Why doesn't Toei seek out Broadcast masters to improve the DB anime audio

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Why doesn't Toei seek out Broadcast masters to improve the DB anime audio

Post by ZodaEX » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:22 pm

Today I was just thinking about the old German DVD release of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers that was done from licensing the show though Disney. There were some episodes of the German version of show that had audio glitch issues, or were unable to be found so they reached out to television broadcasters in order to use broadcast master tapes that were still around in order to make a DVD release with all the episodes possible.

Why dosen't Toei do the same? Phone up television broadcasting companies to see about retrieving the various broadcast masters that might still be out there in order to improve the audio quality for their future releases of the Dragon Ball anime. What do you guys think about this idea?

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Re: Why doesn't Toei seek out Broadcast masters to improve the DB anime audio

Post by KBABZ » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:53 pm

Easy: that costs money. Toei doesn't want to do that.

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Re: Why doesn't Toei seek out Broadcast masters to improve the DB anime audio

Post by Robo4900 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:10 am

Foreign distributors don't have the original audio except for GT. Any copies of the shows in Japanese would have been sent either on film with optical audio, or from tape transfers of the film with optical audio.

Though, even if the foreign distributors did have the original audio... Toei really just don't care about the audio.
Case in point: They have always had high-quality audio for GT. They've simply never used it. TV airings of the show in Japan, meanwhile, have always used it, because those masters simply exist, and are in all their archives.

I could imagine if someone managed to reach out to someone at Toei and pitch the idea to them, offer them the audio at no cost or required effort on their part, they might accept it, but there is ultimately no guarantee they'd use it. In my opinion, the only way we'll see improved Dragon Ball audio is if Funimation put out a release with it on; they have the audio, I've been involved in the effort that's ensured that(They have multiple sources of all of Z and GT, and single sources of about half of the first third of DB, plus the DB finalé), which is still ongoing, and Chris Sabat has been very grateful for it, and said he'll do everything in his power to get it on a release. And that's all we can really ask for.
It's still an ongoing effort, and ultimately, it's the only way we'll get this stuff on an official release.

On the plus side, since Toei really don't care, there's zero chance they'll block Funi using this audio, so Funi have no reason to not use it.
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Re: Why doesn't Toei seek out Broadcast masters to improve the DB anime audio

Post by mute_proxy » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:12 am

KBABZ wrote:Easy: that costs money. Toei doesn't want to do that.
If I recall correctly, people owning recordings of the original broadcast offered them to Toei for free, which led to nothing

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Re: Why doesn't Toei seek out Broadcast masters to improve the DB anime audio

Post by KBABZ » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:13 am

mute_proxy wrote:
KBABZ wrote:Easy: that costs money. Toei doesn't want to do that.
If I recall correctly, people owning recordings of the original broadcast offered them to Toei for free, which led to nothing
True, but of course Toei would then have to make a re-issuing of the related anime and that costs a boatload of money!

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Re: Why doesn't Toei seek out Broadcast masters to improve the DB anime audio

Post by AnimeMaakuo » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:37 pm

:problem:
ZodaEX wrote:Today I was just thinking about the old German DVD release of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers that was done from licensing the show though Disney. There were some episodes of the German version of show that had audio glitch issues, or were unable to be found so they reached out to television broadcasters in order to use broadcast master tapes that were still around in order to make a DVD release with all the episodes possible.

Why dosen't Toei do the same? Phone up television broadcasting companies to see about retrieving the various broadcast masters that might still be out there in order to improve the audio quality for their future releases of the Dragon Ball anime. What do you guys think about this idea?
Hate to break it to you, but there won’t be a remaster worthy of the name with broadcast audio. It was never in the cards. Maybe in another universe (if you’re into that kind of thing), but not ours. End of story.
Last edited by AnimeMaakuo on Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Why doesn't Toei seek out Broadcast masters to improve the DB anime audio

Post by Gligarman » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:48 pm

Sadly their solution may have been to just make Dragon Ball Kai.

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Re: Why doesn't Toei seek out Broadcast masters to improve the DB anime audio

Post by superrayman3 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:14 pm

KBABZ wrote:
mute_proxy wrote:
KBABZ wrote:Easy: that costs money. Toei doesn't want to do that.
If I recall correctly, people owning recordings of the original broadcast offered them to Toei for free, which led to nothing
True, but of course Toei would then have to make a re-issuing of the related anime and that costs a boatload of money!
If there are (possibly) upcoming Blu-ray releases of the series in the near future, Toei IMO would have ZERO EXCUSE not to use the OBA audio anymore, especially if it's at little to no cost to them (which it shouldn't be considering a complete set of Tokai OBA was leaked online a few months ago, along with a good amount of Ishikawa recordings being leaked as well, and I'm not talking about that compressed, lossy, and low bitrate garbage either).

To me I've always seen the fact that Toei have shown no interest in these fan recordings whatsoever, and trying to preserve the original performances of the seiyū involved in a quality that sounds closer and more accurate to how it actually sounded when the audio was originally recorded at the time as being completely DISRESPECTFUL to the original seiyū and their work (not to mention at least from my perspective, it's also highly disrespectful to the original audio engineers that mixed the audio in the first place as well), this rings especially true when you take into account that many seiyū that were involved with the series are sadly no longer with us, that coupled with the fact that the optical tracks for the series have been slowly degrading over the years and will continue to do so as time moves forward, and the need for preserving the audio from these fan recordings has become even more important now than it's ever been before (the optical tracks were already showing telltale signs of degradation by 2003 when Toei used them for the DBOX releases of the DB/Z/GT TV series, granted the optical audio was still usable but they were still degraded nonetheless, and I dread just thinking about how a new transfer of the optical tracks would sound now over 15 years later, honestly I wouldn't be surprised in the least if a new transfer of the optical tracks sounded like almost nothing but tape hiss at this point).
If anyone has any of the DB/DBZ/DBGT or Maho Tsuaki Sally Japanese single DVD's that they'd be interested in selling send me a PM and I'll see if we can work something out. ;).

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Re: Why doesn't Toei seek out Broadcast masters to improve the DB anime audio

Post by ZodaEX » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:22 pm

Robo4900 wrote:Foreign distributors don't have the original audio except for GT. Any copies of the shows in Japanese would have been sent either on film with optical audio, or from tape transfers of the film with optical audio.

Though, even if the foreign distributors did have the original audio... Toei really just don't care about the audio.
Case in point: They have always had high-quality audio for GT. They've simply never used it. TV airings of the show in Japan, meanwhile, have always used it, because those masters simply exist, and are in all their archives.

I could imagine if someone managed to reach out to someone at Toei and pitch the idea to them, offer them the audio at no cost or required effort on their part, they might accept it, but there is ultimately no guarantee they'd use it. In my opinion, the only way we'll see improved Dragon Ball audio is if Funimation put out a release with it on; they have the audio, I've been involved in the effort that's ensured that(They have multiple sources of all of Z and GT, and single sources of about half of the first third of DB, plus the DB finalé), which is still ongoing, and Chris Sabat has been very grateful for it, and said he'll do everything in his power to get it on a release. And that's all we can really ask for.
It's still an ongoing effort, and ultimately, it's the only way we'll get this stuff on an official release.

On the plus side, since Toei really don't care, there's zero chance they'll block Funi using this audio, so Funi have no reason to not use it.
I wasn't actually talking about foreign distributors with original audio. I was referring to the broadcast companies/stations which reside in Dragon Ball's own homeland of Japan that might still have television broadcast masters.

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Re: Why doesn't Toei seek out Broadcast masters to improve the DB anime audio

Post by superrayman3 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:39 pm

ZodaEX wrote:I wasn't actually talking about foreign distributors with original audio. I was referring to the broadcast companies/stations which reside in Dragon Ball's own homeland of Japan that might still have television broadcast masters.
It's highly doubtful that the broadcast companies still have the original cinetape audio masters or copies of said audio (aside from GT which had D2 tapes that retained the original audio), the broadcast video masters is possible, but sadly those actually had optical tracks from the start (http://www.kanzenshuu.com/production/animation-process/ this guide can better explain why the broadcasters more likely than not don't have the broadcast audio anymore, start reading from "Stage 10: The Final Product (Masters)" for all of the info relevant to the topic of this thread), so unless a worker from one of the broadcast stations acquired each cinetape after every episode aired by taking them home instead of throwing them out, and actually managed to hold onto them for all this time, the home recordings done by fans are probably the only surviving copies of the original audio.
If anyone has any of the DB/DBZ/DBGT or Maho Tsuaki Sally Japanese single DVD's that they'd be interested in selling send me a PM and I'll see if we can work something out. ;).

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Re: Why doesn't Toei seek out Broadcast masters to improve the DB anime audio

Post by Robo4900 » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:44 am

mute_proxy wrote:
KBABZ wrote:Easy: that costs money. Toei doesn't want to do that.
If I recall correctly, people owning recordings of the original broadcast offered them to Toei for free, which led to nothing
Not exactly correct.

One fan contacted a public-facing email address of Toei's about this, and the rep responding showed no interest.
I believe he has tried a few more times since then, but always with the same result; the message goes to some rep with no interest in the idea, or perhaps at best no clue what he's talking about. Unfortunately, unless -- for instance -- some bigwig at Funimation like Gen Fukunaga could be made aware and set up some kind of meeting with someone reasonably important from Toei to get this material back to them, there's no way anyone will even get the chance to return this material to Toei.
ZodaEX wrote:I wasn't actually talking about foreign distributors with original audio. I was referring to the broadcast companies/stations which reside in Dragon Ball's own homeland of Japan that might still have television broadcast masters.
Oh. Sorry.
Unfortunately, all evidence says none of the TV stations that did their own direct broadcasts kept their cinetapes. Fuji kept their broadcast film reels for a while, but transferred the Z ones to tape in the '90s or '00s to use for future broadcasting, and they sold all the reels off or otherwise disposed of them. But even if they hadn't got rid of their original broadcast materials, all they'd have is the same kind of ~3rd-generation film prints with optical audio that Funimation has.
If any TV stations in Japan had kept their original broadcast audio from cinetape, it would be airing on Japanese TV to this day; Japanese TV airings of Z still use their old '90s/'00s tape transfers of their original film reels, and it's all still optical audio.
OG DB is simply the Dragon Box master.

GT is an interesting and odd case, though; the show was originally assembled on film+cinetape just like DB and Z, but for the final output, instead of doing a sort of "Master film print" which any TV stations would have their prints struck from, Toei would indeed make a print of each finished episode, but they would transfer that print to D2 videotape, and send copies out to TV stations to use. So, the original final output of GT was videotape. This was the only master of GT anyone saw until about 2003, with a lot of places continuing to use this master for a few years after that(Blue Water did their English dub using this as their video master, so British and Canadian fans will have watched this video master for as long as GT aired there; IIRC up to about 2005).
Thing is, the way the D2 tapes contain audio means these TV stations -- and Toei themselves -- have digital, stereo, 48KHz, PCM audio of every episode of GT. DVD quality, in other words; as if transferred from the original cinetapes for a new DVD release, fresh on the day the mixing had finished. And Japanese TV stations to this day broadcast using this as their audio source(Though one episode of GT -- can't remember which -- uses optical for its next episode preview, and all episodes use Dragon Box as the source for the OP/ED). I believe Funimation were sent a round of the tape masters of GT at some point(The original Funimation OP/ED used footage from the videotape master; notice the obvious change in source from the shot of Redjic, to the one of Goku going Super Saiyan; colours go dull, it all smudges over, there's black lines at the sides of the frame, and it stays like this for the next few shots, until the shot of Baby partially liquefying followd by a shot of Trunks, at about 0:18), so this means Funi may very well have the stereo master audio of GT, and just never noticed. And even if they don't, they could easily request it from Toei, since the videotape master will definitely still be in their archives somewhere.

When Toei came to assemble the Dragon Box masters -- which were sent to Funimation before the full cleanup process was finished, thus giving Funi really nice video masters to use, though they only had the first ~22 episodes when they used this footage to make their dub OP/ED visuals, so they used the videotape master for a lot of clips -- Toei seemingly ignored the existence of the videotape masters, and simply worked entirely from film, except for the GT TV special, which was done entirely from the tape master. So, GT ends up having a really nice 2003 film transfer for video plus crappy optical audio, but with a crappy '90s telecine video on the special, with glorious audio. This also means Toei neglected to put the credits scroll at the end of episode 64 for the Dragon Box transfer, which was added at the tape stage during the original airing.
TV stations were given the Dragon Box master of GT to use, but seemingly being a little cleverer than Toei, synced up their copies of the master audio to the Dragon Box video, and that's how the show has aired since about 2004 in Japan.

So, long story short:
The TV stations still have their GT masters, but it's videotapes that Toei have, and seem to have neglected to use the useful bits of, and they have their own videotape transfers of their original broadcast reels of Z, but it's with optical audio, so it's useless to Toei, who not only have the sort of "Master print" the broadcast reels were printed from, but the original negatives that print would have been created from.
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