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Answerman - Why Do Funimation's Dragon Ball Z Re-Releases Look Like That?


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Greed1914
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 3263
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:13 pm Reply with quote
When I started seeing Youtubers complaining about it, I had to wonder if Funimation even had access to the materials to make a "proper" remaster. My hunch, given that we're talking about Toei, was that the answer was no. Like Justin said, I don't envy the task in front of Funimation. The reactions to the various releases of DBZ made it pretty obvious that they weren't going to make everyone happy, and Toei has a reputation for being unhelpful.
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Dragon_Kaiser



Joined: 27 Aug 2018
Posts: 47
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:20 pm Reply with quote
You know instead of being angry at how it looks maybe people should be angry at funimaion for releasing yet another version of a dragon ball z box set. How can people keep buying the same show again and again but just in a different box. I mean I know how dumb some dragon ball z fans can be, but they can’t be this dumb to buy another version of the show.

Last edited by Dragon_Kaiser on Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NLScavenger



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 12
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:22 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
When nearly all anime gets remastered in HD, the new film scan is done from the original camera negative, under the supervision of the show's original producer.

Sunrise is one of the exceptions. For some series they went back to the original camera negatives to create new interpositive prints for scanning purposes.
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ryboom



Joined: 01 Jul 2011
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:34 pm Reply with quote
Funimation did have the option of not charging $400 and marketing it as a high-end definitive edition.
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Maidenoftheredhand



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 2397
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:34 pm Reply with quote
I don’t understand the argument that Funimation can’t release DBZ in 4:3 on BR without destroying the detail and close to the original colors when that is exactly what they did with the level sets

But of course those were cancelled and instead we get this awful mess
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brammerhammer23



Joined: 06 Jun 2013
Posts: 56
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:57 pm Reply with quote
Funimation had a whole blog post that explained their new remastering process for the show. As with many people their explanation really bothered me. I understand the cropping process since the masters they have are rounded, frayed, and even teared at the edges. I don't think anyone has a problem with that process, even if some of their crops are a little too extreme in some cases. The thing that made most of the people mad was the before and after footage of the "remastering process." The before pics look better than the after pics. I understand them wanting to eliminate the grain, but the process to eliminate the grain washes out the picture. Lines blur together and don't look as crisp. The process to brighten up the colors makes the picture still look over saturated even though it looks better than previous releases. I know they are afraid to keep the grain and original colors more accurate since the level sets didn't sell well. They didn't sell well because the prices were too high for too little of episodes not because of the remastering process. Funimation is advertising the set for hardcore fans but the funny thing is I don't they are the ones buying the set. The casual fans are buying the set because it looks nice and they don't know or care about the remastering process. I don't know how Funimation can mess this up over and over gain, but since the sets sell every time, why should Funimation even put in the time to make the release perfect. I'm skipping this because I want the best release possible and this isn't it. I'll stick with my orange boxes and blurays. Granted those releases don't look as good as this set, but I'm not dropping $350 for another set that doesn't improve on the previous sets enough. I'll wait for the next set in a few years when hopefully they can get a hold of those Toei Remasters that Geekdom 101 swears that exist. They should also redub dbz as well while they are at is if they truly want this to be the ultimate set.
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Enigmo



Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:05 pm Reply with quote
Meh, though almost all the hardcore DBZ fans already know the original Toei negatives are how we'll get the optimal release, I don't like how the article, or w/e we call it, derails into just saying FUNi's will never look good.

Fact is, it does look decent (not the best, but decent) before they apply their filters and oversaturation. So the conclusion of the article not focusing on how FUNi quite frankly make the film look WORSE--which is why everyone finds it ugly--is a bit meh.
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FlashOver



Joined: 13 Oct 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:23 pm Reply with quote
Maidenoftheredhand wrote:
I don’t understand the argument that Funimation can’t release DBZ in 4:3 on BR without destroying the detail and close to the original colors when that is exactly what they did with the level sets


THIS! What an absolute crock.
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Lord Starfish



Joined: 25 Nov 2014
Posts: 144
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:29 pm Reply with quote
Dragon_Kaiser wrote:
You know instead of being angry at how it looks maybe people should be angry at funimaion for releasing yet another version of a dragon ball z box set. How can people keep buying the same show again and again but just in a different box. I mean I know how dumb some dragon ball z fans can be, but they can’t be this dumb to buy another version of the show.

...And with the sole exception of the limited edition, long since out of print Dragon Box sets, every single one of those releases have been either incomplete or an absolute bastardization of how the show is supposed to look. So no, I'm not gonna rage at FUNi for continuing to re-release DBZ. I'm going to rage at them for continuing to mess up DBZ, leaving people who care about the original look of the show completely out of options if they couldn't get the Dragon Boxes. (Which, disclaimer, I do in fact have them, so this doesn't personally affect me all that much.)

And I must call foul on this answer in general. For one thing, the Level sets exist, and they are considered by many to be the best the show has ever looked. And they were taken from FUNi's own masters. They were cancelled after 34 episodes (with 5 more being available in slightly lower quality via XBox's online video service for a time) due to low sales, true... but they proved that it is possible to get decent results out of the prints FUNi has. And honestly, the people who are outraged over these new sets generally agree... FUNi could just give us their raw scans, or a slightly cheaper, less in-depth version of the remaster they did for the Level sets, and we would be fine with it. It would blow any other currently available version of the show out of the water by far.
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Inverti Herikawa



Joined: 24 Oct 2018
Posts: 42
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:41 pm Reply with quote
Meh. Kai is better, anyways. Whether it's the visuals, acting or the pacing, it's better in every single way.
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Mr. sickVisionz



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 2013
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:50 pm Reply with quote
Looks good to me, but I was watching cropped fansubs of DBZ Kai and thought it looked fine. Great even.
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El Hermano



Joined: 24 Feb 2019
Posts: 91
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:02 pm Reply with quote
Maidenoftheredhand wrote:
I don’t understand the argument that Funimation can’t release DBZ in 4:3 on BR without destroying the detail and close to the original colors when that is exactly what they did with the level sets


They can totally do that, but the issue is it requires effort, time, and money, and companies don't want to do that when they can push out a cheap product and people will still buy it.
Disney does the exact same terrible conversions and they're a slightly bigger company than Funimation. It's just companies don't really care about the product as much as they care about the money. It's good thing to remember when people say Japan should adopt the western way of doing video releases because Japanese releases are 'too expensive'. You want quality, you better be prepared to pay. $350 for an entire 300 episode series is ridiculously cheap, so you shouldn't expect too much quality.

Hopefully people had to foresight to pick up the Dragon Boxes when they came out, because that's always going to be the best way to watch the show, I reckon.

Inverti Herikawa wrote:
Meh. Kai is better, anyways. Whether it's the visuals, acting or the pacing, it's better in every single way.


Disagree. The music changes alone is enough to make Kai worse than the original, but the pacing and cuts make it also extremely annoying.
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Enigmo



Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:06 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The folks on forums who say "grain is good" usually mean the grain to be a natural part of the image, but in this case it's not -- it's a byproduct of outdated means of duplicating film images.

And so they tried to remove it. Generational film grain doesn't just distort an image, it IS the image -- it's those grains of photochemical solids reacting to light exposure that make up the image on a piece of film. Degraining software analyzes the image and tries to find the "average" between neighboring areas and neighboring frames to figure out what's the intended image and what's grain or dirt. And in running that software on their copy-of-a-copy of Dragon Ball Z, they've revealed that the image, itself, is blurry as hell.


Okay...so this is wrong.

They can remove most of the grain and not get much of a blurry image. Here's me using a very basic degraining filter with freeware, on their level sets: http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/134113

That does not look "blurry as hell" to me. Sure, it's not as sharp as many Blu-ray remasters from Japan, but I'd say it's still a step above the SD releases of DBZ and lol MUCH sharper than DB Kai (because Q-TEC decided to throw a blur on top of it, god knows why): http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/134114

In my opinion, despite Kai's blurriness, it's still the superior remaster, and believe me I've been telling this to hardcore DBZ fans for the last 5+ years. But, yeah...your "remove the grain and it's blurry as hell" is wrong.


Now, here's what FUNimation's filtering process looks like....: https://i.imgur.com/b8Wxywh.jpg

Does the filtering process make it sharper than degrained level sets? Heck yeah!
Does it also totally destroy texture in the background and make everything look inorganic and like watercolour? Heck yeah!

Clearly, as Japan knew with Kai, keeping it slightly blurry is superior to artificial sharpening that makes it look like watercolour. In this shot, their lines are still black at least...but for 80% of the show, the lines become brown/yellow because of their stupid filtering.

As a bonus, here is me basically replicating the Funimation sharpening and colouring to give you guys early access to this shot on the $350 boxset: https://i.imgur.com/bXbTuFu.png
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 3637
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:41 pm Reply with quote
Inverti Herikawa wrote:
Meh. Kai is better, anyways. Whether it's the visuals, acting or the pacing, it's better in every single way.


Wasn't one of the key criticisms of Kai that they went back and redrew some scenes but kept everything else the same?

While the voice acting in the english dub for certain characters was improved noticeably Bulma, Frieza, & Gohan. Schemmel is still a weak Goku and even more awful King Kai.

Pacing is also YMMV givwn they got rid of a lot of the good filler with some of the bad filler.

And then there's the music some of which had to be replaced because of the Yamamoto scandal which means no more Battle Point Unlimited during the Trunks-Frieza fight.
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NJ_



Joined: 31 Oct 2009
Posts: 2007
Location: Wallington, NJ
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:22 pm Reply with quote
brammerhammer23 wrote:
I know they are afraid to keep the grain and original colors more accurate since the level sets didn't sell well. They didn't sell well because the prices were too high for too little of episodes not because of the remastering process.


There's also the first two sets getting quickly released after the last Dragon Box (2 & 3 months later respectively) and at the same time as Kai still coming out on video that didn't help matters.

Quote:
I'll wait for the next set in a few years when hopefully they can get a hold of those Toei Remasters that Geekdom 101 swears that exist.


I won't blame if he got misinformed but other than the two TV specials that have come out, I wouldn't count on Toei doing a good full remaster for the series given their poor track record with their other shows on Blu-ray in Japan so far and also with what they did with movies 11 & 12 with the censoring.

Inverti Herikawa wrote:
Meh. Kai is better, anyways. Whether it's the visuals, acting or the pacing, it's better in every single way.


Too bad Buu ruined most of that with it's 16:9 cropping, horrendous pacing (even in the slightly-shorter Japanese broadcast version) and green tint.

BadNewsBlues wrote:
And then there's the music some of which had to be replaced because of the Yamamoto scandal which means no more Battle Point Unlimited during the Trunks-Frieza fight.


Battle Points Unlimited was only used in DBZ while Japanese Kai used something else from Yamamoto from his BGM for the rest of the show.
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