After a successful first episode of Tokimeki Radio, we chatted with some of our friends about the episode and the games we mentioned. One of our friends, Steph, made the discovery that….some of the art in the game Uh Ah! Capybara is traced! I didn’t even notice it because I was exhausted from a very busy week and I was making sure I had all the material + audio fixes done for the episode to be out on time…but it’s very much true. 😢 Another friend of ours, Ali, supported the tracing claim by comparing other images as well. Here are a compilation of Steph’s images and her own thoughts on this:
Hey there, folks! Elly has graciously allowed me use of her blog space to talk about an unfortunate situation regarding art theft in an otome game called “Uh Ah! Capybara.”
After hearing Elly and Verde discuss upcoming otome game releases in their Tokimeki Radio podcast, Uh Ah! Capybara was one that really caught my attention. A puppeteer who has to prove her innocence after being accidently caught in a coup de tête? The chance to date a “sexy but elusive capybara”? Sign me up for that! The game is currently only available in Chinese, but the team eventually hopes to release an English version.
However, when I went to the project’s homepage, something was bothering me. The image on the right side of the top banner seemed very familiar for some reason. And that’s when it clicked. It was traced from one of my favorite Code:Realize images of Cardia with Lupin and Van Helsing:
After noticing the traced Code:Realize image, I decided to put on my detective hat and look at the character sprites with a little more scrutiny. Low and behold, the sprite of Lucius Constantine, the yellow haired character on the left of the banner, turned out to be a dead ringer for a pose Sakuya does in Norn9, just flipped:
This wasn’t the only Norn9 sprite that was traced in the game. Darren Arcos sports another Sakuya pose here:
Itsuki was another Norn9 character that unwittingly made his way into Uh Ah! Capybara. The pose was flipped again, but look at the finger placement. It’s identical!
There was another sprite of Lucius Constantine crossing his arms that also began to nag at me. I know I had seen that pose somewhere before! I sped through my copies of Norn9 and Code:Realize to look at sprites of every character who crossed their arms, but turned up empty. That’s when my friend Ali, the Watson to my Sherlock, discovered the very sprite that was evading me:
Looks like Code:Realize and Norn9 weren’t the only games Uh Ah! Capybara took character sprites from; Diabolik Lovers was another victim. One of Lucius’ fingers bends slightly differently, but otherwise the two sprites are indistinguishable from each other.
It’s a real shame that the developers of Uh Ah! Capybara decided to trace art from other otome games. Although the game is free to download and they are not making a profit off of it, there is no excuse for stolen art. I sincerely hope the development team reconsiders the use of their current art assets and look into hiring a new artist to redraw character sprites.
This is truly a shame, since we had a lot of fun playing through the untranslated version; this discovery really killed my interest in this game. 😔 I’m wondering what other images they traced for the art in their game… While I’d love for the team to make original art for the game, this possibility is highly unlikely due to our copyright laws not really existing over in China. So in a way, it does make a bit of sense that games like these would contain some tracing….but even though it makes sense, it saddens me. 😢
Many thanks to Steph for bringing this up to our attention and thanks to Ali for helping out.
Until next time, happy gaming!