The goal is to develop works that are overwhelmingly distinct, that can truly be called original.
─ NaBaBa

Difference Between Original Works and Derivative Works

NaBaBa : When thinking about how to proceed post Chaos*Lounge, I relate things to the MOD culture (*7) of the Western gaming community. Chaos’s “Tsukasa Wo Tsukurou!” borrowed heavily from “Lucky Star” (a four-panel comic strip manga by Kagami Yoshimizu which portrayed the lives of Japanese otaku girls attending high school and was a multimedia hit) and it was very MOD-like, but I think it is important to set a further goal of developing something original. You can’t just copy from top to bottom; you keep the context but at the same time develop something of such overwhelming individuality that there is no room for accusations about copyrights and other legal hiccups.

oguchi : You work with an entrance that is easy to pass through but once inside, the answers have to be found on your own.

NaBaBa : Right. So I’ve decided that all the things that I was looking to Chaos*Lounge to accomplish, I will now have to accomplish for myself. I’m often told that because I transcribe images from anime and games, it’s not my own original perspective and so I harbor a complex. Which is why I’m strongly conscious of this wish to create original works that, at the same time, are true to otaku-like matter and media.

JNTHED : I understand that. You work in angry opposition to your own complexes, which are in turn born from things you don’t understand. It’s a spirit of self-critical service.

STAG : I’m someone who sells things and so I come from outside of the artistic context and there’s not a whole lot I can say. But watching from the outside, it seemed like Chaos*Lounge was always trying to carry out that process of creating a movement that would lead to an individual style. The way it was going, I wasn’t surprised at all what happened. I thought it was great that they created an opening for many people to exhibit their works at White Cube but despite the large number of people who participated, the only ones that were talked about as artists were Fujishiro-san and Umelabo-san. There’s something similar with derivative works. When an artist draws Hatsune Miku, Hatsune Miku comes to the forefront and the artist is secondary.

NaBaBa : Simply put, are you talking about the difference between original works and derivative works? If you draw Hatsune Miku as a derivative work, Hatsune Miku’s value goes up, but it’s questionable whether your own value as an artist also rises. When you look at it from afar, your work has been buried as a single drawing in the Hatsune Miku phenomenon. That’s why I believe it’s essential for the works to be completely original.

Mr. : Here’s another example. Say you’re going to create a work based on “K-On!” (a four-panel comic strip about a high school girl band by Kakifly). It’s not my style to take a “K-On!” icon, color copy it, mix it up a little, and then post it on a wall. No matter how clumsily, I would try in my own way to confront the “K-On!” material. Since I am doing it “my own way”, however, the audience may have a different way of seeing and feeling it and there may be some degree of criticism. But if we’re looking to create original works, we have to endure that process or we are unable to distill ourselves. But if we can distill things, then we can move on to the next motif, where things finally begin to take on their own originality.