Cyber City Oedo 808 remains my all time favourite Manga series. It was released in the UK on retail VHS in the mid 90s by Manga Entertainment. It was also shown in 1995 on UK Channel 4 in the Late Licence slot, along with a number of other notable Manga series’ including Legend Of The Four Kings, Doomed Megalopolis, and Devil Man. The three episodes that make up this series were shown over three weeks and were the first programmes I ever recorded with my brand new VCR.
Jump forward ten or so years, and I decided to buy this on DVD. Manga Entertainment’s rights to this title lapsed and they never released this in the UK on DVD, nor did any other company, leaving only the US, Japanese or Australian DVDs as options. I plumped for the R1 US Manga Corps DVD, but was extremely disappointed to discover that the pounding rock score I so loved from the old UK version was gone, replaced by some mediocre to poor soft rock nonsense, which I found out was actually the original Japanese score. A UK specific score had been composed by Rory McFarlane for the Manga Entertainment release, and as such, was only ever been available on that 90s retail VHS release, and a separate score CD released at the same time, which is now incredibly rare.
in 2008 user HairySh*t created 3 custom DVDs (one episode each, just menuless video) with the UK VHS retail soundtrack audio recording synced up & dubbed onto the retail DVD video, basically perfectly recreating the original Manga Entertainment release. He uploaded all three DVDs as torrents to the bittorrent tracker Demonoid. I snapped these up, but was again left slightly disappointed. Somewhere during his process, the video stream had picked up a one frame step every second, which was quite obvious with any camera movement or action, and was really quite annoying to watch.
Over the past few days I decided to do a proper job myself, and have just finished. I used the R1 US Manga Corps DVD as my video source, and HairySh*t’s VHS ripped AC3 audio tracks, as they themselves were perfectly fine and of decent enough quality. I used Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5.1, with the retail audio and VHS ripped tracks on a timeline, which were then split into sections where needed, each sped up or slowed to properly sync everything up, so I could then just mux them back with the untouched retail video streams.
The US R1 US Manga Corps Retail DVD
I also wanted to add in the Manga Entertainment UK Promo Reel which was shown before the main feature on a fair number of their UK VHS releases and brings back some happy memories. This is the thing I’m talking about;
I searched round for a decent version to use, and only came up with a number of YouTube rips, of which the quality was okay, just okay. I posted on this forum along with a few others in the hope that someone would reply who had a tape they’d be willing to lend out which I could transfer, but nothing, so in the end I bought both Akira and Urotsukidoji - Legend of the Overfiend VHS tapes from an Ebay user for a total of £4 (inc P&P).
I transferred these using a JVC HR-S7600EK S-VHS PAL VCR, connected to a PC with an Asus My Cinema ES2-750 PCI-E 1x TV Tuner Card via an S-Video cable and Left & Right audio phono leads. Captured with VirtualDub 1.9.6 with the Huffyuv 2.1.1 codec and uncompressed WAV audio. While the rest of the proposed DVD would be NTSC, I decided to encode both PAL 25i, 25p & NTSC 24p versions, so others could use them on their projects if they wanted to. I used VirtualDub’s Smart De-interlace filter to deinterlace where needed, then Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5.1 to encode the MPEG2 video streams, and AftenGUI 1.4 to encode the AC3 audio. Because the Akira tape looked a little cleaner, but the Urotsukidoji was sharper, I captured & encoded both. You can download them below;
I went with Urotsukidoji transfer for my DVD. I designed a custom main menu & disc art and the DVD was complete, with all three episodes on one disc at around 7GB with a DVD-ROM folder. I swapped my US R1 US Manga Corps Retail 1-way DVD case for a 2-way case, and kept the retail cover, so only needed disc artwork. The DVD was authored with Adobe Encore 1.5. The 1m 07s promo reel is set to play before the DVD menu, as per the old VHS releases, but it can be skipped.
Now I have the the same pounding rock audio soundtrack I remember, as well as perfectly smooth video!
My DVD Disc Art
My DVD Main Menu Screen
I’m not going to be sharing this online/P2P (or selling it, of course) but I can’t really afford to send out free copies to anyone who asks (one full-face printable dual layer DVD+R disc with printed label + CD slip case + padded envelope + postage, multiplied by a couple of people, it adds up!)
Assuming only a handful of people would ever want this (which may be revised if it’s more than that); we can just work a 1:1 trade or something out. I’ve shied away from asking people to post me discs with a SAE, as on some previous projects I kept getting sent duff discs (either unbranded poor quality or covered in dust/fingerprints/scratches), which left me using my own personal discs to send back to them. Anyway, you can PM me if interested.
Anyone requesting this would obviously need to own one or other of the retail DVD or VHS versions, or I guess the 1995 original Channel 4 recording.
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