Overseas Cheaper Alternatives to AoA BD Releases

BlackCondor93

Student Council President
Many people prefer not to spend large amounts on Aniplex of America releases so I decided to make a thread dedicated to Aniplex of America Blu-ray titles that have cheaper Blu-ray releases in the UK and Australia, and also if the cheaper alternative is a good alternative.

Here are some rules:
  • As the title suggests, this will only cover Aniplex of America Blu-ray releases. DVD-only releases will not be covered (meaning AL's Silver Spoon will not be listed).
  • All cancelled/unreleased Aniplex of America titles will not be listed (e.g. Samurai Flamenco).
  • All UK and Australian releases listed must be a Blu-ray release (Oreimo won't be listed as it's a DVD only title in the UK and Australia).
  • If the UK and Australia share disc assets with each other, they will be listed as one. If their release differs, then they'll be listed separately.
  • All out-of-print releases will be listed in case anyone finds a legitimate used copy (either of an AoA release or a cheaper alternative) and is interested in purchasing one from various sites and places (eBay, CeX, etc.).
  • Aniplex of Japan titles released by Aniplex of America (e.g. Persona 3, The Anthem of the Heart) will not be covered at this time.
Colour codes:
Green: Good alternative
Orange: Mixed (good alternative for some people, bad for others)
Red: Bad alternative
Black (or White if you use the black theme): Unknown


Reasons why for either mixed or bad will be given next to the title name. And any of the options (Good or Bad) will be decided by you guys.
 
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BlackCondor93

Student Council President
Titles (some will be in alphabetical order, others will be in series order (except for the Monogatari series)):
  • Aldnoah.Zero (Anime Limited (UK) and Hanabee (AUS))
  • Aldnoah.Zero 2 (Anime Limited (UK) and Hanabee (AUS))
  • Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (Hanabee (AUS)) (Dub not included, released before dub was made)
  • Baccano! (Anime Limited (UK))
  • Bakemonogatari (MVM (UK) and Hanabee (AUS)) (Increased colour banding and compression artifacts)
  • Blue Exorcist Season 1 (Manga (UK) and Madman (AUS))
  • Blue Exorcist: The Movie (Manga (UK) and Madman (AUS))
  • Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga (Manga (UK) and Madman (AUS))
  • Charlotte (Anime Limited (UK) and Madman (AUS))
  • Durarara!! (Anime Limited (UK)) (Fixed Discs)
  • Durarara!! (Siren Visual (AUS)) (Multiple Subtitle Errors)
  • Durarara!! x2 Sho (Anime Limited (UK) and Siren Visual (AUS)) (Missing OVA)
  • Durarara!! x2 Ten (Anime Limited (UK) and Siren Visual (AUS)) (Missing OVA and audio lower quality than DVD)
  • Durarara!! x2 Ketsu (Anime Limited (UK) and Siren Visual (AUS)) (Missing OVA and audio lower quality than DVD)
  • Erased (Anime Limited (UK) and Madman (AUS))
  • Eromanga Sensei (Madman (AUS))*
  • Expelled from Paradise (Anime Limited (UK))
  • Fate/Grand Order -First Order- (MVM (UK) and Madman (AUS))
  • Fate/Stay Night [Heaven's Feel] 1.presage flower (MVM (UK) and Madman (AUS))
  • Fate/Stay Night [Unlimited Blade Works] (TV Series) (MVM (UK) and Hanabee (AUS))
  • Fate/Zero (MVM (UK) and Madman (AUS)) (Wrong brightness levels, banding, compression artifacts and first half has flashing subtitles when multiple lines overlap)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Manga (UK) and Madman (AUS)) (Better quality dub audio, but more compression artifacts (Funimation masters were used))
  • God Eater (MVM (UK) and Hanabee (AUS))
  • Granblue Fantasy (MVM (UK) and Madman (AUS))
  • Gurren Lagann (TV Series) (Anime Limited (UK)) (Approx. 30 secs upscaled footage and Japanese audio mixed incorrectly in most episodes)
  • Gurren Lagann (Movies) (Anime Limited (UK))
  • Hanamonogatari (MVM (UK) and Hanabee (AUS))
  • Kabukimonogatari (MVM (UK) and Hanabee (AUS))
  • Katsugeki: Touken Ranbu (MVM (UK) and Madman (AUS))
  • Kill la Kill (Anime Limited (UK) and Madman (AUS)) (Signs track hardsubbed in Vol 1 (UK)/Vols 1 and 2 (AUS))
  • Kiznaiver (Anime Limited (UK))
  • Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu (MVM (UK))
  • Kizumonogatari Part 2: Nekketsu (MVM (UK))
  • Koimonogatari (MVM (UK) and Hanabee (AUS))
  • Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic (Kaze (UK))
  • Magi: The Kingdom of Magic (Kaze (UK))
  • March Comes In Like a Lion Season 1 (Anime Limited (UK))
  • Nekomonogatari Black (MVM (UK) and Hanabee (AUS))
  • Nekomonogatari White (MVM (UK) and Hanabee (AUS))
  • Nisekoi: False Love (Kaze (UK)) (Subtitle issues in episodes 2 and 4)
  • Nisekoi.: False Love (Season 2) (Kaze (UK))
  • Nisemonogatari (MVM (UK) and Hanabee (AUS))
  • Occultic;Nine (Manga (UK) and Madman (AUS)) (Mixed response on video quality (some noticed compression artifacts more than others))
  • Onimonogatari (MVM (UK) and Hanabee (AUS))
  • Otorimonogatari (MVM (UK) and Hanabee (AUS))
  • Owarimonogatari (MVM (UK) and Hanabee (AUS))
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Manga (UK) and Madman (AUS)) (Wrong brightness levels, banding, compression artifacts and episode 7 has broadcast version of Japanese audio)
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica Movies 1 and 2 (Manga (UK) and Madman (AUS))
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion (Manga (UK) and Madman (AUS)) (Wrong brightness levels and colour banding)
  • Sword Art Online (Manga (UK) and Madman (AUS)) (Flashing subtitles when multiple lines overlap, poorly placed chapter stops, some Sword Art Offline shorts missing and some of the included shorts have been slowed down by 50%)
  • Sword Art Online: Extra Edition (Madman (AUS))
  • Sword Art Online II (Anime Limited (UK) and Madman (AUS))
  • Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale (Anime Limited (UK) and Madman (AUS))
  • Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online (Anime Limited (UK) and Madman (AUS))
  • The Asterisk War (MVM (UK))
  • The Irregular at Magic High School (Hanabee (AUS))
  • The Irregular at Magic High School the Movie: The Girl Who Summons the Stars (Madman (AUS))
  • Tsukimonogatari (MVM (UK) and Hanabee (AUS))
  • Your Lie in April (Anime Limited (UK) and Madman (AUS))

*MVM (UK) has an upcoming release, but it's unknown if they'll be using Madman's discs, but it's likely

Note: The list is incomplete and will be complete soon. Any titles I've missed out on/yet to include, feel free to post on this topic and let me know whether or not you recommend it as an alternative.
 
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BlackCondor93

Student Council President
Reserved for titles (in case there is not enough room for the first post).
 
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Iluvatar

Student Council President
You can add green to thoses releases :

  • Baccano (UK) : Copy of the JP disc, excellent PQ and better packaging than AoA for the CE.
  • Erased (UK) : Same encode as AoA for the discs, excellent PQ, very good CE packaging, minus the OST.
  • Your Lie in April (UK) : very good authoring, nice CE packaging.
  • March come in like a Lion (UK) : Very good authoring (same as AoA if i'm correct), very good CE packaging.
  • Expelled from Paradise (UK) Very good authoring, nice CE packaging for the asked price.

I would add Kill la Kill to the list because the authoring was also very good, and the Packaging was also very good for the CE, but it's not perfect, the hadsubed captions in the serie can be see as a fault by some peoples.
I don't own the SAO series/movie from AL uk but I heard good things about thoses editions in term of packaging and authoring so maybe green as well?
Durarara x2 "sho" was really good, almost as good as AoA, but the 2 latter releases (Ten & Ketsu) not, the audio mix was bad, less good than the DVD edition. ><
 
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Scavenger

Student Council President
Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie - Part 1. Beginnings (UK/AU): Same encode as Aniplex BD
Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie - Part 2. Eternal (UK/AU): Same encode as Aniplex BD
Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie - Part 3. Rebellion (UK/AU): Wrong brightness and color banding.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (UK/AU): Wrong brightness, banding and other compression artifacts, broadcast version JP audio in at least one episode (see this discussion on 2ch (starts from post 238))
Fate/Zero (UK/AU): Wrong brightness, banding and other compression artifacts,
 

BlackCondor93

Student Council President
Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie - Part 1. Beginnings (UK/AU): Same encode as Aniplex BD
Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie - Part 2. Eternal (UK/AU): Same encode as Aniplex BD
Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie - Part 3. Rebellion (UK/AU): Wrong brightness and color banding.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (UK/AU): Wrong brightness, banding and other compression artifacts, broadcast version JP audio in at least one episode (see this discussion on 2ch (starts from post 238))
Fate/Zero (UK/AU): Wrong brightness, banding and other compression artifacts,
Isn't the third Madoka movie the same encode as the Aniplex BD (based on the subtitle font normally used on most Aniplex BDs)? I'm guessing as you highlighted some of them orange, you consider those to be mixed recommendations, rather than bad ones. Any positives about the releases, apart from the prices?

For the time being, the ones you highlighed orange will remain black, just so I can give various opinions from others, and I'll finalise it then.

EDIT: I've looked at the specifications on another forum (posted by you) and you confirmed that movie 3 does not use the Aniplex masters (I'm guessing Madman used their font for the subs). I'll mark the first 2 movies as green, and third as orange. I'll also be highlighting the TV series and Fate/Zero as orange too.
 
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BlackCondor93

Student Council President
Durarara x2 "sho" was really good, almost as good as AoA, but the 2 latter releases (Ten & Ketsu) not, the audio mix was bad, less good than the DVD edition. ><
I'll note Durararax2 Sho as Orange, due to missing OVA, despite good authoring. Ten and Ketsu will be marked as Red due to missing OVAs and the worse than DVD audio quality (as you already mentioned).
 

Scavenger

Student Council President
Isn't the third Madoka movie the same encode as the Aniplex BD (based on the subtitle font normally used on most Aniplex BDs)? I'm guessing as you highlighted some of them orange, you consider those to be mixed recommendations, rather than bad ones. Any positives about the releases, apart from the prices?

For the time being, the ones you highlighed orange will remain black, just so I can give various opinions from others, and I'll finalise it then.
I own the Manga UK BD and the Italian Dynit BD of Rebellion and the Dynit BD video is confirmed to be a clone of the AoJ encode. The Manga UK BD looks worse than the Dynit BD (screenshots).

I don’t own the Madoka TV UK BD, but as regards to Rebellion and Fate/Zero I think those are still very watchable despite the PQ problems. Adjusting the gamma helps to mask the flaws to a certain extent. Some people may consider them to be bad alternatives though.

-------------------------

As an aside; if anyone is willing to miss out on English sub/dub, any Italian Dynit BD of an Aniplex title has identical or better PQ at a low price. Madoka TV, KILL la KILL, F/SN HF, F/SN UBW have better PQ than the Aniplex BDs.
 

Iluvatar

Student Council President
If I'm correct, the AoA release (not the AoJ release) of Rebellion has banding, but I'm not sure. Maybe @Professor Who might know.

All AoA releases exept very few titles, like Kiznaiver or Saekano are AoJ, they use the Japanese encode or disc.
Madoka Rebellion is the same, it's a clone, same video quality than the Japanese edition.

The only differences sometime are in the audio quality, sometime they have to delete one audio track or another to add the english track when they dub things.

For example Fate Heaven's Feel by AoA have 16 bits audio tracks, while AoJ have 24 bits audio tracks (+ the fact that AoJ have a 5.1 and 2.0 tracks for Japanese while AoA only have the 5.1 track for Japanese), but the video is exaclty the same, bit by bit.
 
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Luna

Stand User
Useful thread. =D
(Just too bad about the exclusions. Woulde definitely be interested in those as well to know if some other alternatives exist to licenses AoA doesn't want to bother releasing themselves.)

About Occultic;Nine: I'm not really savvy about PQ, but in terms of packaging:
AoA's have a sidewards slipcover over an amaray. The slip has two Japanese covers on each side. Inside in the Amaray there is one cover in full size. (Japanese covers were scattered over both cover sides, but the left side only has some little gadgets and things, so not too much lost.) (Reverse side is just episode list with some geometric drawings, no artwork.) Each comes with a booklet with some materials, not too much, but P2 has some key illustration artwork printed inside there.
Manga UK's releases are just Amaray with reversible covers. P2 has the backside of the AoA slip as cover and on the reverse sleeve the full size of the cover of the AoA sleeve. The AoA slipcover cover has been delegated as a Mini-Image on the back cover next to the summary text.

P1 has the cover of the AoA P1 slipcover on the front. I don't have the UK one, as I have the AoA P1, so not sure what's on the reverse side of the cover sleeve.

Madman's are a bit weird. In terms of discs they are completely the same as the UK ones, but volume 1's cover has an assembly of character key illustrations with otherwise are part of the disc menus. The backside of the cover sleeve of part 1 is having the two slipcover covers of AoA's P1.
P2 has the AoA Amaray sleeve cover (reverse cover of UK's) as cover and inside the two slipcover covers of AoA's P2 slipcover.
So P1-2 from Madman look weird next to each other in terms of cover, as P1s is anime illustrations and P2 is the original artwork by Pako.


I think there was also a printing error on the P2 discs, not sure atm, would need to check.
 

BlackCondor93

Student Council President
Useful thread. =D
(Just too bad about the exclusions. Woulde definitely be interested in those as well to know if some other alternatives exist to licenses AoA doesn't want to bother releasing themselves.)

About Occultic;Nine: I'm not really savvy about PQ, but in terms of packaging:
AoA's have a sidewards slipcover over an amaray. The slip has two Japanese covers on each side. Inside in the Amaray there is one cover in full size. (Japanese covers were scattered over both cover sides, but the left side only has some little gadgets and things, so not too much lost.) (Reverse side is just episode list with some geometric drawings, no artwork.) Each comes with a booklet with some materials, not too much, but P2 has some key illustration artwork printed inside there.
Manga UK's releases are just Amaray with reversible covers. P2 has the backside of the AoA slip as cover and on the reverse sleeve the full size of the cover of the AoA sleeve. The AoA slipcover cover has been delegated as a Mini-Image on the back cover next to the summary text.

P1 has the cover of the AoA P1 slipcover on the front. I don't have the UK one, as I have the AoA P1, so not sure what's on the reverse side of the cover sleeve.

Madman's are a bit weird. In terms of discs they are completely the same as the UK ones, but volume 1's cover has an assembly of character key illustrations with otherwise are part of the disc menus. The backside of the cover sleeve of part 1 is having the two slipcover covers of AoA's P1.
P2 has the AoA Amaray sleeve cover (reverse cover of UK's) as cover and inside the two slipcover covers of AoA's P2 slipcover.
So P1-2 from Madman look weird next to each other in terms of cover, as P1s is anime illustrations and P2 is the original artwork by Pako.


I think there was also a printing error on the P2 discs, not sure atm, would need to check.
I won't be basing the decision on the packaging alone.

In terms of AoA licenses that don't have releases, the majority of them, handled by Madman Australia, are DVD only. The only BD releases I can think of are both from Anime Limited (Samurai Flamenco and Silver Spoon). Samurai Flamenco's authoring was pretty good, and I can't say about Silver Spoon as it has yet to be released.

Anime Limited have also released 2 titles on BD, which only had AoJ import releases in the US (The Anthem of the Heart and the Persona 3 Movies). If I'm correct, those movies were authored by Justin Sevakis for the UK releases.

EDIT: I just realised that Silver Spoon did receive a release in the US, but it was DVD only over there. Kaze released a BD of an AoA title that was DVD only in the US. World Conquest Zvezda Plot, and I can't say how the authoring was, but based on the reviews, I would say it's alright (it has a few issues that may annoy some people).
 
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Stiivun

Stand User
Blue Exorcist and Blue Exorcist: Kyoto can be marked as green to, as they are AoA clones = same encoding.
 

Lambadelta

Za Warudo
think you need to rethink your colour scheme a bit for the sites new black theme.

8365

tad hard to read when its like this.
 

Stiivun

Stand User
Yeah had to actually switch to light mode to see the explanation of the color codes, although these are logical ;)
 

Scavenger

Student Council President
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (Hanabee (AUS))
Same encode as the NISA BD, but with locked subtitles. Dub not included.
Screenshot comparison with AoA BD: Anohana : Screenshot Comparison

Bakemonogatari (MVM (UK) and Hanabee (AUS))
Increased amount of colour banding and compression artifacts.
Screenshot comparison with AoA BD: Bakemonogatari US - UK | Slowpoke Pics

Gurren Lagann (TV Series) (Anime Limited (UK))
Approximately 30 seconds of upscaled footage and Japanese audio is mixed incorrectly in most episodes
 
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thedoctor2016

Diclonius
Also I don't think you can even get the AUS AnoHana anymore all the AUS sites I use to import dont have it.
Yeah its not even on Hanabees website anymore
 
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