Debunking A False Accusation Of Plagiarism Concerning Gundam 00, Sunrise And Evangelion

I want to clarify something here as a blogger and fan of Gundam 00, something that was brought up in a True Tears article of all things on Riuva, which can be found here.  Unfortunately because of the outgoing links I tried to post or perhaps other reasons, my post was caught by the spam filter…so I decided to post my counterargument here where I can use embedded pictures to better illustrate my point.

First the assertation as quoted verbatim from Ascaloth’s article:

“I have been gushing about P.A. Works’ kami-sakuga over the last three weeks, so here’s something else for a change. For some reason, even though their rendering of the sky is as beautiful as anything KyoAni or SHAFT could come up with, there’s something strange about how it looks that I can’t quite place my finger on. It’s kind of like watching components in a photograph move, instead of clouds moving across a real sky. Oh well, not like I want to take anything away from them; they’re still doing a lot better than certain studios which are so bankrupt in the creativity department they decide to steal an idea from Neon Genesis Evangelion.”

Now In this article he posts an embedded screenshot link from Gundam 00 during the “they decide to steal an idea from Neon Genesis Evangelion.” portion of the article.  Fair enough, but the event is really nothing like anything to do with Evangelion or it’s angelic nature.  It is a shot of the Gundam Drei activating a jamming field with it’s particle reactor (Known as the GN Reactor) that causes a blackout in communications equipment.  If anything the scene is invocative of the moonlight butterfly from Turn A Gundam and an homage, not a ripoff of or theft of an idea from Evangelion, which has a seraphic wing in the opening sequence, not a particle ejection that happens to look like one.

As a comparison:

eva-seraphic-wing.jpg

Eva- 01’s Seraphic Wing

snapshot20080127231151.jpg

Gundam Drei’s Stealth Field

These are the comparisons that he brought up, albeit without the screenshot I have of the Eva-01, which I believe is the scene he is implicating as the plagiarized one.  I don’t know, they don’t look similar enough to start making accusations of plagiarism, but where might they have gotten some inspiration in Sunrise’s own stable of concepts so that I might better defend the Stealth Field’s visual presentation.  Aha, Turn A Gundam may be the ticket.

 system-a-99-moonlight.jpg 

 Shot of Moonlight Butterfly Activating (From A Production Cell)
 

stealth-field-activated.jpg

Shot of Stealth Field Activating (From Gundam 00 Episode 16)

snapshot20080127231145.jpg

Another Shot Of The Stealth Field Activating (From Gundam 00 Episode 16)

stealth-field-spreads.jpg 

Stealth Field Spreads  (From Gundam 00 Episode 16)

moonlightbutterflyspreapv9.jpg

Moonlight Butterfly Spreads (From Turn A Gundam Episode 49)

moonlight-butterfly-aftereffect.jpg 

 Moonlight Butterfly Aftereffect (Taken from Gundam Musou)

snapshot20080127231642.jpg

Stealth Field Afteraffect (Taken From Gundam 00 Episode 16)

I mean geeze, the Stealth Field even has the splotches in it like the Moonlight Butterfly.  If Sunrise is doing anything with this, it’s paying tribute to the Moonlight Butterfly, not stealing from Evangelion.  The Seraphic Wings aren’t even the same size, shape or composition. 

Ascaloth, if you are reading this, really, don’t level accusations without first researching if there is in fact a similar visual style that was perpetuated by the company itself.  Just stick to the topic at hand next time, which was True Tears, rather than taking a swing at Sunrise.  For all the times you have called me a Kyoani troll, let me in turn caution that you are starting to look like a Sunrise troll now with what you have written about them in other True Tears articles you’ve done, and trust me, it’s not worth it to go down that road.

Anyway, to go just a little bit further, if I’m not mistaken, the Arbalest in Super Robot Wars W also had a similar effect where the Lamba Driver manifested as spreading wings briefly.  This is a very common effect in mecha series.  There was also an homage to G Gundam’s Bakunetsu God Finger in one of the attacks that Sousuke used with the Lamba Driver’s power in the actual series.  I don’ t think anyone reading this would say that Gonzo/Kyoto Animation was being creatively bankrupt and stealing ideas from Sunrise, but that they were showing tribute to a classic and were making a voice actor joke (Seki Tomokazu plays both Domon Kashuu and Sousuke Sagara).

As a piece of advice to people reading this, if you are going to acuse a studio of being creatively bankrupt and resorting to theft of ideas you need to do more research before making an accusation such as this…. a lot more.  In this case there is a lot of evidence running contrary to the accusation and I leave it up to people to decide whether Sunrise was ripping off Evangelion or paying homage to the Moonlight Butterfly or even neither. 

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14 Responses to “Debunking A False Accusation Of Plagiarism Concerning Gundam 00, Sunrise And Evangelion”


  1. 1 animanachronism January 29, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Art is theft, usually from several sources at once. Every word is a quotation, every image a new spin on an old concept.

    So I’d say Sunrise are happily riffing on Turn A and on Evangelion at once. More closely on Turn A (which I’ve just started – ’tis wierd, really wierd, but also strangely good fun), but also appropriately on Eva; NGE played on a lot of religious imagery, and Gundam 00 features religion, and religious devotion (not necessarily to a god) as a key theme.

    NGE, 00 and Turn A are all playing with traditional angel-descending-from-on-high imagery anyway. I recall an image in the very first scene of 00 which did the same.

    That’s my two cents.

  2. 2 Kaioshin Sama January 29, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    That’s how it all comes together I think. I think the obvious goal was to evoke an angelic aesthetic in the Gundam’s, as the organization and their modus operandi is to act as judge’s on high. The symbolism has been pretty apparent in the name Celestial Being alone. In Evangelion it was more straight up, “This is an angel”, whereas in Gundam 00 it’s much more symbolic. The visual style was of course borrowed from TAG I think.

    The implication made by Ascaloth was of a creative bankruptcy though and seemingly of plagiarism as well. I find it odd that a company that is so reknowned for it’s tendency to create original series from scratch is the one that get’s slammed for lack of creativity in an article about an adaptation series, something that is much less original. I mean not that adaptation is somehow plagiarism or lack of creativity so much as reimagining, but the comparisons and contrasts are so out of whack in this case and the accusation so direct that I was left somewhat speechless for a moment, wondering how best to respond. I guess the biggest question I’m left with now is why.

    As an aside to all of this talk, just in general when I think of studios that are lacking in creative ideas, Sunrise is probably one of the last that I would ever come up with, along with Bones and Gainax. Ultimately I really have a hard time understanding the accusation and the thoughts behind it. Sometimes I really don’t understand my fellow anime fans.

  3. 3 sadakups January 29, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    Just because they’re both in orange doesn’t mean they’re the same. Geez, I don’t understand some people as well.

  4. 4 codename:v August 22, 2008 at 9:12 am

    “Newness is in the mind of the artist who creates, and not in the object he portrays.” Eugene Delacroix 14 May 1824

    I don’t think there are such thing as originality in animations, comics and games today. But with the 00 mediocre outcome, being accused of plagiarizing or borrowing is inevitable and what more, the whole 00 lacks in good storytelling.
    I guess bad storytelling couldn’t make up for these flops and it only shows how Gundam animes has regressed in the last years since SEED. I think taking up reading like Gundam Unicorn and Ecole Du Ciel are more enjoyable.

  5. 5 Kaioshin Sama August 22, 2008 at 10:04 am

    @codename:v :

    Frankly I’ve heard enough talk about what apparently makes for poor storytelling lately that I’m starting to get a little tired of it all. Mostly because nothing ever comes of it because nobody ever cites any sort of example when they go on rants about what they perceive as “poor writing”. No example, no bar established, no valid point as far as I’m concerned. You make a good point about the difficulty of creating something original, but you sell yourself as short as any other person I see when it comes to talking about the quality of storytelling.

    Going further on the whole “bad writing” thing which has fast become my biggest pet peeve to see people going on about, I have to wonder when exactly it was that the question of good or bad writing and storytelling became so critically important to anime watchers (cause it definitely wasn’t brought up constantly a year ago) and when some people decided that they knew precisely when they saw it what was unquestionably good and what was unquestionably bad writing.

    I also highly doubt that the sudden jolt in people who talk about this sort of thing all just happened to obtain a degree in literature or screenwriting at the exact same time so it’s looking to me like internet nonesense as usual. Nobody I’ve seen on the internet who says something like, “This is bad writing” (And just for all those people out there that do like to say this, the phrase should actually read “This is poorly written” if you want to get technical. So that saying in and of itself is in fact [and ironically I might add] not well written) seems in any way qualified or like they are even just plain capable of fairly judging the quality of a finished scripts cohesive structure.

    So then, does someone that speaks the language of the internet want to enlighten me? What exactly is “good storytelling” and what exactly is “bad storytelling” and how is it always either one or the other now? To me neither can be defined objectively as I see people thinking they can lately.

    Anyway I’d be reading Gundam Unicorn now too, but unfortunately I can’t come by any of it. Ecole Du Ciel on the other hand is available here and I am reading it, but it’s coming out really slowly. North America deserves better supplementary Gundam material.

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