I was surprised to see my Amazon Japan shipment on my door today after only 3 days since I was notified it shipped. Of the latest wave of Toho genre Blu-rays, I bought "Atragon," "Mothra vs Godzilla (1964)" and "Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster."
I am happy to say all three movies and marginally superior upgrades from their Japanese region 2 dvd releases which are generally considered to be the previously best presentations on home video for each movie.
One all three Blu-ray releases, the image quality is noticeably more vibrant and especially in the two Godzilla movies, the yellows have been bumped up significantly, so for instance, the opening text credits on Ghidorah are yellow, not orangish. Now I'm not saying there's a huge difference, in fact it's pretty minor compared to the old dvds which looked very nice on their own. But compared to the iffy results of several of Tohos other genre releases so far, it's a welcome improvement in all critical areas visually. IMO, Atragon is the most improved here, Ghidorah the least. Whether it's worth about $60 US to upgrade is questionable if you already have the region 2 dvds.
The audio on the original mono/stereo pcm tracks for all three movies is the preferred option as usual. The 5.1 "Remix" TrueHD tracks however seem to have the lower frequencies pumped way too high to a distracting degree. All three have the Japanese commentary tracks carried over from the region 2 dvd releases. For some reason, only Ghidorah has an isolated 2 channel mono music soundtrack option.
As typical for Toho's Blu-ray releases, the extras all in standard definition have been ported over from the region 2 dvds. That means for instance, on the Ghidorah Blu-ray, you get the b/w 8mm footage shot during the production of that movie which shows the primitive conditions Toho techs made the suits and filmed the special effects. There's a quick clip of rough, unedited effects footage for Atragon on that disc and so on. And as per previous Toho Blu-ray releases, there's at least one new feature produced for the respective Blu-ray releases. Of the three discs, Atragon easily has the nicest new bonus feature, which goes into great detail about the design of the "Mecha" to the point you see the various models and toys made of the Atragon submarine. Mothra vs Godzilla has a new feature which is a great interview with Godzilla garage model kit sculptor Yuji Sakai in his studio who shows dozens of his sculpts as he discusses the evolution of the Godzilla suit design through the movies.
Finally, in what looks like a odd new trend for Toho, all three Blu-ray releases have what appears to be a standard definition anamorphic version of the movie with only a Dolby Digital mono or stereo soundtrack of the film that appears to be straight off the original dvds in addition to the high definition version. What's interesting, is that the standard definition versions are *not* the color corrected "newly remastered for HD" transfers and in the case of Mothra vs Godzilla and Atragon, are framed slightly narrower than the HD versions which seem to perhaps be a little *too* opened up on the framing as in one scene during Atragon when the Submarine starts tunneling into the undersea MU empire, there's a large hair or something stuck at the top of the frame for a few seconds that is matted out on the dvd version.
Here's a few shots of the Blu-rays with a few of my Toho garage kits.
Mothra vs Godzilla
Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster