Originally Posted by Onegai:
There are many different scanlators out there, be they individuals or groups. The quality of their work varies considerably from the terrible (looks like they faxed the thing) to the good (work has no signs of being scanned and has been cleaned up really nicely). Then there are certain things that you just don’t do.
Take note of the two scanlations. I’m sure all manga fans will agree that the sound effects are just as much a part of the artwork as they are in western comics. That’s the first thing to draw your attention to. In 1; the SFX are left in Japanese whereas in 2, it’s been shopped out and the Japanese SFX have been replaced with a western equivalent. This is the wrong thing to do. It is much better to put a translation note above, below or along the side of the panel (Although it’s not always necessary with the more obvious things). I’m afraid this is actually not the best example but if you’re a keen comic/manga reader you’ll know what I mean though.
Moving on to the overall appearance, we can see 2 is scanned because of the page bend towards the center. Now this is sometimes unavoidable in many cases without tearing the book apart (Not a very sane solution). So it boils down to how bad the page bend is. In 2, the page bend is actually not all that bad (Only in the case of a scanlation, a straight scan is a different ball game) because it hasn’t obscured the picture much. It only looks bad because it wasn’t cleaned up properly. By editing out the places where the scanners background shows through, it would have made it a lot less noticeable.
My biggest problem with 2 though is the fact that the image has been inverted to make it read like a western comic (Manga reads from right to left whereas western comics read from left to right). This is the worst thing anyone can do. It obscures perspective and direction as well as messing with the art – and we do not mess with the art! I don’t even know why somebody would feel the need to do this. It does not take a rocket scientist to see upon reading their first manga how it reads. Besides, people who have been reading manga for a while who are unfortunate enough to stumble upon one of these scan-fails get very irritated. I think this is heresy and there are plenty of people who will agree with me.
Before I get tons of angry comments, I’d just like to say to all the scanlators out there; I mean no disrespect. Without you guys and your sacrifice of large amounts of your time and labour, where would the rest of us be? Believe me, and I’m sure I speak for all manga fans, when I say that your work IS appreciated, even if it’s not one-hundred percent perfect, after all, nobody is – especially myself. Try to think of this more as a set of suggestions and not criticisms.