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Dragon Ball Z, and the Dragon Ball series in general

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The topic came up in one of Harmy's threads because of a user's sig - probably better to put it here since I really dragged it OT.

I've been working on some Dragon Ball-related stuff for a while - most of which crumbled to dust as I was unable to do stuff, or couldn't quite get it right, or had other stuff come up, but I've been working on Z lately because someone requested me do dub-over-dub of the Mexican dub onto the "Levels" BDs, which I consider the best release of DBZ so far as they exist. A pity they were cancelled. :(

I've also been doing some work on GT to try to mitigate the tealshift that appears on the newer masters (which are used both for all R2 and all R1 releases). There's an R3TW set that doesn't have this shift but it's crammed and looks like hell.  I'd also like to try to preserve the Canadian dub of this, which is a more straight translation (OP aside) than Funimation's.

I think in general the Blue Bricks, apart from being zoomed way too far in and possibly overrestored after episode 13, probably have superior colors on the original DB than the R2s - would like to do something about that.

And as many of us know, the English dubbing history of Dragon Ball - especially Z, but even the original - is a really hairy mess, and nobody agrees on which version is the definitive. :P

(Feel free to jaw off here, this thread's fine for that too.)

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

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I'm here, keep your pants on.

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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Well, keep in mind, I come from a non-Funimation perspective, so I'm generally seeing this stuff differently than those who have mostly watched DB in English, and most of my focus is on the original Japanese.

There's absolutely truth to the George Lucas comparison, I think. And it's especially obvious if you started out watching the dub of Z they did with Saban, and then go watch the UUE dub later.  Or for those in the UK, they grew up watching the Ocean Group dubs on Toonami, and Manga snaps up the license, what comes out on DVD is Funi's uncut dub... It's all maddening, really, there's so many different versions it'll drive you crazy. And I'm not even getting in to the so-called "Big Green" dub, or the Malaysian dub...Philippine dub...

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

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I know about all the dubs you mentioned extensively. It's maddening to most, but I've organized them all in my head and on a spreadsheet.

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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How much of the Japanese broadcast audio is dispersed? I've seen episode 95 as well as 1 and maybe 2 on nyaa. And then there's the Big Box CD which contains CD-quality mixes of episodes 229 and 237.

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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30's out there, and I think there might be one or two more episodes. (And I've got more than I've released, but that'll be solved as soon as I can get the encodes I'm working on finished.  I don't want to push this rust heap too hard right now.)

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

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I wish people would realize that Toei is not going to save the franchise. It's the Lucasfilm of anime. They'll never embrace the original version. Leave it to the fans/collectors to restore and release it all.

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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Toei's style of "remastering" is nothing short of a disaster.

They didn't color correct Sailor Moon or Dragon Ball when they "remastered" them for DVD.

When they released Galaxy Express 999 on BD, it was an upscale done by the infamous Q-TEC.

As for Funimation, they did a bang-up job with the first 34 eps of DBZ and then burned out so they just decided to cut the top and bottom off and crank up the DEEN. The most recent releases look like abject hell, but they can clearly do good work when they try.

We need to find as many 16 and 35 mm elements as may be floating around, it might be our only hope...

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

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I had another thought. What about preserving the movies that were released on Laserdisc in Japan (and possibly the Ocean dub Laserdiscs)? All 13 Z movies and Path to Power are ours for the picking.

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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Hm, perhaps.

The Ocean dubbed movies are on R1, I don't think there would be an advantage to Pioneer LDs for those.

I think the ideal versions are probably early Funi DVDs, which would be open matte (4:3) and unrestored. If we could find 16s or 35s of THOSE though...

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

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Molly said:

Hm, perhaps.

The Ocean dubbed movies are on R1, I don't think there would be an advantage to Pioneer LDs for those.

I think the ideal versions are probably early Funi DVDs, which would be open matte (4:3) and unrestored. If we could find 16s or 35s of THOSE though...

 The best I've ever found is just VHS recordings of Toonami. Good luck finding anything else.

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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o.o? I'm pretty sure everything went to DVD in 4:3 *somewhere* in the R1 region.

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

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Yes but those DVDs are very, very poorly encoded. Macroblocking everywhere to the point that it's not an even trade and you're actually better off with any of the 16:9 sources available (I find FUNi's movie blu-rays generally good quality if you fiddle with the colors to bring out some crushed blacks.)

If Madman ever did R4 DVDs of the movies in 4:3 it might be worth looking into those but I'm not certain, and other than menus and the obligatory PAL conversion they pretty much did straight ports of what they were given so it might not even make a difference.

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Molly said:

o.o? I'm pretty sure everything went to DVD in 4:3 *somewhere* in the R1 region.

 Oh sorry. My mind immediately went to the show in 4:3. Yeah, bkev had it right with all the encoding artifacts on the DVDs. I own all the R1 4:3 DVDs, Pioneer and Funimation, and the transfers leave something to be desired.

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:

I own all the R1 4:3 DVDs, Pioneer and Funimation, and the transfers leave something to be desired.

 

Yeah, being sourced from betacam masters with dot crawl and rainbowing doesn't help alongside the poor compression. With my knowledge of the LOL worthy Speedy Dubs, I remember reading somewhere that Speedy released Malay-English dubs of DB movies 1-4 on VCD, but also released the edited ocean dub of DB movie 1 alongside, making it more confusing. I also remember reading that there are (or someone had) Chinese bootlegs of the DB and DBZ movies that have the Speedy dub. Molly, are you aware of any of this?

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Molly said:

o.o? I'm pretty sure everything went to DVD in 4:3 *somewhere* in the R1 region.

 

In R2 land, Warner Music Video released the Big Green Dubs of DB movies 1-9 (including the specials) in 4:3, and as far as I know are uncut aside from the Toei logos on some of them. However, seeing footage from one of them on YT, the video looks to be sourced off a PAL betacam master with rainbowing, but is in the correct PAL 25fps rate (unlike most R2-4 releases of other anime, which are shoddy NTSC-PAL conversions with ghosting). So a 23.97fps conversion would be possible if one found BG sources good enough.

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I'll give my left arm for the Speedy DB movie VCDs. I already have ISOs of the 9 DBZ movies from from a certain DVD club and I've got almost all of the VCDs of the 13 Z movies. Those are a real pain to sync up to the Japanese Dragon Box movies in my experience, although I was only syncing audio to audio and not by looking at it frame-by-frame.

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 aware of some of it, mainly through Gonbe.

There's apparently a French DBZ movies boxset from AB that has crap masters of movies 1-6 and 12-13 but good masters of 7-11.

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

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Yeah, one of your people put out Movie 7 on nyaa the other week with the Big Green and Speedy dubs using that French master. It does look really good but I didn't know it was only that good for movies 7-11.

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 also heard somewhere on Kaishenzu (is that spelt right Molly?) that a Scandinavian company (Future Film?) released all the DBZ movies using Toei's Dragon Box masters. I hear they may (or may not) have the Japanese stereo surround in addition to the Swedish audio, along with 1-9 using the Big Green track pitch and speed corrected to the DB source. They may be field blended NTSC-PAL conversions, but some sources say they are in pure NTSC format and are region 0. I need to know if that's true because if so, we could technically have cheaper Dragon Boxes with proper transfers and maybe the original Japanese stereo, but a worse English dub than Funi's and hardly any extras.

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clutchins said:

Yeah, one of your people put out Movie 7 on nyaa the other week with the Big Green and Speedy dubs using that French master. It does look really good but I didn't know it was only that good for movies 7-11.

 AB Groupe could've requested new masters for 7-11 because:

-The original master tapes were lost

-Were cut/edited

-or got different masters just because

Companies do really weird things sometimes, so if its the latter, that won't surprise me.

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Supermartyoh said:

I also heard somewhere on Kaishenzu (is that spelt right Molly?) that a Scandinavian company (Future Film?) released all the DBZ movies using Toei's Dragon Box masters. I hear they may (or may not) have the Japanese stereo surround in addition to the Swedish audio, along with 1-9 using the Big Green track pitch and speed corrected to the DB source. They may be field blended NTSC-PAL conversions, but some sources say they are in pure NTSC format and are region 0. I need to know if that's true because if so, we could technically have cheaper Dragon Boxes with proper transfers and maybe the original Japanese stereo, but a worse English dub than Funi's and hardly any extras.

You mean Kanzenshuu?

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

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It's the fusion of a couple older sites, I think.

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

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Kanzentai and Daizenshuu EX

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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