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R1 keeps slapping me. What about you?
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Random Otaku



Joined: 28 Jun 2005
Posts: 147
Location: Israel

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 8:12 pm    Post subject: R1 keeps slapping me. What about you? Reply with quote

I recently stopped noticing all the topics popping up in AoD forums (R1, Studio Feedback) that talk about problems with R1 releases. There's just so many of them. Be it edits/missing content, thankfully that's kept to a bare minimum, video quality or inconsistent things in releases. With Video quality being the focus point of late.
I was willing to deal with no worthwhile extras, with long wait times and even shoddy packaging. But to top it all they have to screw with video quality so much? The Full Metal Alchemist topic made me think we are back in 2001, when R1 was a new frontier and everyone made first time mistakes. Then I remembered it's the middle of 2005, more then four years later still ranting about the same things.

Full Metal Alchemist, Girls Bravo and Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu were all on my wish list, in R1 format. All three are suffering from Video problems. Now Iím not sure about all of them. Suddenly the R2's look so much more promising, with the shiny god-like video quality and funky extra's.
*sigh*

Am i over reacting? Am i missing a point?
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Maestro4k
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The industry does seem to be regressing. Two of the titles you mentioned are from ADV and they're fairly notorious for doing screwy stuff, but generally their video quality's decent. Geneon used to have really nice releases when they were Pioneer.

It's interesting that ADV's been complaining about the market getting saturated and compare that assesment against what you've noted. Is it really the market being saturated that's dropped sales or is it lack-luster releases that fans refuse to spend money on?

In any case I'd say a large part of the problem is more anime fans are becoming savvy to quality issues. Up until a few years ago many had no clue about these quality issues. Now it's easier to see them, there are more and more sites pointing them out (all the anime bloggers certainly help there) and people are refusing to buy flawed releases.

Nowadays you can actually get fansub releases that are better quality than many R1 releases. That's just not right, not from an ethics standpoint regarding fansubbing, but from a business standpoint. Why in the world can large companies with paid staff not deliver the quality that ad-hoc groups of fans around the world do?

Perhaps it's because the R1 anime companies have forgotten about being fans and only see this as business nowadays. That's just my theory though.
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DiGiKerot



Joined: 15 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maestro4k wrote:
The industry does seem to be regressing. Two of the titles you mentioned are from ADV and they're fairly notorious for doing screwy stuff, but generally their video quality's decent. Geneon used to have really nice releases when they were Pioneer.


Lets be fair here.

Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu = ADV
Full Metal Alchemist = Funimation
Girls Bravo = Geneon

So there is only one ADV release there.

I don't really see the problems with the vast majority of releases - the Funi stuff people keep mentioning just doesn't seem to register, and FMA looked fine to me. Not seen the GB DVD (and not likely to), but Melody of Oblivion doesn't have quite a bit of line noise in places (nowhere near as bad as Fumoffu though). The rest of Geneons recent releases look fine though (Samurai Champloo looks fantastic). Its a similar situation with recent ADV releases, though that Fumoffu disk does look pretty awful.

I do have to wonder if the Japanese have been supplying crappier masters to the licensors recently or something. I only wonder because the mastering studio Geneon used for Girls Bravo normally produce excellent work, so for something of that degree of crappiness to suddenly be produced is strange.
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Maestro4k
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DiGiKerot wrote:
Lets be fair here.

Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu = ADV
Full Metal Alchemist = Funimation
Girls Bravo = Geneon

So there is only one ADV release there.

Bah, yeah you're right, I looked at the licensing list wrong and thought Full Metal Alchemist was ADV's. Sad My mistake. (That'll teach me to post when tired won't it?)

DiGiKerot wrote:
I don't really see the problems with the vast majority of releases - the Funi stuff people keep mentioning just doesn't seem to register, and FMA looked fine to me. Not seen the GB DVD (and not likely to), but Melody of Oblivion doesn't have quite a bit of line noise in places (nowhere near as bad as Fumoffu though). The rest of Geneons recent releases look fine though (Samurai Champloo looks fantastic). Its a similar situation with recent ADV releases, though that Fumoffu disk does look pretty awful.

I haven't seen any of those releases myself but I have noticed I can see bad encodes more readily now than I used to. Maybe it's because I'm getting used to the format or something. I have seen some that look horrid, but most of those were older releases.

DiGiKerot wrote:
I do have to wonder if the Japanese have been supplying crappier masters to the licensors recently or something. I only wonder because the mastering studio Geneon used for Girls Bravo normally produce excellent work, so for something of that degree of crappiness to suddenly be produced is strange.

That wouldn't surprise me much actually, the Japanese companies worry a lot about reverse importation already. Making sure the video quality is significantly less in a non-R2 release would be a fantastic detterant to that.

I hope that's not the case though. Sad
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Random Otaku



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have any articles about this growing fear? I've heard it mentioned a few times before, but not on a serious note.

And then there's the disc glitches, with the GITS: SAC case being up front in my mind (The LE's are sitting on shelf in front of the computer, so double meaning! HA!) as a recent example. While I guess it's more of a technical problem that can happen with R2's as well, I have yet to hear that R2 suffer anything near as much (Well, that's relatively speaking of course) from disc glitches as R1. Or am I wrong?
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Maestro4k
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Random Otaku wrote:
Do you have any articles about this growing fear? I've heard it mentioned a few times before, but not on a serious note.

And then there's the disc glitches, with the GITS: SAC case being up front in my mind (The LE's are sitting on shelf in front of the computer, so double meaning! HA!) as a recent example. While I guess it's more of a technical problem that can happen with R2's as well, I have yet to hear that R2 suffer anything near as much (Well, that's relatively speaking of course) from disc glitches as R1. Or am I wrong?

I've not seen any articles about it myself, but am aware of some of the major issues that have come up. One of the worst I recall was with the audio channels being switched on either Slayers or Slayers Next box set. IIRC, they never did fix that since it only affected one version of the english audio and they reasoned since the other was fine it didn't need to be fixed.

On the other hand you have bad errors like on disc 4 of the original Irresponsible Captain Tyler release where a whole chunk of one episode got mistakenly left off the disc when it was mastered. In that case Right Stuf replaced all the defective discs for free, all you had to do was send in proof of purchase (a copy of your receipt) or the defecitive disc. There was also an issue with one of Animeigo's box sets (Kimagure Orange Road I think) where the discs were pressed onto bad media. It didn't cause problems in all players, but in the ones it did it was a complete show stopper (literally). Animeigo sent out replacement discs to everyone that had preordered it (that was the only way you could have the box set, at least at that time) without anyone having to do anything to request them.

Glitches will happen, but it seems that companies are less willing to fix those problems nowadays. I know it costs money to send out replacements, but I think it's good business. I know after the two experiences above I have no problems buying anything from Animeigo or Right Stuf because they've proven they'll stand behind the quality of their releases. There are other companies I won't buy a first run disc from until I've waited several months to see if the reviews show no problems.

But I also haven't heard of any major issues like those with R2 releases either, I wonder why that is?
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DiGiKerot



Joined: 15 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maestro4k wrote:

I've not seen any articles about it myself, but am aware of some of the major issues that have come up. One of the worst I recall was with the audio channels being switched on either Slayers or Slayers Next box set. IIRC, they never did fix that since it only affected one version of the english audio and they reasoned since the other was fine it didn't need to be fixed.


It was the Japanese track on the original Slayers boxset release (I have that release, actually). IIRC one of the audio channels was inverted, which resulted in it sound odd on Stereo sets, and it cancelled out anything which occured on both channels (90% of the dialogue) on Mono sets. The same thing occured on the very first volume of Kenshin, but I think they actually fixed that one (Media Blasters have a bit of a history of doing mono releases by mistake, though).

They also missed the very last scene from the last episode of that Slayers set, as it happens.

Maestro4k wrote:

On the other hand you have bad errors like on disc 4 of the original Irresponsible Captain Tyler release where a whole chunk of one episode got mistakenly left off the disc when it was mastered. In that case Right Stuf replaced all the defective discs for free, all you had to do was send in proof of purchase (a copy of your receipt) or the defecitive disc. There was also an issue with one of Animeigo's box sets (Kimagure Orange Road I think) where the discs were pressed onto bad media. It didn't cause problems in all players, but in the ones it did it was a complete show stopper (literally). Animeigo sent out replacement discs to everyone that had preordered it (that was the only way you could have the box set, at least at that time) without anyone having to do anything to request them.


What was really nice with the Tylor release is that the UK retailer I bought my set from actually applied for the corrected disk and sent it to me without any prompting what-so-ever - first I knew about it was when I got the disk in question in the mail. Talk about good customer service!

Maestro4k wrote:
But I also haven't heard of any major issues like those with R2 releases either, I wonder why that is?


I thought the red-tinted video on Spirited Away was a fairly major issues (particularly given how high profile a release it is). How on earth they managed a bad encode on the Air DVDs when there are only a couple of episodes and a single audio track on there is beyond me as well.
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Maestro4k
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DiGiKerot wrote:
It was the Japanese track on the original Slayers boxset release (I have that release, actually). IIRC one of the audio channels was inverted, which resulted in it sound odd on Stereo sets, and it cancelled out anything which occured on both channels (90% of the dialogue) on Mono sets. The same thing occured on the very first volume of Kenshin, but I think they actually fixed that one (Media Blasters have a bit of a history of doing mono releases by mistake, though).

They also missed the very last scene from the last episode of that Slayers set, as it happens.

That's what it was, I couldn't remember exactly but I do remember the problem was enough to make me refuse to buy it. I still have the VHS subs of it (legit ones, not fansubs) so it wasn't too hard a choice. I'd actually rather have DVDs but not with a faulty Japanese audio track. Razz They missed a scene too? Did they at least offer replacement discs for that? (Somehow I have the feeling the answer is no.. Sad )

DiGiKerot wrote:
What was really nice with the Tylor release is that the UK retailer I bought my set from actually applied for the corrected disk and sent it to me without any prompting what-so-ever - first I knew about it was when I got the disk in question in the mail. Talk about good customer service!

Right Stuf did that for folks who'd bought the Tylor release direct from them as well which was great customer service. Smile More companies ought to support their products like that (not just anime & manga)!

DiGiKerot wrote:
I thought the red-tinted video on Spirited Away was a fairly major issues (particularly given how high profile a release it is).

Ouch, that is bad. I didn't hear anything about that one. The US release looks OK to me, was it fixed by then or am I just not noticing it?

DiGiKerot wrote:
How on earth they managed a bad encode on the Air DVDs when there are only a couple of episodes and a single audio track on there is beyond me as well.

Sheer incomptency on someone's part perhaps? Smile

If you want to see detailed info about one horridly botched R2 release (I forgot about this one earlier) check out the TechnoGirl's Info on the DVD release of Mizuiro Jidai. Granted this was a very low-profile release (the series never even got a VHS release, much less LD) but ouch, what lousy quality. In some regards the fansubs will end up looking better because of simple things like using a frame stabilizer, which wasn't used when preparing the DVDs. Shocked

Of course I'm probably one of only about 10 people in the US who like this series or care about it so... Crying or Very sad
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DiGiKerot



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maestro4k wrote:

That's what it was, I couldn't remember exactly but I do remember the problem was enough to make me refuse to buy it. I still have the VHS subs of it (legit ones, not fansubs) so it wasn't too hard a choice. I'd actually rather have DVDs but not with a faulty Japanese audio track. Razz They missed a scene too? Did they at least offer replacement discs for that? (Somehow I have the feeling the answer is no.. Sad )


Nope. It was stuck in the extras of one of the other Slayers boxes, and stuck back in for the last re-release (and dubbed, since its been missing since their dubbed version since the VHS days).

Funimation have the original Slayers now though, and are apparently going to remaster it before they release it. Which will be nice.

Maestro4k wrote:
DiGiKerot wrote:
I thought the red-tinted video on Spirited Away was a fairly major issues (particularly given how high profile a release it is).

Ouch, that is bad. I didn't hear anything about that one. The US release looks OK to me, was it fixed by then or am I just not noticing it?


Some Japanese purchasers actually took legal action against Buena Vista over it! BV claimed it was intentional, though, and that it had been masters with hi-spec Plasma screens with certain colour settings in mind rather than the kind of TV sets which we mere mortals own (*cough*bulls!!t*cough*)

It wasn't on any of the western releases, just the asian ones. At least I got a plastic riceball with my copy (no, really, that was the first pressing bonus!).
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Maestro4k
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DiGiKerot wrote:
Nope. It was stuck in the extras of one of the other Slayers boxes, and stuck back in for the last re-release (and dubbed, since its been missing since their dubbed version since the VHS days).

<sarcasm>Now there's great customer service for you!</sarcasm>

DiGiKerot wrote:
Funimation have the original Slayers now though, and are apparently going to remaster it before they release it. Which will be nice.

That's good to know, I really like the series and if Funimation puts it out with comparable video quality to their Fruits Basket release it'll be great. Smile

DiGiKerot wrote:
Some Japanese purchasers actually took legal action against Buena Vista over it! BV claimed it was intentional, though, and that it had been masters with hi-spec Plasma screens with certain colour settings in mind rather than the kind of TV sets which we mere mortals own (*cough*bulls!!t*cough*)

Can't say as I blame them, sounds like Buena Vista not only screwed up but tried to weasel out of it. Did they end up winning or getting a settlement?

DiGiKerot wrote:
It wasn't on any of the western releases, just the asian ones. At least I got a plastic riceball with my copy (no, really, that was the first pressing bonus!).

That's an unusual goodie. Smile I seem to recall a list in an issue of Animerica a while back that mentioned odd goodies packed in with releases. IIRC, the winner included a pair of panties. (I forget the show, but it had panty shots galore in it, so it was kind of fitting, but still very strange.)
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DiGiKerot



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maestro4k wrote:

That's good to know, I really like the series and if Funimation puts it out with comparable video quality to their Fruits Basket release it'll be great. Smile


Getting back to the original post and Full Metal Alchemist, I'll point out that Funi have been getting complaints of poor video from some partys over on AoD recently. I can't say I noticed it on the three vols of FMA I've seen thus far (not been getting any of the other current Funi releases), but I'll certainly be looking for it on Vol 4.

Maestro4k wrote:

Can't say as I blame them, sounds like Buena Vista not only screwed up but tried to weasel out of it. Did they end up winning or getting a settlement?


This post on ANN was the last I heard about it.

Maestro4k wrote:

That's an unusual goodie. Smile I seem to recall a list in an issue of Animerica a while back that mentioned odd goodies packed in with releases. IIRC, the winner included a pair of panties. (I forget the show, but it had panty shots galore in it, so it was kind of fitting, but still very strange.)


That was ADVs release of Najica IIRC. Girls and guns show where every shot is a panty shot. Apparently, anyway, I can't say I've seen it. Honest.
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Random Otaku



Joined: 28 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My brother got me a copy of Najica Vol.1 LE, since he thinks i'm into anime for the ecchi of it.
Was a nice surprise to open it up in front of my folks and have a pair of panties come out.
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TokenAsian
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, I've had spiders crawl out of packages before... but not women's undergarments.

The more I think about it, I never have trouble with DVDs from Taiwan. It seems to me that American DVDs make up for poor quality with "pretty packing" and fluff like that. "OOH! ANIMATED MENU SCREENS!" *insert retching emoticon*
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Mentar



Joined: 14 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been encoding anime DVDs for a couple of years, so let me make 1-2 comments.

1) The video quality of R1 releases in general has _not_ regressed over the past years. If you check older anime releases like Slayers, Utena, Bubblegum Crisis or Robotech with newer anime DVDs and you will notice that quite a bit of progress was made in the last years.

2) That does not mean that the quality of R1 DVDs isn't still deplorable. In general, the R2 originals from Japan tend to be fairly clean. And it's embarrassing that most R1 releases are technically so much worse. I would have no trouble picking 25 hobby encoders from a single channel, give them the R2 source, time and tools to create a R1 with english credits etc. and let them come back with a much better result than the crap the so-called "professionals" deliver. It's a disgrace.

3) The reason why R1s draw more criticism before is that most modern encodes (especially DVDrips) already surpass the R1 DVDs. Partly because R2 sources were used, partly because of skilled filtering and finally most DVD players don'T support progressive scan, so they have to display 29.970fps (de)interlaced, which always looks inferior than a properly IVTCed 23.976fps encode.

There are exceptions to the rule (Ai Yori Aoshi or Fruits Basket were technically great), but all things considered, it's embarrassing if hobby encoders without any special equipment can easily surpass "professionals" like this.
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muhootsaver



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, I wonder why r1 distributors cant just use the same r2 video source. For r3 korean releases, they use the same video source and add one more audio channel (korean dub). So, excuses like, we cannot use the same video source because we have to add an audio track, wouldn't really work.

I guess the advantage of r1 release is that its cheap? especially considering the ep count. A lot of japanese dvds have just 2 eps per disc...

and I really do think its about time for japanese ppl to add proper english subtitles for their releases!!
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