China's news media may have frakked up royally.
The South China Morning Post News reports that the Japanese language version of the China Internet Information Centre showed the above image of the Galactica from the 2004-09 version of Battlestar Galactica as an illustration for a piece about aircraft carriers of the future.
The article, titled "4 Major Trends in Aircraft Carrier Development," was posted on the CIIC, a web portal authorized by the Chinese government which features official news translated into a variety of languages, including Japanese, Korean and English. The piece focused on developments in missile defense systems, stealth fighters, automated drones and electromagnetic catapults, which are important in the construction of future aircraft carriers.
Japanese readers were skeptical of the images, however, commenting that the article’s two pictures, labelled as concepts for "future aircraft carrier designs," looked like something from science fiction. "Are these graphics from a video game?" wrote one person, while others said that the pictures looked reminiscent of Macross, a Japanese animated program from 1982 that featured futuristic robots and spaceships.
Eventually, they figured out that one of the pictures was a schematic that had been used by Zoic Studios, the animation studio responsible for the visual effects in the American science fiction television program Battlestar Galactica. Another image was a concept design for a "Lilypad" floating city, created by Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut, who also created similar mock-up images for sustainable structures in Taipei and Shenzhen.
"These [designs] are pretty good dreams," wrote one Japanese blogger after the source for the image was determined. "[The people who wrote this article] should start making comic books."
So say we all.
Apparently, this wasn't the first time that Chinese media used dubious images to accompany military-themed articles. In March, both Xinhua and Global Times ran a story on a "secret" Japanese military helicopter. The images of the helicopter in question turned out to be digital art created by a Singapore animation studio employee.