I want to create a manga. The problem is that my characters are pretty similar to oshi no ko characters. For example, the main character has the star eyes like ai eyes, and her eyes are purple. Their personas are also similar. Another character is quite like Mem-Cho.

I don't want to copy anyone, but I kind of like the characters that I worked on because I made them before watching the show. I worked hard on them. I am so confused.

2 Answers 2


Not to be pedantic, copyright infringement is a determination made by a court. A question of fact for a jury or judges -- depending upon the jurisdiction. This is an important detail.

Just drawing characters that are similar to existing characters that other people own is not copyright infringement. Your work has to be viewable by the public -- whether you are making money off it or not -- for it to be an infringement.

If you distribute/publish your manga -- whether you give it away for free or try to sell it, using characters that are remarkably similar to existing characters in existing works you may very well might find yourself facing a legal action.

Again, just drawing your manga isn't in and of itself a copyright infringement. It is a good idea to learn how to write or draw or create stories using existing elements. This lets you focus on learning specific aspects of drawing, writing and storytelling rather than trying to digest the entire subject all at once, which can feel overwhelming.

If you did publish or disseminate your work to the public as a parody of the original characters, then you might have a solid defense if the owners of the copyright and/or trademarks brought legal action against you. Mad Magazine was never successfully sued for infringement and their entire business model was based on reusing other peoples stories.

To get a sense of how loosely infringement can be interpreted, the creators of Shazam (Captain Marvel)/Billy Batson were successfully sued by the copyright holders of Superman, even though there is very little physical resemblance between the two characters -- only muscular with short black hair with a little curl in front. The characters have completely different back stories. The only similarities I can figure out is that both are orphans and they have similar powers. A jury was convinced that Shazam ripped of Superman and that is all that is required.


I wouldn't worry too much if your characters still have notable differences. If you're worried about your character being too similar to another one, just change it.

Say your protagonist is a farmer that lives on a desert planet. That fact alone doesn't make your hero a rip-off of Luke Skywalker. But if you gave this character blonde hair, a laser-sword, two robots being hunted by the government, then he's rescued by a desert hermit who teaches him ancient magic...you get the picture.

I'm not familiar with the manga genre, but I don't think eye color is sufficient to qualify as a copyright infringement. Personality too. But if you gave them an identical appearance, personality, and similar plot arch, you might be crossing the line.

You're the best person to compare your character with the pre-existing manga character in question. If you think they're too similar, try changing something. It doesn't have to be huge--something as simple as a habit or personality quirk can go a long way in crafting a unique character.

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