Sorry about my brief dissapearance from teh interwebz. I had to move, I have a hundred boxes of useless shit, my computer got packed away, I -still- don't have a goddamn chair (but I do have a desk... go figure)... been a looooooooong ass week. But things are finally approaching normalicy, so I can begin bitching about what other DVD companies do wrong. Aren't you lucky, lucky boys?
After having talked about boobies for a good long time on this blog, it's time to show you some. But don't get your hopes up or your harbl's out yet; these are EDUCATIONAL tits. You can wank to them later.
Ain't they pretty? They're from episode 3 (or was it 4?) of BIBLE BLACK: LA LANZA DE LONGINUS, aka BIBLE BLACK NEW TESTAMENT. Vol. 2 of the sequel to "The Best Hentai of the New Millenium" has just been released in the US, and while it's uncensored - no cock blocks to be had here - something is definately off. Compare the bottom of that picture. Also compare the color of hair, the shading on the breasts and nipples... in short, just LOOK at them. The animation is completely different, isn't it? The one of the left - the "completed" image - is from the Japanese DVD. The version on the right is from the "uncensored" US DVD.
So, what in the name of holy hermaphrodite hentai is going on here?
Basically, digital animation - ie, everything made after 2000 or so - is made on layers. Just like cel animation: the background is a layer, the character's body is a layer, the mouth and eyes may be separate layers, and the semen flying in to said eyes and mouth are another layer. With digimation, which is where the drawings are scanned in to a computer and composited at the digital level, the same thing happens; the difference is you can drop and add layers more easily than with traditional cel anime. Basically, the uncensored version is missing layers of shading - there are also shots that are cropped differently, lose whole objects... basically, there's a LOT of problems on the US release because the animation wasn't finished. This is the first time a US version of an adult anime has been outright unfinished, and there are a few probable reasons for it. I'll go over them now:
First off, Bible Black is one of the most overtly popular adult titles in years. Seriously, this thing is a hit in the US, France, Germany, and naturally in Japan. It has a fairly good story (involving a virgin sacrifice to keep an evil witch from going back to Hell to return her debt to Satan), and most importantly, it's got more quivering pornstar inspired flesh (without the stretchmarks!) than any other hentai before or since. Seriously, if this show doesn't make you hard and/or wet, you're dead. Period. It's popularity in the US has actually - ironically - created a very big problem to it's Japanese production company, MILKY. See, Milky sells hentai like all Japanese studios do: about $70 per episode with pixelation censorship over the good stuff. This is just how Japan rolls. The US release is roughtly in line with all US hentai DVD's: 30-60 minutes of content, uncensored, for $30. That means you can either pay $30 on 2 episodes in America AND have Japanese/English audio with totally optional English subtitles, or you can pay $140 for the same episodes with no translations. Seems like a no-brainer. And unfortunately for Milky, who makes it's money on the Japanese release, Japan feels the same way.
Reverse Importing - in this instance - is when someone in Japan buys a foreign DVD of a Japanese movie. (This could be applied to any situation - if I buy the German DVD of SAW II, being a Yank, that's also a reverse import.) Reverse Importing only gives money to the guys who licensed the film internationally, not to the studio that created it directly. So when you buy Bible Black in America, you're supporting Media Blasters, not Milky directly. Granted the more money Kitty makes the more they can give Milky in the future, so it's a vicious cycle of sorts. The other problem is internet downloaders. I know I try to buy the cartoon porn I like, but that doesn't mean I don't have a dozen DVD-R's of bootlegged porno all the same. Most people don't buy animated pr0n. I do, and some of my friends do. But far and wide, if you lived in Japan and could either buy a DVD for $70 or download it sans censorship without even NEEDING to buy the DVD... well, seriously. It makes you want to bootleg, doesn't it?
Vol. 1 of BB:NT was dub only in an attempt to make both Japanese consumers and downloaders suffer... 'course that means we need to hear actresses sound like violated muppets and totally drag ass on the dialogue scenes. Ewww. The dub for Bible Black, while a hilariously awful extra, is SO not the way it should be seen for the first time. Or while trying to crank out some tadpoles. Fans were pissed. John Sirabella himself showed up at the Anime on DVD forums to say "hey, MILKY said we couldn't release it bi-lingual. What do you want from us?" Every other US studio would have had to do the same, and I can hardly blame Sirabella for keeping a money maker in his lineup, wither or not the owner makes retarded demands. Now, it should be noted that as an extra, Vol. 2 of BB:NT included episodes 1 and 2 (effectively BB:NT Vol. 1) in Japanese with English subtitles.
And now, the "actual" content on Vol. 2 has bad animation.
The simple answer here is this: Milky Screwed Us. The long answer is probably that with international versions seen as more of a threat than a sort of money making gravy, an uncensored version that was "good enough" was created, and then the "final" animation was done for the censored version in an attempt to make the Japanese fans pay their hard earned yen for the "finished" version. This isn't so suprising: as a bonus the Japanese DVD box set included an entirely re-animated version of episode 3 (the least impressive from the original 8 episode series), which has never been released uncensored. Nor has BIBLE BLACK ONLY, the porn only short stories that were their own DVD, but that may change in time... so, with the uncensored version being more of a liability than a bonus, why should Milky make sure the animation is any good? More importantly: do we, the money paying horny cartoon loving populace, really give a goddamn?
I like Bible Black, "properly" animated or no. I'm less impressed with the sequel on a lot of levels, mostly the shoddy storytelling and poor character representation (as in the personalities are suddenly different: the animation is absolutely amazing on the first 2 episodes. AND it features sex with a loaded shotgun!)... but with a dub-only DVD for Vol. 1, I told John I wasn't biting. On AOD* specifically. It's nothing personal, and now that Vol. 2 "fixed" Vol. 1, I still plan on picking them up. I'm just pissed that if I want to see these episodes pretty I need to watch them with cock-blocks... ah well. Won't be the first time, and you all know it.
*AOD = Anime on DVD forums. An evil place, but a place that, much like Mos Eisley, is full of entertaining and visually freaky people. Plus some of them want to trade R2 rips. Hell yes I'm down with that.
The real question here is wither or not there even IS an uncensored/properly animated version, and Milky just stiffed Media Blasters out of a certain self-depreciating spite, or if they just didn't bother to finish the international version. There are German DVD's, and a few frustrated fellow perverts at AOD that will confirm this for me shortly... chances are the German version will be just as bad, if not worse due to the NTSC-PAL conversion. Yuck. If John Sirabella and co. was stiffed, however, I'm going to have to re-think how I buy this show. I generally like the US DVD's (those ugly-ass credits on episodes 3 and 4 aside... John, WTF!?), but if Milky's going to ensure that each and every one of them sucks... well, I may have to stick with downloads or start buying the ugly boxed German DVD's at around $20 an episode. Ouch.
And that's what I got for ya' today. I could have launched in to a massive tirade about how much futanari rock... but that's another issue for another day. For now, enjoy your boobs and search AOD for more pr0noriffic examples of how badly animated the US version is.