Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by ABED » Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:57 am

Robo4900 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:48 am
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:09 am
Robo, you are putting this issue on the same level as fighting for individual liberties. This isn't remotely like that. It's a crappy home video release, that's it. Lamentable to be sure, but to effectively call someone "selfish" shows a lack of perspective.

You say FUNi is maliciously holding back on giving a good quality release, but what do they gain?
Respectfully, this is about the most frustrating response to this I've received so far.

Yes, I'm aware there are more important issues than this. But making a Tweet or two to finally get a home release of this classic show that isn't shit? That's too much to ask? That's me being unreasonable? That's me lacking perspective?

Sir, I would argue you lack perspective. This isn't just Dragon Ball, remember. Disney's movies, Cowboy Bebop, and much more, are having their historical significance trampled on, and the desires of the hardcore fans being given a middle finger. Not in service of a cheaper release, or marketing to the plebs -- the layperson doesn't give a shit about grain or cropping either way, they just want that show they remember from a while back to watch -- so, to refer to your second point, clearly Funi had nothing to gain from doing this their way, therefore they had no reason not to do it properly, therefore whether they intended malice or not, their attitudes are abhorrent, their respect for the show and its fans is zilch, and they deserve nothing less than for the entire fandom to be aware that all these shitty releases were shitty for no reason. And as we saw with things like the James Gunn fiasco (both the firing, and the eventual re-hiring), it doesn't take a majority of an audience to get shit done, it just takes enough internet complaining to make the company get a little uncomfortable, for better or for worse...

So, yes. Deciding that the few minutes it would take to make a Tweet or two isn't worth it, is selfish. It shows that one is unwilling to do anything to improve their situation. Yes, this is "Just" a TV show. But in my opinion, if a company is treating its fans like shit, treating a landmark show like this like shit, outright lying, and showing malicious attitudes, presenting releases that ultimately turn the fans against each-other in a toxic way (which the 30th sets were precision-engineered to do; anyone who buys the sets are doing wrong because they're supporting a shit release, anyone who doesn't buy the sets are doing wrong because they're not supporting the first 4:3 release in a decade. We've all seen the fallout from this)...

I think, given all I've laid out, this is worth at least a Tweet or two. Especially since it would actually take less effort than arguing about it, or even making a single somewhat-dismissive post about it, here on Kanzenshuu.

---

I realise this post is already far longer than it should be, but I'd like to take this opportunity here to acknowledge a limitation of myself, and my presence on this forum, and online in general, since I think this may already be an issue: I am not very good at speaking passionately online without sounding angry. I try, and I think I've got better at it, but I'm still not great. And when I disagree with people in such situations, I can often come off as quite mean. I'd like anyone reading to please understand that this is never my intention. I'm just trying to argue my side truthfully, honestly, and convincingly. I truly believe everything I'm saying here, and I am truly angry that Funi have had 20 years to get this right, and yet there's still not a single release of this bloody show that I wouldn't call a pile of un-buyable shit (and I'm not exaggerating in the slightest). They could have done it at any point, and made countless people (myself included) very happy, and done away with, I'll be honest, some real stress about the fact I can't legally enjoy this show. It's impossible. These shitty releases, I just straight-up can't enjoy watching them. I'd just spend every moment cringing at how bad it looks. And in the depressing world we live in, not having this show to enjoy, this thing that has always been present in my life, always able to bring a smile to my face, always able to lighten me up in a dark moment? That's bullshit.

... So, to bring this semi-stream-of-consciousness... Rant? (For lack of a better term) To an end, I would like to apologise if I've upset anyone by asserting my views as strongly as I often end up doing. Please do not hesitate to call me out if I've been mean, I honestly don't want to make anyone feel unwelcome or uncomfortable interacting with me, and I would like to apologise if I have done so. Counter to precisely what I was just talking about, this is ultimately a TV show, and it's not worth being mean to anyone speaking in good faith, over this.
This is not the same damn thing as Disney trying to cover up racially insensitive parts of its past. That's a completely different issue than changing the aspect ratio or a cheap remastering job. You also falsely equivocate this to the Gunn situation. Apples and oranges. One is fans complaining about a DVD release, the other is people sticking up for a man who was fired unjustly because some assholes used some insensitive tweets to hurt someone whose political opinions they disagreed with.

You and others use terms like "the fans" like we're some monolith, but hardcore fans make up such a small number of the overall audience and as much as it bothers me to see so many people ignorant about something as simple as aspect ratios, those fans that don't care what the shape of the image is for DBZ are still fans, and let's face it, more people care about the image fitting their TV than artistic integrity and cinematography. It's why we had Pan & Scan for years as the default.

Trying to change that many people's views over something so trivial is a hill I'm not willing to die on.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:07 pm

ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:57 am
This is not the same damn thing as Disney trying to cover up racially insensitive parts of its past. That's a completely different issue than changing the aspect ratio or a cheap remastering job.
You made an incorrect assumption based off an ambiguity in my post. Allow me to clarify:
When I referred to Disney, I was referring to their shitty remastering work. The individual Tweet I'm going to link is emblematic of the worst of the problems, but read the entire thread; if I only link the first post, for some reason, most of the rest of the thread is buried in the other replies. See here.

There's also cases like Sword In The Stone.
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:57 am
You also falsely equivocate this to the Gunn situation. Apples and oranges. One is fans complaining about a DVD release, the other is people sticking up for a man who was fired unjustly because some assholes used some insensitive tweets to hurt someone whose political opinions they disagreed with.
I was referring more to the fact he was fired because of an invented controversy that wasn't even big enough for any vaguely reputable outlets to acknowledge.

Internet backlash has great power, for better or for worse. In this case, we can use it in our favour. Make sure as much of the fandom is aware of Funi's deliberate refusal to release their ready-to-release Level-like masters, and maybe next time there's talk of a release, the pressure will be enough to make some kind of difference.
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:57 am
You and others use terms like "the fans" like we're some monolith, but hardcore fans make up such a small number of the overall audience and as much as it bothers me to see so many people ignorant about something as simple as aspect ratios, those fans that don't care what the shape of the image is for DBZ are still fans, and let's face it, more people care about the image fitting their TV than artistic integrity and cinematography. It's why we had Pan & Scan for years as the default.
That's why I brought up the James Gunn thing. Such a tiny number of people complained about it, they weren't reputable, they weren't trustworthy, they didn't do it in good faith, and yet he was fired. If we all get off our asses and talk about this, if we get people who have a lot of reach like Ajay and Geekdom to really put the pressure on, if more than just the hardcore fans get talking about how Funimation are deliberately refusing to bow to long-standing fan demands even though they easily could have for years...

Well... There's no guarantee we'd even come close to a success. But again, we lose nothing by trying. And because just making a Tweet or two is so easy, I stand by everything I said. If you refuse to be part of the solution, you're part of the problem, ultimately.
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:57 am
Trying to change that many people's views over something so trivial is a hill I'm not willing to die on.
This isn't about dying on a hill. You're making out like I'm saying we should all go storm Funi's HQ en masse because they can't stop us all. Sending out a Tweet or two, keeping the conversation going, that's all we need. It takes near-zero effort, and if it works out, we all get what we want.

It's not exactly difficult to say "Hey, did you know Funimation could have put out the show in a PERFECT format years ago? But they keep refusing to? Even though the hardcore fans, at this point, have little other than contempt for Funi because of this? Isn't that shitty, that they would outright ignore the hardcore fans, give them literally the opposite of what they're asking for at every turn, the very audience they claim to cater to with stuff like the 30th anniversary set? And yet they could've given them exactly what they wanted all along?"

No one's asking you to storm Area 51, I'm just saying that actually talking about this, actually making the most minimal of efforts to spread this information around... It can't hurt. And if you even vaguely care about Funi ever releasing the show properly, surely this isn't much to ask?
Last edited by Robo4900 on Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by ABED » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:10 pm

The controversy was only big because Gunn worked for Marvel which is the most visible brand in pop culture. It gets clicks.

I have the DBoxes and I fought this sort of fight before, and it was exhausting. Eventually we got Kai, and a few of the worst voice actors were gone. I'm happy.

I don't know if Gunn's rehiring had anything to do with fan response. I think it had more to do with time passing and the powers that be realizing they had pandered to the wrong sorts of people. In fact his firing didn't have much to do with fan response. Gunn mocked Shapiro and conservative outlets retaliated.

Listening to "the fans" feels more like giving into mob mentality. They are never going to be happy no matter what they get. Hardcore fans have arguably been given far more voice than they ever have and yet they constantly complain.
It's not exactly difficult to say "Hey, did you know Funimation could have put out the show in a PERFECT format years ago? But they keep refusing to? Even though the hardcore fans, at this point, have little other than contempt for Funi because of this? Isn't that shitty, that they would outright ignore the hardcore fans, give them literally the opposite of what they're asking for at every turn, the very audience they claim to cater to with stuff like the 30th anniversary set? And yet they could've given them exactly what they wanted all along?"
What makes you think I haven't? It's pissing in the wind at this point.
Last edited by ABED on Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:26 pm

ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:10 pm
I don't know if Gunn's rehiring had anything to do with fan response. I think it had more to do with time passing and the powers that be realizing they had pandered to the wrong sorts of people.
Again, my point was that his hiring was from such a tiny minority of people. Internet backlash is a powerful thing when done right.
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:10 pm
Listening to "the fans" feels more like giving into mob mentality. They are never going to be happy no matter what they get. Hardcore fans have arguably been given far more voice than they ever have and yet they constantly complain.
Yes, and those complaints have always been consistent. We want a proper release, we want dubs that aren't shit. They have continually denied us proper releases, so we still complain about that. The dubs, we complain less about. There's criticism, but generally it's seen that they're not shit anymore. They're, at least, okay. So everyone's eased off. Even if there are still valid criticisms to be levelled against the work, which still are, just to a very small degree. Only crazy people like me still take issue with their added jokes and such in the modern dubs...
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:10 pm
What makes you think I haven't? It's pissing in the wind at this point.
What makes me think you haven't is that you're literally arguing against doing it. It's 2019, it's not 2007 anymore. Or even 2010. Everyone's a million times more connected than we've ever been, and a million times more able to make our voices heard. And with people like Ajay and Geekdom being seen as reputable voices in the fandom who are listened to by even casual fans (moreso Geekdom than Ajay), there's more than ever a great outlet for hardcore information to make its way into the more causal fans so the casual fans can become aware of these issues. If Geekdom and/or Ajay talk about this, maybe enough people send out just a Tweet or two expressing this that it makes a difference.

Maybe it is just a piss in the wind. Either way, it's near zero effort, so there's no reason to argue against it.
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:10 pm
The controversy was only big because Gunn worked for Marvel which is the most visible brand in pop culture. It gets clicks.
It wasn't big. At all. Not even slightly. No one was talking about it, at all. It was literally just a few alt-right crazies on Twitter. It only started getting talked about after he was fired. After it had made an impact.

I'm starting to think this brief aside of a largely-irrelevant, imperfect similie that I just used as a device to explain what I'm thinking was a poor choice, and I'm getting frustrated with this approach of arguing about how I'm arguing rather than talking about the points I'm trying to make...
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:10 pm
I have the DBoxes and I fought this sort of fight before, and it was exhausting. Eventually we got Kai, and a few of the worst voice actors were gone. I'm happy.
I'm not asking you to "Fight" if you don't want to. Sending out a Tweet or two isn't exhausting, it takes a minute or two of effort.

And again, it's a little selfish to look at the shitty 30th sets, the shitty Season BDs, the shitty Season DVDs, the shitty Dragon Boxes (no colour correction, blurry transfer even by standard-def standards, so limited in quantity that unless you were a hardcore fan in 2010 when they were new, you just don't get to have them? It's shity)... You look at all that, and you decide "No, I don't care enough to make a single Tweet to even try for a chance to make things better. I am happy with the shitty situation we have, because Tweeting a simple hashtag is too much effort."

The reason these backlashes have never made any real waves before is this precise attitude you're displaying now. No one is willing to so much as make a Tweet. The only reason the 30th sets got any real hate directed at them was because Ajay made a couple of videos about it. But no one backed him up, hell Geekdom outright defended Funimation, practically shilling for the 30th sets. And no one else was willing to do much about it, because at this point, so many fans are just tired.

It takes less than a minute to make a Tweet with a simple hashtag. That's all it takes. And if that's too much effort for you... How much effort is it to go out and pirate the show to watch it through again? How much effort is it to go find your Dragon Box DVDs and carefully handle these collectors' sets so as not to damage them?... How much effort is it to have this very conversation?...
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by ABED » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:32 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:26 pm
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:10 pm
I don't know if Gunn's rehiring had anything to do with fan response. I think it had more to do with time passing and the powers that be realizing they had pandered to the wrong sorts of people.
Again, my point was that his hiring was from such a tiny minority of people. Internet backlash is a powerful thing when done right.
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:10 pm
Listening to "the fans" feels more like giving into mob mentality. They are never going to be happy no matter what they get. Hardcore fans have arguably been given far more voice than they ever have and yet they constantly complain.
Yes, and those complaints have always been consistent. We want a proper release, we want dubs that aren't shit. They have continually denied us proper releases, so we still complain about that. The dubs, we complain less about. There's criticism, but generally it's seen that they're not shit anymore. They're, at least, okay. So everyone's eased off. Even if there are still valid criticisms to be levelled against the work, which still are, just to a very small degree. Only crazy people like me still take issue with their added jokes and such in the modern dubs...
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:10 pm
What makes you think I haven't? It's pissing in the wind at this point.
What makes me think you haven't is that you're literally arguing against doing it. It's 2019, it's not 2007 anymore. Or even 2010. Everyone's a million times more connected than we've ever been, and a million times more able to make our voices heard.
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:10 pm
The controversy was only big because Gunn worked for Marvel which is the most visible brand in pop culture. It gets clicks.
It wasn't big. At all. Not even slightly. No one was talking about it, at all. It was literally just a few alt-right crazies on Twitter. It only started getting talked about after he was fired.
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:10 pm
I have the DBoxes and I fought this sort of fight before, and it was exhausting. Eventually we got Kai, and a few of the worst voice actors were gone. I'm happy.
I'm not asking you to "Fight" if you don't want to. Sending out a Tweet or two isn't exhausting, it takes a minute or two of effort.

And again, it's a little selfish to look at the shitty 30th sets, the shitty Season BDs, the shitty Season DVDs, the shitty Dragon Boxes (no colour correction, blurry transfer even by standard-def standards, so limited in quantity that unless you were a hardcore fan in 2010 when they were new, you just don't get to have them? It's shity)... You look at all that, and you decide "No, I don't care enough to make a single Tweet to even try for a chance to make things better. I am happy with the shitty situation we have, because Tweeting a simple hashtag is too much effort."

The reason these backlashes have never made any real waves before is this precise attitude you're displaying now. No one is willing to so much as make a Tweet. The only reason the 30th sets got any real hate directed at them was because Ajay made a couple of videos about it. But no one backed him up, hell Geekdom outright defended Funimation, practically shilling for the 30th sets. And no one else was willing to do much about it, because at this point, so many fans are just tired.

It takes less than a minute to make a Tweet with a simple hashtag. That's all it takes. And if that's too much effort for you... How much effort is it to go out and pirate the show to watch it through again? How much effort is it to go find your Dragon Box DVDs and carefully handle these collectors' sets so as not to damage them?... How much effort is it to have this very conversation?...
My point is that I don't think his rehiring was due to fans clamoring for it.

Okay, guilty about arguing against it, but me tweeting doesn't do anything. It won't get us anywhere. You severly overestimate the power of social media in making changes like this. And no, I don't care enough. It's not my problem. I don't care about the home video releases. I has no impact on me beyond a minor inconvenience. Harping on it over and over again gets me nothing. It takes zero effort, but will also get us zero results. Why even get mildly upset about these issues. The Gunn thing is something to get upset about. Stop comparing these situations. He was neither fired nor rehired due to fan backlash.

This conversation took some effort, but convincing masses of people that their aspect ratios are screwed up would take way more.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:52 pm

ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:32 pm
Okay, guilty about arguing against it, but me tweeting doesn't do anything. It won't get us anywhere. You severly overestimate the power of social media in making changes like this.
On that, we will have to agree to disagree. Otherwise we'll be here all day, get no where, and... I have stuff to get done.

You don't think complaining about things can get anything done, my experiences have taught me otherwise. Let's not argue about this further, it's tiring and neither of us are going to change our minds by just talking to each-other.

---

The rest of this post is not about the Levels, the Season BDs, the 30th sets, or Funimation, it is about the discussion ABED and I have ended up having so far. So, to the average reader who doesn't care about anything beyond just this discussion of Funi's remastering, you may find the rest of this post quite dull.
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:32 pm
The Gunn thing is something to get upset about. Stop comparing these situations. He was neither fired nor rehired due to fan backlash.
Ah yes, because getting upset about things you have got over is childish and silly. Because you have decreed it so. And there are other issues more worthy of our time, by your judgement, therefore this one is worth no one's time.

Seriously, much as I respect the rest of your post, this is straight-up a bad faith argument to make, and I'm not going to dignify it with a proper response. Feel free to PM me about this if you like, I'd rather not clutter up this thread further with any more nonsense that sprung out from my -- now I see rather poor -- choice to compare this situation to the first "social media making a change" thing that popped into my head, and moving on without thinking that maybe someone will decide to make a bad faith argument about the way I'm making my argument rather than engage with the argument I'm presenting.

Again, to reference a previous post of mine, apologies if this comes off as mean: I only have so much time in the day, and I'd rather not spend it on arguing about what particular issues are worth being passionate about, and other harsh judgements about how people choose to spend their mental energy in their free time.
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:32 pm
And no, I don't care enough. It's not my problem. I don't care about the home video releases. I has no impact on me beyond a minor inconvenience. Harping on it over and over again gets me nothing.
You don't care, therefore you argue against people who do care. Y'see, this is how people end up arguing in favour of the Orange Bricks and such; "it's not my problem, I don't care about cropping, therefore it's a good release, and if you care about cropping, your opinion doesn't matter to me, therefore your opinion doesn't matter."

I'm sure you're not deliberately arguing in bad faith here, but at this point, whether you're intending to or not, all you're doing is belittling my views because you don't care.

Prime example, the way you ended your post:
ABED wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:32 pm
Why even get mildly upset about these issues.
If I wanted a perfect example of a belittlement of someone's views that doesn't actually add anything to a discussion, this will serve as a prime example.

I'm sorry if this comes off as mean, but again, you are arguing in bad faith, you aren't even giving me the courtesy of assuming that my views hold enough merit that the very act of feeling passionately about this is a conceivable state of mind. So, to turn the tables, if you had levelled what you're saying against me a few years ago, when I had thinner skin, when I was a less confident, less assertive person, you'd probably have seriously put me off. Possibly driven me away from this forum. Whether or not you have intended it, the way you have conducted yourself here is, in my view, very mean, and just plain frustrating to engage with. I'm not trying to slander or personally attack you, to be clear, I'm just trying to put a mirror in front of you. Examine the way you're arguing with me and ask yourself if you've really conducted yourself in the best way possible.

For the record, I normally enjoy debating with you quite a lot, but in this thread, I have actually not. It's honestly been a rather unpleasant, frustrating experience, for the reasons I have outlined.

Again, I apologise if this post comes off as overly mean. I just have a hard time responding to bad faith arguments, whether those are made with good-faith intentions or not. Please do PM me if you want to discuss this a little more, my PMs are always open; as I said previously, I'd rather not further clutter this thread with talk about how to have conversations, I'd rather this thread be about its original purpose of discussing Funimation's home releases, particularly the 30th sets, the Levels, and the Season BDs.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:07 pm

Here's something I would like to posit to anyone who's on the fence about trying tweeting and such:

Remember that Funi did end up adding some fake grain to the 30th sets after the backlash. So even though the 30th backlash didn't fix things, it's clear Funi at least are aware we hardcore fans take issue, and will argue against this stuff. So, they put the fake grain in as a nominal "answer" to the claims that it's been de-grained to the point of total image destruction.
And not only that, but remember that second trailer for the 30th sets that used wording for its framing and image comparisons, suspiciously similar to a certain comparison image that was going around after the first trailer...

Just something to think about. (And something I literally just remembered at this moment after a friend pointed it out to me on Discord :lol:)
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by BlazingFiddlesticks » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:20 pm

I do not recall FUNi explicitly mentioning cost as a barrier to the Level sets, and when asked point blank in the Kanzenshuu user questions segment (where would I find that? I've found it again before but don't know what category is falls under) the respondent again said it was a number of things. The cancelling of the Level sets that early on never made sense from any angle, given that the Orange Brick DVDs already proved beyond doubt that cropped scrubbed 40-episode packages sell splendidly, such that it is interesting the Levels were released at all. I can only guess that some people with say within FUNi advocated for them and that eventually fell through. I don't see them deliberately crashing a 4:3 DBZ release to prove a point purists.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:33 pm

BlazingFiddlesticks wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:20 pm
I do not recall FUNi explicitly mentioning cost as a barrier to the Level sets, and when asked point blank in the Kanzenshuu user questions segment (where would I find that? I've found it again before but don't know what category is falls under) the respondent again said it was a number of things. The cancelling of the Level sets that early on never made sense from any angle, given that the Orange Brick DVDs already proved beyond doubt that cropped scrubbed 40-episode packages sell splendidly, such that it is interesting the Levels were released at all. I can only guess that some people with say within FUNi advocated for them and that eventually fell through. I don't see them deliberately crashing a 4:3 DBZ release to prove a point purists.
Exactly. And as we saw with the Season BDs, they were able to put in the Level remastering work (as per the interview I mentioned in the OP, as well as the evidence of the tape mark removal corroborating this), and add a smearing/blurring+sharpening filter on top, then crop it, and release it in a format of 40-episode packages.

So, clearly they could have released the Levels as 40-episode packages, but chose not to.
So, what happened? Deliberate sabotage, perhaps? Personally, that's my pet theory. As you note, cancelling the Levels that early raises a lot of questions. As does the very high price point and the 17-episode boxes. It just doesn't make any sense, at all, unless the whole thing was a deliberate effort to create the illusion such sets wouldn't be profitable.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by SuperSaiyaManZ94 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:41 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:33 pm
BlazingFiddlesticks wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:20 pm
I do not recall FUNi explicitly mentioning cost as a barrier to the Level sets, and when asked point blank in the Kanzenshuu user questions segment (where would I find that? I've found it again before but don't know what category is falls under) the respondent again said it was a number of things. The cancelling of the Level sets that early on never made sense from any angle, given that the Orange Brick DVDs already proved beyond doubt that cropped scrubbed 40-episode packages sell splendidly, such that it is interesting the Levels were released at all. I can only guess that some people with say within FUNi advocated for them and that eventually fell through. I don't see them deliberately crashing a 4:3 DBZ release to prove a point purists.
Exactly. And as we saw with the Season BDs, they were able to put in the Level remastering work (as per the interview I mentioned in the OP, as well as the evidence of the tape mark removal corroborating this), and add a smearing/blurring+sharpening filter on top, then crop it, and release it in a format of 40-episode packages.

So, clearly they could have released the Levels as 40-episode packages, but chose not to.
So, what happened? Deliberate sabotage, perhaps? Personally, that's my pet theory. As you note, cancelling the Levels that early raises a lot of questions. As does the very high price point and the 17-episode boxes. It just doesn't make any sense, at all, unless the whole thing was a deliberate effort to create the illusion such sets wouldn't be profitable.
That's what has really baffled me for so long about the Level sets unfortunate fate, it just seems like such an odd choice of release style especially in light of the previous two releases which came before it (Orange Bricks, Dragon Boxes.etc) and i've never been able to wrap my head around why they did it that way.

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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Dragon Sponge » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:05 pm

SuperSaiyaManZ94 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:41 pm
Robo4900 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:33 pm
BlazingFiddlesticks wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:20 pm
I do not recall FUNi explicitly mentioning cost as a barrier to the Level sets, and when asked point blank in the Kanzenshuu user questions segment (where would I find that? I've found it again before but don't know what category is falls under) the respondent again said it was a number of things. The cancelling of the Level sets that early on never made sense from any angle, given that the Orange Brick DVDs already proved beyond doubt that cropped scrubbed 40-episode packages sell splendidly, such that it is interesting the Levels were released at all. I can only guess that some people with say within FUNi advocated for them and that eventually fell through. I don't see them deliberately crashing a 4:3 DBZ release to prove a point purists.
Exactly. And as we saw with the Season BDs, they were able to put in the Level remastering work (as per the interview I mentioned in the OP, as well as the evidence of the tape mark removal corroborating this), and add a smearing/blurring+sharpening filter on top, then crop it, and release it in a format of 40-episode packages.

So, clearly they could have released the Levels as 40-episode packages, but chose not to.
So, what happened? Deliberate sabotage, perhaps? Personally, that's my pet theory. As you note, cancelling the Levels that early raises a lot of questions. As does the very high price point and the 17-episode boxes. It just doesn't make any sense, at all, unless the whole thing was a deliberate effort to create the illusion such sets wouldn't be profitable.
That's what has really baffled me for so long about the Level sets unfortunate fate, it just seems like such an odd choice of release style especially in light of the previous two releases which came before it (Orange Bricks, Dragon Boxes.etc) and i've never been able to wrap my head around why they did it that way.
I have a Theory about this:

Maybe Funimation cranks out these poor releases on Purpose so that they can allways rerelease the Z Portion and cash in again on Disapointed Fans from their previus releases.

Probably the Orange Bricks where at first just an attempt to cover up Tape Marks and making the Show more like a Modern one for the Main Stream Audience. Then After the Backlash from Hard Core Fans they decided to release the Dragon Boxes as an authentic release for the 4:3 crowd, but only in limited supplys and leaving the Orange Bricks still in production. Then Maybe the production of the Level Sets startet as an genuine atempt to remaster the Z Portion faithfully but most likely the higher ups did´t really like the idea of an perfect DBZ release that would completly satisfy most Fans. They probably decided that they could gain more cash by releasing poor releases with changes Main Stream Watchers wont be bothered with, but that will disapoint lots of Hard Core Fans, they can cash in on with another imperfect release that fixes only certain Mistakes and leaves others untouched to ensure that this cicle can be repeated again a few years later.

And so the Level Sets where sabotaged and cancled, and then replaced with another Main Stream 16:9 cropped and smeared release to piss of the 4:3 audience so that they can get their money Later with a 4:3 30th Anivisary release of the same smeared Master.

Of course their could be other reasons for this mess, but i think it could be very much what actually happend behind the Scenes.

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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:00 pm

Dragon Sponge wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:05 pm
I have a Theory about this:

Maybe Funimation cranks out these poor releases on Purpose so that they can allways rerelease the Z Portion and cash in again on Disapointed Fans from their previus releases.

Probably the Orange Bricks where at first just an attempt to cover up Tape Marks and making the Show more like a Modern one for the Main Stream Audience. Then After the Backlash from Hard Core Fans they decided to release the Dragon Boxes as an authentic release for the 4:3 crowd, but only in limited supplys and leaving the Orange Bricks still in production. Then Maybe the production of the Level Sets startet as an genuine atempt to remaster the Z Portion faithfully but most likely the higher ups did´t really like the idea of an perfect DBZ release that would completly satisfy most Fans. They probably decided that they could gain more cash by releasing poor releases with changes Main Stream Watchers wont be bothered with, but that will disapoint lots of Hard Core Fans, they can cash in on with another imperfect release that fixes only certain Mistakes and leaves others untouched to ensure that this cicle can be repeated again a few years later.

And so the Level Sets where sabotaged and cancled, and then replaced with another Main Stream 16:9 cropped and smeared release to piss of the 4:3 audience so that they can get their money Later with a 4:3 30th Anivisary release of the same smeared Master.

Of course their could be other reasons for this mess, but i think it could be very much what actually happend behind the Scenes.
I agree, this is quite likely. The way they're releasing the show, they can keep re-releasing it marginally less crap, and keep squeezing our dollars out, as long as the fans don't do anything to show serious dissatisfaction with this.
Dragon Sponge wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:05 pm
a 4:3 30th Anivisary release of the same smeared Master.
Yes. A master that has an unsmeared version, which they simply refuse to use.

Quite crafty, but abhorrent the way they have all they need to hold back the good master and give us progressively-slightly-less-shit releases for years.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Ryuji-Otogi » Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:23 pm

I don’t think FUNimation sabotaged their own release. When a company invests money into a product and puts it out on the market, they want it to succeed. I think the failure of the Level sets was simply bad planning. I also don’t think FUNi refuses to release the Level remasters just to spite the fans. They’re a company, like any other, that prioritizes profits, and any decision they make will be mostly influenced by that. It’s a shame, and I certainly agree that fans should voice their displeasure when they feel they’re not being done right. For their part, FUNimation did listen to the fans when they released Dragon Ball and GT in fullscreen, and released the Dragon Boxes in the U.S. To this date; however, FUNi has not released the entirety of DBZ in full screen in a affordable, not-limited print format. That’s my biggest disappointment with how they’ve handled home video DBZ releases.

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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:37 pm

Ryuji-Otogi wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:23 pm
I don’t think FUNimation sabotaged their own release. When a company invests money into a product and puts it out on the market, they want it to succeed.
Then how do you explain the fact it was released with tiny episode counts, high pricing, released it with such poor timing... Then put the same amount of work, time, and money into the follow-up release but with good episode counts, low pricing, good timing... And a shitty DNR+sharpening+crop+blue tint+overcontrast on top of this all?
Ryuji-Otogi wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:23 pm
I think the failure of the Level sets was simply bad planning. I also don’t think FUNi refuses to release the Level remasters just to spite the fans. They’re a company, like any other, that prioritizes profits, and any decision they make will be mostly influenced by that. It’s a shame, and I certainly agree that fans should voice their displeasure when they feel they’re not being done right.
Again though, read the OP. The Level masters for all 291 episodes are in their vaults. They have deliberately chosen to not release the show in that format, and that is a choice they have continually made since 2012.
Ryuji-Otogi wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:23 pm
For their part, FUNimation did listen to the fans when they released Dragon Ball and GT in fullscreen, and released the Dragon Boxes in the U.S. To this date; however, FUNi has not released the entirety of DBZ in full screen in a affordable, not-limited print format. That’s my biggest disappointment with how they’ve handled home video DBZ releases.
They released GT's "Remastered" DVDs at the same time as they were releasing Z, DB was right after Z, and really, they were all contemporary; to me, it doesn't seem likely they were doing anything they were doing because of fan demands.
When doing Z, they scanned film, and were able to have a 480p widescreen image, whereas DB and GT they only had on tapes at 4:3 in 480p format, so they couldn't crop that for a 480p DVD release. Just wouldn't work. They did still do a "Remaster" of their tapes of DB and GT, but only in the form of DNR and a slight zoom (about 2 pixels on all sides) to crop out blank edges of the frame that were consistently present in all episodes.

If Funi had access to film of DB and GT, I have no doubt they'd have tried on the widescreen cropping nonsense. But they don't seem interested in continually comercially exploiting those shows, only Z. And they only bothered to buy film copies of Z, as far as the series is concerned.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by SpiritBombTriumphant » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:16 am

Dragon Sponge wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:05 pm
I have a Theory about this:

Maybe Funimation cranks out these poor releases on Purpose so that they can allways rerelease the Z Portion and cash in again on Disapointed Fans from their previus releases.

...

And so the Level Sets where sabotaged and cancled, and then replaced with another Main Stream 16:9 cropped and smeared release to piss of the 4:3 audience so that they can get their money Later with a 4:3 30th Anivisary release of the same smeared Master.

Of course their could be other reasons for this mess, but i think it could be very much what actually happend behind the Scenes.
I think this is almost certainly true. Look at Dragon Ball or Dragon Ball GT. Their releases are fine. No overclocked DNR filter, no widescreen cropping, nothing. They did a slight remaster (if any at all) and released it on the market. One time. With DBZ? They destroyed even the linework of DBZ in the Orange Bricks (along with a DNR filter), the season sets are less shit (but still shit), and now the 30th has 4:3 but still hardcore DNR and fake grain. The one good HD release got cancelled.

From DB and DBGT, we can all see that they know how to remaster a show and release it. They are simply choosing not to so they can milk DBZ for all it's worth. There's no reason they'd release DBZ so many times in such shitty states but the series that get one release each get a perfectly normal release. It's all fucking planned. That's why I only get my copies of Z on the seven seas. They won't get my money until they put out a product worth paying for.
Robo4900 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:37 pm
If Funi had access to film of DB and GT, I have no doubt they'd have tried on the widescreen cropping nonsense. But they don't seem interested in continually comercially exploiting those shows, only Z. And they only bothered to buy film copies of Z, as far as the series is concerned.
I doubt it. Everyone knows that Z is the cash cow of the series, not the DB or GT. That's why Funimation did a perfectly normal release for both of them (and only one release each). They know it can't be milked so they won't bother fucking with the picture so it can be released again later slightly better.

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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:07 pm

SpiritBombTriumphant wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:16 am
I think this is almost certainly true. Look at Dragon Ball or Dragon Ball GT. Their releases are fine. No overclocked DNR filter, no widescreen cropping, nothing. They did a slight remaster (if any at all) and released it on the market. One time.
Again, it's worth noting this "remaster" amounted to them applying a DNR and zooming the picture in slightly to crop out ~3-pixel-thick black bars at the sides of the screen. "Remastered" is meaningless, in this case.
SpiritBombTriumphant wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:16 am
With DBZ? They destroyed even the linework of DBZ in the Orange Bricks (along with a DNR filter), the season sets are less shit (but still shit), and now the 30th has 4:3 but still hardcore DNR and fake grain. The one good HD release got cancelled.

From DB and DBGT, we can all see that they know how to remaster a show and release it. They are simply choosing not to so they can milk DBZ for all it's worth. There's no reason they'd release DBZ so many times in such shitty states but the series that get one release each get a perfectly normal release. It's all fucking planned. That's why I only get my copies of Z on the seven seas. They won't get my money until they put out a product worth paying for.
:thumbup:
SpiritBombTriumphant wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:16 am
I doubt it. Everyone knows that Z is the cash cow of the series, not the DB or GT. That's why Funimation did a perfectly normal release for both of them (and only one release each). They know it can't be milked so they won't bother fucking with the picture so it can be released again later slightly better.
Yeah. I agree.

Honestly, I don't expect Funi will ever do this right. And given the attitudes expressed in the responses to this thread, I don't think many people actually care enough to do anything about it anyway. :L
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by MetaMoss » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:55 pm

From the evidence here, all I'm really seeing that we know for sure is that Funimation has done some pre-processing/clean-up work on their masters. But isn't that something they would have done no matter how they were going about remastering the series? I'm willing to bet that this pre-processed version shown was the basis for all three of DBZ's Blu-ray releases and that it was initially created as part of the remaster we saw on the Level sets.

As for that meaning the Level remaster was completed? I'm not seeing that. My reason for believing that it wasn't is how the 30th release wasn't just the Level remaster in full. With how the main selling point for the 30th was that it was in 4:3, and with the many [justified] complaints on how the set felt low-effort, if Funimation was sitting on a complete, Blu-ray-ready, 4:3 remaster, wouldn't just putting that onto discs be less effort than making an entirely new version?

My guess is that, for however far they did complete the Level remaster, Funimation determined it to be easier and/or more cost-effective to start over and make what they did for the 30th. Which is why I think it's likely that, for whatever reason that we're not privy to, the Levels remaster got stopped before it was completed.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:12 pm

MetaMoss wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:55 pm
From the evidence here, all I'm really seeing that we know for sure is that Funimation has done some pre-processing/clean-up work on their masters. But isn't that something they would have done no matter how they were going about remastering the series? I'm willing to bet that this pre-processed version shown was the basis for all three of DBZ's Blu-ray releases and that it was initially created as part of the remaster we saw on the Level sets.

As for that meaning the Level remaster was completed? I'm not seeing that. My reason for believing that it wasn't is how the 30th release wasn't just the Level remaster in full. With how the main selling point for the 30th was that it was in 4:3, and with the many [justified] complaints on how the set felt low-effort, if Funimation was sitting on a complete, Blu-ray-ready, 4:3 remaster, wouldn't just putting that onto discs be less effort than making an entirely new version?

My guess is that, for however far they did complete the Level remaster, Funimation determined it to be easier and/or more cost-effective to start over and make what they did for the 30th. Which is why I think it's likely that, for whatever reason that we're not privy to, the Levels remaster got stopped before it was completed.
The problem is, if there's pre-processing/clean-up... Then that's basically all the work done. If the tape marks and the worst of the film damage is cleaned up, and the colours are already nice, all you need to do is zoom the picture in a little to remove the film edges, and you basically have the Level masters again. Add a light DNR and an automatic film alignment filter, then make some slight colour adjustments, and you literally have the Levels.

Meanwhile, for the Season BDs, Funi added an aggressive DNR+sharpening/smearing filter, cropped it to widescreen and individually reframed it shot-by-shot to make the cropping somewhat more acceptable than on the OBs (and do think about this for a moment; every single shot of every single one of the 291 episodes being reframed in widescreen manually? That's a lot of very tedious work). They also adjusted the colours, amping the contrast up to ridiculously high levels, without fixing any of the slight yellow or blue colour cast on their episodes.
And on the 30th sets, they took these Level-ready masters, put their DNR+sharpening/smearing filter on, and zoomed it in to a similar zoom level to the DBoxes. And then they adjusted the colours, giving everything a red/pink tint, and again amping the contrast way up.

In other words, the effort taken to do the Season BDs was probably more than what it took to do the Levels. And the effort taken to do the 30th sets would have been the same as what would be needed to release a Level-like release that the fans actually want.

If you believe what Funi said on their blog posts and in Discord responses, the reason for the awful DNR filtering and such on the 30th set is because Funi's employees simply think it looks better that way. Which makes about as much sense as any other explanation for the nonsensical approach they've taken to these past few releases.
Realistically, we have no real explanation, this is the closest we have to any real indication of the truth. We know what they did, and what they could have done, but we don't know why they did what they did, and why they didn't do what they could have done. These vague suggestions that they think it looks better is all we have. Who knows if it's true or not.
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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by SpiritBombTriumphant » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:07 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:12 pm
Who knows if it's true or not.
I'm just glad you're coming to your senses on this. I thought you were lost when you said they have level remasters for all 291 episodes of Z as if it were fact.

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Re: Was the Level remastering REALLY too expensive, though? Almost certainly not.

Post by Robo4900 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:22 am

SpiritBombTriumphant wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:07 pm
Robo4900 wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:12 pm
Who knows if it's true or not.
I'm just glad you're coming to your senses on this. I thought you were lost when you said they have level remasters for all 291 episodes of Z as if it were fact.
I said "Who knows if it's true or not" in regards to Funi's staff saying they think the show looks better with their smeary DNR.

Other than that, I've said nothing different to what I've said before except that I've said it in a more long-winded form... So either you haven't read my post, or your previous objections to what I've said have stemmed from the fact you've made assumptions about the simplified ways I've said this, without reading the more detailed explanations.

But, because you seem so stuck on this, I'm going to lay this out one more time:
No, Funimation do not literally have the Level remasters for all 291 episodes of Z. But I did say the words you put in your sig, as a useful shorthand after reiterating what I've been saying all along several times, because the truth of the matter is a mess that's more easily explained to the layperson in such terms, if I've already explained the full truth a few times. Because ultimately, the difference between their cleaned-up but not-smeared masters is just a 1-5% zoom into the image, and maybe a minor adjustment of colour. Probably a light DNR too. None of these are significant or expensive changes to the image, and all would have been well in the realm of possibility for, say, the 30th anniversary set (which, again, was the absolute cheapest a home video release could be, in terms of the production of it), to essentially give us the Levels Mark II.
I've been pretty consistent about this, if you pay attention to my posts.

Now, your responses to my "Level masters" shorthand, and your reponse to my "Who knows if it's true or not" both indicate that you're really not paying attention to me, so I would appreciate you actually reading all I have to say before responding to me in future.

And honestly, I don't much like your tone or overall conduct here. "I'm glad you're coming to your senses"? "I thought you were lost"? Alluding to your sig with that second one, in which you call me an Alex Jones clone?
I'm gonna tell you this straight: It almost seems like you're deliberately trying to discredit me without providing any actual counter to anything I'm saying here. Whether that's your intent or not, you should be aware the way you're arguing against me is an immensely frustrating thing to encounter, and I'd appreciate it if you engage with me without playing such games in future. I like people disagreeing with me, it's far more interestin than just a bunch of people saying "Yes, you are right" or somesuch. It's nice to know people agree with me, but if someone disagrees, it creates discussion, and creates an opportunity to re-examine my views... I can't really do that if the counter isn't so much an argument as an attempt to discredit.
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