South Korean survival drama ‘Squid Game’ accused of plagiarizing Japanese film ‘As the Gods Will’; manufacturers react

South Korean survival drama “Squid Game”, which became a hit on streaming platforms, is accused of plagiarism.

The nine-part series which debuted last week follows a group of characters putting their lives on the line in an attempt to win 45.6 billion won in a game of survival. As the K-drama climbs the popularity charts around the world, netizens have claimed that the series blatantly plagiarized scenes from the 2014 Japanese film “As The Gods Will.”

Fans of the Japanese film took to Twitter to point out the similarities between the series and the film. Among the many “similarities” was the fact that both involved survival deathmatch using childhood games, close-ups of giant doll heads in the game of “Red Light Green Light”, the account backwards, among many others.

In defense of the series, series director Hwang Dong-hyuk mentioned that the script had been in the works since 2008, according to The Korea Herald.

Not denying that the scenes are similar, the director said he had been working on the project for over a decade and at the time the first game had already been set as “Red Light Green Light”. Not wanting to claim full ownership of the story, he said that at such times he is forced to say “I did it first”.

The game in question is said to be a popular children’s game played in Korea called “Hibiscus Flowers Have Bloomed”. The other game, which involved competitors jumping across glass tiles, was reportedly inspired by the manga version of “As The Gods Will”.

Marie A. Evans