"The North American anime distributor Funimation announced at its Comic-Con International panel on Thursday that it will release Dragon Ball Z on Blu-ray Disc starting this fall. Dallas-based ANDTRANSFER will remaster the anime from the original Japanese 16mm film reels at 1080p. Colorist Steve Franko will work with Funimation to digitally restore the footage."
Well, this will be quite interesting, don't you think?
FUNimation Initial Press Release, 21 July 2011:
---------------------------FUNimation wrote:LOWER MOUND, Texas, July 21, 2011 – FUNimation® Entertainment is announcing that it is bringing the first installment of the anime phenomenon Dragon Ball Z to Blu-ray disc for the first time this fall.
Among the most prized in the FUNimation catalog, the studio has used the newest technology available to remaster in high-definition and digitally restore the 291 episode series.
FUNimation worked with Dallas-based ANDTRANSFER for the digital film transfer. FUNimation previously worked with the post-production house to remaster the series for the season set releases on DVD. The transfer was performed by nationally-recognized colorist Steve Franko and supervised by FUNimation, which then finished the rest of the restoration process.
Today's state-of-the-art systems offer tools that allow restoration teams to make a wide range of repairs and focus on more difficult tasks which, in the end, deliver a clean product that faithfully presents the original version and measures up to the high-quality standards of HDTV and Blu-ray.
Once again, the Dragon Ball Z series was digitally transferred from the original Japanese 16mm film frame by frame at 1080p. Developments in restoration software gives mastering artists more to work with when they apply tools to even out film grain and remove fading, film cuts and other visual anomalies. As a result, the viewer will see brighter, clearer colors, less variance in quality between scenes, and a sharper image.
"Working with a very old and fragile source film presented a number of challenges for the restoration process," said Gen Fukunaga, CEO and president at FUNimation Entertainment. "Our purpose was to restore the series as accurately as possible, to what it must have been like to see it when it was originally mastered, and preserve the charm of the animation. After all, it is of a particular time and place."
After debuting in 1989, Dragon Ball Z has become an iconic anime series. The franchise has sold more than 25 million DVD and Blu-ray discs in its lifetime, becoming the best-selling anime series of all time.
Dragon Ball Z is the explosive sequel to Dragon Ball. The series follows the adventures of Goku and his son Gohan as they team up with their friends to battle evil forces throughout the universe to protect their beloved planet Earth. The first season covers the Vegeta Saga and chronicles the introduction of one of Dragon Ball Z's main characters, Vegeta.
This restored edition also features the original U.S. voice actors as well as the original FUNimation soundtrack – all in lossless Dolby® TrueHD.
Dragon Ball Z Level 1.1 includes the first 17 episodes on two discs with over 400 minutes of action and among the extras included on this release is a feature that looks at the restoration and remastering processes.
Dragon Ball Z Level 1.1 will be available at major retailers nationwide on November 8, 2011.
Image Systems Press Release, 02 August 2011:
---------------------------Image Systems wrote: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."
About Image Systems
Image Systems Media Unit, formerly Digital Vision, is a division of Image Systems AB, which specializes in high-resolution image processing, film scanning and motion analysis solutions. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Image Systems has offices in Linköping, London and Los Angeles. The company has three business units: Media, Defense and Motion, managed via a global network of qualified distributors. Its Nucoda and Phoenix image grading and restoration software solutions and Golden Eye range of scanners provide innovative tools to create and master media in HD, 2K/4K and stereoscopic 3D. The TEMA software platform provides a range of user friendly, high-speed motion analysis solutions for the automotive industry and other industrial test and design applications. The TrackEye system provides image analysis solutions for the military reconnaissance and testing markets. For additional information, visit http://www.imagesystems.tv.
About FUNimation Entertainment
FUNimation(r) Entertainment is the leading company for home video sales of Japanese animation in the United States. FUNimation has a proven formula for launching and advancing brands, and manages a full spectrum of rights for most of its brands including broadcasting, licensing, production, internet, and home video sales and distribution. For more information about FUNimation Entertainment and its brands, visit http://www.funimation.com.
ADMINISTRATOR NOTES: Since this is the first post in the thread, we'll list and update the unknowns/knowns as they come up.
- Steve Franko's involvement? (existing work, or additional / redone color correction?)
- Footage will be 4:3 full frame.
- New transfer being produced using same film stock FUNi used for Season Sets.
- Will contain all audio tracks used in Season Sets in Lossless format, for the most part.
- Frame-by-frame remastering process