The supplemental DVD in the 80s bluray 2nd boxset is a gold mine

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DrFrag
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The supplemental DVD in the 80s bluray 2nd boxset is a gold mine

Postby DrFrag » 3 years ago

I finally got around to buying the second Japanese bluray boxset of the 1980s series. It's an expensive set, around US$200 for each box, so I'd been putting it off.

I wrote about the first box set here. Quick summary: it contains 1080p episodes with Japanese and English audio, but no subtitles. It's uncut so there are some inconsistencies with the English audio. Episodes 1 and 2 have two audio tracks but they're both completely Japanese. Edited scenes like Cleopatra's death switches to music and sound effects only, so there's lip movement but no words. Tezuka's intro to the last episode is in Japanese, but switches to English when the episode starts. Title cards are all in Japanese. The episode trailers are present, and in dual audio. It's a shame there's no subtitles, but I think they did a good job getting the audio on there. There are no extra ads or anime trailers. There's 7% more visible frame on the sides over the DVD version. Something I neglected to originally mention - video quality is great to a fault; it shows up film grain and dust specks.

The real surprise for me has been the DVD of extras. I couldn't find anywhere that said exactly what was on it, so I figured it had some repackaged junk or advertising for other products. Maybe some web site links and an .exe I would refuse to run.

The disc is titled TETSUWAN_ATOM_DIGITAL_LIBRARY, and contains 41 pdf files in Japanese. Some are production notes about characters and settings or official documents (handwritten in Japanese). There are 3 files containing the full storyboards to The Birth of Astroboy, The Robot Vikings, and the opening animation. The amazing part is 1500 pages of character and technology and set designs from 22 of the episodes. If you have one of the DVD editions with the character sketches set to background music you will have seen some of them. This has so much more, stuff that is so obscure I didn't recognise some of it. Technical drawings for the tiger polisher Astro used in Robot Circus. Front and back and inside drawings of Photar's orphanage. Designs for doors, park benches, establishing shots, guns, spaceships, hospital corridors, obscure characters that appear in a single scene. And it's reference stuff, so you get to see the edges of shots and backs of characters and small details that don't appear in the animation. There is so much detail. This is some of the best material for the serious fan I've seen come with any anime release. All up there are 2210 pages of production material across 366MB of PDFs.

It is hard to justify the pricetag for the blurays. The higher resolution is awesome, but the lack of subtitles makes it an imperfect release. The Manga region 1 DVDs still look great at 480p resolution, plus you get dual audio with subtitles and deleted scenes. But if you're a big fan and can afford it, I think the bluray PDFs are a great addition to a collection.
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DrFrag
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Re: The supplemental DVD in the 80s bluray 2nd boxset is a gold mine

Postby DrFrag » 3 years ago

I thought I should add some pictures since this is kind of a product review.

This is the cruise liner hotel bathroom where Astro breaks the tap in episode 2.
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Here it is from another angle.
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Here's the diagram of the hotel lounge room.
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We see it in this part of the episode.
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And here is the other end of the hotel room, where the beds are.
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This is all we get to see of that in the anime.
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They designed the entire end of the room, and all we saw was the end of the beds and the porthole. I love the architecture used throughout the series. Not as dated as the 60s version with its Tintin-style rockets, and not as kitsch as the 2003 version with its animal-themed worker robots (no offense intended to fans of either version). The 80s series is minimalist but non-orthogonal, and restraint with the use of curves to convey strong functionality. It's so consistent that everything from laser guns to playgrounds follow the same asthetic. But Tezuka knew when to break it too; check out this design for the cruise ship dining hall furniture:
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They deliberately scrapped the futuristic style for that scene to better convey the room was full of upperclass old money. Okay I'm done design fanboying now. :blush:

Just for fun can anyone tell me where this device appears in the show? :)
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AstroAllies
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Re: The supplemental DVD in the 80s bluray 2nd boxset is a gold mine

Postby AstroAllies » 3 years ago

The 1980 series in 1080p format? I wonder how did they make that.

DrFrag
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Re: The supplemental DVD in the 80s bluray 2nd boxset is a gold mine

Postby DrFrag » 3 years ago

They went back to the original film stock (made by photographing each cel) and made a new transfer from that. It took them a year.
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Shiyonasan
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Re: The supplemental DVD in the 80s bluray 2nd boxset is a gold mine

Postby Shiyonasan » 3 years ago

Fascinating stuff. :O Thanks for sharing these DrFrag!

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Kitty Lue
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Re: The supplemental DVD in the 80s bluray 2nd boxset is a gold mine

Postby Kitty Lue » 3 years ago

Whoa, that's an insane amount of content! :w00t: Now I know of a great source of reference material for the 80's series, I remember just dying to have this kind of reference material for the '03 series when doing some illustrations for something connected with that.
On top of these original references being great for matching up fan art with the look of the official series, I also just love to see the production materials and process of things like this. While I do have a general idea of how several different types of animation work, as I've tried both traditional and digital 2D animation as well as CG, every individual project has its own details and process that never seem to lose my interest. :D

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Juanita
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Re: The supplemental DVD in the 80s bluray 2nd boxset is a gold mine

Postby Juanita » 3 years ago

Wow! Fantastic room designs. It's a shame we couldn't see more of them in the finished series.

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Re: The supplemental DVD in the 80s bluray 2nd boxset is a gold mine

Postby -Nick- » 3 years ago

That's awesome. I also bought the 2nd box not too long ago due to being worried they would go out of print soon.

One day I hope to rip the episodes and add the subs, but I currently don't have the means and knowledge. I don't mind the english though.

DrFrag
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Re: The supplemental DVD in the 80s bluray 2nd boxset is a gold mine

Postby DrFrag » 3 years ago

Yeah, I've been thinking about giving that a shot so I can watch it subtitled in HD. I did a quick test with the Robot Circus subtitles from the Region 1 DVDs and it worked great. No tricky timing issues other than getting the first line of text timed right. I used MakeMKV to save the discs to my hard drive, SubRip to extract the subtitles, and Subtitle Workshop to adjust the timings. All the software is free.

If you need more detailed instructions I could start a new thread, if the mods are okay with it. It should come under fair use laws.
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-Nick-
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Re: The supplemental DVD in the 80s bluray 2nd boxset is a gold mine

Postby -Nick- » 3 years ago

DrFrag wrote:Yeah, I've been thinking about giving that a shot so I can watch it subtitled in HD. I did a quick test with the Robot Circus subtitles from the Region 1 DVDs and it worked great. No tricky timing issues other than getting the first line of text timed right. I used MakeMKV to save the discs to my hard drive, SubRip to extract the subtitles, and Subtitle Workshop to adjust the timings. All the software is free.

If you need more detailed instructions I could start a new thread, if the mods are okay with it. It should come under fair use laws.


I wonder if we'd have to re-time subs constantly though as the subs would be timed to 29 frames and the Blu's are 24.


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