*UPDATED* EXCLUSIVE: Did Fox’s ‘Son of Zorn’ Steal From Smosh?
UPDATE: In an online thread about this story, Oishi High School Battle co-creator Daniel Dominguez wrote the following:
Again, it is our official position that no plagiarism has taken place — just that there are similarities worth noticing. Read on for our full take below:
Fox recently released a trailer for its upcoming fall series Son of Zorn, a hybrid live action/animated half hour comedy about a brutal, He-Man-esque animated warrior who moves to Orange County, CA (home of bizarre news), works a humiliating job, and re-connects with his son. The trailer is above.
From 2012-2014, Smosh’s Shut Up! Cartoons channel uploaded 30 episodes (and one three-part origin special) of a show called Oishi High School Battle, a hybrid live action/animated web comedy about a brutal, Goku-esque animated warrior who moves to the San Fernando Valley, CA, works a humiliating job, and re-connects with his daughter. One episode is below.
To me at least, that’s too similar to not at least comment on. Though Oishi, created by Daniel Dominguez and Joe Gressis, focuses more on the warrior’s daughter (for whom the show is named), the team behind a show revealed in a Facebook post in 2014 that the show, whose origins reach as far back as 2004, was originally based on the warrior himself and originally titled Ryuzu and then Supplementary Income Warrior:
Full disclosure: I worked on Oishi High School Battle, as an associate producer in season one and a co-producer in seasons two, three, and the Oishi: Origins special. I learned about Son of Zorn from this tweet:
To be clear: I am not accusing anyone of plagiarism. It’s entirely possible that writers/creators Reed Agnew and Eli Jorne (formerly of Wilfred) came up with this idea independently. But as of this writing, the combined view count of all official Oishi videos is over 50 million — so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that they or someone else related to the project may have heard of it. And as someone personally affected by this story, I noticed that literally no one else is writing about this, so I decided it was worth at least noting the similarities.
What do you think? Are these shows too similar, or is this just parallel thinking? Let us know in the comments below or @WhatsTrending on Twitter!