Korean Webtoon Accused of Using AI Images, Tracing Mushoku Tensei Anime

Blue Line Studios claimed images were not AI-generated, although they did use AI to apply finishing touches

Blue Line Studios’ manhwa adaptation of Salamsallyeo’s Singwahamkke Dol-aon Gisawangnim (The Knight King Who Returned with a God) Korean web novel became the center of controversy when it debuted on the Naver Webtoon platform on Monday. Readers were quick to point out that the art looked AI-generated, thanks to inconsistencies between panels and the odd shapes of characters’ fingers.

The flames of the fire were further exacerbated by accusations that some of the layouts were traced from the Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation anime. Also, one character also happens to look an awful lot like Groot from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

The first chapter received a user review score as low as 1.91 on Wednesday. It was the lowest-scored chapter of all webtoons on Naver Webtoon. The chapter has a 1.98 score as of Friday.

In response to the criticism, Blue Line Studios explained that the images were not AI-generated, although they did use AI to apply finishing touches to the art. The studio reuploaded the first six chapters with alterations and promised that subsequent chapters will not use AI assistance. Regarding the plagiarism claims, the studio acknowledged that a character looked similar to Groot and deleted the frames where the character appeared.

The original story creator Salamsallyeo has had their own share of plagiarism controversy over the years. Their Akademi Peulleieoleul Jug-yeossda (I Killed the Player of the Academy) novel was accused of lifting elements from Sungmin Kim’s Knight Run manhwa and various Type-Moon works. The Knight King Who Returned with a God itself has noted similarities to the Warhammer franchise.

Source: Nate News (Link 2) via Manga Mogura

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