4 Men Charged With Copying, Selling Strike Witches Anime Design Materials – News

Material copies sold through online auctions, generated estimated 10 million yen in sales

The Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Wednesday that the Metropolitan Police Department sent documents to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office regarding suspicion towards four men of copyright law violation, for illegally copying production materials of the Strike Witches anime. The material copies have been allegedly sold through online auctions since 2016, and the four men have generated an estimated 10 million yen (about US$64,706) in sales.

According to the announcement, the four men conspired between October 2019 and June 2020, to use a printer to reproduce production materials that depict the characters and background illustrations of the Strike Witches anime at a rented office in Toshima Ward. The four men are suspected of infringing the copyrights of Kadokawa and three other companies. Kadokawa filed a criminal complaint with the Metropolitan Police Department after receiving information that copies of the anime’s production materials were being sold.

The four men — who were friends from university — are aged 25 to 28, and includes a 28-year-old man from Bunkyo Ward in Tokyo, who denies the charges, stating that “it’s [production materials] not a copy, so it’s not a violation.” The other three men, meanwhile, have admitted to the charges.

The Strike Witches series is based on illustrator Humikane Shimada‘s mecha-girl illustrations, and Shimada is credited as the original creator and character designer for the franchise. The mixed-media franchise began with a manga in 2005, and a light novel series in 2006, both of which focus on different characters from the eventual Strike Witches anime. The anime premiered in 2008, and it spawned a sequel, a film, and OVA series. The franchise also spawned the Brave Witches anime in 2016, as well as numerous spinoff manga, novels, and games.

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun Online via Yaraon!

Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.