Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bandai Entertainment Can't Press a Damn Waffle!

I bought Gurren Lagann 01 (episodes 1-9) a month and a half ago. Brought it home, and watched most of the first disc without issue despite there being cyclic scratches on the non-floater disc. Disc 2, however, was badly unbalanced and made my usually silent DVD player sound like a wind tunnel. A turbine engine. A rock concert/gang rape/21 gun salute. was loud, is the bullet point here.

Deciding that discs that sound like they're gonna blow just wasn't something I'm down with, I returned GL 01 to Best Buy and had a relatively pain-free exchange. Disc 2 played without a hitch, and I was satisfied enough to buy GL 02 (10-18) a few weeks later. Guess what? Same result on disc 4; hitting "menu" and playing the episodes ebbed the problem after about 5 minutes, but Nero gives me nothing but unreadable garbage data for the first 250~ MB of the disc.

Now the AoD Forum notes that there's a major glitch on GL 03 (19-27/END) which kicks to the next chapter stop, forcing you to rewind to catch 'most' of the scene in question. This is the exact same issue affecting the second disc of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, which is Bandai Entertainment's "other" awesome unconventional big honkin' robots show of the year (and combined effeminate CLAMP character designs with cackling manly insanity, astronomical racism/xenophobia, over the top sexy mecha action and... Pizza Hut). In random, totally unrelated news, Toward Terra Part 2 was officially delayed, and both GL and Lucky*Star volume 3 are nowhere to be found on release day.

I buy Neo Ranga and Gravion, but don't watch them for some reason. I buy Witchblade, and then bitch about how awful the discs look. I buy Gurren Lagann, and can't even get the discs to play properly in my PC. I buy When They Cry, the release gets canceled half way through for a year and change. I meant to by Simon, but know full well that if I wait 2 months after the last volume I can have the show for the price of a double cheese burger and a large shake. I've effectively refuse to buy anything from Manga, since any disc they've released that isn't totally screwed (and that I'm interested in) I already own in some form or fashion.

I get that you exchange money for goods and/or services, but... why am I buying anime from any of the surviving R1 licensors?

For the love of God Bandai, switch replicators ASAP through whatever back-stabbing contract withdrawal openings you can find. These asshats are giving you nothing but trouble, and if consumers can't play your DVDs they won't buy them in the future, either.

Oh, yeah. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann? The only show to be the greatest thing ever by episode 3 and yet it still manages to get progressively more awesome every episode thereafter. Seriously, insanely awesome. It's like sex. Except we're all having it, all the time, and it's always awesome. Never sticky or embarrassing or full of those awkward moments where you scream out the name of somebody you don't even know. It just makes you feel good.

Enjoy a sexy Yoko shop in celebration of my pain. You've earned it, I'm sure!

Edit: Having run Nero CD-DVD Speed on all four discs, they all have horrific errors. Why certain flawed discs make DVD players puke and others are just dandy should have largely to do with how good the error correction is in the DVD player itself. Unfortunately the issue is that the replication - not the authoring - is wonky, so not every disc has the same errors on the same spots of the disc. Ergo, one copy plays OK in player X, another doesn't. I'd trade in the lot of them, but as Bandai is doing this subtitled only release on a strictly limited table I don't know if it'd do me any good in the long run...

Did I mention that GL 02 subtitles the OP song, but not the ED? For fuck's sake, even speedsubbers put in more effort for consistency! The fact that some jackoff was paid to lazily subtitle songs only when s/he felt like it fills me with rage and pain.

Fucking hell... I really should have stolen the DVD-R fansubs. I'd add "or wait for the bilingual special edition" but that would imply that Bandai had their shit together enough to press a DVD that works by the end of the year. Not holding my breath on that one.

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