No Game No Life Artist Yuu Kamiya Allegedly Caught Tracing Other People’s Work


In the art and entertainment industry copying other people’s work without their permission is generally frowned upon and can lead to disastrous effects if caught. Recently, a Twitter account has been created that claims that the creator and artist of the No Game No Life light novels, Yuu Kamiya, has been tracing over other people’s works from Pixiv and other various sites for his illustrations for No Game No Life.


The Twitter user, rotiflride, has compiled many comparison images of various No Game No Life illustrations that Yuu Kamiya has produced alongside the supposed original image where Kamiya has allegedly traced over. Many of the illustrations cited do share similarities, though only with the same poses. Kamiya himself could have used these images as a reference, rather than deliberate tracing. Even then, many artists do trace/reference other arts, but the distinction is that Kamiya is using it for commercial value for the No Game No Life series.

Here is one such example of a comparison, which is one of the more similar comparisons of the bunch. Kamiya’s illustration is on the bottom in the first image.

This also isn’t the first time a Japanese artist has been called out for tracing other artists’ works. Sou Miyata, the anime character designer for the anime adaptation of Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse, was fired from his position after fans claimed that the promotional magazine scans for the anime share extreme similarities of the characters’ poses with other anime characters.

Here is another illustration comparison, with Kamiya’s work being on the right.

Many of these claims and comparisons showcase similar poses between the two illustrations, though even then many of these poses are seen as generic. Even so, many of these images share significant similarities, and whether Kamiya has either traced these images or used them as references, has yet to be confirmed. Of course the possibility of the images being a coincidence is also likely.

Here are some more comparisons images:
























No Game No Life is a light novel series written and illustrated by Yuu Kamiya. The series began in 2012 in Media Factory’s MF Bunko J imprint and to date a total of 6 volumes have been released. The series received a manga adaptation last year from Kamiya and Mashiro Hiiragi, where it is currently running in Media Factory’s Monthly Comic Alive magazine. An anime adaptation of the series was produced earlier this year. It was animated by Madhouse (Death Note, Hunter x Hunter) and directed by  Atsuko Ishizuka (Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo).

Here is a synopsis of the series:

The story of No Game, No Life centers around Sora and Shiro, a brother and sister whose reputations as brilliant NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) hikikomori (shut-in) gamers have spawned urban legends all over the Internet. These two gamers even consider the real world as just another “crappy game.” One day, they are summoned by a boy named “God” to an alternate world. There, God has prohibited war and declared this to be a world where “everything is decided by games”—even national borders. Humanity has been driven back into one remaining city by the other races. Will Sora and Shiro, the good-for-nothing brother and sister, become the “Saviors of Humanity” on this alternate world? “Well, let’s start playing.”


There has been no official response from Yuu Kamiya or Media Factory, the publisher of the No Game No Life light novels. Whether if Kamiya did trace other people’s work, use them as references or pure coincidences, has yet to be seen. All we can do at the moment is speculate.

So what do you think about these comparisons? Did Kamiya really trace over other images? Does it matter? And what impact do you think it may have on the series’ future? Let us know below.

You can visit the anime’s official website here:
And follow them on  Twitter: @ngnl_anime

Source Article and Images – Seventh Style
Source Images – @rotiflride
Source Article – Reddit Anime
“No Game No Life”, images and all associated brands © 2014 Yuu Kamiya, Media Factory, Madhouse, No Game No Life Production Committee, and the artists’ respective owners

Follow me:


Hello, I am FrontalSpy the owner of Otaku Tale. I play video games and watch a bunch of anime. You can catch my daily musings on my twitter @FrontalSpy.
Follow me:
  • Shubhendu Singh

    When I thought I was finished with Anime, This series and Attack on Titan pulled me back.
    I hope Kamiya is innocent in all of this and finally whoever is working on its Anime gets right on making Season2.
    Unbelievable how the only 2 shows I liked are having so late Season 2.

  • (__)

    Trace means something that exist that is copy already so Yuu is not tracing he is using it as a refernce so not tracing others’ people art so Yuu is safe

    • elbs

      No he traced what was the original – meaning he copied it… that is copying pure and simple.

      As much as i like NGNL, i hope he at least apologises / gets reprimanded for this

      • Dhika Ramzul

        above me is stupid people that dont know the meaning of tracing and referencing. just stfu ok ?
        dont give any stupid comment again in this site

    • oh my god if you don’t know the difference between tracing and referencing, please, shut the fuck up. Go educate yourself on the subject before spreading misconceptions.

  • Naburo

    *YAWN* after careful deliberation, i find no firm evidence of tracing, in fact, many of the so called tracings are mainstream poses of anime characters.

    • John

      draws a character in a certain pose = you own the pose. That logic.

      • Kaname Kuran

        I know that is the most ridiculous shit ever. I better not walk for fear of plagiarising other humans that have walked before me. Where is this idiotic logic coming from.

        • Kuba Zawalich

          Give that man a cookie…
          in a shape that haven’t yet existed with a dough proportions than has never been used bc copyright

    • 変態先生

      I agree.

  • Niño Jay Lañohan

    yuu is not tracing, it just happended to be the same.His works are amazing, i think this is jealousy

    • elbs

      ‘it just happened to be same’ -> said every artist accused of copying/plagiarism ever

      i still like NGNL, but this is copying pure and simple

      • Kaname Kuran

        who cares like??? His talent clearly lies in the construction of a story. He’s not a guy who can do both, but to give visual aid of his characters he needed to find some material of how bodies look like in certain poses and they are uniquely his characters. There’s a time where copyright has to draw a line and forgive people for using references in how to pose their character because they’ve got no clue how to do it.

      • Darthlawsuit

        You know who else is copying? Every tire maker in history. They all copied the shape of the wheel from the personally that originally found a pair of circular rocks!

        • αиσɴʏᴍσuѕ

          Give this man a medal. Lol

  • Hawa Nee-chan

    If modification was made and it’s no longer called tracing

    • elbs

      No, incorrect.

      Even if the tracing was used as a base for an overall artwork, that is still copying.

      I like NGNL, but this is just wrong, hope he apologised / was reprimanded.

    • Reveal


  • Justin B. mine™

    After watching this anime, I was disheartened to know this news about Kamiya-san, but the fact that this anime/manga/LN is amazingly the best it deserved to have a 2nd season! for God’s sake, there’s should be someone who must work for it and continue for the fans.. onegai!

  • Kevin Killua

    In facebook, many freak people claimed tht some artists copy other people drawings/ arts. Lol, using it reference and tracing is totally different.
    Draw this, people protest, like that, people protest too xD
    Lol, its funny how weaboo(s) protest every artists they met

  • Garket Mardener

    “Does it really matter?”
    A: No, i wouldn’t care in the slightest. And knowing this work of art, it’s probably more references.
    Will wait for S2 so make it.

  • nodlehS

    Who gives a fuck.

    • Sei

      all of the people who draw.

      • Darthlawsuit

        God wants his human money for every artist that has ever drawn a human.

  • Redymare

    The creators of those images don’t hold much copyright to begin with, as the characters are IP of the corresponding companies. And Yuu did come up with the characters in NGNL himself, as far as I know. So the only thing in question are the poses themselves. And I’m pretty sure you can’t copyright claim a pose…
    I hope Media Factory gets this BS sorted out quickly.

  • duck

    to those who don’t understand how this is tracing, you don’t need to trace the whole image. The general outlines match so perfectly, from a large array of artist’s works. And these are a lot of examples too. Maybe even a great majority of his works are nitpicked traces in fact. But i still want a season 2.

    • AnonymousJag
      • duck

        Yes but this is illustrative/splash art. Were not talking about design; this is about technique/style/habits. No 2 artist draws bodies exactly the same line for line. There is always a mismatched stroke.

        • Kuba Zawalich

          they can just as ur name and surname can be held by another person, are u gonna sue them?

          ps.: even if sb is tracing how is that a reason to do anything if the looks of a charcter is different, u don’t own the pose, u own a character

          • duck

            simply because its media. Its etiquette. Don’t just present a work without showing what inspired you to make this. In this case, it’s pain-stakenly obvious that he took more than just inspiration. He’s copied part of someone elses work and gave no credit where credit is due. it’s not even an accident. tl;dr cite your sources always. The internet will always know if you copied or not.

          • Raven Thunderclaw

            How can you say he “copied”. And why do you have to show what inspired you to create a certain thing? If I don’t provide a preface to a book I wrote explaining how I got up to writing it, I’m copying stuff? Also The poses he used has been used multiple times before him. So going with your logic he should ‘invent’ new poses, so as not to please people like you? Please accept the fact that this news is shite and move on.

          • duck

            OH and also. please do not ever respond to something older than 6 months again. i’m still trying to forget about this just to enjoy the movie that’s coming up.

  • Edgar Ruiz

    I wouldnt consider it tracing because I’m sure many people who draw know how hard it is to get a pose it doesn’t just magically appear. People have to see how others did the pose and have to follow that way or it will look like crap. Making a type of pose take time so I wouldn’t care if he trace the pose because I’m sure people who trys to make ithe will trace how other do it

    • literallywtfman

      An artist as talented as Kamiya Yuu should be able to draw without any tracing involved. I honestly find it disheartening that an artist of his caliber would ever trace another person’s work. I’m not sure how you can find it okay.

  • _DEATH_

    is pose really that big deal? i would be shocked if he copied those character design but a pose?
    well i’m not an illustrator so i won’t know the feeling though.

    • Sei

      “i’m not an illustrator so i won’t know the feeling though.”

      and you’ve answered yourself. This is a big deal, because his drawings are not original. IN the world of illustration, this is a very big deal since your own illustrations are supposed to be your own, and nothing else. Tracing bits and pieces, such as hands, because you cannot draw your own hands, is not the way to go at all.

      • Dhika Ramzul

        its not tracing its referencing

  • Clara Vaequez

    Is nobody else even amazed at how much time/insanity this person took to compare all the art with all the different images from other artists? Hell some of the images are even reversed, and most are rotated. This is a whole new level of crazy right here lol.

    • サイファー

      It’s kinda scary when you think about it.

      • Sx

        It’s more plausible when you realize that most of the artworks in question are from Pixiv.

        And there was a separate scandal involving NGNL and Pixiv. Some outright stolen art from Pixiv “found it’s way” into the anime, and Madhouse was forced to issue a public apology for this. No explanation was given. I’ve also never heard of ANY anime studio having a similar problem, except for Madhouse when they adapted Kamiya Yuu’s work.

        So, about 6 months before the tracing thing, we had Madhouse formally acknowledging that “somehow” Pixiv art got into the anime when it shouldn’t have. It’s waaay to coincidental that such a scandal just happens to hit the same one the other scandal is related to:

    • Sx

      Except not, because at the time the anime was airing, Madhouse formally apologized for there being blatantly ripped-off Pixiv art in the anime itself. That’s way too coincidental for the same creator to later be separately accused of plagiarizng from Pixiv. My bet is that he had Pixiv art on his computer as a reference, and some accidentally slipped to Madhouse along with his other reference art.

  • Chaotic Thinker

    I found this stupid. There are art books with multiple poses, You can’t copyright a pose!. It’s ridiculous to even consider. The characters and story are all his.

  • サイファー

    I’d be happy if he traced one of my drawings

    • Dhika Ramzul

      lol nice one dude

  • Sx

    The nail in the coffin is actually the public admission by Madhouse that blatantly stolen Pixiv art “somehow” found it’s way into the anime. They apologized for it at the time the anime was airing, 6 months before the tracing allegations:
    How does such a thing even happen? And why only on NGNL? Connecting the two stories (stolen pixiv art in the anime, traced pixiv art in the books) makes sense of what would otherwise be a totally inexplicable screw up by Madhouse: Kamiya Yuu had downloaded Pixiv art on his computer as reference material, and accidentally mixed some in with the originals he sent to Madhouse, which they then animated in good faith believing it to be his original artwork.

    So the question isn’t whether he had specific Pixiv art on his computer to be a reference, it’s how bad do you think it is to do that? Manga serializations have been cancelled over the same thing in the past.

  • NextSeasonedOrRiot

    Oh come on the only thing I want is the next season

  • bleeh

    There are a lot of other artists out there that do this, but that’s not the point. If yuu traced, it’s still not copyright infringement because there are a lot of new elements in the art that make it different.

  • Otaku

    So what there in the same pose’s that does mean anything that could just be coincidence Yuu Kamiya work is amazing.

  • pyon pyon

    Frankly, this is hilarious. Some of these pictures couldn’t even be considered “tracing” until they pasted them all over ad next to each other and claimed they were the same. ” YOUR CHARACTER IS SITTING WITH HER ARMS ON HER KNEES???// SO IS MINE!11!! THAT’S TRACING, I’M SUING!!!!” Really now, this is bullshit. Nobody owns or ‘makes up’ a pose. If you honestly think this is copying you might as well look up ‘anime girl arms behind back’ and make a big post about those ‘copiers’ and pick one person who ‘did the pose first!111’. Now, I’d understand ‘tracing’ if he was completely copying except for the colors and whatnot, but I honestly don’t see anything wrong with this at all. As an artist, I would never be able to learn how to draw certain poses without a reference. Would you expect someone to draw a perfect rose if they had never seen a rose before? Other artists, can you 100% honestly tell me you learned how to draw by just drawing? Never looked at anything for reference ever? If so, I applaud you, because I’ve never heard of that before.

    • Growlmash22

      I agree.

    • Dhika Ramzul

      yeah they just jealous with kamiya sensei art

  • Ralph Kent Barlas Maderal

    What the heck just for that?!!!….. No logic at all it is all fallacies .. wat da!!! damn it. it doesnt make any sense .. WE need Season 2 not this….!!!


  • Reveal

    so does this mean no season 2
    oh wait this is madhouse

  • serenitae ✧

    This whole article is plain bullshit. I mean you can’t claim a pose. Draw someone standing and OMG YOU TRACED ANOTHER PIECE OF ART! I just want a Season 2… And the picture I mentioned is nonsense as well. It’s a hand. How is that tracing? It’s a HAND. Yuu Kamiya did not trace it. How else would you hold a chess piece? You can’t claim a hand gesture.

  • TypicalAnimeLover

    Oh no I better not start breathing or eating or living life in general I might get charged with plagiarism cause I mean I’m not the one who invented it and I’m copying the creator…that is how it works right? ಠ_ಠ Aren’t there real crimes out there that should be looked at.

  • Alan Nikolai Stratmann

    Yoshihiro Togashi has been doing this for years with Hunter x Hunter.
    Filmmakers do this all the time. They call it “paying tributes”. See for example, the Steps of Odessa scene from Battleship Potemkin.
    Even painters and sculptors do this. Michelangelo took inspiration from the statue of Laocoon and His Sons several times throughout his career. vs