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Re:Zero's Western Blu-rays Show Color Banding Artifacts, Companies Respond

posted on by Karen Ressler
Discs ship from Funimation, Anime Limited

The Re:Zero Blu-ray Disc sets released in the United States from FUNimation Entertainment and in the United Kingdom from Anime Limited show color banding artifacts visible in some frames. The frames where it is noticeable show bands of color instead of a smooth gradient.

Media OCD CEO and ANN columnist Justin Sevakis explained, "This is a common problem that crops up whenever the video was stored in a format somewhere in the production process that squeezes the bandwidth of the color data of a video signal too much."

Anime Limited President Andrew Partridge commented in May, following an early release at MCM Comic Con, that Anime Limited is speaking to the licensor and authoring company, as well as running its own checks. He noted that, while the problem is "disappointing," it does not fit "the common vernacular definition of defective" in order for Anime Limited to replace the discs.

Funimation told ANN that it is "continuing to gather information" after hearing from fans about the issue. The company confirmed that the Blu-ray Disc uses materials approved by the licensor.

"I've had master files delivered to me from Japan like this," Sevakis told ANN. "Some Japanese production companies still deliver or store video in outdated file and tape formats that are not acceptable by today's standards."

Sevakis added that video analysis can catch an issue like this and, if better masters are not available, the video could be filtered to remove "90-95% of the artifacts," so as to make them unnoticeable to most viewers.

Re:Zero shipped on Blu-ray Disc in the U.S. on Tuesday and is slated for release in the U.K. on June 25.

Sources: Funimation's Re:Zero Blu-ray Disc 1, Email correspondence with Funimation, Anime UK News forum

Thanks to Darren Broomhall and cheangelcazares for the news tips.

Disclosure: Justin Sevakis has authored other discs for Anime Limited.

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