Original artist takes it with surprising grace, doesn’t seem to mind the transgression.

It’s not uncommon for artists to pay tribute to each other’s works by drawing other artists’ characters in their own unique styles. Fans love such awesome artworks, and we get to see our favorite heroes and heroines in a different light.

But when the latest issue of Japanese manga magazine V Jump reached the public, sharp-eyed fans realized something was amiss upon seeing the front cover.

▼ It featured Dragon Ball’s main protagonist Goku
squaring off against Yuya Sakaki from Yu-Gi-Oh!.

Upon closer examination, Twitter user @Hahihuhegay noticed Goku’s stance somehow reminded him of a scene in volume one of American comic Captain America.

▼ Could it be a mere coincidence?

▼ So close were the poses in fact, that they were nearly identical
when placed side-by-side by other netizens.

While referencing or paying homage to works from other artists is fine to a certain degree, outright plagiarism otherwise known as tracing is generally frowned upon. For Toyotaro, the official artist of Dragon Ball Super, there wasn’t a lot he could do to explain what potentially amounted to art theft.

▼ Superimposing the two images proved to be the
final nail in the coffin. Captain Goku, anyone?

▼ Word reached @dextersoy, the artist who
drew the original Captain America scene.

▼ But rather than getting offended,
he was quite cool about the whole affair.

Japanese netizens were shocked over the revelation:

“This is really terrible. I’m glad I didn’t buy the manga.”
“Here’s one picture revealing that even manga artists resort to copying.”
“It’s clearly the editor’s fault.”
“It’s all over if they start tracing American comics.”
“Such things won’t stop the momentum of
Dragon Ball.”

The fact that Toyotaro hasn’t owned up to the deed or offered an explanation has left some fans hanging in midair, though he isn’t the only one being accused of plagiarism in recent years. Even wildly popular anime film Your Name seems to have received flak for copying some scenes.

Source: Twitter/@Hahihuhegay, Twitter/@dragonball930, Twitter/@AnimeAjay via Yurukuyaru, Reddit
Featured image: Twitter/@dragonball930