Reki Kawahara, author of Sword Art Online, revealed that he is being harassed online over his ownership of his popular novel series.
According to Anime Senpai, Kawahara shared his story regarding anime director Kunihiko Ikuhara’s current lawsuit against a woman who harassed the Japanese author for alleged plagiarism. Ikuhara, known for his work on Sailor Moon, Revolutionary Girl Utena and Penguindrum, was harassed online through social media platform Anime actors are plagiarizing her ideas. The harassment campaign involved not only Ikuhara but also many people associated with him professionally. In response to Ikuhara taking action against the woman, Kawahara revealed that he had also been a victim of similar circumstances.
According to Kawahara, a mysterious online social media account has claimed that he is the real author behind the popular isekai light novel series Sword Art Online and demanded to know why his work was banned. plagiarized under the name “Reki Kawahara”. The whole situation confused Kawahara.
Kawahara explained that incidents like this happen because of the way the copyright complaint system works in Japan. In particular, the Agency for Cultural Affairs’ copyright registration does not officially name an individual as the copyright owner, and providing proof of such ownership can be extremely time-consuming.
Kawahara believes that copyright ownership complaints will continue to escalate and be exploited if there is no resolution. Meanwhile, Ikuhara worries that there will be more incidents as social media makes it easier for people to reach their favorite creators. Following the 2019 arson of Kyoto Animation, where a 41-year-old man named Shinji Aoba killed 36 people because he believed the famous animation studio was stealing his ideas, online threats of plagiarism — whether big or small — are being taken more seriously by Japanese creators and law enforcement.
The Sword Art Online anime television series is currently available to stream on Crunchyroll and Hulu. SAO Light Novel is being published in English by Yen Press.
Source: X (formerly Twitter), Anime Senpai