Kazuaki posted a public apology on her website admitting that copyrighted photographs were used in the creation of numerous illustrations. The photographs in question were mostly backgrounds and objects, not her actual character designs. However, if you look in the very extensive threads in 2ch (first, second, third at time of posting), you’ll find there’s many cases of the photographs being incorporated directly into her works. It’s reminiscent of the Nitta Youka incident in 2008. What will be the result of this revelation? It’s too early to tell. Honeybee posted an initial response, but it basically said they were investigating and asked people to wait. (link now defunct).
Update: Honeybee upgraded the apology to their front page portal and closed down the website temporarily. They are checking their products individually for possible infringement. Enterbrain (B’s Log) has responded (scroll down). The manga kaiyorihito/kaiyorishiki has been canceled, shipments halted, no reprints. NOOOOO! I want more hot Chihiro.
A wiki/collection is being gathered of information and comparison photos.
I only found this out because I had a very large influx of visitors from 2ch looking for source images of components in the illustrations I posted in the Kazuaki Artworks Sneak Peek entry. I thought something fishy was going on! Right now, I’m just glad I already bought that artbook.
lol I beat all the English speaking news sites like ANN to the punch–or they decided it was worthy of posting after seeing my submitted MAL news story go up. It’s important news to know, especially if you read her manga or might want to snag a copy of her artbook before it disappears.