, Eren joins the military and enters the Scouting Legion to fight the Titans.
And this is the part when people toss the laptops out their windows and scream “Copycat!”, or “What a ripoff!”, or better yet “this is plagiarism!”
So apparently, SNK is a “plagiarized” version of MuvLuv. How about we look back at the two descriptions of the story again? Other than ”it’s the end of the world because these of alien creatures so we kill them and stuff”, what else is there that’s so similar? Not very much, apart from that.
When it comes to copying other people’s work, it’s a lot easier to pass judgment when the work visual rather than conceptual. We can easily tell if things like pictures, drawings, and artwork are plagiarized because they’re basically someone tracing something which is a lot easier than gathering ideas, laying out the piece visually, and fabricating the piece. It’s so easy, so easy to overlay the pictures over each other and then say “Hey look at that! It’s the exact same thing! Shame on you for tracing and getting recognized for something you didn’t do!”
For things like writing, plots, voice, concepts, characterization, that’s where things get murky and confusing. And here’s why.
When we hear the term “plagiarism”, we think of the time in school when teachers said we couldn’t use quotes word for word without sourcing them or acknowledging the sources. This academic term seems to be taken to the next level here with some people, believing that copying a plot concept from another story is “plagiarism”.
But that’s not plagiarism. It really isn’t.
I always hear complaints that question the originality of many works, with people jabbing at other works while they’re at it. There’s always so much drama behind this sort of “plagiarism” some claim to exist. I guess that could be because of the lengthy copyright laws which are meant to protect the “genius” of works. But all these arguments about copying story premises is complete bullshit. In fact, here’s the truth, and I hate to break it to you, but…
Everything that’s been ever done already has been done.
Yeah, that’s right. That originality you complain about is just pure fiction. The unrest about this lack of originality and about how you don’t like “unoriginal” stories is very unreasonable. Millions of stories we know are based off of the classic fairy tales we know and love. There are many stories that are based off the Bible that still are well received today. We see Disney movies adapting older stories into something so similar yet so different entirely, winning the hearts of many people worldwide. Or how about the great playwright and his plays themselves, one of the biggest “plagiarism scandals” in history? “Romeo and Juliet” takes the starcrossed lovers concept from the Roman romance “Pyramus and Thisbe”, and yet people still acclaim it for centuries. And then of course, Shakespeare has taken concepts and plots from other playwrights to make into his own, and it’s been such a big issue, people all over the world have spent centuries trying to figure out whether or not he really “copied” from other playwrights or not.
Yeah, those exampes have a pretty long time gap, but you know what? That does not matter a single bit, because MuvLuv and Attack on Titan follow the same principle as the examples I just mentioned above. You only complain because MuvLuv and Attack on Titan are not so far away from each other in terms of years, yet every single day, you are always faced with retellings of the same stories over and over again. Perhaps you watch enough movies and read enough books to realize that for some reason, one book is so similar to another book, that one movie is so similar to another movie. And why is that?
I remember this really good part of How to Read LIterature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster (read it! It’s useful for AP Literature!). There’s an interesting line about what he calls intertextuality:
There’s only one story.
One story. Everywhere. Always. Wherever anyone puts pen to paper or hands to keyboard or fingers to lute string or quill to papyrus. They all take from and in return give to the same story, ever since Snorgg got back to the cave and told Ongk about the mastodon that got away. Norse sagas, Samoan creation stories, Gravity’s Rainbow, The Tale of Genji, Hamlet, last year’s graduation speech, last week’s Dave Barry column, On the Road and Road to Rio and the “The Road Not Taken.” One Story.
And what do you know, I found an excerpt to that very chapter right here. It’s not the entire chapter but it explains a lot. If you want, go educate yourself and give it a read. No, wait, that’s not a suggestion, I urge you to read the link before you get back to this post.
Basically, in Foster’s terms, “pure originality is impossible.” By conscious effort of the author or not, works are always going to be interwoven with each other, not stealing, but borrowing concepts from each other. All the stories we love and grew up with have been done before, their concepts reused, recycled, and rewritten all over again, all of them have something from stories that precede them. Have we ever bothered by this? No. If we were so uppity about it, then we’d never be able to write anything. Like at all.
Now, I see Isayama has admitted he has taken ideas from Muv-Luv to implement into Attack on Titan, but from what I see, I don’t think the two series are very similar, aside from the premise that. Beyond that, from what I know, much of Attack on TItan is Isayama’s own mind at work. The characters were all up to him. The design of the world for the most part was all him. The story arcs were all Isayama.
People get inspired by things and are compelled to make their own works based off of their source of inspiration, perhaps something that could be better than the source material. Inspiration is not plagiarism. Isayama can freely admit that he used ideas from Muv-Luv to create Attack on Titan, and that is okay. He has definitely put his own mind into Attack on Titan which was inspired by Muv-Luv, and look at it the way it is now. I don’t know about you, but it seems like Attack on Titan seems more successful than Muv-Luv in a sense that I see more stuff about SNK than Muv-Luv, which also had an anime of its own around the same time Attack on Titan was airing. Definitely a reason would be that SNK appeals to much wider demographic than Muv-Luv.
The above picture is not proof that it’s plagiarized. The fact that both Muv-Luv and Attack on Titan are similar does not make them plagiarized works. Just because Isayama said he took inspiration from another work does not mean you should discredit him. Muv-Luv and Attack on Titan, while they have similar elements, are still considered different works of their own, and that should be respected. Those who claimed “plagiarism” at the beginning of this post should be looking at this now and realizing that the fact that Isayama made a premise so much like MuvLuv is completely irrelevant.
Anyways, there’s my two cents on this post, one that I feel like I wasted my time. I don’t even think my words will not change anyone’s mind, because there is always something to complain about. Was I correct? Probably not. Was I wrong? I hope not. Am I a hypocrite? Damn right I am. I only meant to make this post in hopes to enlighten anyone who feels inclined to read this opinion.
1.) I think all we really want is for people to read the VN
2.) If your best analysis of Muv Luv’s plot/impact as a story is taken from web research and a poorly executed anime series that has little to no connection to the original VN trilogy, I respectfully suggest A.) read the VN trilogy and B.) not make analysis between Muv Luv and Attack on Titan because “I’m not that knowledgeable about Muv Luv” isn’t really the best way to start off a persuasive post
3.) We didn’t call it plagiarism; Isayama himself said he “ripped off” Muv Luv and we are merely agreeing with him. Hell, he loved it so much he had to steal ideas from his friend. I think he really wants everyone to read Muv Luv, too.
4.) Taking into account that Muv Luv takes elements of romance, comedy, military sci fi and political thrillers, and combines them quite effectively, I would argue that Muv Luv has a wider potential demographic. The big difference is, nobody wants to spend 80+ hours of VN reading on on character and story development. It’s understandable, though. Because, I too, am 14 years old and only care about whether or not Potato Girl dies next chapter and looking at yaoi fanart of every male member and shipof the Survey Corps.
5.) Granted, Muv Luv is finished and Attack on Titan is still being crafted by Isayama to match the desires of the fanbase - just like how he changed the ending (probably inspired by MLA where everyone gets waxed) so that he wouldn’t hurt the fans. But there is a definite difference between inspired, which I take to be a general connection to plot or characters, and “this is the same damn story but with different names and dressed up to look different”
I give you this SPOILER HEAVY thing I did, where you can freely interchange between ML and AoT lore and not really know if I’m talking about one or the other.
Humanity has been fought to a stalemate by a monstrous enemy known as the (Titans/BETA). The enemy has a tendency for eating people. Due to the weaknesses/tactics of the enemy, humanity’s greatest weapon is the (TSF/3D Maneuver Gear), which grants the advantage of three-dimensional maneuverability.
Humanity relies on the defenses of the (Walls/Defense Lines), which are staffed by the (UN Forces/Garrison Corps), the majority of the military. A small elite unit known as (STF A-01/ Survey Corps) exists for the purpose of gathering data on the enemy, on how to best defeat them. This unit suffers heavy casualties regularly but is humanity’s best hope.
Even still, the members of (Alternative V/The Wallists) have their own idea of how the threat should be handled and work to sabotage them.
Most people along the defenses live in fear of attack but the privileged few living in (MURICA!/The Interior) live in safety and carry out normal lives. The people living (everywhere else but MURICA!/along the outer Walls) aren’t too happy with that.
A special young man named (Eren/Takeru) watches his (Mom/Marimo-chan) get chomped. He and his friends in (A207B/ the 104th Trainee Squad) join the elite unit, where the leader (Erwin/Yuuko) exploits his power of (Titan-shifting/world-hopping) to finally go on the offensive against the enemy. Oh yeah, their senpais (A01 Veterans/Squad Levi) end up getting waxed and this inspires the main character to be a better warrior and follow orders and all that happy stuff.
With him are his childhood friend/swordswoman badass (Meiya/Mikasa), the friend (Armin/Mikoto) who nobody really likes in the fandom and is unsure if they are really a dude or a girl, the caring (Tamase/Christa) who just wants everyone to get along and is part of some important family or some shit, as well as the quiet girl who is a master of close combat, (Ayamine/Annie) who MAY or MAY not be involved in some sort of conspiracy. Among others.
"Other than ”it’s the end of the world because these of alien creatures so we kill them and stuff”, what else is there that’s so similar? Not very much, apart from that."
So to sum it up
1.) Plagiarism is A-ok because everyone’s done it before and nothing is original. If you’re still in school I encourage you to plagiarize a paper and give that excuse to your teacher
2.) Muv Luv is a harem porn game
3.) Attack on Titan is superior because it has the most success based on the larger fanbase comprised of 16 and unders
thank you for responding to this because seriously
if you haven’t read them you don’t know how badly it’s taken from. you can’t just look at a plot description online and say ‘nope not plagiarized.’
this is the most fucking surreal thing i’ve ever seen on this website.
i’m in awe at how much of a fucking nerd this website truly is.