As my previous post on the events surrounding Yuiga Satoru’s situation had gotten fairly long and a fairly lengthy period of time has passed, I’ve opted to use a separate post for further updates.
For those who have completely missed what was happening, refer to my original post here which details everything up until April 2020.
I missed this update because Yuiga hadn’t tweeted about her new blog post but I got a Curious Cat ask to translate the post.
So on the 31st of October, Yuiga updated her blog to reply to the messages that she had gotten over between June and July this year.
Below is my translation of the blog post
To everyone who sent me messages up to July
From June to the start of July, I have received numerous consultation messages and reports from many different people regarding the same topic. I read each and every one.
The messages received included those of reports that due to “writing opinions on H that went too far”, the sender was subjected to a request for ISP logs and that they did not agree with these requests, intend to strongly contest them and those who will consult with their parents or lawyers and the like. There were also feelings of bewilderment, resentment, consultations and more. Additionally, there were also those who were troubled and felt distressed, and have appealed for me to release the pieces of evidence publicly on the internet.
Last year I used the word “account” to detail the troubling events, but the word “account” indicates “from start to finish”, as I have ultimately obtained an undeniable truth from the art demonstration.
Even a year after the art demonstration, I have not received any action or correspondence. The display in April was also just what was performed online. Not only was it spoken as if we were still in discussion since last year’s meeting, I refrained from commenting and was going to let it all go as part of their unforgettable annoyance. I know that their lawyer realises that constantly threatening litigation is inconsistent with their actions and can be interpreted as intimidation. All the while, I find out that they have indiscriminately attacked those who are completely uninvolved in the case in question, which makes me more miserable than their offensive actions toward me. It makes me wonder what they are thinking by doing this to those who we, as creators, are meant to be delivering content to.
It has been about 4 months since I have received everyone’s messages. If anyone is still feeling distressed, if you give me a request through a lawyer and I can provide the video of the demonstration, comparison images and/or the documentation from 2015 onward. Please consult with me. It would be great if it could help clear away the stress.
After these 4 months that have passed, the only thing that I am worried about now are whether those who were frightened by their mail and had trouble resting and eating are feeling any better.
I have previously spoken on Twitter that I would not be replying to individual messages or tweets regarding this issue and have held back until now, with the one year anniversary of the demonstration in October of 2019 as the turning point. Thus I have replied to some of you, although it is in this batch style post.
Some things of note:
- So it does appear that Hanamura followed through with her legal threat to those who slander or defame her
- Yuiga does not seem to have any intention of releasing her evidence to the uninvolved public
- In reference to H, Yuiga still does not confirm nor deny that she is referring to Hanamura, but she does allude to the show on the internet in April, which is reasonably this post and the one above
I’m not sure if Yuiga normally announces these types of reply blog updates on Twitter (she had posted her previous blog post on twitter) but the lack of an announcement perhaps indicates that she just wants it to blow over.
My personal impression from Hanamura’s lawyer’s post was that they would pursue this matter privately but from Yuiga’s post, it seems that it was all just empty words to make herself look better. From reports, Hanamura had also taken down the tweet from her pinned a month later, which would leave the matter to be forgotten.
I’m not particularly versed in internet defamation and slander law in Japan but from what I have read up on, it seems that ‘requests for ISP logs’ are a means of identifying individuals from their online activity, which also occurs in other countries in similar instances. However they are not to be mistaken with subpoenas which have legal repercussions for the ISP to not comply with, the power of these requests appear to be weaker than those of subpoenas, requiring the consent of the user. These may just be a precursor to more drastic measures, should the defamation continue though.
From some research, it seems that several Japanese users who posted comparison images were sent requests for ISP logs as well as some who dared Hanamura to sue them, from late June to July. However some who had then gone on to consult with their lawyers and ISP were told that it was nothing to worry about, provided explanations to their ISP and the ISP then declined the request. Many others felt afraid to voice their opinion and stated that this was a threat to make everyone to drop the issue.
So how did this all happen to begin with?
In the past few months I have gotten to see a bit more closely how the otome industry lead to people like H appearing and from deduction it probably follows like this:
Otomate trains new artist by using established artist’s art/styles and gets them to mimic their works as ‘training wheels’. For example with Tlicolity Eyes, the character designer was credited as Sarachi Yomi but the main artist was Asada Mochiko, who is now in charge of the Hamefura otome game from Otomate. Again, Katakoi Contrast was lead by Udajo’s (Brothers Conflict) character designs but the main artist was Kanoha Aya. I have seen a few complaints of the art looking weird leading to the initial suspicion that it was a copycat artist but now Kanoha Aya is also leading the Tokeijikake no Apocalypse project which is how you end up with this
And of course the most famous case of copycat artist-ing was probably the transfer of Hakuouki from Kazuki Yone to Shiki Sakigumi.
So from above you can probably surmise that the artists go from copying/training under a famous artist, to then becoming a lead artist on their own project, and making a name for their own style. Once their name is big enough they can leave the confines of a company and go freelance, making their own rates.
For most, you would assume that the skills they got from more experienced artists would better their own styles, but Hanamura may have just taken the training wheel stage a step further and kept rolling with it. As an in-house Otomate artist, this would be no issue as the lead character designer would have most likely agreed to being copied for the current project and they have little to no say on what the company does with that art. The issue here is that Hanamura is a freelance artist that may be using the same method for personal work and professional work for other companies.
What will happen now?
Between Yuiga and H, maybe it will just die out and be part of H’s dark past.
It will be more concrete in the following months as all of H’s work that they were commissioned for at the beginning of the year finishes. As for Otomate’s side, none of their new projects involve Hanamura (in fact, they are all new artists) and there is still the Collar x Malice anime which is unaccounted for. However we are still in the middle of a pandemic so perhaps that’s the only reason there’s no news.
There is always the despair of knowing that there will most likely be no more additions to the Psychedelica series!!!!1111111
If there are any more updates in the next few months I’ll continue to add it here as I learn about them. Until then!