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Published by VegettoEX
15 August 2011, 3:58 PM ESTComments Off

This week on our show we take a quick look at the third chapter of Dragon Ball SD from the latest Saikyō Jump by on-going spin-off author Naho Ooishi.

For her third outing, Ooishi focuses on the Cell Game. Does the heavily abbreviated re-telling have any purpose to it, or should even the most devoted fans pass it by? Download the show now, or head on over to the podcast page for more information or to subscribe.

SHOW DESCRIPTION:
Episode #0268! VegettoEX and Meri review the third chapter of “DragonBall SD”. Naho Ooishi returns for another chibified spin-off, but does it bring anything new to the table? A good bit of news clarification and fantastic questions from the listeners (including the entire year’s worth of news in two minutes!) round out the episode.

REFERENCED SITES:

Published by VegettoEX
11 August 2011, 1:03 PM ESTComments Off

The third issue of Saikyō Jump was released in Japan today, which includes the third chapter of Dragon Ball SD by Naho Ooishi.

The quasi-parody/quasi-straight-forward spin-off features the Cell Game this time around. The first two chapters in the quarterly magazine featured a re-telling of Goku’s training under Kame-Sen’nin with Kuririn, while the second focused on Goku’s battle with Freeza. Check out episodes #0241 and #0256 of our podcast, respectively, for reviews on the earlier chapters.

Also included in this issue of Saikyō Jump is a re-print of the first chapter of Episode of Bardock, also written and drawn by Ooishi. Her three-part “sequel” to the Bardock TV special debuted in the August 2011 issue of V-Jump just a little ways back. For those of you who missed out on picking up the video game magazine along the way (which is released on the 21st of each month), this might be a great way to hit two birds with one stone.

Published by VegettoEX
10 August 2011, 8:38 PM ESTComments Off

We noted just a couple days ago how a mysterious re-release listing for the first five Dragon Ball Z movies had popped up on RightStuf, inevitably bringing about the elephant-in-the-room-question: are they Dragon Box masters?

Unfortunately, we have been able to confirm with FUNimation that this re-release will not be based on the Dragon Box masters, but are simply re-releases of their own masters in a cheaper collection. We will follow-up again, but they will likely be based on their own remastering from the “Double Feature” steelbook releases from 2008-2009.

These movies almost received single-disc re-releases in late 2009 for just under $10 a pop (and at least the first four movies had cover art provided to retailers), but the line was seemingly canceled out of thin air after the Bardock and Trunks TV specials managed to slip their way out to stores.

Published by VegettoEX
08 August 2011, 7:05 PM ESTComments Off

Some new listings went up on RightStuf this afternoon, including one that is of particular interest to all of us:

A new release containing the first five Dragon Ball Z movies appears to be coming 01 November 2011 for an MSRP of $29.98. The first batch of Dragon Ball Z movies were last released as “Double Feature” sets beginning back in 2008 on both DVD and Blu-ray — it seems about time for a re-release.

Back in July 2009 when FUNimation formally announced the Dragon Box release of the Dragon Ball Z TV series, the press release noted (bold emphasis added by us):

… today announces that it has acquired the original masters for the entire Dragon Ball Z anime series, episodes and films, and will release all as the Dragon Box for the first time in the U.S.

Since then, FUNimation has been extremely coy, dancing around the issue when asked at panels, and instead (rightfully so) focusing their attention on the TV series boxes.

Is this upcoming November release the first domestic “Dragon Box: The Movies” product? The numbers make a lot of sense: the first three Dragon Ball Z movies are contained on the second Japanese Dragon Box disc, while the fourth and fifth movies follow on the third disc (the first disc contains the first three movies from the original Dragon Ball series) — that makes five movies on a tight two-disc release.

We have an inquiry in and hope to find out and confirm for sure what this mystery release will be! We hesitate to get our hopes up — the price seems on the low side and the listing says absolutely nothing about being Dragon Box masters, and it’s worth noting that FUNimation was about to release $10 discs of the movies on single discs in late 2009 (albeit from the “Double Feature” masters) before canceling them after Bardock & Trunks slipped their way out — but with the movies in particular receiving such an impressive remastering in Japan, were it to play out that way, it would be one release everyone could get psyched about.

Published by VegettoEX
08 August 2011, 3:57 PM ESTComments Off

This week on our show we catch up on a couple weeks worth of news, as well as answer a great bunch of questions from you all. Meri pops in to talk about Otakon 2011 (including all the great purchases and cosplay there were to see), while Marc then joins in to see how our summer convention season predictions went, as well as discuss a couple new developments regarding FUNimation’s plan to release the Dragon Ball Z TV series on Blu-ray. Download the show now, or head on over to the podcast page for more information or to subscribe.

SHOW DESCRIPTION:
Episode #0267! VegettoEX and Julian discuss the past couple weeks worth of news and answer a great batch of listener questions. Meri joins in to talk about Otakon 2011, and Marc joins in to talk about the results of the summer convention season and a few updates related to FUNimation’s recent announcement of the DBZ TV series coming to Blu-ray.

REFERENCED SITES:

Published by VegettoEX
04 August 2011, 9:59 AM ESTComments Off

Amazon has updated their listing of the upcoming first Blu-ray release of the Dragon Ball Z TV series from FUNimation, due out 08 November 2011, with an MSRP of $34.98 (with their own pre-order price down at $24.49). The second set, due out in December, is the same price.

Published by VegettoEX
03 August 2011, 2:01 PM ESTComments Off

We are back from Otakon 2011 with a couple new tidbits about FUNimation’s upcoming re-(re-re?)-release of the Dragon Ball Z TV series, this time on Blu-ray.

Prior to the convention this past weekend and a new trailer teased for their panel’s audience, all signs (thanks to somewhat-vague wording in the initial press release) had led us to believe the Blu-ray release would simply be the same HD masters created in 2007 as a part of the “season set” line. The trailer revealed, however, that it was indeed an entirely new remastering process, displaying footage from the series in its proper 4:3 aspect ratio, as opposed to the cropped 16:9 presentation on the prior orange bricks.

Our buddy Drabaz captured the trailer on camera this weekend at the convention, but hopefully FUNimation will be able to toss this online at some point in the near future themselves:

Adding even more concrete information to the pile is a press release sent out by Image Systems, providers of the Phoenix line of products that FUNimation are apparently using for their own in-house restoration process.

FUNimation Enhances “Dragon Ball Z” Blu-ray With Phoenix
Restoration of Popular Animated Series Heads to Blu-ray

Image Systems, formerly Digital Vision, has announced that Texas-based FUNimation has purchased multiple Phoenix Finish licenses in use on a number of FUNimation projects, including the highly anticipated restoration of the “Dragon Ball Z” anime series, slated for Blu-ray release November 8, 2011. “Dragon Ball Z” is a popular Japanese manga series, consisting of 42 volumes and selling over 152 million copies in Japan and over 200 million copies worldwide. The art, characterization and humor of the story has immensely influenced the international anime and cartooning industries, and created a cultural phenomenon.

“This is a show that has a huge and loyal global audience,” says Matthew O’Hara, lead DVD author for FUNimation. “When it came time to restore the series for Blu-ray, we simply had to make it the very best it could be. After looking through our options we believe that the Phoenix was a clear, best choice.”

“Dragon Ball Z” originates on 16mm film, and over time had begun to show signs of aging – dust, scratches, some shaking and focus. “We are doing a frame-by-frame, shot-by-shot restoration in HD,” explains O’Hara. “In this process, the Phoenix has greatly enhanced our ability to recover the quality of the original material in a realistic time frame without the artifacts some algorithms leave behind. The dust, scratch and grain reduction tools in the DVO Restore part of our Phoenix purchase, has allowed us to just repair and renovate the animated series ready for repurposing.”

“We are all fans of the way that film looks, but know that grain can be challenging. The Clarity enables us to clean and restore, without removing what we consider the right amount of grain to give the images depth,” he adds.

Martin Bennett, Managing Director of the Media Business Unit for Image Systems, notes, “‘Dragon Ball Z’ is one of the most recognized anime titles in the world, with a massive following. To see how the talented team at FUNimation has used our restoration tools and especially DVO Clarity, our foremost digital and film noise reducer, to create these new versions of the show is gratifying.”

O’Hara concludes, “We have a well-loved series with an audience of millions of people who follow its distribution avidly. The new Blu-ray set was eminently awaited. We had a high bar to reach, and working with the team at Image Systems has been a great support to our plans. The ‘Dragon Ball Z’ workflow is film based, but we are successfully working on other projects that are HDCAM 4:4:4 or file based and we are seeing the same successes. Phoenix supports the entire workflow at FUNimation, seamlessly and with great support.”

All of this information gives us a great deal more hope for the release than we had even just a week ago — it seems clear that as well as the orange bricks did in the larger market, the pitfalls from that process resulted in quite a few change-ups for this future release. Why Steve Franko’s ANDTRANSFER was even mentioned in the initial press release baffles us (was there an uncropped raw digital transfer, prior to any tampering, that was created in 2007 that the company is now using internally for this Blu-ray restoration?), so hopefully we can get some additional clarification, particularly regarding which Japanese audio masters are available and being used, and continue riding some moderate excitement waves!

Published by VegettoEX
02 August 2011, 2:01 PM ESTComments Off

Namco-Bandai has posted a ¥3.25 billion (approximately $42 million) net income for the first quarter of fiscal year 2012.

Similar to last quarter (Q4 Fiscal 2011), Dragon Ball did not perform well enough to warrant an inclusion on the top-performing list of franchises for the quarter — the final one listed is the BEN10 franchise at ¥1.5 billion in net sales for the quarter, and for a bit of comparison, the Dragon Ball franchise was floating below that at ¥1.2 billion in net sales one year ago in Q1 Fiscal 2011.

No individual Dragon Ball game sales were noted in the report, and with Raging Blast 2 being released in the prior fiscal quarter, it likely did negligible additional sales this quarter.

In terms of general toys and hobby merchandise (non-video games), the franchise actually managed to jump slightly in net sales from ¥0.6 billion last year in Q1 2011 to ¥0.9 billion this quarter. The company is forecasting ¥2.5 billion for the year, a slight drop from the actual net sales of ¥2.7 billion in Fiscal 2011.

As always, the latter-half of the calendar year seems to be the strongest for Namco-Bandai in terms of Dragon Ball, and particularly in the video game arena. We know that Game Project Age 2011 / Ultimate Tenkaichi is due out at the end of October this year, so the dollar figures will likely remain unimpressive until around then.

Published by VegettoEX
25 July 2011, 3:34 PM ESTComments Off

This week on our show we are joined by our comrade Hujio to discuss FUNimation’s announcement that they will be releasing the Dragon Ball Z TV series on Blu-ray beginning later this year in November. Will this just be a repeat of the orange brick masters from 2007’s “season sets” or does FUNimation have something else up their sleeve? What does this mean for the majority of our audience who has been snatching up the Dragon Box sets? Download the show now, or head on over to the podcast page for more information or to subscribe.

SHOW DESCRIPTION:
Episode #0266! VegettoEX and Hujio discuss FUNimation’s recent announcement that the DBZ TV series is coming to Blu-ray this year. Will this be another fiasco using 2007’s orange brick masters, or does FUNimation have something else up its sleeve? How will these products compare to everything else that is out there, including other versions of these same episodes sitting alongside them on store shelves? Also, who exactly will these new sets be aimed at, especially with Dragon Box releases coming to a close?

REFERENCED SITES:

Published by Hujio
22 July 2011, 11:11 AM ESTComments Off

Happinet has unveiled the cover art for the final Dragon Ball Kai home video releases. Both are scheduled to be released 02 August 2011 with the DVD retailing for ¥1,995 (~$25) and the Blu-ray running a nice ¥14,679 (~$175). The DVD will contain the series’ final two episodes (97 & the “extra un-aired episode”) in a 16:9 widescreen format, while the final Blu-ray box set will contain episodes 88-97 (plus the “extra un-aired episode”) presented in 4:3 full screen spread across four discs. These releases all contain the Shunsuke Kikuchi replacement score, as opposed to their original broadcast score from Kenji Yamamoto.