A Quick Look at a Couple of Recent Japanese Disks…

Posted by DiGiKerot in R2(J) DVDs at February 8, 2013 on 7:27 pm

Mostly because I’ve yet to reach my two-post-a-week quotient, but also because I’m always kind of curious as to how Japanese disks with English subtitles turn out, particularly when there’s no stream or western disk for them to pull subtitles off, as is the case with the recently released first volumes of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Code Geass:Akito the Exiled.

Not that, it turns out, there’s particularly much to report in either case – the subtitle jobs on both are pretty much indistinguishable from a typical US release. There’s none of the peculiar subject-omission you get in some of these releases, and there’s no peculiar naming choices as in the likes of Dogs Days, though I guess that second point might change when they get into some of Jojo’s more… troublesome character names. Both releases have even got song translations – well, OK, not for the ED in Jojo, but that was in English in the first place anyway. The Jojo OP sports English subtitles, though, and the Akito ED is even sporting both an English translation and the Japanese in romaji.

In both cases, I’m going to presume that they’ve both been outsourced to one of the many freelance groups that produce subtitles for official streaming releases – though a cursory glance doesn’t reveal any credits for the translation – as opposed to having been given to the studios Token Foreign Whipping Boy to do.

As a release, I guess Jojo is a little more interesting than Geass in that there’s a TV version to compare it to, and unsurprisingly there’s a few differences between the two.

Least shockingly, they’ve demystified some of the more grotesque moments which weren’t entirely visible in the TV version, and reports from people with more time than myself (I admit, I’ve yet to find time to actually watch through the whole disk) report that there’s a number of art improvements throughout the first episode of the show, at least. You still don’t get to see poor Danny being burnt to death, though, much to my relief.

I picked up the LE of Jojo, which also has an OST bundled with it. My copy, presumably as I pre-ordered a while in advance, came with a copy of the promo-poster as well. Shame I’ve got no room to hang it up. The actual packaging for the disk is pretty fabulous, as is expected for Jojo.

Code Geass: Akito the Exiled I have actually gotten around to watching – I’m glad I waited for the actual disk release, given the recently announced delay for the second installment. Given the differences in staff, it’s not really surprising that it’s got a very different flavour to the original work, but I do like it a great deal. The noodley Jazz soundtrack is pretty sweet, and the CG, whilst taking a little while to getting used to following, is mostly pretty well handled – the opening robot tussle has a nicely dynamic feeling to it, and things move around with a reasonable heft.

I would say I’m liking these higher-budget, longer-length serialized OAVs Sunrise have started doing, but it’s not like I’ve actually gotten around to watching Gundam Unicorn yet. I’ve been a Kazuki Akane fan for a while, though (if pressured to answer, I’d still list Escaflowne as my favourite TV show, even if I’ve not seen it in years at this point), so I’m probably more pre-disposed to like Akito than most.

I grabbed the first pressing LE again. The packaging is rather more dour than what Jojo sports, but it did come with a nice bunch of stuff. There’s a drama CD in the packaging (no idea what it’s actually about, though), and it came packaged with a nicely illustrated slip-case (Akito is on the other side – well, it’s basically the same scene from alternating views) which keeps the disk together with the production booklet (if you’ve ever bought an NISA release, it’s similar kind of content, though obviously in a way smaller softback booklet). The first pressing also came with a nice set of about fifteen postcards featuring the artwork from the OAVs ED animation.

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