I personally have never been a fan of Chris Brown’s music. Being Australian, the only Chris Brown I care about is Oz’s very own star veterinarian who unfortunately shares his name with the infamous recording artist. Usually I would ignore news like this because, not only am I not a fan of his work, but SnapThirty is a website that prides itself on being strictly about Japanese pop culture…not the American music scene. This piece of news caught my eye though, because it seems as though the cover of one of Chris Brown’s upcoming single Zero looks remarkably like a particular illustration by Tsukasa Hojo from his old-school Shonen Jump Manga City Hunter.
This comparison was first brought to light by Twitter user @Goldengreg who, as you can see in the link to the Tweet, posted both pictures in question, mentioning that it seems as though the artist of the single cover took great inspiration from that particular City Hunter image. A lot of other people who’ve been commenting around the web are saying that it is so much more than simple “inspiration“, and that it is straight up plagiarism, to which I have to agree. On what grounds? Well, apart from the fact that they look almost identical…stranger things have happened, you know?
Many years ago something similar to this happened, although it was at a much larger scale. You remember that old rock and roll band KISS right? Yeah, they were pretty big back in the day, but whatever. Well Gene Simmons, of said band, has this son who thought he’d go ahead and create his own comic book series, which is admirable enough seeing as many have tried and failed in the past. He decided that the easiest way to go about this was to almost panel for panel copy Tite Kubo’s popular Shonen series Bleach, which is already a clear copy of the Yoshihiro Togashi Manga Yu Yu Hakusho, if you ask fellow writer Luke Halliday. After denying this, that, and everything else, Nick was eventually proven to be a fraud and was striped of all artistic integrity. If you want more information, you can read about it by clicking here.
I suppose fans of Chris Brown who also happen to be fans of Japanese pop culture are quite weary at this point in time, hoping that this doesn’t get blown out of proportion like the aforementioned “Incarnate Debacle“. Chances are…it wont. Unlike Nick Simmons and his once-popular father, Chris Brown is still very much on top of the music scene, with a posse of lawyers at his side fighting day and night to win every legal battle. If he can somehow come back from abusing a fellow performer and once-girlfriend, I’m sure he can weasel his way out of plagiarising an old Manga…not that he should be able to. Unfortunately, this is the power of celebrity. He’ll surely get out of it by copying Shia LeBeouf’s apology speech who I’m fairly certain he stole from Kanye West after having to apologise to Taylor Swift for stealing her spotlight.