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Pros/Cons for upgrading some series from DVD releases to Blu-Ray releases

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  • [DVD/BD] Pros/Cons for upgrading some series from DVD releases to Blu-Ray releases

    Widgets Magazine
    Howdy everyone! I've been out of the collecting scene for a while due to some factors beyond my control but I'm ready to jump back in! I know a lot has changed since the early 2010's so I thought I post this question here.

    Is it worth upgrading some older shows I have on DVD to the newer Blu-Ray releases?

    I know some shows were "remastered" for a Blu-Ray release but I don't want to go pouring good hard cash on an upgrade when it could have been used elsewhere. I typically don't upgrade any form of media (games/movies/anime, etc.) unless there is good reason.

    However since I've been out of the loop for so long I'm unsure if some are worth buying the upgrade or not. From what I can tell in most cases the answer is no but I thought I ask you guys.

    The main shows I've thought about upgrading are:
    • Full Metal Panic franchise
      • I currently have ADV Films 2nd Box Set (Red Thinpak) release of Full Metal Panic! and the singles & artbox release of Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu. From what I can tell its not worth upgrading to the newer Blu-Ray sets if you have an older DVD release.
      • For Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid I have the first Funimation complete collection (digipack release) with all the extras from the singles
    • Hellsing Ultimate
      • I plan on getting Funimation's OVA 2 & 3 sets to complete my collection for this title. I currently have Genon's Special Edition Steelbook releases for Volumes I-IV.
    • Black Lagoon
      • Stellbook complete collections for the first two seasons. Plan on picking up Roberta's Blood Trail OVA to complete this one. Just checking to see if the Blu-Rays for the first two seasons are any better.
    • Serial Experiments Lain
      • I have the 2001 Pioneer Box Set release of the series.
    • Cowboy Bebop
    ​​​​​​​So would the upgrades to the Blu-Rays be worth upgrades?

  • #2
    Full Metal Panic TSR is in Full HD so is worth the upgrade. The two prior seasons are upscales but are solid enough though maybe not an absolute must to upgrade.

    Hellsing Ultimate is worth the upgrade

    Black Lagoon looks really good in HD given when the show was made.

    Serial Experiments Lain isn't without it's problems in HD BUT again is worth the upgrade, especially if you can get ahold of the Limited Edition Funimation put out.

    Cowboy Bebop is 100% worth the upgrade also.

    I mean do you have a HD setup and how much do you anticipate rewatching these shows is the most deciding factor I think.
    Anime MAL/AP -- Collection Anime/Manga/Figures & General Merch -- YouTube Channel - Anime Pickups, Unboxings etc

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    • #3
      Full Metal Panic - Season 1 & Fumoffu are definite upgrades over the ADV DVDs, especially Fumoffu because ADV was given a bad composite master for that season which had dotcrawl and FUNi's release has none of that. It should also be noted that both were released back when FUNi was improving with their in-house upscales (post-Ouran in 2010) and with less of the issues that their earlier releases had. Second Raid however, has some issues due to being one of their older upscales (2009) with it's main problem being dropped frames in the opening & ending videos due to the way they were animated (30fps I believe) and this wasn't an issue on the DVDs.

      Black Lagoon - They used the Japanese upscale for seasons 1 & 2 and aside from some banding, that release was decent. Be aware though that if you're into keeping old extras, the FUNi release is missing the Red Fraction music video that's on the Geneon extra DVD for season 1.

      Lain - The banding & brightness issues on this was pretty bad and IIRC, there were some LEs that had issues with the art box where the paint was peeling off early.

      Cowboy Bebop - The previous release had some issues, specifically with degraining & regraining but it's the lesser of the 3 evils compared to the UK & Japanese releases plus if you're into English extras, FUNi had 2 new extras made with the voice cast that's only on their release with a third one apparently happening for the new set. As for the Bebop movie, the Sony/Image Blu-ray was bare-bones and missing stuff from the DVD like 5.1 audio & the music video extras so it might be best to wait for FUNi's new set if you want to upgrade and hope that they work on a new disc for that film.
      Avatar: From Sailor Moon S Episode 118 "The Battle in a Demonic Dimension! The Sailor Soldier's Bet"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BlaizeV View Post
        I mean do you have a HD setup and how much do you anticipate rewatching these shows is the most deciding factor I think.
        Yeah I have a 42 inch Samsung 1080p Full HD set with PS4 Pro & Xbox One X and both of them upscale DVDs very well. Plan on getting a 4k TV at some point.

        Thanks for the info! Much appreciated I'll probably hold off on a lot of these titles waiting to see if there will be a sale going on. I'm a sucker for extras but with Black Lagoon if it is just missing the music video that's okay. The only title I noticed huge issues with was Fumoffu but NJ_'s post explained a lot of why the picture quality of the DVDs looked worse to me when compared to ADV's release of the first season of FMP.

        Even though I will upgrade these titles to Blu-Ray at some point I'm still keeping the releases I have the artboxes, DVD singles they are like a piece of history lol.

        Cowboy Bebop on the other hand is my #1 priority I have Bandai's Anime Legend's Complete Collection of the "Remix" edition and the Sony DVD release and I want Funimation's "The Bounty Hunter's Steel" CE.

        By the way the only other series I had a question about is Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Seasons 1 & 2. I missed out on Funimation's CE release of the series but I was wondering how does the Blu-Ray Complete Collections stack up to Bandai's Anime Legend releases for this series?

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        • #5
          I would recommend upgrading Fumoffu but not the original Full Metal Panic. The original series DVD looks fine to me upscaled but the Fumoffu DVDs have some pretty bad dotcrawl and compression artifacts (really noticeable in the OP)

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          • #6
            Owning both, I would recommend Code Geass Blu-Ray upgrade, they are a good step up from the Bandai DVDs in terms of picture quality (and sound once they actually fixed the discs) and they included most if not all the extras (I don't remember off the top of my head I do know it included all the original picture dramas though) from the Bandai DVDs had as well so well worth the upgrade. Personally the buying point for me was new Japanese 5.1 audio mix and that alone makes it worth it over all previous releases. To respond in general though, more often than not a lot of anime remasters nowadays are well worth the upgrade if you want the best quality release of the series. It can sometimes be hit or miss depending on the series, age, and studio/state of the original master but some are just absolutely fantastic and make watching the show remastered a completely new experience. Generally speaking, you will see the biggest jump quality improvement with Cel animated series when they are remastered, provided the original masters are mostly intact; examples of this would be any of the pre-2000s Gundam series remasters, Macross Plus (still one of the most gorgeous OVA's to ever be animated), Cowboy Bebop, and Outlaw Star. Another great thing about upgrading to Blu-Ray is the media's reliability and durability compared to DVDs, BDs are much tougher and scratch resistant and will last longer when subjected to heavy use which is another huge plus.
            ~My Anime Collection~

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            • #7
              One pro that is almost always overlooked is that the subtitles on BD?s are vastly superior to DVD?s visually. Might be a small thing thing to most people.
              My Anime List
              Anime DVD/BD Collection

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              • #8
                Way back when, Full Metal Panic (along with Rahxephon) was going to be one of ADV's first forays into Blu-ray. The Blu-ray releases never panned out . . .but it does go to show the potential there.

                (I have not had a chance to compare the new release to my old dvds, though, so I can't say whether the pay off is actually there or not.)
                "The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man."

                -William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dimension_Tripper View Post
                  Owning both, I would recommend Code Geass Blu-Ray upgrade, they are a good step up from the Bandai DVDs in terms of picture quality (and sound once they actually fixed the discs) and they included most if not all the extras (I don't remember off the top of my head I do know it included all the original picture dramas though) from the Bandai DVDs had as well so well worth the upgrade. Personally the buying point for me was new Japanese 5.1 audio mix and that alone makes it worth it over all previous releases.
                  Here are the missing extras (not counting the audio drama CDs):

                  Season 1: Stage 2 Preview; Stage 25 Audio Commentary, Picture Drama: Stage 0.97*

                  R2: Broadcast Version of the Prologue - Turn 1, 5, 7-8, 11-13; Key Animation Gallery 1-9; Prize Announcement on TV - Turn 9-10, 16-19; The Black Knights' Titles in English, Picture Drama: Turn 12.06*

                  * - Exclusive to the Japanese 5.1 Blu-ray Boxes so Bandai never had these either.

                  The missing commentary is most likely a result of how the Epilogue was handled (details) since the cast continued onto that and Bandai also kinda handled it weirdly (details).

                  Speaking of the Japanese 5.1 mix, there were instances of missing sub lines for that version but were intact on the 2.0 track (source).
                  Avatar: From Sailor Moon S Episode 118 "The Battle in a Demonic Dimension! The Sailor Soldier's Bet"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chisel View Post
                    One pro that is almost always overlooked is that the subtitles on BD?s are vastly superior to DVD?s visually. Might be a small thing thing to most people.
                    Not always, the earlier Blu-ray releases from Funimation suffer from smaller white subtitles, which can be difficult to read, due to bending in with background scenes at times.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kirben View Post
                      Not always, the earlier Blu-ray releases from Funimation suffer from smaller white subtitles, which can be difficult to read, due to bending in with background scenes at times.
                      True plus they tried doing yellow subs for releases like Summer Wars and Eva 2.22 but that didn't work either because it had the exact same font as the previous white subs.
                      Avatar: From Sailor Moon S Episode 118 "The Battle in a Demonic Dimension! The Sailor Soldier's Bet"

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