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気がつけば、目の前にそれはいた。   シンはぞっと戦慄を覚える。   同じ顔だった。   遠縁だという青年の顔を、シンは知らないから自分の顔で見えたのかもしれないし、本当にそれほど似ていたのかもしれない。フレデリカが何度も重ねてしまうほどに。

86─エイティシックス─Ep.3 ─ラン・スルー・ザ・バトルフロント─〈下〉

安里アサト

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Could you please explain the bold で? Given the meaning is that シン’s face looks pretty like that of the 青年, shouldn’t we use に見えた here?

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You are right in that に would be more normal. It is an idiosyncratic choice of the author to use で, which means by, with here.

に見えた would just mean the face looked like his own. で見えた gives a nuance that the visual impression given by the face was replaced by his own, i.e., シン was in the state of looking at a mirror when he saw the guy.


The closest (more common) usage of で would be "(の声)再生される". For example

  • 自分の世代は、「僕ドラえもん」は大山のぶ代で再生される。
  • For those of my generation, 僕ドラえもん is played with/by/in the voice of Nobuyo Ohyama

(Note: Oyama is the original voice actress of Doraemon, who was replaced quite a while ago. The phrase is characteristic of Doraemon, just like オッスおら悟空 for Goku of Dragonball.).

FYI: A related word (kind of internet slang) is 脳内再生.

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    Idiosyncratic is a nice way to put it. Besides their choice of particles, I don’t like the way this author uses punctuation. 青年の顔を goes with 知らない, not 見えた. Why do they have to put a comma there? It should be moved to after 知らないから. If they insist on a comma there, then the particle for 青年の顔 should be changed to が so it matches 見えた as well as 似ていた. For me, it’s simply poor writing.
    – aguijonazo
    Aug 6 at 4:26

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