A controversial video has been making rounds and accusing Your Name of plagiarizing an animated sequence from Nijiiro Hotaru (Rainbow Fireflies) and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
Youtube user Ms. Rachel argues that the scene of Mitsuha running down a mountain to save her town was lifted from a similar sequence from 2012’s Nijiiro Hotaru. The video has a side-by-side comparison, with Your Name on the right half.
Shortly after Mitsuha runs down the mountain, she trips and falls. According to the video, the tumbling sequence was plagiarized from 2006’s The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
The video names Hiroyuki Okiura as the key animator for the Your Name sequences and Ryo Onishi for Nijiiro Hotaru. No key animator was named for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
A second video was uploaded showcasing stills from Nijiiro Hotaru and comparing them to…storyboards from Your Name.
Online reaction to the videos has been negative. Some commenters feel that this scene is a blatant example of plagiarism, while others feel the argument is flimsy at best. The big things against the plagiarism claims are that the timing is not exact, the animation fluidity is different, and it’s not a “defining” scene. Meaning, Your Name could use a similar scene without it infringing on the identity of Nijiiro Hotaru.
Others accuse the uploader of extreme nitpicking, especially with the second video. In fact, Kōnosuke Uda, the director of Nijiiro Hotaru, responded to the video with a tweet:
— 宇田鋼之介 (@tanusuke45) July 26, 2017
“When I saw Your Name in the theater, I was like ‘Wait, is that…?’ But that’s just my personal opinion. If a director makes sufficient changes, then that’s original. It isn’t something you can just call a rip-off and have that be the end of the discussion.”
While not everyone agrees with the videos, it’s been sparked a debt between the subject of plagiarism, homage, and coincidence within art.
And to really get the brain cooking, all three of these movies involve a type of time-travel mechanic. When will this rabbit hole end?