It’s a fascinating case study on the domestic South Korea response to hit Netflix survivor game drama Squid Game. After a weekend dominating the streaming platform in multiple regions and getting as high as #1 in the worldwide rankings, one would think K-netizens would be proud. Instead the commentariat has remained focused on and frustrated by the same concept and worse multiple game similarities to hit Japanese manga As the God’s Will, which was adapted into a J-movie in 2014 directed by Takashi Miike starring Fukushi Sota. It sounds like more of the audience watched the J-movie than the entirety of the manga series, which I read and enjoyed, but it’s two arcs and the J-movie only adapted the first (shorter) arc with the students who went to school that day and were forced into games, versus the second arc about the delinquent or sick students who missed school that day. The Squid Game screenwriter claimed to have written his script in 2009 but could not get the series made due to how bloody and violent it was until now. I think the biggest problem is the first game – the classic children’s game called Red Light, Green Light in the US with different names, in Japan it’s called Daruma-san ga koronda and in Korea Mugunghwa kkochi pieotseumnida. Since As the God’s Will came out first, the screenwriter of Squid Game should have changed his first game to a different one or made it later in the series. Starting off with the exact same game and execution is probably what makes the similarities all the more noticeable. I am wondering why K-netz is upset since they usually want to stick it to Japan, so probably they don’t like a South Korean show being accused of copying something and it’s so close it’s hard to defend.