The author of the novel adaptation of Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bridge, has pursued legal action against the production committee for Dragon Quest: Your Story- also based on the same video game.
4Gamer and Otakomu report (via Anime News Network), that Saori Kumi had filed a civil lawsuit on August 2nd (when the film premiered in Japan), which has now escalated to a criminal complaint on December 5th.
Saori claims the production committee (along with other related companies and individuals such as TOHO and Square Enix) had used her work without her permission, along with allegations of “fraud or misrepresentation or business misappropriation,” “violation of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law,” and “violation of the Copyright Law.” Anime News Network cites fraud and breach of trust, but also embezzlement.
The specific pieces of work allegedly used were characters from the novel. This included protagonist Luca (Romanization not official)- sharing the name of the protagonist in the film. It should be noted the protagonist in the video game is officially called “Hero”, as players can enter any name they wish. Another character Saori claims was used without permission is Lukeirom el-Kel Granbania.
Curiously, it seems as though Saori did not see the film when it was in cinemas. As the film has not yet become available on other formats (such as DVD and streaming services), Saori has been reportedly using the film’s novelization (published by Mirei Miyamoto) in her case. She has used how many times the character’s names were used in the novel as the basis they would assumedly be used more in the film. She also cites that some promotional material allegedly stated “the protagonist’s name is the novel version’s Luca.”
Saori also claims at least four people she knew and some fans thought the film was an adaption of her novel, the latter reporting the film to the authorities under the “Act Against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations” law. Saori also believes this was intentional to draw sales, rather than any form of misunderstanding.
We will keep you updated as we learn more.
Image: Via Mangathrill.