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post #91 of 175 Old 02-27-2009, 06:44 AM
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I'll wait for a domestic release.
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post #92 of 175 Old 02-27-2009, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclepauly View Post

Well I'm a fan of anime in general. Haven't seen too much but from the little I've seen it's really a unique experience. It's hard for me to put in a short post but it just transports me to another place more so than other types of movies. I can't get enough.


Even in the world of anime, this film has a mood unto itself. Much like Blade Runner, Akira has a distinct and tantalizingly bizzare flavor all it's own. Whether or not a person likes it, they at the very least acknowledge the uniqueness of the proceedings.
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post #93 of 175 Old 02-27-2009, 06:56 AM
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I've never seen Blade Runner either . I'm in search of a good price for the BD version of that movie also. Don't worry I've seen Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.
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post #94 of 175 Old 02-27-2009, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnie Eldridge View Post

I'll wait for a domestic release.

This is a domestic release, actually.
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post #95 of 175 Old 02-27-2009, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkcohen View Post

I'd recommend renting any movie first that you haven't seen.

Very true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnie Eldridge View Post

I'll wait for a domestic release.

Hang in there, Donnie...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jd213 View Post

This is a domestic release, actually.

See, that didn't take long!
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post #96 of 175 Old 02-27-2009, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkcohen View Post

I'd recommend renting any movie first that you haven't seen.

That's good suggestion.

Now which one of you took the last copy from Netflix? It's "very long wait" only one day after it's available.
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post #97 of 175 Old 02-27-2009, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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post #98 of 175 Old 02-27-2009, 01:51 PM
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^^^ $19.99, maybe. $30+??!! Don't think so!
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post #99 of 175 Old 02-28-2009, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

^^^ $19.99, maybe. $30+??!! Don't think so!

Its worth the cost, this is the best Akira is going to look. Honneamise basically charges Criterion-like prices, for the same reasons. They go to great lengths to ensure the highest possible quality from the original elements without the dumploads of processing the typical hollywood studio uses. Not to mention that in Japan it would cost 3x as much - we are actually getting quite a deal over in the US!

Vote with your wallet. Don't buy Cinavia-infected Blu-ray Discs! Why pay a premium for pseudo-lossless audio damaged by an intrusive watermark in the audible spectrum?
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post #100 of 175 Old 02-28-2009, 08:57 AM
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I'm definitely pleased with the price. Now if only I could find the damned thing locally.

Back off man, I'm a scientist.
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post #101 of 175 Old 02-28-2009, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruined View Post

Its worth the cost, this is the best Akira is going to look. Honneamise basically charges Criterion-like prices, for the same reasons. They go to great lengths to ensure the highest possible quality from the original elements without the dumploads of processing the typical hollywood studio uses.

If only that was true.
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post #102 of 175 Old 02-28-2009, 07:52 PM
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I think it's a real slap in the face to fans to not have all the special features that were in previous home releases of this movie, yet keep this high price. I can see if they were planning to double dip but kept the price low to indicate - "Look, here's a cheap version but it's a clean high def transfer. If you want the super deluxe ultra edition, wait for for it, but it'll cost extra."

This release is expensive enough for a US Blu-ray release (please don't quote JDM prices - I'm well aware,) that I expect all the extras. I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that there will be a future release of this movie with the extras we've already seen, and more.
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post #103 of 175 Old 03-01-2009, 07:57 PM
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Saw the disc at Best Buy for $30 at the Mall of New Hampshire, with 3 copies left (all first press). It took a lot of time to decide on this one, but in the end I brought it home. Watched about 20 minutes, particularly the bike chase at the start of the film, and the scenes with Kaneda and Kei in the sewers on their way to rescue Tetsuo.

If what I've watched is representative of the disc as a whole, the transfer is sometimes fairly sharp, other times very soft, but the film never looks as sharp as I would assume a film costing $10 million some 20 years ago would look. I could be wrong, and maybe Akira has always been soft, but even if that's the case this transfer doesn't quite look 'natural', for lack of a better way to describe it. The level of detail changes several times in the same scene (sometimes with the second half of the same cut of animation!) which makes me think that Bandai have literally tweaked each and every shot separately, applying noise reduction at heavier settings when they felt the shot itself needed it. Every now and again there's a healthy layer of grain, but a few seconds later the whole film may look comparatively blurred.

Watching the level of grain change, sometimes dramatically, from shot to shot was kind of jarring. It's certainly no Sleeping Beauty, where every shot is free of anything resembling noise, but it's certainly inconsistent. The fact that several shots that are optically printed effects exhibit very little grain shows that, even if the negative is just as inconsistent, some of this softness is due to digital restoration tools being over-used. Optical effects should have more grain, not less, and occasionally the Akira Blu-ray proves it by leaving a dissolve as-is, grain and all.

I was thrilled to see the original Japanese surround mix included, along with the (apparently punchy) remix. Sadly, I don't even have non-TV speakers hooked up at the moment, so a lot of good it does me...

I took a peek at the special features. The trailers were all in HD, and were degrained far more than the film itself (they were likely far grainer to start with). The theatrical trailers look downright static! Nothing in the main feature so far has looked remotely that filtered, thankfully. I can't help but wonder if not including the Production Report and other "vintage" NTSC extras were - in part, at least - an effort to keep the Blu-ray 100% HD?

It's not an awful HD transfer, it's just not a spectacular one either. It's a lot better than the Pioneer DVD and prior HD cable broadcast (though topping either of those couldn't have been hard). I paid as much for Akira as I did The Dark Knight, and feel about the same way: the transfer has issues, and that frustrates me, but I bought it to enjoy the film in the best home release possible. No, it isn't ideal, and yes, I wish there was something better, but the odds of Akira getting a third HD remaster in the next several years are slim to none, especially with most of the people watching the disc being perfectly content with it.

I stand by more or less everything I've said up to this point. I'm somewhat disappointed, but odds are this is as good as Akira will ever get on Blu-ray. So I'll stop complaining let you all enjoy your anime.
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post #104 of 175 Old 03-01-2009, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentai View Post

Optical effects should have more grain, not less, and occasionally the Akira Blu-ray proves it by leaving a dissolve as-is, grain and all.

Not necessarily, if they were shot large-format to compensate for generation loss.

I don't feel special...
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post #105 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

^^^ $19.99, maybe. $30+??!! Don't think so!

You can always wait 3 months down the road for the "sale"
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post #106 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentai View Post

The level of detail changes several times in the same scene (sometimes with the second half of the same cut of animation!) which makes me think that Bandai have literally tweaked each and every shot separately, applying noise reduction at heavier settings when they felt the shot itself needed it.

I wonder. Pop in the DVD, and you can tell there were scenes like that on the DVD as well. (The sewer show down in the middle of the film, the interrogation room at the beginning...) even with DVD's lower resolution you could see anomalies in the same cut...

I liked the earlier theory about it being some technical limitation and them needed to run a separate exposure, that's sort of what it looks like to me.
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post #107 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentai View Post

Watching the level of grain change, sometimes dramatically, from shot to shot was kind of jarring.

Really? Which scenes? The biggest jump I've seen is in light scenes vs dark scenes, and it isn't excessive grain I'm seeing disappearing and reappearing, but dust and particles (many of which were on the actual plates when the scene was shot, so it's not even the negative to blame in these instances.)

And no, I'm not perfectly content. I'm just in the camp of 'they did what they could with what they have.'
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post #108 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 08:37 AM
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FYI the Pioneer BDP-51FD is able to decode the Japanese 24bit/192khz TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack perfectly... While my $1.5k DTC-9.8 prepro cannot!

This is an old movie, and while the video is inconsistent I'd bet the farm the master is too. Honneamise has been nothing short of excellent with its Blu-ray releases; while some of them are sourced from older masters, they do the best with what they have like Criterion & Blue Underground does. No heaping on of DNR & EE like the major studios. I am very satisfied.

Vote with your wallet. Don't buy Cinavia-infected Blu-ray Discs! Why pay a premium for pseudo-lossless audio damaged by an intrusive watermark in the audible spectrum?
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post #109 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 12:43 PM
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One great example of the inconsistent focus would be when the Clowns trash the yellow car at the stop light, before they rumble with Kaneda and his crew. There are two overhead shots of the ill-fated car from the same angle. The first overhead shot is quite soft and lacks grain, the second overhead shot a moment later is nice and sharp. I can't find anything that suggests an optical effect in the first shot that isn't in the second, so unless they were just changing film stocks/lenses for kicks (despite these shots probably having been filmed at the same time - same background, same cell of the yellow car, etc.), the earlier shot was probably filtered while the later shot was not.

And why? I have no idea.

Keep in mind that the Pioneer restoration used DNR as well, so it can't be used as a proper reference for Akira's grain structure either. I don't doubt that the negative has some focus anomalies, but I do know the negative doesn't have DNR issues, so what we're seeing a combination of both.
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post #110 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentai View Post

Keep in mind that the Pioneer restoration used DNR as well, so it can't be used as a proper reference for Akira's grain structure either. I don't doubt that the negative has some focus anomalies, but I do know the negative doesn't have DNR issues, so what we're seeing a combination of both.

True, but the chances of the transfers having identical DNR related issues isn't terribly likely.

Thanks for the specific example BTW. I'll need to take a look at that shot.

It just seems odd to me that Akira would be the first animated title where DNR would cause the picture to look out of focus. I've seen DNR on animation cause anomalies like lines on edges disappearing and jagged edges on line art type artifacts, but this focus issue would be the first for me.

It's worth questioning and poking around for if, for nothing else, it better enables the forum to know what to look for and for the studios to better handle their titles with appropriate feedback.
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post #111 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentai View Post

One great example of the inconsistent focus would be when the Clowns trash the yellow car at the stop light, before they rumble with Kaneda and his crew. There are two overhead shots of the ill-fated car from the same angle. The first overhead shot is quite soft and lacks grain, the second overhead shot a moment later is nice and sharp. I can't find anything that suggests an optical effect in the first shot that isn't in the second, so unless they were just changing film stocks/lenses for kicks (despite these shots probably having been filmed at the same time - same background, same cell of the yellow car, etc.), the earlier shot was probably filtered while the later shot was not.

And why? I have no idea.

It could've been a planar focus issue with the multi-tiered cameras that are used. Also, no less than EIGHT production houses were brought in to work on the film with different scenes and cuts being jungled around. Maybe some issues popped up there. But I don't want to dismiss the observation, I wanna take a took and I welcome others to weigh in as well.
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post #112 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 02:25 PM
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Here is a funny question. I realize that film was obviously required to originally show this movie in a theater. But today, things are a little different. Why not just make high resolution scans of all the original animation cells directly to avoid these problems, bypassing the film entirely? Do all of the cells still exist? If so, are the all in one place? For a movie like this, I would hope that the resources exist somewhere to do such a restoration. What do you all think?

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post #113 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
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Here is a funny question. I realize that film was obviously required to originally show this movie in a theater. But today, things are a little different. Why not just make high resolution scans of all the original animation cells directly to avoid these problems, bypassing the film entirely? Do all of the cells still exist? If so, are the all in one place? For a movie like this, I would hope that the resources exist somewhere to do such a restoration. What do you all think?

The cells were all sold or given away.

You can go buy a couple off ebay right now actually.

http://cgi.....com/AKIRA-Anime-Japan...3286.m20.l1116

replace the dots with ebay

Not a bad idea, just not possible. :-/
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post #114 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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To show how good the BRD looks this is from the 720p HDTV version

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post #115 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by dvdmike007 View Post

To show how good the BRD looks this is from the 720p HDTV version

Man, something looks weirdly wrong with that transfer. Something's not right. Grain GONE, the lines on the back half of the bike have almost disappeared. It looks smugged sharp. Basically what I'd expect DNR to do, or if someone tried manually painting in a screen cap.
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post #116 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 02:53 PM
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Now that's DNR'd.
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post #117 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 03:18 PM
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That's not how it was originally broadcast though. That's someone who re-encoded it to 720p and got a little filter-happy.
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post #118 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 03:19 PM
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Woah that looks like it was colored with pastels. But still if we're going to go by 'b-b-but it looks better than the Laserdisc/VHS/DVD/HDTV version!' then I guess every BD out there is a winner.
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post #119 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vazel View Post

Woah that looks like it was colored with pastels. But still if we're going to go by 'b-b-but it looks better than the Laserdisc/VHS/DVD/HDTV version!' then I guess every BD out there is a winner.

Read the thread more closely. That IS the HDTV version.
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post #120 of 175 Old 03-02-2009, 03:24 PM
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Yuck!
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