Manhwa Canceled After Allegedly Plagiarizing Evangelion, Monster

The manhwa Cat on a Hot Tin Roof has been cancelled after some readers claimed that it had plagiarized art and design layouts from several older manga and anime series, including Neon Genesis Evangelion and Naoki Urasawa's Monster.

Comparisons between the manhwa and panels from Urasawa's Monster began to circulate on Korean message boards shortly after Cat on a Hit Tin Roof began its serialization last month. Several readers also noted the resemblance between the series' two primary protagonists and the characters of Shinji Ikari and Kaworu Nagisa from Neon Genesis Evangelion. According to the Namu Wiki, a Korean-language database for manhwa and webtoons, the manhwa's author defended their work by saying it was inspired by Demian, a 1919 story by German-Swiss poet Herman Hesse that explored themes of duality and spiritual enlightenment and is often cited as a direct influence on Neon Genesis Evangelion. Many readers, as well as Naver Webtoon, the publishers of the manhwa series, apparently did not accept that explanation, as Naver soon announced that it was cancelling serialization of the series. The company also issued a public apology for the incident and reaffirmed their commitment to protecting intellectual property rights.

Cat on a Hit Tin Roof was first published on Aug. 11 and told the story of Min-Seo, a high school outcast who doesn't have any friends. Min-Seo's life changes when he rescues Ji-Won, a popular student who apparently excels at every subject, from a car accident. The two students become close, and Min-Seo is finally happy to have a friend in his life. But their relationship starts to unravel as Min-Seo discovers there is more to Ji-Won than meets the eye.

This is not the first instance of an international artist getting a series cancelled because they allegedly plagiarized a manga, the most infamous example of which occured in 2010, when Nick Simmons, the son of KISS frontman Gene Simmons, had his comic book series Incarnate cancelled after he was accused of tracing panels and copying character designs from several popular manga series, including Hellsing, Vampire Hunter D, One Piece and Bleach. Simmons defended his work at the time, saying it was an act of homage, not plagiarism. "Like most artists I am inspired by work I admire. There are certain similarities between some of my work and the work of others," Simmons said. "This was simply meant as an homage to artists I respect, and I definitely want to apologize to any manga fans or fellow Manga artists who feel I went to (sic) far. My inspirations reflect the fact that certain fundamental imagery is common to all manga."

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Source: FM Korea, Namu Wiki

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