Square Enix Is Being Sued Over Dragon Quest Dispute

by Liana Ruppert on Dec 03, 2020 at 10:11 AM

Dragon Quest: Your Story is an animated film on Netflix based on the SNES adventure Dragon Quest 5: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, and it did quite well with Western audiences despite the game's mixed reception. The animated film was received incredibly well in Japan initially, though that reputation has waned considerably since its release. When the film first launched, Dragon Quest 5 novelist Saori Kumi was less than thrilled, and she sought legal action. Now, the writer is suing Square Enix for how it portrayed Luca (also known as Ryuka) in the Your Story, and now that lawsuit is extending to Toho Co., Ltd as well.

The novelization written by Kumi-san fleshed out a character that is commonly referred to as simply "Hero," expanding Luca (the English version of Ryuka's name) as a character in the Japanese novelization post-launch. 

Kumi-san first began her legal pushback against the animated film back in December of last year, where she sued the film production company behind Your Story. In her original declaration, she was seeking credit for her work on the character portrayed in the film, as well as a public apology from the entire crew. In more recent news, her legal action has now extended to both Square Enix and Toho Co., Ltd, asking for 2 million yen in reparations, as well as a public apology from all involved. 

The novelist has received an overwhelming amount of support from fans through crowdfunding efforts, though the quest of the suit's validity has been a hot topic of debate. While she did contextualize the character, some are wondering if she's entitled to legal action, given that Dragon Quest 5's hero is based on the original game that launched in 1992, a game that Square Enix owns the rights to. That being said, the animated film references Ryuka, which is Kumi-san's contribution. 

Dragon Quest: Your Story continues to see a decline in reception with its Japanese audience, in large part due to character representation and creative liberties taken. We don't know what the result of this lawsuit will be, as it is currently still in progress. Square Enix has also not responded with a public statement. 

[Source: Twitter via GameRant]

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