Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Battle of the Royales

First BR BD comparison courtesy of DVDBeaver.

And yet, somehow, I'm the asshole for assuming the UK release was an upscale?! Just look at the bandana on Kawada's forehead; there's a substantial difference between the blurry, faded, almost out of focus Arrow BD and Anchor Bay's brand-new offering. I'm already seeing people defend Arrow Video's muted color scheme and weak ass contrast, but I can't for the life of me assume that the Arrow Video release is, in any way shape or form, the technically superior release here.

Even with the caveat that DVDBeaver tends to be the least reliable website for Blu-ray image comparisons - sorry Gary, but it's true - it's clear that the Arrow Video release has been outshone in every way that matters by the almost zombified remains of Anchor Bay. So convinced am I that I'm already making plans to give my Arrow Video box set away in preparation to upgrade to this fucking thing, and rest assured, the thought of spending yet another $50 on this damned film isn't filling me with excitement the way it did when it was announced two years ago.

Fuck, I'm still not convinced the Arrow BD wasn't taken from a PAL Digibeta... oh, well. Maybe I can talk about another wonky UK import when I have some free time this week?


Kriztoffer Swank said...

Can't even tell ya how many times I've read people say, "Arrow's transfer is likely about as good as the film can look," and, "The AB BD probably won't look any better"—and indeed, High-Def Digest or some other shitsauce site said AB's offering looks about the same.

I might keep my Arrow BD for the packaging and extras. Maybe.

By the way, dunno if you're a fan, but Samurai Pizza Cats is getting a DVD release from Discotek, and they said they're offering it dubbed and subbed.

Kriztoffer Swank said...

Oh, and Discotek announced what I believe is their first Blu-ray: Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo ("DVD first, Blu Ray later on").

Kentai 拳態 said...

Discotek has announced a Blu-ray for Little Nemo for 2012, if I'm not mistaken, and have said that Space Adventure Cobra is a possibility... if perhaps only as a limited edition. Sales just aren't that great these days, but the market for home media release is slowly moving away from DVD, leaving specialty labels like this without a lot of wiggle room.

I own a number of Distotek DVDs and they're usually nice enough, but man, I'd pay to upgrade Adieu Galaxy Express or Sex and Zen to Blu-ray in a heartbeat.

Kriztoffer Swank said...

Do you know anything about whether the High School of the Dead OVA will be released on Blu-ray here? I wanna get the first season, but it's about $50 on Amazon right now and it doesn't have the OVA, and that feels like kind of a gyp. I'm wondering if there'll be a re-release containing the OVA, or if that'll be bundled with season two or something and I should just get the current set.

Kentai 拳態 said...

To put it bluntly, we'll see Macross: Do You Remember Love?, or maybe all of Touch on US Blu-ray long before we get the Highschool of the Dead OVA.

That's mostly because it's not really a traditional "OVA", it's an OAD (Original Anime DVD), which is basically the modern lingo for being a premium DVD/Blu-ray included with the first-printing of the manga it's based on.

So far, not a single OAD has had a release outside of Japan. Odds are the license is available, but since it's handled by a different distributor (typically the comics publishers themselves) it literally can't be included with the TV series proper. You'd basically have to license a single episode and then sell it on its own, which was a model the US market can't go back to at this point.

That said though, H.O.T.D is great stuff. I bought the Sentai Blu-ray for about $45 with tax at a Fry's a month or two ago and don't for a second regret it. Besides, if you skulk around for a while you'll find a decent subtitled BD-RIP. It's the closest thing to a disposable beach episode the show is capable of, so as much as I'd like to see it get a US release, it's really not a huge loss in the scheme of things.