Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that were true, it seems that China is absolutely infatuated with Makoto Shinkai's 5 Centimeters Per Second: A chain of short stories about their distance.
According to Gigazine, the Chinese film Window to the Heart has been caught tracing large portions of the Japanese production. The film itself was created by a Chinese company and co-produced by the Communist Party propaganda office. We don't have enough details to see if 5cm's story has also been pirated, but the movie is being billed as a "moral anime," with more episodes planned for release on TV and in theaters.
I'm of the opinion that tracing and imitation are an important step towards the creation of greater original content. Many complaints that are being leveled at the Chinese today were once aimed at the Japanese back during the post-war economic boom. That said, the level of mimicry on display here is quite amazing.
Hit the jump for comparison screenshots. The Japanese original is above, with the Chinese version below. What do you think?
[Via Anime Vice]
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