Saturday, June 28, 2008
Toward A Classic...
TOWARD THE TERRA (地球へ.../Terra e...) is now available on ADC, which means somebody will download it and put it up on Usenet in due time, too. I can't say that I mind, only in the sense that it keeps my upload ratio lower than it ought to be. So long as everybody gets a good quality copy, I'm pretty happy.
For those wondering, this patch is of the 1980 theatrical movie rather than the 2007 TV series, which is coming out in a couple weeks in $35 sub-only 8 episode sets courtesy of Bandai Entertainment. Toei released an awesome anamorphic DVD a while back, which means the RightStuf hard-subbed VHS and LD (circa '94-'95) is officially no longer the only way to see this vintage space epic in English.
The subtitled VHS was a combination of open-matte 4:3, so while the 1.33:1 transfer has more information on the top and (particularly) bottom of the frame, that probably isn't how it was ever "intended" to be shown on the big screen. More often than not, theatrical animation from Toei was animated at 1.33:1 and then cropped by the projectionist to whatever ratio they deemed appropriate - vintage Toei LDs are matted to about 1.58:1~1.9:1 (title depending), with newer transfers either cropped to 1.78:1~1.85:1, proving that Toei themselves don't seem to have a fucking clue how these films should be released either. While the tape has more info on the top and bottom, the DVD has more on the right hand side.
The DVD looks so much better than the tape that I honestly can't bring myself to care about the missing info on the bottom of the screen. There's also the following sequence on the 4:3 tape which makes no sense if the animators weren't planning on cropping everything from the start:
Hokuto no Ken's 1986 movie had a similar "matte moment", but that was cropped pretty dramatically so that a special effect looked better. This shot? I have no clue what its' M.O. is. It's not like animation has boom mic's to hide, so your guess is as good as mine.
The character designs are rather effeminate, but this should be no surprise: the manga was written and drawn by Keiko TAKEMIYA, who also created Kaze to Ki no Uta, which y'all should remember as the last yaoi title Kentai Films has been directly involved with. Ths is probably closer to Galaxy Express 999 than it is Ai no Kusabi, but there's still more than one instance of underaged penis to look forward to regardless. Oh Takemiya, you adorable pedophile you...