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AKIRA Coming to Blu in FEB 09 (1 Viewer)

Matt Butler

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http://www.bandaivisual.co.jp/e/ir/p.../epr080926.pdf

Taken from blu-ray.com:
Bandai Visual Entertainment announced today that they will release on Blu-ray Disc the film that introduced the world of animé to the western audience, 'Akira.' Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, Akira will be released on Blu-ray in Japan by Bandai Entertainment Inc. on February 20 and shortly thereafter in the U.S. on February 24 under the Honneamise label.

The disc will feature a new 1.85 high definition transfer presented in AVC 1080p, made from the film's original elements. The title will include English and Japanese audio, with optional English and Japanese subtitles. The Japanese 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack will consist of a 192kHz 24-bit audio stream, an industry first.

Supplements include two teasers, two trailers, a TV commercial, storyboards, and a 20 page booklet.

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Im not the biggest anime fan but this was a great flick! Ill def pick this up!
 

Jason Seaver

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Wasn't this previously announced, only in some ridiculously expensive edition (which may fly in Japan, but not so much in North America)? Or was that some of the other big-name animes (Ghost in the Shell, Wings of Honneamise)?

EDIT: Even more unreasonable than the $50 they're setting as retail; something like $80 for a dual BD/DVD set, if I recall correctly.
 

Matt Butler

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Jason, I hadnt heard it previously announced. And I wasnt paying attention to that price tag either. :eek: Oh well Amazon usually has good prices.
 

ChristopherDAC

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Wings of Honneamise was released in a dual set (your choice of BD+DVD or HD-DVD+DVD) at a retail price of something like $75. This was basically the same set at the same price as was sold in Japan. I bought it (at Fry's for a slight discount), because it happens to be one of my favourite films, & I had previously paid more than twice as much for the LaserDisc Memorial Box re-release with AC-3 soundtrack, but I understand a lot of people thought it was too high. I'm not especially fond of Akira — in fact it's not to be found in my collection of 300+ anime LDs — but I may pick this up just to encourage more anime releases. I've been waiting for anime in HD for a long time.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Hmmm... Do y'all really find anime to look that much better on HDM than on DVD? I guess I should probably find out for myself via rental or something as I do have my doubts about that.

_Man_
 

Kris Z.

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I'm definitely buying it. The $50 price is much better than the $80 they charged for Honneamise and Jin-Roh, and Bandai discounts are over 40% in some stores so it's not going to be that much more expensive than some of the $40 Hollywood titles.

And for a new transfer? Heck, I'd pay a higher premium than that on some titles if they were guaranteed to have been re-transferred (properly). What good is Blu-ray, no matter how cheap, when it's just old, mediocre masters being recycled again and again?
 

ChristopherDAC

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Well, Akira was shown in its roadshow engagements from 70mm blowup prints, although — unlike Final Yamato — there was not a separate 70mm version. I'd guess it has more than enough detail, &c. to satisfy. I can testify that Wings of Honneamise has that quality. If you're used to TV anime, you can be forgiven for thinking there's no point in a HD release. It used to be shot on 16mm film, & these days it's rendered out of the computer at 480i most of the time (although some recent productions have been done at 1080 resolution for HD broadcast). In fact, though, many theatrical & even OVA productions have the level of effort put into them which justifies it. (This doesn't go into the issue of many anime DVDs being overcompressed & ugly-looking.) Also, in many cases, the audio work is beautiful, another reason why I have so many LDs with their PCM soundtracks. Even on the AC-3 version of the Honneamise reissue soundtrack, the composition is wonderful. And what about the Ghibli films? If you've seen any of them in the theatre, you should know just how much of a punch they can pack, & I hope Disney gets them out sooner rather than later.
 

Jim_K

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Excellent!! Akira is what first turned me on to Anime. This is a must buy for me.

As for the $50 SRP........ well Anime has always been over-priced, unfortunately I don't expect that to change with Blu-Ray. It will probably be found for around $35 online. A little pricey but not unreasonable.

ChrisDAC,

What's the most reliable source out there for Anime technical specs? Most of the TV and OVA I'm interested in originally came out in the 90's and earlier this decade. The specs I've found online for certain titles were all over the place (16mm, 480 video, 35mm) depending on the site.
 

ChristopherDAC

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I honestly don't know of a generically reliable source for anime technical specs, although Web sites devoted to a particular show may have good information about that show by itself. I can talk generally, & about a few specific cases, because I have a certain amount of knowledge about the industry (not massive by any means), because of particular evidence in certain cases, & because I've developed something of an eye for the distinctions. Into the late 1990s, TV anime was shot on 16mm film because (surprisingly) that was how it was delivered to the stations for broadcast. If you look, you will see the film splices from time to time. I'd have to go back & check, but I think I was noticing them the other night on an episode of Hyper Police. Part of the discussion over the recent "restored" reissue of Evangelion was the difference in picture quality between the opening & closing titles, which were shot in 35mm, & the episodes which were 16mm. OVAs & movies generally were 35mm, although I wouldn't be surprised to learn of a cheap OVA done in 16mm (I don't know any specific examples). For the OVAs, this was partly because the run times were shorter than for TV shows, so the expense was less ; partly because there tended to be more effort put into the animation for TV, so it showed up better in 35mm ; & partly for convenience, to allow using telecine equipment set up for theatrical films without changing anything, & because they were sometimes shown theatrically for promotional purposes. Record of Lodoss War, & I think some of the Urusei Yatsura OVAs, had a theatrical premiere. The Japanese box set of the Tenchi Muyo! OVA was not unique in including a strip of 35mm positive film, although its original purpose isn't clear to me. There's no soundtrack on it, so my guess is an interpositive for the video transfer with separate sound rather than part of a theatrical release (I doubt they would have struck a print just to be cut up into strips & packaged in the boxes). With the introduction of computer animation, things begin to get more tricky, especially if the CGI is mixed with cel work. Some had the CGI printed to film & optically composited, & in other cases the cels were scanned in & mixed with the CGI (Ghost in the Shell was one of the first to do this), while in other cases again the cel animation may have been shot on film, then transferred to video & mixed with the CGI in the video domain. I know of at least one production, Gestalt, which was done in 480p at 30 fps. (The ability to go frame-by-frame on the LaserDisc lets me see some of these things, especially frame-rate mismatch between the CGI & the cel animation.) Practically everything except theatrical movies these days is 480i unless it's made for HD release (Freedom, Mononoke). Some theatrical anime these days is still done by cel techniques to film — after being an early adopter of CGI, Miyazaki has gone back to hand methods for his more recent films — while my impression is that most is done at 2K. But hard information on specific titles is not easy to come by.
 

Kris Z.

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I think saying "practically everything" is 480i is a bit of an overstatement. By far most of it is, but there have been a lot of digital shows animated in HD in the last five or so years, particularly some of the bigger shows from the bigger studios (Production IG, Sunrise, etc.), and it's of course increasing as well.
 

ChristopherDAC

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On the other hand, the sheer quantity of programs produced has ballooned enormously, so the fraction in HD is still pretty small (although 16×9 SD has become very common). Hopefully it will rise substantially before too long, considering the respectable levels of HD adoption in Japan. Of course, the HD productions will tend to be the more successful high-profile ones, giving them a better chance of US release.
 

Cassy_w

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I, for one, will be glad to pay for AKIRA in HD if it is a new transfer. The supposedly "restored" transfer was caked caked CAKED in EE. Heck, the EE had EE at times. Talk about UGLY.

Of course, I'd also drop down on my knees and service for GHOST IN SHELL 1 & 2 on BD. :D
 

Kris Z.

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They haven't said anything about the first movie yet, but Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is actually coming out January next year.
 

Brandon Conway

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One month to go. Release date is officially 2/24/09 (I don't think it was ever officially mentioned in this thread). Hopefully the A/V is top notch since the price is a premium.

Tech/spec info can be found here: [AKIRA]

Package art courtesy of amazon.com:


 

Bleddyn Williams

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Agreed. It was one of those transfers that when I got it, I had only heard good things about it, but when I saw it myself - Good God! I hope the BD is not derived from this deeply flawed version.
 

Geoff_D

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Totally agree with the comments about the DVD of Akira. The EE is horrible. I even bought the dts version (US) in the vain hope that the PQ might be improved, but no.

Fingers crossed for the BD.
 

Ed Speir IV

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This is a classic and a must-own on Blu-Ray for me. I will be picking it up on release day (if I can find it, that is...I still haven't found a copy of Ghost in the Shell 2 on store shelves yet).
 

Chris S

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Already ordered. Hopefully this title won't be as hard to find in stores as other current releases, but seeing as it's somewhat of a niche catalog release I'm not holding my breath thus the pre-order.
 

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