Is the dance in this season’s most popular anime ending copied from a three-year-old video?


Choreographer heard the dance moves in Stars Align looked like his, posts side-by-side comparison.

Prior to its premiere, anime TV series Stars Align probably wasn’t triggering sky-high expectations in a lot of people. Sure, the artwork looked nice enough, but in a lot of ways it probably seemed like yet another entry in the crowded, predictable genre of “teen boys play sports together and develop a deep friendship…or maybe something more?”

Even with just two episodes aired since its October 10 debut, though, the series is already changing a lot of minds. Helmed by director Kazuki Akane (who also served as director for Escaflowne and Code Geass: Akito the Exiled), Stars Align is turning out to have some surprising dramatic depth beneath its surface story of junior high kids trying to save their soft tennis team (soft tennis being a tennis variation played prior to high school in Japan, using a softer ball than a standard tennis ball). Another thing that’s proving to be a hit with fans? The sequence that comes at the close of each episode, where the cast dances to ending theme “Kago no Naka no Bokura wa” (“Us in the Cage”).

▼ Fans are particularly impressed with how each character’s speed of motion and other body language reflect their individual personalities.

However, mixed in with all the jubilant online praise for Stars Align’s ending animation is a post from Japanese Twitter user Melochin (@melomelochin), who’s also a dancer and choreographer. After someone told Melochin that the dance routine at the end of Stars Align resembled one of his own, the real-world dancer decided to check it out, and was startled by what he saw.

“Someone told me the ending for the anime Stars Align looked like my choreography, so I compared them, and…”

There are definitely a lot of similarities, especially in the moments where Melochin turns one of his shoulders towards the camera or draws his hands in near his torso. Oh, and as proof that this isn’t a case of Melochin copying the anime, he also pointed people reading the thread to the video the clips of his dancing come from, which he posted to his official YouTube channel way back in 2016, before Stars Align had even been announced.

Twitter commenters who saw the side-by-side comparison think there’s too much overlap for it to be a coincidence, reacting with:

“Totally the same.”
“Exact match.”
“Hahaha busted.”
“Straight-up copied.”

Trailer for Stars Align

For his part, Melochin is holding off on getting angry, and also asked fans to do the same while he contacts the anime’s producers to try to get to the bottom of things.

Source: Twitter/@melomelochin via Otakomu
Featured image: Twitter/@melomelochin
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