UK Anime Distributor Anime Limited Discussion Thread

anime_andrew

Anime Limited Representative
Industry Representative
Hey folks,

Thought I’d chime in on this one and give some context.

== Why did we use Madman’s authoring? ==

Basically as simple as we all had short notice to make our releases and meet print demand for the release date we all had been cleared for. So we agreed a split of the work - we’d handle the book (translation and print design) and Madman would tackle authoring to make it happen.

We trust them to do the work as they do us and in fairness have never had a significant issue in the past.

== Why were examples like the ones linked not changed before release? ==

Given their high level of repute and market size in Australia, we do treat discs from Madman as ones that are pre-QC passed once spot checked for upload issues (wrong region code, bad upload by mistake etc) as we have never had cause to query it to date.

At Anime Ltd we do take these issues seriously and will examine it. What I can also say is I find it extremely unlikely these discs count as defective by any of the counts of our standards though. The key question for us during this examination will be: “Is this disappointing for us?” given we shipped a LOT of discs to reviewers and not one raised a flag to us.

== Re Deluxe ==

I’m going to be completely honest here and call this out as entitlement when people say if the disc quality is not enough to justify buying it there (aka good enough vs excellent whatever the arguments on that). The reason the Deluxe is more expensive than the other editions isn’t because of a different video quality it is because of the extras.

You should never have to pay more than the base price for a different video experience within the same medium of release (aka DVD : DVD, BD : BD, 4K BD : 4K BD).

What your money for the deluxe covers is:

A) The cost of translation and layout of the book.
B) The extra packaging (rigid case, digipack, both costing more than the steenbok)
C) The cost of the art cards inside
D) The cost of serialisation of the art card certifying the release
E) The cost of the poster that goes inside
F) The design time, cost of production, cost of royalties of the extra item to be announced soon.

All of that is for an extra £24.99 of cost (vs SRP or current price actually).

I am sure that makes me an unpopular person here but I want to call it as it is as I have been called out for that before and I listened to the arguments. You can’t have it both ways there on it.

== What next? ==

We’re going to do a full look through the master when back from MCM as it is the first time anything has been flagged on this and it’s gone out to a wide-range of reviewers.

I’d like to reassert that Madman do put a lot of care and love into their releases, rarely getting complaints themselves too from what I’ve ever seen.

Nothing is going to change just now though or in the foreseeable future on this one folks too - but we’ll do a run through of the discs and then form our own opinions. Always open to listening to fans too!

I have a few theories of my own about master material used in Japan and the rest of the world too based on the HK reviews of discs too by the by that may impact things too if I corroborate it... Appreciate everyone's passion here though and please note I am as passionate as you :).

If you do cancel your Deluxe more power to you, but note we're dangerously close to sell out on frankly the best LE release in the English speaking world of the film so there may not be a copy about later if you change your mind.

Best and speak soon!

Andrew
 

Robbl

Adventurer
It's just having to deal with movie encodes that are inferior to an already existing version. It might have been done to fit the dub + extras on a single disc. But then again there are still a few GB free space on the disc which makes me skeptical of said reason.

The Deluxe Edition is a stellar looking release and having an inferior encode that you guys at AL had probably little to do with must be a big thorn in the eye to you as well, especially considering how much work went into it, not only the home video release but cinema screenings and marketing as well.
 

NormanicGrav

Grav's End Harem
AUKN Staff
Hey folks,

Thought I’d chime in on this one and give some context.

== Why did we use Madman’s authoring? ==

Basically as simple as we all had short notice to make our releases and meet print demand for the release date we all had been cleared for. So we agreed a split of the work - we’d handle the book (translation and print design) and Madman would tackle authoring to make it happen.

We trust them to do the work as they do us and in fairness have never had a significant issue in the past.

Considering this is the biggest anime film in ages I think that from a business stand-point it would have been ideal to get the film out at the same time as the others, so I can understand making a deal with Madman to sort out that part while focusing on the other.

== Why were examples like the ones linked not changed before release? ==

Given their high level of repute and market size in Australia, we do treat discs from Madman as ones that are pre-QC passed once spot checked for upload issues (wrong region code, bad upload by mistake etc) as we have never had cause to query it to date.

At Anime Ltd we do take these issues seriously and will examine it. What I can also say is I find it extremely unlikely these discs count as defective by any of the counts of our standards though. The key question for us during this examination will be: “Is this disappointing for us?” given we shipped a LOT of discs to reviewers and not one raised a flag to us.

Madman has proven that they can make a good video quality release, but it depends on who is actually working on it over there. I seem to remember you or someone a few years ago stating that Madman (or AU distributors as a whole) have a rough QC process so they aren't perfect on everything. Though to me Madman's ideal main issue is literally the video quality while the rest I found to be fine (audio, subtitles, extras) but then again Hanabee, Siren Visual, virtually everyone except Aniplex, has that exact problem anyway (because I believe Sevakis said the tech is complicated or something compared to Japan).

== Re Deluxe ==

I’m going to be completely honest here and call this out as entitlement when people say if the disc quality is not enough to justify buying it there (aka good enough vs excellent whatever the arguments on that). The reason the Deluxe is more expensive than the other editions isn’t because of a different video quality it is because of the extras.

You should never have to pay more than the base price for a different video experience within the same medium of release (aka DVD : DVD, BD : BD, 4K BD : 4K BD).
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that people would give up on a release over disc quality. Granted I have at times but only if these issues had occurred:
  • Audio was Mono
  • Subtitles are mis-timed or pretty poor
  • Video has obvious issues:
    • Now you may think I'm referring to Banding. Banding is an issue that every distributor has so it's quite rare to find a localised English release without one to be honest. Aniplex can get away with it because their discs are authored in Japan as far as I'm aware.
    • In terms of video issues I refer to glitches like the Cowboy Bebop case back with Part 2's UK release, and Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere from Sentai's end.
Heck like would I drop a release over the extras? Perhaps, exclusive extras I feel has more value than extras that you can get elsewhere which is why I haven't bothered with the US release of Sword Art Online II because the soundtrack is available standalone which leaves the only worthy value being English Audio CDs and a mini-booklet.

Would I drop Your Name Deluxe over its extras? Nah.

What your money for the deluxe covers is:

A) The cost of translation and layout of the book.
B) The extra packaging (rigid case, digipack, both costing more than the steenbok)
C) The cost of the art cards inside
D) The cost of serialisation of the art card certifying the release
E) The cost of the poster that goes inside
F) The design time, cost of production, cost of royalties of the extra item to be announced soon.

All of that is for an extra £24.99 of cost (vs SRP or current price actually).

I am sure that makes me an unpopular person here but I want to call it as it is as I have been called out for that before and I listened to the arguments. You can’t have it both ways there on it.
I never thought the cost of serialising the art card for certifying a release was a thing. Not gonna lie. I get the rest though.

I wouldn't worry about popularity. You can't please millions of anime fans without making a few haters.

== What next? ==

We’re going to do a full look through the master when back from MCM as it is the first time anything has been flagged on this and it’s gone out to a wide-range of reviewers.

I’d like to reassert that Madman do put a lot of care and love into their releases, rarely getting complaints themselves too from what I’ve ever seen.

Nothing is going to change just now though or in the foreseeable future on this one folks too - but we’ll do a run through of the discs and then form our own opinions. Always open to listening to fans too!

I have a few theories of my own about master material used in Japan and the rest of the world too based on the HK reviews of discs too by the by that may impact things too if I corroborate it... Appreciate everyone's passion here though and please note I am as passionate as you :).

If you do cancel your Deluxe more power to you, but note we're dangerously close to sell out on frankly the best LE release in the English speaking world of the film so there may not be a copy about later if you change your mind.

Best and speak soon!

Andrew

I seem to remember something happened with the Taiwan release and that sparked a bit of an issue (I believe it's getting a recall replacement or something). EDIT: Taiwan not Hong Kong I've been told.

Anywho, in the worst case scenario I would say just leave it and wait for an opportunity to come back to it if you can get access to an Ultra HD Blu-ray release (and then offer a replacement or special discount for folks who have the Blu-ray).

Anyway this is my rambling thoughts so it's probably not relevant either way.
 
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Shadow Cat

Stand User
I'll still be buying the Deluxe edition as the extra content is the whole reason for purchasing this edition.

As for video quality, I would love to see more reviews/screenshots first. Its weird we're talking about a movie that has a 4k release in Japan, has that level of artifacting for a local release

Hopefully the screenshot is overly exaggerated and 90% of the movie is pretty good
 

NormanicGrav

Grav's End Harem
AUKN Staff
I'm confused is there a difference between the Deluxe Edition disc and the CE and SE?

No difference, same contents. He's referring to the Deluxe Edition having a lot of physical content (Booklet, Artcards, the secret unknown extra item if approved) as a result of the higher SRP.
 

HellCat

Pokémon Master
A lot of people at the LWA signing.

Full honesty- I was one of the last ones but was there getting a poster for a friend. She's having an absolute **** time right now and is a big fan of LWA.

She told me recently her life is a 'cosmic joke'. As they warned us we probably wouldn't get in, I quietly prayed for validation from the universe she's wanted.

I think we got it :)
 

msgeek

Magical Girl
== Re Deluxe ==

I’m going to be completely honest here and call this out as entitlement when people say if the disc quality is not enough to justify buying it there (aka good enough vs excellent whatever the arguments on that). The reason the Deluxe is more expensive than the other editions isn’t because of a different video quality it is because of the extras.
Andrew

The issue for me is that I wanted the steelbook for the steelbook and I wanted the deluxe edition for the packaging. I was willing to write off the first £25 of the deluxe edition to get both and end up with a second copy of the film I didn't need because I knew you'd do a good job with both.

So £75 I happily spent. £75 ball park that could have been spent on the 4k edition direct (as that seems to be around the current price) from Japan because I wanted to support the UK industry. £75 that I chose to spend on an edition that lacks 4k (which I am a major proponent of) again to support the UK industry and to get the dub. Now it's looking like not only do I end up with the technically inferior product I expected due to lack of 4k (which was entirely my decision) but the double whammy of an inferior blu-ray encode.

I'm not going to be cancelling the deluxe edition. and I'm sorry for the rant but perhaps that goes some way to explaining the reasons for my sentiment.

I'm also being a complete a** by jumping to the above conclusions before reviewing the Blu-Ray myself and forming my own opinion (which I will certainly do over the next few days). If It's not as bad as the initial feedback and screenshots have seemed to show then obviously I will sincerely offer my apologies. Bear in mind I've only ended up having a couple of rants about this because I am really passionate about the film and really want the best possible for all us Anime consumers in the UK.
 

Blaize

Hunter
No difference, same contents. He's referring to the Deluxe Edition having a lot of physical content (Booklet, Artcards, the secret unknown extra item if approved) as a result of the higher SRP.

But then if the video quality is a serious issue then I don't understand calling people out as entitled for not wanting to buy a £50 set. People come to these sets first and foremost to watch the Anime and then the extras are there to supplement that for anyone who wants it. For example and I'm being alittle over the top here but if the Your Name DE £50 was on VHS then I doubt as many people would have bought it despite the extras included. I think it is heavily unfair to label people as entitled for calling out what seems to be serious QC problems with the video on this release.

As someone who has bought ALOT of anime as many know I've been heavily frustrated by US, UK/AU companies brightening the video from the Japanese release, I can accept bitrate differences due to discs etc but the incessant need to brighten the video is something that seems to always happen. When seen side by side on this comparison even without the VQ problems of the AU release the brightness change is so annoying as it adds nothing.

Anyway I'm veering away from my point which is I think it is incredibly unfair to call people entitled for not wanting to spend money on a set which while lovely in it's presentation the actual disc ,with which the purchase was first and foremost made, is lacking apparently in some serious areas.

Also worth noting I'm speaking as someone who currently has just the CE on pre order.
 

Iluvatar

Student Council President
If you do cancel your Deluxe more power to you, but note we're dangerously close to sell out on frankly the best LE release in the English speaking world of the film so there may not be a copy about later if you change your mind.

Maybe in term of packaging your release will be one the the best, if not the best in the English speaking World but in term of Video quality and from what I have seen from any others countries that already released the movie (Exept Taiwan who have some issues in term of PQ, but remplacement discs are already planned) your release will probably be one of the worst in the WORLD if nothing change, wich is sad because it's Madman fault, not your.
I mean the Brightness change (Wich is a trademark from Madman, it's not their first butchered release in term of brightness) and the HUGE compression I see on the screenshot are really eyes-cancer.
 
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Shadow Cat

Stand User
What good is the extra content if the eye cancer you get from watching the disc's botched encode makes it impossible to see?

The Japanese release has English Subtitles and has sold in huge numbers. This means when I get around to rewatching it, a standard JP Bluray should be pretty easy to come by. Or if I'm lucky a cheaper 4k edition.

The part you quoted was only about the Deluxe edition, not the disk. The comments after were about the disk and I'll expand on these now:

-----

As I said in my previous comment. It really is worrying a new release, especially one thats had 4k treatment elsewhere is getting this kind of attention.

----

Think the main issue here is, this is a Shinkai title, all of his work has been visually stunning.

People are going to pay real close attention to the picture quality of this release and are not going to be happy with added compression, filters and whatever else when its really not needed.

Edit:::

At no point in this (or my last post) has this issue been directed at Andrew or Anime limited. Solely madman
 

ayase

State Alchemist
I'm not really mad at anyone, I just fail to understand for the goddamn life of me why video quality should ever even differ let alone suffer from one country's release to another's. I mean presumably the video file used by the Japanese release fits on the same disc as an Australian, US or UK disc so why would extra compression ever be needed? We're long past the days of hardsubbing, so unless I'm just woefully ill-informed about the process of producing a disc (which I'm willing to concede I might be) along with creating new menus isn't it more or less just a case of timing subtitles to the video? Why would anyone even mess with the video?

This isn't so much a rant at this particular release, or AL or Madman, just a general incredulity at how things like this can ever happen.
 

Robbl

Adventurer
I'm not really mad at anyone, I just fail to understand for the goddamn life of me why video quality should ever even differ let alone suffer from one country's release to another's. I mean presumably the video file used by the Japanese release fits on the same disc as an Australian, US or UK disc so why would extra compression ever be needed? We're long past the days of hardsubbing, so unless I'm just woefully ill-informed about the process of producing a disc (which I'm willing to concede I might be) along with creating new menus isn't it more or less just a case of timing subtitles to the video? Why would anyone even mess with the video?

This isn't so much a rant at this particular release, or AL or Madman, just a general incredulity at how things like this can ever happen.
I assume extras + movie + dub didn't fit and they went with a quick re encode?
 

ayase

State Alchemist
I assume extras + movie + dub didn't fit and they went with a quick re encode?
Ah. Yes, dubs. I tend to forget about those. But surely the Japanese releases also have the extras, and they often come on a completely separate disc anyway when it comes to SE/LEs?
 

mp3dom

Completely Average High School Student
Quite unlikely you "re-encode" (meaning: take the JP AVC encoded video and re-encode it again but at a lower bitrate) but almost always you start from the master source (which is a "near lossless" source version) and encode it to your needs. There are still confirmed reports of "re-encode" around the world, but they're very rare.
The reason you do this (do your own encode and not take the JP AVC directly) is due to the limits the bluray format have.
To make it simple, you have not only physical limit (50 GiB for a dual layer disc) but also "bitrate per second" limits. If you put more audio and/or more lossless audio, you need to lower the video bitrate accordingly. Japanese encodes often have only japanese audio so they can max-out bitrate settings for video. The exactly same video can't be used if you start to add english/additional audio languages because you go beyond the limits. You can have one only episode in a BD50 disc (to make it "extreme") but still, you can't have 3 lossless audio with maxed-out video bitrate (even in that case you need to lower the video bitrate, even if you leave 40GB free on disc)

Regarding the "brightening video" issues, it's not intended, but it's due to the wrong settings used at encoding stage.
 

IncendiaryLemon

Captain Karen
Quite unlikely you "re-encode" (meaning: take the JP AVC encoded video and re-encode it again but at a lower bitrate) but almost always you start from the master source (which is a "near lossless" source version) and encode it to your needs. There are still confirmed reports of "re-encode" around the world, but they're very rare.
The reason you do this (do your own encode and not take the JP AVC directly) is due to the limits the bluray format have.
To make it simple, you have not only physical limit (50 GiB for a dual layer disc) but also "bitrate per second" limits. If you put more audio and/or more lossless audio, you need to lower the video bitrate accordingly. Japanese encodes often have only japanese audio so they can max-out bitrate settings for video. The exactly same video can't be used if you start to add english/additional audio languages because you go beyond the limits. You can have one only episode in a BD50 disc (to make it "extreme") but still, you can't have 3 lossless audio with maxed-out video bitrate (even in that case you need to lower the video bitrate, even if you leave 40GB free on disc)

Regarding the "brightening video" issues, it's not intended, but it's due to the wrong settings used at encoding stage.

If that's the case, why do sub only titles often get re-encoded too?
 

Robbl

Adventurer
Wouldn't disk capacity be the main bottleneck here since you're not playing both audio tracks simultaneously? Do blurays not support CRF encoded files? Encoding with constant bit rates seems like a waste to me.
 
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mp3dom

Completely Average High School Student
Audio tracks are not played simultaneously (and you even can't have that) but everything is "muxed" in one stream (interleaved). Each M2TS (the bluray muxed files) contains video, all the audio and all subtitles muxed together and *all this* needs to stay in the limits. Doesn't count if you only play one audio at time... you don't have audio separated from video.
 

IncendiaryLemon

Captain Karen
I'm not really mad at anyone, I just fail to understand for the goddamn life of me why video quality should ever even differ let alone suffer from one country's release to another's. I mean presumably the video file used by the Japanese release fits on the same disc as an Australian, US or UK disc so why would extra compression ever be needed? We're long past the days of hardsubbing, so unless I'm just woefully ill-informed about the process of producing a disc (which I'm willing to concede I might be) along with creating new menus isn't it more or less just a case of timing subtitles to the video? Why would anyone even mess with the video?

This isn't so much a rant at this particular release, or AL or Madman, just a general incredulity at how things like this can ever happen.

Probably because of production costs. This argument doesn't really apply to films, but for TV shows, they want to squeeze shows on as few discs as possible to keep costs down, probably because anime is so niche and wouldn't sell enough copies to justify putting a 12 episode show on 5+ discs like the Japanese do.
 
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