View Full Version : Original "Vampire Hunter D" (Region 2) Visual Quality?
04-16-2009, 05:44 AM
My DVD collection is currently undergoing a bit of a transformation of sorts, as I am replacing my favorite animation films, OAVs, etc. (R1 DVDs by the way) with their generally superior R2J counterparts. Just snagged the elusive BAOH R2 through Yahoo JP, and one of the next titles on my list is the original Vampire Hunter D. I see that there is an official R2J disc available, but I have yet to find any screencaps of it. Since you all seem to be quite knowledgeable in this area, I figured I'd see what kind of input you could offer....
04-16-2009, 10:37 AM
I don't own the R2 release myself, but I recall reading that it was a budget release and the quality wasn't all that great.
04-17-2009, 04:24 PM
I don't have it either, but if you're really interested in quality, I suggest you just wait for the inevitable Blu-ray release. At this point quality consciousness and DVDs don't mix, unless you can get something really cheap.
04-18-2009, 12:53 AM
The R2 is slightly better than the R1, despite the R1 being progressively encoded. The R1 also has a slight bit of a bloody shot of the count cut out towards the end.
The best version is the remastered German version, but it's cropped to 16:9 and is of course in PAL.
I have the original Japanese laserdisc by Sony which is free of the MPEG-2 compression artifacts found in the R1 (and the Japanese R2 to a less severe degree), but it's so old it doesn't even have digital audio (although well-mastered analog audio on LD can still sound pretty good).
Like Skywise said, waiting for the Blu-ray would be the best bet unless you absolutely have to have the Japanese R2.
04-18-2009, 02:04 AM
While the R2J is no looker, it's still a lot better than the grainy black hole that is the Urban Vision DVD which was made back in the Streamline days from a vintage 35mm print. As far as source materials go, it really couldn't have been much worse if they'd tried to screw it up...
The Sony R2J has grayish blacks, a static 'grid' pattern, composite artifacts (dot-crawl), occasional film damage. It looks about like an LD from 1985, because clearly all Sony did was dump their ancient master onto DVD to cash-in on Kawajiri's psuedo-sequel. At least the audio is a little better, sounding like an actual stereo mix rather than a 2.0 mono track.
The German transfer from OVA Films is frustrating. The print used had less damage than the R2J transfer, it's sharp and vibrant, has strong black levels, reasonably good contrast, no composite artifacts, 'progressive' PAL with properly pitched audio, and it even has the vintage making-of and Japanese trailer. It'd be perfect, if only it weren't f**king anamorphic widescreen...
04-20-2009, 07:20 AM
Thank you all very much for your comments!
Yes, I totally understand that DVDs in many cases are not the best in terms of overall quality for video distribution now in 2009 (unless encoded and utilized to the full potential of the format), and certainly waiting out a possible Blu-Ray release for this, and many other shows/series is going to teach me a new level of patience :sweat: It does instill me with a bit of hope though, when I see that niche titles like "Minky Momo" are being re-released on Blu-Ray (in Japan at least).
Bottom line: Looks like I'll be buying the "D" R2J only if I can find it cheap (less than 2500 yen).
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