Movie Infringed On SNK's Mai Shiranui Design, Says Chinese Court

Illustration for article titled Movie Infringed On SNKs Mai Shiranui Design, Says Chinese Court
Screenshot: 小Q聊电影
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In 2018, the movie Warrior Angels was released in China. It’s a fantasy comedy with characters, like above, that certainly resemble iconic those from The King of Fighters. Now, a court in Beijing ruled that the movie violated SNK’s copyright.

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Via IMDB, here is the movie’s summary:

Qiao Fan can’t control her power. After she is attacked by an unknown assassin, she is forced to avenge her father. She transforms into a “red clad woman” [SIC]. Faced with a more mysterious evil force, Qiao Fan is about to challenge an incredible journey of revenge.

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According to J-Cast, a Beijing court awarded SNK China the equivalent of $111,500 in damages and ordered that the movie must be pulled from distribution. The ruling, however, is being appealed.

SNK was acquired by a group of Chinese companies in 2015, and its fighting games have been very popular in the country.

As you can see below, the movie’s “red-clad woman” doesn’t only look inspired by Mai Shirainui’s design, but rather, Mai Shiranui cosplay.

Illustration for article titled Movie Infringed On SNKs Mai Shiranui Design, Says Chinese Court
Image: iQIYI
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The character also moves like Mai Shiranui and things do get gratuitous.

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But the movie doesn’t only have the SNK character’s looks. Via Sohu, here are GIFs that show some of Warrior Angels’ elaborate fight scenes.

Gif: Sohu
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Gif: Sohu

It’s not just Mai. As Sohu also reports, Warrior Angels also features characters that resemble other SNK designs from The King of Fighters ‘97 and ‘98, such as Chang Koehan, minus the beard and Benimaru Nikaido with worse hair and fewer muscles.

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Illustration for article titled Movie Infringed On SNKs Mai Shiranui Design, Says Chinese Court
Screenshot: bilibili
Illustration for article titled Movie Infringed On SNKs Mai Shiranui Design, Says Chinese Court
Screenshot: bilibili
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This antagonist kind of looks like Mature. 

Illustration for article titled Movie Infringed On SNKs Mai Shiranui Design, Says Chinese Court
Screenshot: Youku
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There’s even one character in the movie that resembles Choi Bounge, who originally appeared to take design cues from Freddy Krueger. Maybe this Warrior Angels character did, too?

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

“SNK was acquired by a group of Chinese companies in 2015"

There you go, that is the real reason.

I wonder if chinese conglomerates buying foreign IPs, companies and whatnot will start an avalanche of litigation in China... it’d quickly become an industry in itself.

A huge part of the gaming, animation and pop culture industry particularly of modern China was "borrowed" from foreign countries after all.