Archive for September, 2010

The Lifepoint1 Ripoffs

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

It’s been a while since I posted anything….guess normal living can be so binding. But let’s talk about the common comparisons we receive from reviews.

In general, people definitely like to associate one piece with another, me included. There are also a positive as well as a negative way to approach this kind of comparing. For example, I intend to think “Okami is just like PS2′s Zelda” as a compliment. In a negative way, a comparison can go like “Dante’s Inferno is a God of War ripoff”; and that’s why the word Ripoff enters into the scene. Notice how in neither examples the game is directly graded, but it’s just the same. Warcraft hasn’t been considered as a ripoff of Westwood’s Command and Conquer since it offers better features than its inspiration. While in the case of a ripoff, it’s not just released later with identical gameplay, if it’s not inferior, people genuinely don’t have the ground to entitle it a ripoff.

As for the mindset of a positive comparison, I think it’s just a natural reflection of acknowledging one thing with something to the reviewer’s taste. In the case of calling a ripoff, it’s a display of the reviewer’s own knowledge base and at the same time, gain some acknowledgment of him/herself by dissing a piece.

With all that ranting away, let’s take a look at how Lifepoint1 projects have been compared and accused.


Accused As: Dragonball, Naruto, Volcano High, Cowboy Bebop, Tenjho Tenge.
Real Inspiration: Rokudenashi Blues
10 years ago, anything action based was considered as a Dragonball rip. 5 years ago, Dragonball is replaced by Naruto. And that’s about the most common criticism we receive.
As mentioned before, I would argue one reason people like to compare is to show how much they know. But if Dragonball and Naruto is the only thing they would name then that shows how much they really know. At least toss a high school based action piece somewhere and it will be more acceptable. But to be honest, Xin was not a result of watching Dragonball nor Naruto.
Some people claimed the term “Session” we used to label each episode is a ripoff of Cowboy Bebop. Come on now.


Accused As: Dragonball, their own dream.
Real Inspiration: Gantz, Dragon Head, The Drifting Classroom
Amazingly, taking away the action element and a series has become a lot more original in the public’s eyes! Some had pointed out that they had similar dreams to what happened in the realm of Surface. The sphere is composed of imaginations and memories, and I am glad that’s how the project connects with the viewers.
The one and only “Surface was inspired by Dragonball” claim I received was simply outrageous. Apparently the dying man in episode one looked exactly like Vegeta in a dress shirt around the time Trunks first showed up. At least that guy has some specific Vegeta knowledge.

Kazahana Family Mass Battle

Accused As: Dragonball, Battle Royale
Real Inspiration: Dr. Wai in “The Scripture with No Words”
The complex intent of murdering each other, free for all open space, and the datapad. The Battle Royale claim does have some basis. By the rules of many whose favorite and only show is Dragonball, this is still a Dragonball rip. At least come up with Power Instinct then the discussion would be more interesting.

The Record of Dragon Burial

Accused As: Naruto, Basilisk
Real Inspiration: Saber, Sword, Smile
Since the background is in ancient times, and the project was released only a couple years back, it’s only natural to be called a Naruto rip. One of the main characters seems to be a xerox of Sasuke. Take it or leave it, but we never really read Naruto. It took me a few google attempts to get the name Sasuke right.
Though what truly bothers me is how people receive this as a ninja show. I guess all ninja shows are inspired by Naruto nowadays. In more than one place we’ve pointed out the world is ancient China, as the confusing character names may indicate. It is true that ninjas used to be masters of wide range of skills including the way of tea and calligraphy, but there is still no such a thing as a Chinese ninja.
Basilisk is a more accepting comparison since it is also a piece that I enjoyed very much. All these forest battles and factions going head to head matters do seem similar. Perhaps it’s really time to move on from the forest scenes….
And those people are not ninjas.