Jump to content
OtakuBoards

Manga Flipped or Unflipped?


AzureWolf
 Share

Recommended Posts

[font=Georgia][color=blue]As avid manga readers, I'm sure some of you have come across the strange "top-right" direction of manga reading that's commonplace in Japan. Basically, panels that are in the top-right position come before everything else, and upper positioning take precedence over down and the other dimension (i.e., something [i][b]above[/b] yet to the left[/i] comes before something [i]down yet to the [b]right[/b][/i]). That's quite a bit different from how US comics progress, so I'm wondering:[/color][/font]
[list]
[*][font=Georgia][color=#0000ff]Do you think that manga should take the form of US comics and lose their original form?[/color][/font]
[*][font=Georgia][color=#0000ff]What are the benefits or negative aspects of dropping the original version of the manga for a more foreign-friendly version?[/color][/font]
[/list][font=Georgia][color=#0000ff]I think it would be a good idea to change all manga into a form that flows like US comics do. At least, if not in the long-run, just until manga becomes a bigger thing in the US. I think the top-right way of reading would shy away new readers, so the manga fanbase would lose a good portion of its everso important initial growth.[/color][/font]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[color=navy]You know, I brought an old issue of Shonen Jump to school one time and left it out on my desk.. One of my classmates picked it up and started reading from the back cover, as if it was written in American fasion. It's pretty funny to watch, if you know SJ is printed right-to-left, "as the writers originally intended it".

Honestly, I don't care if the manga is printed right to left, left to right, or in any other manner. As long as I get the storyline that was originally intended by the mangaka, and the "mirror" image created for a left-to-right format doesn't have a lot of Roman letters flipped backwards, I'm fine with it.

I do, however, think that a hardcore manga fan would want to own something as close to its original design as possible. For example, I enjoy the Excel Saga manga's Japanese sound effects. When I'm really bored and have nothing else to do, sometimes I'll sit down with a volume of ES (Or any manga that I own other than Eva, because I have the left-to-right edition) and just go through the sound effects, and guess what they mean without looking at the guide in the back. Plus, Viz's English sound effects are sort of.. Strange. I don't know why, but they just bother me.

Maybe some manga newbies would be scared away by something like right-to-left comics. But, at the same time, that classmate of mine who picked up the Shonen Jump was intrigued at reading something in a different way. He enjoyed the variance, as if it were some sort of interesting gimmick from the manga industry. Besides, it's not like it takes too long to get used to reading the opposite way. Sure, back with Shonen Jump's first issue I flipped to a page I had already read on occasion because it was a reflex to turn pages in a left-to-right fashion, but I got the hang of it after a short while.

But Viz, Darkhorse, Tokyopop and the rest can do what they want. I'll still be reading their products, regardless of how they print my favorite titles. I'm sure that "reading backwards" won't keep that many people away from manga.[/color]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[size=1]I don't read much manga, but I don't mind how it's set up. The right-to-left thing took me by surprise the first time I picked on up, but I thought it was really cool. I mean...A backwards book! Heh.

I sometimes get a panel or two mixed up, but it's easy to rectify. I don't think that it really poses much of a problem. I mean, if nothing else, it gives dorky manga-obsessed kids a reason to think they're cool and elite and stuff. *laughs softly*[/size]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[COLOR=Gray][SIZE=2][FONT=Courier New]I, in all honesty, do not like the concept of flopping manga. It's not because in Japanese it reads right-to-left, but because the artist spent time and effort to make it appear correctly. When you reverse an image, perspective can be altered in weird ways, and expressions can be made to look different than they were originally intended.
Similarly, something that really bugs me about the (sparce) flopped manga I own is how every one automatically becomes left-handed and things written on chalkboards (by the characters) in the manga (it's in the first volume of Ranma 1/2, if you want to see for yourself) end up looking very weird.

I take my own drawing very seriously (though people often make fun of me for using almost exclusively the manga-style medium), and it pains me to see some one's work altered in such a way. I know it might sound stuck-up, but this is simply how I feel about the subject. As a bit of an excuse, I guess you could say that drawing is the only thing I take seriously, and I take it as seriously as a bunch of alternative hobbies combined. Heh. I'm such a geek.

I don't think the "reversed" reading format is that strange, once you read a couple of pages. Your eyes get used to it very quickly, and it's kind of neat. I remember feeling really stupid the first time I picked up a volume of manga and realized halfway through a seemingly inconsistent, senseless chapter that what they were saying would have made sense if it was said "backwards". _ _U

Leave it to me to take three pages to notice. [/FONT] [/SIZE] [/COLOR]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would hate to have American switch the manga around to the leleft to right formatt. It just isn't authentic. I guess I am that way in a lot of ways...like with not wanting to eat Asian food without chopsticks. Anyways, when they keep the manga authentic, the story and art would appear as the artist attended it to be. Nothing would be lost. Also, reading manga from, right to left, gives me something to do that is different than everyone else. Like during silient sustained reading during class. While others will be reading left to right, I would be reading right to left. I like to be different.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[color=indigo][size=1][font=century]Hmmm...my best friend and sister don't read manga because they can't get into the flow of the proper format. From a marketing standpoint, there might be a valid concern.

However, I think that manga should be printed in its original format. In all mediums, we want renditions to be as accurate to the original artistixc ideal as possible...at least, I do.[/color][/font][/size]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='Godelsensei][COLOR=Gray][SIZE=2][FONT=Courier New] because the artist spent time and effort to make it appear correctly. When you reverse an image, perspective can be altered in weird ways, and expressions can be made to look different than they were originally intended. [/FONT] [/SIZE'] [/COLOR][/quote][size=1]Thats a good point, actually. I know everything [i]I[/i] draw looks screwy when it's backwards. I hadn't really thought about that before.[/size]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to manga, I have a reflex to read all your posts backwards! -_-;

[quote]Do you think that manga should take the form of US comics and lose their original form?[/quote]

No they shouldn't. I rather read it the way the artist meant to be. Besides, if SJ putted in USA form, like the magazine said, it would be all wonky. So the original way is the better way.



[quote]What are the benefits or negative aspects of dropping the original version of the manga for a more foreign-friendly version?[/quote]

The benefits is only for the manga newbies. They read the way they're used to. For regular manga readers, the negative things are that we would have the tendacies to read the other way.

*goes off locking his SJs in the basement*
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
:D I think manga should definitly be kept the way it is drawn, for one thing it's kinda fun. Another point is that if an image is flipped over, any earrings or scars will in the wrong ear or in the wrong hand, I know it'd annoy me, since my characters would end up being left-handed. (it's an important point, one of my characters can't do anything left handed) My character has a diagonal scar, if she were flipped over, the scar would be at the wrong angle, which means that the bad guy would be using the wrong hand to put it there, it'd actually stop making sense. :D
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ScirosDarkblade
I don't know if such a thread has already been posted, but I'm wondering whether you guys prefer "flipped" manga (panels reversed so it reads left-to-right), the original format, or don't care either way.

Personally, I prefer the reversed format, and although I'm sure I'm in the minority, here's why:
So far, I have not seen any art that has truly suffered from the reversal (although there's potential for that, especially when there's an emphasis on something like "a person being left handed" or cars/buildings that are oriented a particular way (and unchanged background text suffers, obviously)). However, there's a benefit to the reversal which nobody has really mentioned, and that's the "onomatopoeias" (sound effects, like "dooonnnnn" or "pishi pishi") are corrected for a book written in English.

In manga printed in its original (right-to-left) format, the Japanese sound effects are usually left in, and clash strongly with the English voice bubbles (at least for me). I can read them, but still something like "bashu" or "baki" doesn't make as much sense as "splash" or "crack" when I'm thinking in English. Also because I'm not fluent in Japanese at all and can barely retain the kana alone, I have to slow down sometimes to read the sound effects. In the "flipped" manga, however, the sound effects are either completely taken out (which I prefer) or replaced with their English counterparts. The flow of reading is retained that way.

Other than that I personally don't care whether manga is flipped or not. My Neon Genesis Evangelion manga are randomly "normal" and "special collector's edition" and really they're the same if you don't count what I discussed above.

Let me know what you think (if you think I'm a total idiot, or if what I said doesn't matter, etc.)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can see your point in wanting things the way you are used to seeing them and I think it is best when a graphic novel is available both ways so that you have a choice. But there is some validity to the idea of leaving things the way they are.

Art does suffer from being reversed - some mangaka insist that their panels not be flipped, the pages can wind up getting hacked up etc. Japanese sounds are way cooler to look at and read IMO, so it's great if they get left in. They have more variety in the sounds and they are often lettered in certain styles.

I can read some manga in Japanese and that is the best way to read manga. The flow is different from American comics because there are different levels of captions indicating speech, weird comments by the mangaka and stray thoughts of the characters as well as the sound effects. These are set on the page in different ways. Captions are often printed but the other stuff is usually lettered - the lettering style can be a comment in itself and add another layer to the panel. I know you weren't asking about this but this is stuff that starts to get lost as the manga gets fixed up in translation.

There is another topic like this in the forum but it has a confusing title so it's no wonder you missed it.

[COLOR=Navy][SIZE=1]Merged it wth said thread. ^_~ -Lady K[/SIZE][/COLOR]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read some of the .Hack manga last night, and when I was done, I began to wish that ALL american books, manga or not, would be backwards. Shocking,isnt it?

I read some of another one of my mangas when I was bored - the flipped kind. I found myself wishing they had left it alone.

Then, today, when I picked up a regular American book, i began reading it the Japanese way :eek: Heeheheh. That's when the thought hit me.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think manga should stay the way it was originally created. It's more authentic that way. People may worry about new readers having trouble but in my short tenure as a teacher I've turned several kids on to it. Three of my current students have subscriptions to Shonen Jump and with no prior experience are able to read right to left with ease. It's not that hard to learn once you try. And they're only ten!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[color=firebrick] It's not learning how to read right to left is amazingly hard or something, and the pictures are meant to be seen that way. If they're flipped some faces can come out as deformed or strange looking, really.[/color]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

:cool: I personally like the unflipped version. I like how everyone in my classes says stuff like "You do know you're reading your book the wrong way, right?" and "Is that supposed to be like that?". That's always fun. Most of my mangas are in the unflipped version.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't mind the right to left thing....When I was younger I hated it, it was too confuseing, but now I like it better then the Left to right thing. Now I may just mix up some bubbles or pannels now and then, but I really like it now that I have gotten used to it. I think it's kind of cool.

I don't think that swiching it over and translateing the actions would be good for Manga at all. The reson being is there is all the ones that have been fliped alredy (I.E. Big O, Sailor moon, ETC) Mainly the ones that have not been fliped are for older readers.

Eventhough a manga fan like myself doesn't mind ether one, I think you all will agree with me when I say that the Right to left format is much better then the left to right. I just don't like the Amearicanized manga, I mean I don't mind them translateing it, but now that I have seen the "authentic manga" Format, I kind of like that a whole lot better.

So I would say keep the right to left....some people like it.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...