Japan Cinema .net and the Art of Plagiarism

May 5, 2014

It was about three weeks ago that I was reading a review on Japan Cinema (japancinema.net) and said to myself “wow, this review really echoes my own opinions”. A moment later I realized exactly why it was so. Their reviewer, called Benjamin, had copied about 50% of his text from my review on my blog. As for the remaining 50%… let’s just say you could clearly see the reviewer has never seen the movie.

The review in question was Gun Woman, for which he copied his headline, first sentence, positives and negatives, and the entire last third of the review from my blog.

After realizing this, I sent Japan Cinema feedback. I assumed it had been the work of one unethical reviewer whose conduct had passed through their quality control. Two weeks later I had not received a reply, but instead Benjamin had posted another review, this time for the American movie Precious Find. That review was a compilation of bits and pieces from reviews by A.V. Club and several IMDb users.

I still believed it was just Mr. Benjamin who likes stealing other people’s reviews, until today I ran into their Profound Desires of the Gods review, posted four years ago by Japan Cinema’s top reviewer Marcello. This review was created by stealing from Electric Sheep Magazine, Cine Outsider, Game FAQ’s forum, and probably some other sources as well.

A few weeks ago the same guy, Marcello, reviewed the Hong Kong movie The White Storm.I don’t think even need to tell you how it was created by editing together several different IMDb user reviews.

On Japan Cinema’s About page they describe themselves as an engagingly written life style project. Engagingly written perhaps, but by who?

Of course I never received reply to the two emails I sent or the two review comments I left.

Well done Japan Cinema, well done.


  1. That’s so unprofessional and unethical!! -.-

  2. Hi,

    Did you pursue this issue further? I see that the Gun Woman review is still available at Japancinema.net.

    I recently discovered that a good portion of my review of Kinoshita’s The Tattered Wings, which I posted at both Letterboxd and IMDb, was copied verbatim by Marcello, who I believe is the proprietor of the site. I’m not sure who to contact in this situation. Japancinema’s reviews are even linked at IMDb. This is unbelievable.

  3. You could perhaps try to contact IMDb. I’m just trying to ignore Japan Cinema and let people know if I see their reviews stolen.

    For me the worst thing is that “their” Gun Woman review even got quoted on the Nordic dvd release cover. Of course, every word in the quote was actually written by me, but credited to them. I contacted the dvd distributor and they were very kind and removed the quote from those covers which had not been pressed yet.

  4. Thanks. I will try to contact IMDb. I’m glad you were able to get that quote removed.

    I left a message in the comments section at Japan Cinema but it never got posted. I don’t think contacting this person will do anything.

  5. A few more movie reviewers are victims of this site, and it seems it has been the practice for years… I’m pretty sure something will happen sooner than later.

  6. Hi, I have a blog about Asian cinema (Asianfilmstrike.wordpress.com), and recently found out one of my reviews had been plagiarized by Japancinema.net. I investigated further and found out more than 40 (and still counting) instances of plagiarism. I believe it’s time to stop this, though I’m not yet sure how. The webmaster Marcello, who’s responsible for most of the plagiarism, has been unresponsive for now, as befitting of a spineless fraud.
    I’m considering to open a facebook group to at least get all the plagiarized authors in one place.

  7. Here it is : https://www.facebook.com/groups/777566262355873/

  8. I’m glad to see actions are being taken against them. I also don’t know how Japan Cinema can be stopped, but getting the word out is probably the best thing to do right now.

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