Dragon Ball Kai will be receiving a high-definition Blu-ray release in Japan:
Set to release on 18 September 2009 for ¥3045, the first volume will contain three episodes. There will also be a standard DVD release with the same contents (albeit not in high-def) retailing for ¥1995.
For a bit of comparison, and making no justification for the pricing scheme, here is a breakdown of some of the currently- and previously-offered deals on episodes both in the US and Japan.
- FUNimation’s DBZ Season One Set on standard DVD contains 39 episodes and has an MSRP of $34.98. This breaks down to approximately $0.90 per episode. These sets were “remastered”, are missing approximately 20% of the footage, encoded as progressive, and contain three voice tracks. These sets were the second full release of these episodes on DVD in the US, and a third release for the beginning of the series.
- FUNimation’s “Ultimate Uncut Edition” on standard DVD contained 3 episodes and had an MSRP of $24.98. This breaks down to approximately $8.32 per episode. These sets used old masters, were encoded with low bitrates, and contain two voice tracks. FUNimation’s original DVD singles retailed for the same amount and contained 3-4 episodes per disc.
- Toei’s R2 singles based on the “Dragon Box” sets for DBZ contained 6 episodes each and retail for ¥3990 (approximately $40 US). This breaks down to approximately $6.66 per episode. These discs are remastered, are encoded at an extremely high bitrate, encoded as progressive, and were previously unavailable in Japan in any home format (other than the box sets they came from).
- Toei’s upcoming releases for Kai contain 3 episodes each and retail for ¥3045 on Blu-ray and ¥1995 on DVD (approximately $31 US and $20, respectively). This breaks down to approximately $10.33 and $6.66 on Blu-ray and DVD, respectively).