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Korean Webtoon Accused of Mass Plagiarism
The studio behind Knight King Who Returned with a God manga has been accused of using AI images, plagiarism, and using art around the anime Mushoku Tensei
The adaptation of Salamsallyeo's Korean web novel, "Singwahamkke Dol-aon Gisawangnim" (The Knight King Who Returned with a God), by Blue Line Studios for the Naver Webtoon platform, sparked controversy. Shortly after its release on Monday, readers noticed discrepancies in the artwork, prompting suspicions that AI might have been involved in its creation. Inconsistencies in panel designs and unusual character finger shapes added to this perception.
The situation escalated when allegations emerged that some layouts were traced from the anime series "Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation." Additionally, one character closely resembles Groot from Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy." Consequently, the first chapter received bad user review scores, hitting a low of 1.91 on Wednesday. As of Friday, it remains the lowest-rated chapter among all webtoons on Naver Webtoon, with a score of 1.98.
In response to the criticism, Blue Line Studios clarified that the artwork was not AI-generated, although AI was used for adding finishing touches. The studio took corrective measures by reuploading the first six chapters with modifications and assured readers that AI assistance would not be utilized in future chapters. Regarding plagiarism allegations, the studio acknowledged the resemblance between a character and Groot and removed the frames featuring that character.
It's worth mentioning that the original author, Salamsallyeo, has previously faced accusations of plagiarism. Their novel, "Akademi Peulleieoleul Jug-yeossda" (I Killed the Player of the Academy), was accused of borrowing elements from Sungmin Kim's manhwa "Knight Run" and various works by Type-Moon. Additionally, "The Knight King Who Returned with a God" has been recognized for its similarities to the Warhammer franchise.