Excessive Fan Reaction to King & Prince Fans Stir Controversy as Plagiarism Suspicions Arise Among STARTO Kansai Contestants | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Excessive Fan Reaction to King & Prince Fans Stir Controversy as Plagiarism Suspicions Arise Among STARTO Kansai Contestants

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The Trio of Number_i: Jinguji (Left), Hirano (Center), Kishi (Right)

Three groups belonging to STARTO ENTERTAINMENT, SUPER EIGHT, WEST., and Naniwa Boys, have formed a new unit from Kansai called “KAMIGATA BOYZ.” In late April, a teaser video was released, but soon plagiarism suspicions arose.

Furthermore, from the same agency, the five-member group from Kansai, Aぇ! group just made their CD debut. However, there seemed to be a sense of déjà vu among those who saw their jacket photos and SNS posts.

According to the official website of KAMIGATA BOYZ, the unit was born as a family project originating from Kansai.On April 28th, “THIS IS ‘KAMIGATA BOYZ’ [Official Teaser]” was uploaded to the Storm Labels Official channel on YouTube, delighting fans on social media.

“In this video, the members of KAMIGATA BOYZ are seen wearing black street-style fashion. Despite usually following a sparkling idol image, Naniwa Boys also showed a cool expression, portraying a new side in the teaser. In the background, a melody blending traditional Japanese instruments with hip-hop flows, with lyrics repeatedly chanting KAMIGATA BOYZ only. Some fans speculated this might be a part of their music, expressing excitement saying that the track sounds incredibly cool, they can’t wait to listen, asking if they are going to rap or there will be a CD.”- Entertainment Writer

However, among some netizens who watched the teaser,

“The intro sounds like CHANBARA.”

“I won’t say it’s plagiarism, but it resembles CHANBARA.”

“It reminds me of CHANBARA.”

Such observations led to the word ‘CHANBARA’ trending on X (formerly Twitter), further escalating the situation.

“CHANBARA is said to be a fantastic song once performed by King & Prince members Ren Nagase, Kaito Takahashi, and Sho Hirano (at the time) on stage. Since it hasn’t been released on CD, it holds a special place in fans’ hearts. While some voices claim similarity between the melody in KAMIGATA BOYZ’s teaser and CHANBARA, others expressed opposing views, leading to a heated debate.” – Same source

Subsequently, it was revealed that KAMIGATA BOYZ would release a new song titled “Musekinin de Eejanaika Love” on May 3rd. The lyrics and composition were handled by music creator Kenichi Maeyamada (Hyadain), and it turned out to be a bright and poppy Tonchiki song typical of the Kansai region.

“If the audio from the previously released teaser video had turned out to be KAMIGATA BOYZ’s debut song, it might have been plagued by dishonorable plagiarism rumors indefinitely. However, the KAMIGATA BOYZ – Musekinin de Eejanaika Love [Official Music Video] uploaded on YouTube is filled with comical scenes and is entirely different from the teaser video, turning out to be a completely different music video. For fans, it was a development that pleasantly surprised them in a good way. Negative voices have diminished for now, and the situation seems to have calmed down without a major uproar.” – Same source

On the other hand, when it comes to units originating from Kansai, on May 15th, Aぇ! group released “《A》BEGINNING” and made their CD debut. When the CD jacket photos were unveiled on March 26th, both the regular and limited edition versions bore a striking resemblance to the jackets of INI’s debut single “A” (released in November ’21), sparking discussions.

“The A! group and INI, the jacket of the regular and limited first edition A is designed with the “A” mark, which is also included in the CD title, as the main feature. GROUP’s first pressing limited edition A also appears to have the same color background. The “A” is drawn in white on each of them, which is also a coincidence,” he said.

Furthermore, regarding Aぇ! group, their official Instagram post on April 24th also sparked accusations of plagiarism. At this time, they uploaded six images labeled as “solo artist photos.” The first image featured the eyes of the five members arranged vertically, with a maroon-colored background similar to the CD jacket.

This photo drew numerous comments likening it to the jacket of King & Prince’s single “Lovin’ you / Odoru You ni Jinsei wo.” (released in April ’22) limited edition version A. The comments section of Instagram was flooded with blunt reactions like “Copying King & Prince.”

As evident from the KAMIGATA BOYZ incident, fans are sensitive to plagiarism issues. In the case of Aぇ! group, this controversy occurred before their debut, so it’s essential for the agency to conduct thorough research in the future.


  • PHOTO Yusuke Kondo (Shiyoh Hirano, Yuta Kishi), Ippei Hara (Yuta Jinguji)

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