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Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

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  • #91
    Re: Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

    Originally posted by PosterAnonymous View Post
    Between the audio issues, the fact that it appears FUNi didn't bother to get HD sources for Season 1, and the fact that the packaging for Season 2 is DVD-sized when I held out for Season 1 on Blu-ray to avoid the double-dip this release has gone from my #2 desired release this year (Shana II was #1 - You see how much my desires are being fulfilled ) to debating cancelling my Amazon order.

    Is the general consensus on the forum that I should skip this in favor of the Japanese releases/not owning this series at all or should I overlook these problems and get it anyway? I don't feel like spending money that, in my admittedly narrow view, will only encourage FUNimation to continue producing crappy products but at the same time I don't feel like forking out the premium dough for the Japanese release or going without this show in any form.

    What is you all's honest opinion overall? I'm on the fence still and need some convincing one way or the other... Thanks in advance!
    That depends whether or not you're willing to buy from a company who's been all over the map as far as quality/consistency goes. They have fine exceptions (Eva, Summer Wars.) They did good with S2's video, but messed with the audio. S1 BD looks bad, but still better than the DVDs. Packaging..there's been threads about that. Personally, I'm not willing to spend money on the import, especially without any sub/dub option. (I even find both audio options enjoyable, despite their flaws). This is a series I wouldn't consider particularly friendly watching raw even to get an idea of what's happening. It would be like listening to a financial prospectus in a foreign language you're unfamiliar with.

    While FUNi always manages to screw up some aspect of their releases, I think this is the best you can get short of spending wads of cash for something you'll either need to find transcripts/subs for or be very fluent in Japanese.

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    • #92
      Re: Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

      Yeah... I don't really have any fancy set-ups, so the audio is a non-issue with me. I'm not noticing anything through my television speakers. Good luck on trying to get it fixed, though.
      ♫...I can see the sunlight, looking into your eyes; You're riding next to me, and we both become one...♫

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      • #93
        Re: Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

        Well I hope the professional reviews make light of this horrid audio mix. I'll be returning my set if they don't issue a recall because they are unwatchable in this state. This type of release is unacceptable.
        Impassionedcinema Thank You, Sentai! Ef Blu-ray is amazing!
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        • #94
          Re: Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

          Originally posted by PosterAnonymous View Post
          Between the audio issues, the fact that it appears FUNi didn't bother to get HD sources for Season 1, and the fact that the packaging for Season 2 is DVD-sized when I held out for Season 1 on Blu-ray to avoid the double-dip this release has gone from my #2 desired release this year (Shana II was #1 - You see how much my desires are being fulfilled ) to debating cancelling my Amazon order.

          Is the general consensus on the forum that I should skip this in favor of the Japanese releases/not owning this series at all or should I overlook these problems and get it anyway? I don't feel like spending money that, in my admittedly narrow view, will only encourage FUNimation to continue producing crappy products but at the same time I don't feel like forking out the premium dough for the Japanese release or going without this show in any form.

          What is you all's honest opinion overall? I'm on the fence still and need some convincing one way or the other... Thanks in advance!
          I bought the Japanese releases as they came out, so the expense didn't nuke my wallet! Maybe try a single series 1 R2 disc to compare with what you have from F'n.

          For series 2, also try a R2 - and rent the F'n release for comparison.

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          • #95
            Re: Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

            Originally posted by PosterAnonymous View Post
            What is you all's honest opinion overall? I'm on the fence still and need some convincing one way or the other... Thanks in advance!
            If you want to avoid adding to FUNi's sales numbers, but stay legal, and not pay out the nose for imports, there is always the pre-owned route.
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            • #96
              Re: Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

              Originally posted by Sensuifu View Post
              Originally posted by bluesilo View Post
              Has anyone else tried these discs yet? My discs are totally ruined and I'll be asking for a new copy. The dub on both the DVD and Blu-Ray comes out MONO and the JP track sounds tinny. Has anyone else run into this yet?
              I did an audio check (S2) and the results were interesting. Looking at the phase analysis and listening to it in realtime, the dialogue part of the dub audio is indeed in mono. However, other parts (op/ed, bgm, backing/fx tracks) seem to be in stereo (possibly dual-mono).

              The problem is the mix. While some parts are in stereo, the dialogue ruins the stereo separation by attenuating the rest of the soundtrack because it runs a bit hot. In other words, the dialogue's volume level is louder than the rest of the audio track, so that means all the nuances and miscellaneous sounds beside the spoken dialogue is drowned out (not surprising since they're likely only using 2.0 sources). Because they've encoded this as a 5.1 track, everything is now focused onto the Center Channel. This means any channel separation will be slightly, if not barely audible once downmixed to the center. I'd chalk this up as a mono release.
              So... huh. I'm not sure what a better explanation is: that someone genuinely screwed up, or that someone was trying to be clever in some new way (and produced a lame result) when constructing yet another questionable 5.1 mix out of 2.0 M&E elements and new English voice tracks not suited for 5.1.

              I mean, most questionable dub 5.1 mixes made using stereo elements (new ones, as well as upmixes of older 2.0 dubs which, perhaps expectedly, don't sound remarkably different) tend to end up filling the surround channels, predominantly the rear channels, with the M&E elements and pumping up the volume so that when, say, a character takes a bite out of an apple, it sounds like you're inside their mouth when they crunch down. It's not a great way of going about things, but there's only so much they can do. Vocal tracks don't tend to get much directionality, but they do get equally pumped up so that they're not drowned out by the rest of the audio elements. This situation sounds like they... were too heavy-handed in that regard?

              Originally posted by Sensuifu View Post
              As far as the JP audio track goes- as suspected, it runs an average of 7-10dB below the dub track. The thin sound is partially due to a lack of bass management/equalization and the volume level being below normal. Though the phase analysis shows stereo separation compared to the dub and has better dynamics even with the lower volume.
              The Japanese audio has suffered on FUNimation releases for quite some time now. Turning up the volume helps, but that's only part of the problem. English audio on license-rescued releases also suffers significantly. It's why I continue to advocate that folks look for original studio releases of any FUNimation license-rescues. Well, that's priorities for you. Though other studios don't really have this problem. Hmmm.
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              • #97
                Re: Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

                Originally posted by Sensuifu View Post
                I'm not sure they'll do anything to correct it (or re-release S1 using the HD source). There's a vast majority of people who will not/can't notice the problems we're discussing, either because of their setups, or just being unaware this issue exists. Being that the show is heavily dialog-driven, there's very little action in the surround channels and only a few people will spot these anomalies.

                It doesn't help that this pseudo-5.1 track is nothing other than a poor attempt of remixing a 2.0 source into surround, which evidently makes it sound worse than having just stereo. Even though the main dialog should be driven to the center, they messed up by leaving it in mono, collapsing all the stereo-mix into it, thus rendering everything to sound flat on output. Whether they find it worth to fix..who knows.
                As a dub fan, I've noticed these problems for years on english dubs whenever somebody decides to take an existing stereo sub and improve it "cough" to an english 5.1 mix!

                Sometimes the results are great! And it actually is a definite improvement over the original japanese stereo track with crowd noises all around and bullets wizzing past your ears. ADV has done some excellent work in this regards and some of the older Bandai stereo pro-logic mixes were very good as well. So I don't mind the studios trying.

                But for every one like that, there's usually one that don't sound any different and the only way you know it's a 5.1 mix is because your av receiver says so! Again, I don't mind as long as it's the same quality as the original stereo track and they don't make it worse.

                But once again, for every great dub and "I can't hear any difference" dub; sadly there's usually a third type where the 5.1 attempt to improve actually makes the dub poorer. This is what drives me crazy! Volume levels are screwed up, surround effects may be too loud or too quiet or in some extreme cases, even the balance between the center and the mains is thrown out of whack! The best example that comes to mind was the first pressing of Manga's "Macross Plus" which ended up being a 4.1 release with absolutely nothing in the center channel whatsoever! It drove me so crazy, I actually had to throw it out when they released a proper second pressing.

                So once again, I have no problem with studios trying to upgrade their english tracks from an original japanese stereo track. Most times it really is either a nice improvement or benign. So that's fine. But please studios, if you're gonna do this, make two english tracks, one in your 5.1 or other surround version and one in the original stereo version! Just in case you screw up the former!

                J. A.
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                • #98
                  Re: Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

                  Originally posted by Hayate Kurogane View Post

                  So... huh. I'm not sure what a better explanation is: that someone genuinely screwed up, or that someone was trying to be clever in some new way (and produced a lame result) when constructing yet another questionable 5.1 mix out of 2.0 M&E elements and new English voice tracks not suited for 5.1.

                  I mean, most questionable dub 5.1 mixes made using stereo elements (new ones, as well as upmixes of older 2.0 dubs which, perhaps expectedly, don't sound remarkably different) tend to end up filling the surround channels, predominantly the rear channels, with the M&E elements and pumping up the volume so that when, say, a character takes a bite out of an apple, it sounds like you're inside their mouth when they crunch down. It's not a great way of going about things, but there's only so much they can do. Vocal tracks don't tend to get much directionality, but they do get equally pumped up so that they're not drowned out by the rest of the audio elements. This situation sounds like they... were too heavy-handed in that regard?
                  Actually, the mix was just sloppy from beginning to end. There's really no indication they were experimenting with 5.1 as it fails even with a downmix. Like you've mentioned- in many cases, upmixing stereo sources into 5.1 may result in enough channel separation that even the rear surrounds receive some activity. But that's pretty much a given when doing pseudo-5.1 tracks using PL methods. Even with 2.0, there should be at least some bass presence redirected to the LF/RF and to the sub (depending where you set the crossover) on a downmix. There's nothing even remotely audible from any of these channels. The only reason why your receiver/player reads it as 5.1 is because it's been flagged that. It's easy enough to take a mono track, leave the other channels empty, flag and encode it as 5.1 and be done with it.

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                  • #99
                    Re: Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

                    Originally posted by Sensuifu View Post
                    The problem is the mix. While some parts are in stereo, the dialogue ruins the stereo separation by attenuating the rest of the soundtrack because it runs a bit hot. In other words, the dialogue's volume level is louder than the rest of the audio track, so that means all the nuances and miscellaneous sounds beside the spoken dialogue is drowned out (not surprising since they're likely only using 2.0 sources). Because they've encoded this as a 5.1 track, everything is now focused onto the Center Channel. This means any channel separation will be slightly, if not barely audible once downmixed to the center. I'd chalk this up as a mono release.

                    As far as the JP audio track goes- as suspected, it runs an average of 7-10dB below the dub track. The thin sound is partially due to a lack of bass management/equalization and the volume level being below normal. Though the phase analysis shows stereo separation compared to the dub and has better dynamics even with the lower volume.
                    So stick with the JP audio for S2 even if it's quieter. Fine by me then.
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                    • Re: Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

                      Originally posted by Nork22 View Post
                      Originally posted by Sensuifu View Post
                      The problem is the mix. While some parts are in stereo, the dialogue ruins the stereo separation by attenuating the rest of the soundtrack because it runs a bit hot. In other words, the dialogue's volume level is louder than the rest of the audio track, so that means all the nuances and miscellaneous sounds beside the spoken dialogue is drowned out (not surprising since they're likely only using 2.0 sources). Because they've encoded this as a 5.1 track, everything is now focused onto the Center Channel. This means any channel separation will be slightly, if not barely audible once downmixed to the center. I'd chalk this up as a mono release.

                      As far as the JP audio track goes- as suspected, it runs an average of 7-10dB below the dub track. The thin sound is partially due to a lack of bass management/equalization and the volume level being below normal. Though the phase analysis shows stereo separation compared to the dub and has better dynamics even with the lower volume.
                      So stick with the JP audio for S2 even if it's quieter. Fine by me then.
                      It's disappointing for me since I actually preferred the English voicing.
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                      • Re: Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

                        Does this carry over to the DVD? I'm thinking of getting this since I loved season 1 and I can just watch it via MPC and amplify the volume a bit to hear it so it may not be a problem for me.

                        Or I could wait and see if Funimation fixes it.
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                        • Re: Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

                          Originally posted by Nork22 View Post

                          So stick with the JP audio for S2 even if it's quieter. Fine by me then.
                          I could always do the third option.

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                          • Re: Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

                            Originally posted by Zeether View Post
                            Does this carry over to the DVD? I'm thinking of getting this since I loved season 1 and I can just watch it via MPC and amplify the volume a bit to hear it so it may not be a problem for me.

                            Or I could wait and see if Funimation fixes it.
                            the problem is present on both.

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                            • Re: Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

                              I contacted Rightstuf with my intent to return the discs and they informed me they have sent word to Funimation asking for a response.

                              Yes you could just watch the JP audio and be done with it, but I paid for a dual language release, and I want what I paid for. This may not matter for some, but if Funimation is allowed to get away with this here who knows where it will be stopped.
                              Impassionedcinema Thank You, Sentai! Ef Blu-ray is amazing!
                              Avatar: Shana - Shakugan no Shana (Jun Kuga)

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                              • Re: Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 & 2)

                                Has anyone who's a member of the Funimation forums posted anything there?

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