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GWOtaku



Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 655
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:21 am Reply with quote
It's pretty surreal seeing complaints about Viz ignoring questions from people that don't seem to have paid attention to their answers very much. For instance, not seeing even simple acknowledgment of that one thing about how different versions of Moonlight Dentsetsu vary in quality and how that supported what they were saying.

However, I will say it doesn't make sense to me that they aren't correcting the first set of DVDs. This is an area where they *do* clearly have an issue they are able to fix / improve, but by leaving it alone a part of the show will look inconsistent compared to the rest. Not everyone is on Blu-ray yet, & I think it's just good service to correct and replace for DVD owners who care enough. They should reconsider.

I also hope they will (re)examine streaming for Canada. In particular Netflix has made quite a few moves on streaming cartoons outside of the U.S., among other things.
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:15 am Reply with quote
People might overlook the positive because they might be focused on the video quality. I can see this being a top concern since this is the rerelease of a 20+ year-old show and they might want to see as much good quality as they can for such an aged show
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jroa



Joined: 08 Aug 2012
Posts: 499
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:40 am Reply with quote
Ojamajo LimePie wrote:

Why would Toei keep separate sets of 'good' and 'bad' masters around, instead of just one good master set?


Because there is no such thing as an official Sailor Moon Blu-ray version back in Japan right now.

That way they can still use their own best set of masters if they want to do a Japanese Blu-ray release, sooner or later, without making the Viz edition a valid competitor that could slightly to moderately affect their own plans.

A number of Japanese anime fans could be tempted into importing the U.S. release if it really was as good as it could be, but now that is less likely to happen.

Viz might well have avoided this whole problem if they had simply negotiated for DVD rights and waited for the Japanese to put their own Blu-ray on the market first.
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DJStarstryker



Joined: 16 Jan 2010
Posts: 140
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:53 am Reply with quote
I posted this on another site...


I actually tend to believe Viz a little bit. Not because I'm a fan of them. In fact, Sailor Moon is my first set I own by them. But as someone who lives in Japan and deals with Japanese companies on a daily basis and sees how the Japanese (in general) care less about the international market and want to protect their domestic market releases... I would not be surprised at all if Toei didn't give Viz that great of masters. In fact, they probably did NOT give them the same masters that were used for the Japanese DVD releases or for the foreign market releases. I don't think they were lying about it necessarily - the people negotiating and working with Viz aren't necessarily the people who get to decide what Viz gets. But think of it this way: like others have pointed out, this is the first BluRay release of Sailor Moon. Ever. Toei is going to want to prevent reverse importation. The Japanese consumers are willing to pay for high quality things. If you can read Japanese, check out Amazon.co.jp and read the reviews of Frozen. The Japanese got ticked that the 3D BluRay version basically required buying the NON-3D one first and having a code and then buying it online AGAIN from a special site. But people did it anyway. The Japanese would figure out how to import the Sailor Moon Viz BluRays if they were good quality... and then Toei would have less buyers if they ever decided to do a set.

I'm not saying Viz is completely in the right though. They certainly screwed up on things themselves that had nothing to do with whatever masters they got. They pillarboxed the DVDs and they oversaturated both the BluRays and the DVDs a bit (the BluRays are actually a little bit worse in the oversaturation regard, strangely). There's things in the video that is blatantly the result of the post-processing. But at the same time, I highly doubt Toei gave them the best masters they could.

---

In addition to that, for those who are saying why did Viz bother to release it on BluRay if given bad masters and should've only done DVD, there actually still is an advantage of things being released to BluRay even if the video upgrade is marginal or nonexistent. That's in audio. DVD audio is encoded in lossy formats. BluRay audio is encoded in lossless formats. It's like the difference between music that you rip to MP3 versus music that you rip to FLAC. The person who threw out the hypothetical Project A-ko example - yes. It would probably look the same. But it would sound a TON better.
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Maidenoftheredhand



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 2577
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:57 am Reply with quote
Ojamajo LimePie wrote:

Why would Toei keep separate sets of 'good' and 'bad' masters around, instead of just one good master set?


I am sure more than one Master for Sailor Moon exists in Japan. I don't think it is a case of "good and bad" but "better".


jroa wrote:

Because there is no such thing as an official Sailor Moon Blu-ray version back in Japan right now.


And this is what leads me to believe it very possible that the US got worst masters than what other countries got who are not in the same region.

I mean really why would Japan give their best Masters to the US who is in the same region as Japan when they don't even have a BR version out yet.
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mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:40 am Reply with quote
Yeah, to use a common theme in Anime - When it comes to Blu-Ray we have all climbed into the same "Region A" Onsen. It's a bit embarrassing and golly it's warm!

VIZ appears to have gotten whatever master media Toei decided to send, maybe not the best, and then the pre-processing for the Blu-Ray went south on them. A perfect storm.

So, now we get to see how well or poorly VIZ responds to this as a company. This initial reaction is not encouraging.

Mark Gosdin
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ResistNormal



Joined: 06 Dec 2011
Posts: 103
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:05 am Reply with quote
Sadly I would wager that Viz has already remastered the whole series and spend a ton of money doing it. So they will not go back, or admit anything went wrong. All speculation though.
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:31 am Reply with quote
Censored manga (Bleach, Yu Yu, I''s Tenjo Tenge, Pokemon, Kinnikuman, Bokurano, countless others...)

Broadcast version of Nura: Rise of the Yokai clan, both seasons, with no mention prior to release of that fact.

...and now this. As well as their responses to the issues.

I don't know who to blame, Toei or Viz. However if the masters were same ones as given to Italy, it's Viz.

This release will undoubtedly sell despite the flaws mentioned here, being the show it is, and among a lot broader demographic than is usual for anime. But at the end of the day Viz's business model is still carried on the shoulders of the core demographic in our specific fandom.

I don't know how much goodwill this company still has left among returning customers. Enough to redeem itself for them to trust it again? No idea, I don't buy manga from them anymore, haven't for a long time. I only felt resignation reading this thread as I had feared something similar when first heard it was licensed by Viz.

I do know that I'm glad it was NISA who got Cardcaptor Sakura, and not Viz...
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:51 am Reply with quote
Cptn_Taylor wrote:
The Japanese are the first to upscale old anime on Blu-ray.


Yes that certainly does happen and it makes me just as angry when it occurs, but I don't think they've done it with any franchise that's this huge. Master Keaton was ruined and so was 3x3 Eyes, but Cardcaptor Sakura, Ranma, Urusei Yatsura, Gundam, Macross, and Yamato came out just fine.

As for different countries having different quality releases, maybe they got their hands on some film copies long ago? Venus Wars had a Italian BD release using a 16mm source which actually came out looking pretty damn sweet, while Japan doesn't have a BD at all.
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Cptn_Taylor



Joined: 08 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:16 pm Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:

Yes that certainly does happen and it makes me just as angry when it occurs, but I don't think they've done it with any franchise that's this huge. Master Keaton was ruined and so was 3x3 Eyes, but Cardcaptor Sakura, Ranma, Urusei Yatsura, Gundam, Macross, and Yamato came out just fine.


It depends on the importance of the franchise. Less well known series are not given the royal treatment. Or the licensors want to cheap out you get all smeared out blu-rays.

Quote:

As for different countries having different quality releases, maybe they got their hands on some film copies long ago? Venus Wars had a Italian BD release using a 16mm source which actually came out looking pretty damn sweet, while Japan doesn't have a BD at all.


Well it's possible TOEI is playing favorites.
For instance Dynit in Italy got nice masters for Sailor Moon but they didn't smear the video. So we got SD nice looking releases.
On the other hand, the French got a lesser quality master for Goldorak than the French Canadians. So there you go. It's a toss of the dice when it comes to masters.
As for Venus Wars, if the Italians got their hands on a 16 mm film version I find it incomprehensible that a Japanese edition does not exist. Maybe the 1989 film was not so successful in Japan after all ?
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Angel M Cazares
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:34 pm Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
Cptn_Taylor wrote:
The Japanese are the first to upscale old anime on Blu-ray.


Yes that certainly does happen and it makes me just as angry when it occurs, but I don't think they've done it with any franchise that's this huge. Master Keaton was ruined and so was 3x3 Eyes, but Cardcaptor Sakura, Ranma, Urusei Yatsura, Gundam, Macross, and Yamato came out just fine.


But are we really sure that Japanese anime companies still consider Sailor Moon to be a huge franchise? They might not even be interested in releasing the original SM on BD.
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Cptn_Taylor



Joined: 08 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:36 pm Reply with quote
Maidenoftheredhand wrote:

Just going to play devil's advocate here but how do we know the US got the same Masters as those other countries. After all the US is in the same region as Japan and there is the whole fear of reverse importation. I can certainly see the US being given worse masters.

Although from what Zac said it doesn't sound like the issues can be caused by a bad Master but by a bad authoring job. It could be both though.


Ah but here's the catch. While for Blu-rays America and Japan are in the same region, they're not as far as dvds are concerned. While Europe is in the same dvd region as Japan. So how do you explain that the American dvd version of Sailor Moon (which doesn't fear reverse importation) has a worse video than the Italian dvd release (which can be fairly easily reverse imported since the region code is the same as Japan) ? It should be the opposite, Europeans being given shit dvd masters and the Americans getting good dvd masters.

I think it's pretty obvious that on the dvd release whoever Viz contract out to do the work on the video did something wrong. The responsability is theirs not the Japanese. The dvd authoring was done in a bad way. 90% this is what happened. And Viz doesn't want to admit it. All things being equal if we see better dvd editions for seasons 2+ you'll know that whoever did the authoring on the first season just didn't know what he/she was doing.

Quote:

I didn't buy Sailor Moon but I was displeased by the Viz rep's attitude toward admitting there was a problem. The point is a lot of people are unhappy and when you have customers unhappy maybe you should rethink that this release isn't up to par and admit that and try to do something for the customers. I mean not only is Viz releasing more Sailor Moon that people now be more hesitant about, what's to say Viz would do a sub-par job on other releases as well. Their attitude was sort of "I don't care" which is not the type of attitude a company should have.


Well they can't simply admit "yes we f-u-c-k-e-d it up". No company is ever going to say something like this. We have to see how they'll deal with seasons 2 onwards. If the video quality increases we'll know they have taken steps to correct what was done wrong on the first season even while not publicly acknowledging it. If on the other hand the quality continues to be bad well it's not the first nor the last time a company forgets what customer satisfaction is all about. A dangerous way to proceed if you ask me.
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ReddiShadow



Joined: 14 Nov 2014
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Location: Plymouth, UK
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:59 pm Reply with quote
So there's two possibilities here:

1) Viz was right and Glorious Nippon put the master copies intended for the dirty Westerners through the crappy post processing themselves, and the evasiveness was down to the time-honoured tradition of not rocking the boat in order to keep their relationship in good standing for the future.

2) Viz got the exact same quality of masters that the other various releases got, and the evasiveness was a veiled way of saying "we know this is going to sell regardless, so why bother?"

I was going to say that both were equally plausible... right up until the pillarboxing should be considered a "special edition". That's when it all clicked into place.

The DBZ comparison's been made before in the thread, and that's the best way of putting it. I would be stunned if Viz wasn't aware of the large casual audience they're going to get just by name recognition alone, hell at one point they even pointed out in the podcast that people who aren't currently into anime are interested in SM.

When I say casual, I don't mean that in the pejorative "ugh these scrubs don't even know both the Japanese and English names for all the characters in X Bomber / Star Fleet, why won't these people get on my level?" sense, I mean in the quite literal "a mother is walking through Walmart's DVD section, sees SM and buys it on nostalgia recognition for her kids" sense.

With that wider, casual audience comes very different expectations and demands. While you or I might want to watch media in their intended aspect ratio without having characters' heads chopped out of frame or have the entire experience reduced to a series of awkward close ups, to Joe and Jo-Ann Public a crappy image that fills the screen is preferable to a good image with black bars on the sides of the screen (apparently horizontal bars for big blockbusters is fine, but vertical bars? Unacceptable, and must be "fixed" by stretching the image out so it looks like complete shit).

Same goes for the horrible DNR artefacts. Joe and Jo-Ann won't notice stuff like ghosting or images so overly smoothed they look like they've been traced by a three year old, but they would notice (and, more importantly, complain) about the image having film grain on it. It's a common problem with live action movies more than a decade old getting put on Blu-Ray, it's not exclusive to SM by any stretch.

While it may seem like I'm denigrating people who aren't technically savvy when it comes to video quality, I'm really not. It's not a case of "these people are stupid", or even just "these people don't know better", it's simply that these people have differing expectations than I or you or anybody else may have.

Is the quality objectively crappy? Yes, but to someone who doesn't notice or care... well they don't notice or care.

The short version: In the end it doesn't matter whether the shitty DNR was down to Toei running off crappy masters for Viz or the authoring house/Viz itself applying post processing to it, because at the end of the day, it falls perfectly in line with Western companies' policy to PURGE ALL GRAIN and eliminate those black bars people are apparently terrified of by awkwardly chopping bits of the frame off.
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BeanBandit



Joined: 23 May 2010
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:21 pm Reply with quote
Is this just the Blu ray disks or do the DVD's have the same issues as well?
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Ingraman



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:38 pm Reply with quote
Cptn_Taylor wrote:
So how do you explain that the American dvd version of Sailor Moon (which doesn't fear reverse importation) has a worse video than the Italian dvd release (which can be fairly easily reverse imported since the region code is the same as Japan) ? It should be the opposite, Europeans being given shit dvd masters and the Americans getting good dvd masters.

Maybe Toei didn't want to send two different masters to Viz (one for DVD and one for BD)? The American DVD looks bad because it seems to have derived from the Blu-ray.

The Italian DVDs and Japanese DVDs share the same region code, but they don't shave the same video format. Most of Europe uses the PAL video standard, while Japan uses (pretty much?) the same NTSC that the US uses. The Japanese probably look at that as being just as much a disincentive to reverse-importation as the R1/R2 DVD region codes...
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