Guest Post: Fans Accuse Nick Simmons of Plagiarizing Bleach

by • 27 February 2010 • Anime and Manga, Exclusives, Geekery, InterviewsComments (25)

This is the latest in a series of guest posts made by friends of Thank you so much to Mia of Naked Singularity for pounding this out on the fly. Please watch our for more very soon!

Nick Simmons Kubo Tite Bleach Incarnate
[image credit: cuddl on LJ, reposted on bleachness on LJ]

It started, as so many other things in fandom do, with a post in a fan forum: in this case, a post with the innocuous title of I didn’t know NIck Simmons like [sic] Bleach? in the Comics and Graphic Novels section of the GameFAQs boards.

By the time someone reposted a link to the original topic on the Anime and Manga – Other Titles board on GameFAQs, the title had become decidedly less innocent: Can Nick Simmons get sued for this? — which was in turn picked up by the Bleach fan forum Bleach Asylum via a post that by this time didn’t leave any doubt in the minds of many fans: Nick Simmons’ Bleach ripoff.

When the issue hit the Livejournal Bleach fan community Bleachness, fans didn’t bother mincing words. Gene Simmons’ son plagiarizing Bleach? the original poster asked. Based on the deluge of comments and images affirming this, it was clear what the majority of the responding fans of Kubo Tite’s manga believed: yes. Yes, he did.

The image above is only one of many that fans have been reposting as what they believe is evidence that Nick Simmons (yes, the son of the famous rocker) used major elements of Kubo Tite’s manga about a boy who becomes a shinigami in his own “American manga”, Incarnate, which the publisher bills as a “revolutionary new take on the undead”. Not quite so revolutionary, pointed out fans.

To date, they’ve accused Simmons of plagiarizing not only Bleach, but One Piece, Hellsing, Deadman Wonderland, Death Note, Naruto, Lupin the 3rd, Neon Genesis Evangelion, The Sandman, Full Metal Alchemist, Wolf’s Rain, Death Note, YGO, White Wolf’s Vampire: The Masquerade, and even a deviantART artist as well.

But it’s the Bleach comparison that’s perhaps the strongest and that’s evoked the most outrage, especially when one compares scenes involving Kenpachi, Ichigo, Orihime, and Ulquiorra in the Hueco Mundo arc to pages from Simmons’s work. Fan reposts of Incarnate do reveal an uncanny resemblance to many of Kubo Tite’s panels, some of them practically, fans say, outright tracings. For instance:

Nick Simmons Kubo Tite Bleach Incarnate
[image credit: cuddl on LJ, reposted on bleachness on LJ]

Nick Simmons Kubo Tite Bleach Incarnate
[image credit: cuddl on LJ, reposted on bleachness on LJ]

Nick Simmons Kubo Tite Bleach Incarnate
[image credit: overlay by aizome on LJ, reposted on bleachness on LJ]

While this is not the first time similar allegations were made (a fan pointed it out during a video review of Incarnate), it’s the first time many fans have heard about the issue. And their response has been tremendous: from writing messages to the publishers to tweeting on Twitter to a Facebook group calling for legal action, feedback on Simmons’ deviantART page, and even editing of the pages Nick Simmons and Incarnate on Wikipedia, fandom definitely hasn’t been idle.

The movement, if one can call it that, is one fueled by outrage and carried along by the huge plethora of ways information can be spread by social media; the issue’s been posted on Anime News Network, Comic Book Resources, Topless Robot, The Escapist, and AnimeVice, among others, and discussed at length on major journal site comms ohnotheydidnt and fandom_wank. There’s even fanart about it and an Encyclopedia Dramatica entry.

On the bright side, though: people have been listening. The story’s been picked up by CNN Go. As for major parties concerned, VIZ Media, North American license holder for Bleach, and Kubo Tite, Bleach’s creator, have responded to the news on Twitter. (Here’s a fan translation of Kubo’s tweets.) In a statement on their website, Radical Comics, Incarnate’s publishers, said they were “quite concerned” about the issue and had “halted the production and distribution” of Incarnate while they were working to contact the publishers of the works involved and resolve the matter to “the satisfaction of all parties”.

As of this writing, Nick Simmons hasn’t aired his side of the matter, and there’s no official word from him yet. (Well, unless you count the Facebook troll.) Interested people can follow the Bleachness post, which right now is at 1400+ comments and still growing.

And as a parting shot of irony icing on the cake of outrage, I present to you a quote from Nick Simmons’s first entry on his dA journal: “If you steal my artwork, you will pay. In cash.” Spank you very much and good night indeed.

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25 Responses to Guest Post: Fans Accuse Nick Simmons of Plagiarizing Bleach

  1. Sese says:

    Damn just effing damn

  2. Cola says:

    Ripoff or not, it’s still terrible art. I say, objectively not even good enough for Deviantart praise. Had he not been the son of a Gene Simmons, no one would care.

    Too bad I liked that guy on the show.

  3. Kat says:

    I liked Nick Simmons when I used to watch “Family Jewels.” It’s quite disappointing to see this.

  4. yeah on the show he seemed like an okay guy, but that does not excuse copy-pasting wholesale from other artists work and publishing it as your own.

  5. ddell says:

    He should be ashamed not only that he stole but that he was dumb enough to think it would not be noticed.

  6. Alyss says:

    This just goes to show how IchiHime-ish those chapters are that even Nick saw the relevance to plagiarize.

  7. emeric says:

    #8 Alyss: Hello, troll. Do us all a favor and stop trying to stir up shipping wank. (Or go back to bleachness, among your kind.)

    As for Simmons, this is just a FRAGMENT of what he’d blatantly stolen from Bleach and many other manga. And you just know that he’s going to get away with it with only a slap on the wrist.

  8. Tony Salmons says:

    Are the Simmons comic book published by Platinum Entertainments Scott Rosenberg ? If so, then it’s no surprise as Rosenberg is well known in comic book circles for stealing other cartoonists concepts. So he backed another art theif,,,,who cares?

  9. draconyster says:

    This is great=)

  10. ^ define “great” :/

  11. Euri says:

    This is just my opinion but I don’t think it would work out even if they filed a case over this.

    For one, art is never 100% original. It’s always “inspired” by something. It’s always taken from this and that and was put together as one — this is the same case. Even though it looks similar to the Bleach, the Bleach’s author cannot claim ownership of the “idea” for it. Like for example, in that image where Orihime was crying, how many times have you seen that scene in a manga/anime? How many times have you heard those €exact same lines in a manga/anime? Although the similarity is very near, the plagiarist could always claim that it just so happened, that we had the same character concepts, and the lines just happened to be the same, and that it’s not exactly the same, because the other one was crying and the other one doesn’t. XD

    This is why artist have it hard when it comes to legal stuffs. Sad, but true. =(

  12. CC says:

    It’s a bummer Nick didn’t change those up a bit. His drawings are better. Love Nick. Everyone inexperienced, makes mistakes in the beginning of business endeavors. Of some sort.

    • sorry but as far as i’m concerned, it’s not even “his drawings”. “his tracings” should more accurately describe his so-called art. as for the other thing — “inexperienced” or not, any self-respecting person who calls himself an artist knows that plagiarism is morally reprehensible. nick simmons not only traced kubo tite’s work (as well as the work of other artists), he also claimed that they were merely “inspired” and not “copied”. two wrongs do not make a right. he deserved getting his comic recalled and cancelled, as well as all the public censure he got from manga fans around the world.

  13. Anea.chiii says:

    I have lots of friends who loves Bleach.
    They will not be happy when they see this.

  14. Lefthanded says:

    It’s a shame to find out he’s as much of a fake as his father. The overbearing fakeness of Family Jewels should have been enough of a warning…

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