IST Entertainment Comes Under Fire For Alleged Plagiarism With ATBO’s Comeback Teasers

Fans say the similarities are too strong.

IST Entertainment‘s group ATBO (formerly known as ABO) are in the midst of preparing for their first comeback. While fans are excited, many are currently questioning IST Entertainment for allegedly plagiarizing another group’s concept for ATBO’s upcoming mini-album, The Beginning : 始作. 

ATBO | @sbsnoriter/Twitter

ATBO, a group formed through IST Entertainment’s survival competition The Origin — A, B, Or What?, made their official debut on July 27, 2022, after the completion of the reality show and a name change brought on by fans’ concerns.

The group’s most recent comeback boasts over 20 million views on YouTube, a testament to their popularity.

The group’s initial concept photos for their new album showed what appeared to be a youthful concept and featured the members dressed in a “school style.”

| @ATBO_ground/Twitter

| @ATBO_ground/Twitter

However, the newest set of concept images has led to fans accusing the group’s company of plagiarism. These photos feature the group in what appears to be a martial arts dojo with the album’s name written on one of the panels. Each group member is also seen wearing a black and white biker jacket with leather pants.

| @ATBO_ground/Twitter

| @ATBO_ground/Twitter

| @ATBO_ground/Twitter

Many couldn’t help but point out strong similarities to another group’s concept. Netizens feel like this new set of images looks very similar to NCT 127‘s “Kick It” concept, including the dojo and outfits the group wears throughout the music video. “Kick It” was released in March 2020 and was extremely popular even with non-fans.

| @NCT_smtown127/Twitter

| @NCT_smtown127/Twitter

Fans have also pointed out that this may not be the first time the group have allegedly plagiarized NCT 127. In the choreography for their group’s first release, “Monochrome,” ATBO performs a dance move that is very similar to one that has been credited to NCT 127’s Taeyong.

While many fans agree that music releases can have similar themes, most say concept imagery should have stronger differences from group to group and are demanding answers from the company.

IST Entertainment has not yet responded to any of the accusations presented by fans.