Yesterday, I received a review copy of DIAMOND GIRL in the mail. So far, it seems to be about a teen girl with some serious baseball skills, but I haven’t gotten that far into it. I might be farther into it if this thing were “flipped”, but its layout been kept the way it was in Japan, so I have to read it left-to-right. Perhaps I’ve stumbled on manga’s equivalent of the anime sub/dub issue, here, because this feels needlessly troublesome.
I do understand the thinking behind this - - the effort to preserve the mangaka’s original intent - - but it makes the whole thing more difficult to follow than it needs to be, in my eyes. The Japanese characters have been replaced, so you’re reading the word balloons right-to-left. At the same time, however, you’re “reading” the page left-to-right. I’m getting such bad “wire-crossing” in my visual-narrative preceptors that I’m drawn out of what I’m reading with almost every panel. It almost feels like opposing forces are tugging my brain in different directions, and I think that’s unfortunate, because it seems like this would be such a breezy read if only it were flipped.
What’s the fans’ thinking on this? Do you really lose anything out of the artist’s original vision by flipping the pages? I really couldn’t imagine what. It’s not like any of the details on your face change just because you’re looking in a mirror. Isn't the original intent already technically diluted by replacing the characters? Do you feel like those “dynamic audio” versions of movies that theaters exhibit compromise the director’s original vision by putting text up over the frame for the deaf? I feel like the same principles apply here. I’d really hope that anything presented like this would also have a flipped version offered.
I’m sure some people have mastered the art of reading backwards, but I’m having the hardest time, myself. Perhaps I’m too set in my ways? Where you do you lunatics in the Anime Vice community stand on this?