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Dragon Ball Series Preservation

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I love this series(all of it Dragon Ball, Z and even GT sorta) but it has consistently gotten pretty shitty home releases. The closest we came to perfection is the Japanese Dragon Boxes for the original series all of the original series as those were made from the original negatives, but unfortunately they are out of sync, had their next episode previews out of order, need to be color and as many fans know, have rather poor Japanese audio. Toei junked the original master tapes after each episode was broadcast as the idea of any of the series getting some sort of home release seemed ridiculous to them. Thankfully the original broadcast audio does exist, albeit on VHS and Beta-max recordings of the episode’s original airing, however many of the fans who own these refuse to release them, and very few have gotten through the cracks.

Here is what I’m planning:
-I have the high quality rips and iso’s of the R2 Dragon Box sets which I will be using for the footage. I will make sure that they are the best encodes they can be to preserve quality(no I WILL NOT be scrubbing the image. The grain is there to stay!)
-For video editing I have Virtualdub, Avidemux and Premiere Pro. I will be using these programs to color correct the footage and put the next episode previews in their proper place before the credits.
-I also have the uncut Funimation audio with the original Kikuchi score and plan to get the uncut dub with the Faulconer score as well.
-Now this is the tricky part: I insist on using the original Japanese broadcast audio but it is rather hard to find, especially for all of the series. I already have the audio for episode 153 of Dragon Ball and episodes 1-17 and 95 of DBZ. I know there was a Japanese release called the “Big Box” in the late 90’s that included the original master audio for 2 episodes later in the series but have been unable to find a copy. If anyone has ANY episodes that I don’t have or knows where I can go/who I can contact to find something PLEASE let me know. I believe that Animax(or some station in Japan)still airs episodes of Dragon Ball GT with it’s original stereo audio(the first few episodes were in mono the rest in stereo)synced to Dragon Box footage and I believe there is a bootleg Mandiran release of the series that uses master sent to TV stations with high quality mono audio. I have been planning to tackle Z first of course, but seeing as materials for GT are easier to find I may do that first. So the final product for each series should be something like this:
-R2 Dragon Box footage
-Japanese Broadcast Audio
-English dub with Kikuchu score
-English dub with American music
-English subtitles

Any interest?

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I have been flirting with the idea of this very project for a few years now, but I’ve never had the consistency in my own life to tackle a project with such scope. Although just tonight I’ve been working on syncing up the audio for GT using the very sources you speak of: the Taiwanese (not Mandarin) Bootleg set from ADC, the season sets, and the singles with the dubbed next episode previews.

If you want to do this, you’re gonna have to accept using the Dragon Box as the main source for the Japanese audio. Sure you can sprinkle in what is available, but nobody has this stuff just lying around except for the two people who sent the audio to Chris Sabat months ago. Also, the audio for 1-17 that you talk about is only compressed AAC, whereas the audio for episode 95 was encoded to match the DBOX standard of 448 kbps mono.

It might be worth looking into DrDre’s color correction algorithm for usage with the faded DBOX footage instead of manual correction. It’s made with restoring faded film footage in particular, which would apply here in spades.

This post has been edited.

If Funimation responded to critics of the Orange Bricks…

“We are always impressed with how closely fans watch the many different versions we have made for the Dragon Ball series over the years. It is flattering to know that, indeed, the audience is watching. Consequently, each version comes out differently and any changes that you see on the all-new 1080p high-definition transfer of the original Japanese masters on the Dragon Ball Z Season Set One DVD are deliberate creative decisions. We can confirm that there are no technical glitches as has been reported.”

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Check your PMs.

If Funimation responded to critics of the Orange Bricks…

“We are always impressed with how closely fans watch the many different versions we have made for the Dragon Ball series over the years. It is flattering to know that, indeed, the audience is watching. Consequently, each version comes out differently and any changes that you see on the all-new 1080p high-definition transfer of the original Japanese masters on the Dragon Ball Z Season Set One DVD are deliberate creative decisions. We can confirm that there are no technical glitches as has been reported.”

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I’m interested in this but without the English dubs. Just the OG Japanese broadcast versions uncensored with Japanese audio and English subtitles.
Or maybe not.

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RayRogers said:

I’m interested in this but without the English dubs. Just the OG Japanese broadcast versions uncensored with Japanese audio and English subtitles.
Or maybe not.

If you want those, I suggest looking for the recent Winxbloom release.

This post has been edited.

If Funimation responded to critics of the Orange Bricks…

“We are always impressed with how closely fans watch the many different versions we have made for the Dragon Ball series over the years. It is flattering to know that, indeed, the audience is watching. Consequently, each version comes out differently and any changes that you see on the all-new 1080p high-definition transfer of the original Japanese masters on the Dragon Ball Z Season Set One DVD are deliberate creative decisions. We can confirm that there are no technical glitches as has been reported.”

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clutchins said:

RayRogers said:

I’m interested in this but without the English dubs. Just the OG Japanese broadcast versions uncensored with Japanese audio and English subtitles.
Or maybe not.

If you want those, I suggest looking for the recent Winxbloom release.

As Clutchins said, there was a recent leak of the broadcast audio for DBZ only (1-291 + 2 Specials). I’m not so concerned about that, its available now, the bigger struggle is fixing the colour, fixing frame alignment and painting out errors. Also, as Clutchins said about a year ago, it is such a huge project to undertake, one which preferably needs a team to complete, which is why I’ve come here. I have started doing it, but it’s taking so long, and with other commitments, it will take way too long to finish. I need a team to do it with. Preferably more than just two people. I also believe that for the first 39 episodes, the levels set should be used as a primary source, due to it being in 1080p as opposed to the 480p of the Dragon Boxes. Episodes 35-39 are of a lesser quality due to only being available on the ps3 store and xbox store and needing to be screen captured.

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I operate under two principles:

  • “First do it; then you can go back and do it better.”
  • “Perfect is the enemy of good enough.”

All I can say is the audio came from a FOAF, who got it from someone else who got it from someone else (except 2-17, those were one step from the source).

And indeed, those are exactly the sources I used, videowise.

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

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