iQiyi drama Who Is The Murderer apologises for key art's similarity to Japanese drama's poster

Who Is The Murderer's marketing visuals are similar to Japanese drama Legal High’s posters. (Photo: Weibo)
Who Is The Murderer's marketing visuals (left) are similar to Japanese drama Legal High’s posters (right). (Photo: Weibo)

Who Is The Murderer is the latest mystery crime drama from iQiyi, starring Zanilia Zhao, Xiao Yang, and Dong Zijian. A set of its marketing visuals has recently made headlines on Weibo due to the similarity in design with the posters of Japanese drama Legal High.

The design plays on the proverbial principle “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. In Who Is The Murderer's posters, the three lead actors are featured in poses that are similar to those of Masato Sakai and Yui Aragaki in Legal High’s key art.

After Chinese netizens accused the show of plagiarism, the poster design company Xingye Shijue issued an apology letter on Weibo, claiming that the design idea came from analysing the drama plot. They chose to go with the proverb design to illustrate the complicated relationships among the three main characters.

The company also said that the design clash was unintentional. But they asserted that they will take responsibility for the mistake, as they respect creators and are conscious of design copyright. They were sorry for causing inconvenience to the drama team and the fans of Who Is The Murderer.

The drama team also apologised for the incident, and added that they will remove this series of visuals from all marketing channels.

In response to Xingye Shijue’s apology, most Chinese netizens were quick to forgive them as they took swift action and seemed repentant. However, some pointed out that the apology sounded more like an excuse, as they didn’t believe that an original design could be so similar. Others found the actions of the design company disgraceful, and urged them to admit the painfully obvious plagiarism.

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