Overseas Cheaper Alternatives to AoA BD Releases

Iluvatar

Student Council President
Kiznaiver (UK)
While it's not as good as AoA discs, it has a little more banding, it's still a good PQ release for a French authored release, and the packaging was also very good.
 

BlackCondor93

Student Council President
think you need to rethink your colour scheme a bit for the sites new black theme.

View attachment 8365

tad hard to read when its like this.
Sorry. I didn't take into account the new black theme. I'll see if I can get it sorted out.

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
I'll be marking that as orange for the dub fans. Good for original language watchers like myself (and a few others), not good for the dub fans who will have to miss out on the new dub.

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
I'm still keeping it on the list, in case anyone ever finds a legitimate used copy on auction sites.
 

BlackCondor93

Student Council President
Kiznaiver (UK)
While it's not as good as AoA discs, it has a little more banding, it's still a good PQ release for a French authored release, and the packaging was also very good.
I've listed it as green for the time being, but I've read on Just Passing Through's review regarding the subtitles with this being one of those titles where you can't display more than one caption at a time, and it prioritises dialogue over signs. Is it a major issue or is it not enough to become an annoyance?
 

Professor Who

School Idol
Sword Art Online (Manga UK and Madman AU) Overall a very solid release, high bitrates and minimal compression artifacts from what I've heard (don't hold me to it- this is just what I was told)
Occultic;Nine Lots of compression artifacts due to poor optimizations (3 episodes per disc and on BD-25s with only 12! GB used on each disc)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Very low bitrates (sub 10 mbps for long stretches) and more compression artifacts than AoA; plus side is for those who like the English dub, it's in 5.1 surround (although I have no clue how good the 5.1 mix is)
Nisekoi (Seasons 1 and 2) Piss poor bitrates (averages 10 mbps), has 12 episodes per disc, and has subtitles out of sync
Fate/Stay Night Heaven's Feel I've heard reports that the AU Madman version is a clone of the AoA version, but can't confirm. Have heard jack on the MVM version.

Oh, and about banding. Some of the compressionists/authoring houses Aniplex uses do not go in and attempt to fix banding. So if there was banding in the source, it's on the BD most likely. This is the opposite of Dynit, who will go and attempt to remove as much as possible with no side-effects. (A good example is Fate Heaven's Feel. I own the IT Dynit BD which has the same timing as the JP/AoA BD and has nearly 100 shots with reduced banding)
 

Scavenger

Student Council President
Sword Art Online (Manga UK and Madman AU) Overall a very solid release, high bitrates and minimal compression artifacts from what I've heard (don't hold me to it- this is just what I was told)
Occultic;Nine Lots of compression artifacts due to poor optimizations (3 episodes per disc and on BD-25s with only 12! GB used on each disc)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Very low bitrates (sub 10 mbps for long stretches) and more compression artifacts than AoA; plus side is for those who like the English dub, it's in 5.1 surround (although I have no clue how good the 5.1 mix is)
Nisekoi (Seasons 1 and 2) Piss poor bitrates (averages 10 mbps), has 12 episodes per disc, and has subtitles out of sync
Fate/Stay Night Heaven's Feel I've heard reports that the AU Madman version is a clone of the AoA version, but can't confirm. Have heard jack on the MVM version.
I can't really speak for any of the above mentioned titles, but Heaven's Feel probably should be marked green based on screenshots made by Joe. There's only a tiny amount of extra banding in the screenshots compared to the AoJ BD and it's not filtered like the AoJ BD (AoJ BD has less detail in this shot). MVM and Madman release use the same disc.
 
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BlackCondor93

Student Council President
Sword Art Online (Manga UK and Madman AU) Overall a very solid release, high bitrates and minimal compression artifacts from what I've heard (don't hold me to it- this is just what I was told)
Occultic;Nine Lots of compression artifacts due to poor optimizations (3 episodes per disc and on BD-25s with only 12! GB used on each disc)
Nisekoi (Seasons 1 and 2) Piss poor bitrates (averages 10 mbps), has 12 episodes per disc, and has subtitles out of sync
Wasn't Occultic;Nine a clone of the Aniplex disc (excluding the menus, which Manga created), considering that Manga authored discs can't show more than 1 line of subtitles at the same time? If so, I may mark it as a green.

As for Nisekoi, I may mark it as either green or orange, as I've read that this is one of Kaze's better releases, but I'll see what everyone else thinks. Plus, Season 1 was 10 episodes per disc, not 12, and Season 2 was 6 episodes per disc.

And as for Sword Art Online, based on Just Passing Through's review, I may mark it as red instead, as I've read that there are subtitling issues (it was a Manga authored disc that can't show more than one caption at a time), poorly placed chapter stops, and most of the Sword Art Offline shorts are missing, and some of the ones that are included have been slowed down by 50%.

EDIT: I've read on another forum that some of us are members of, and Naiera (not a member of AUKN, if I'm correct) and Scavenger confirmed that it's not the Aniplex encode. So who authored it if it doesn't have the telltale signs of a Manga author (the subtitle font is the exact same one used in most AoA releases)? It's worth noting that Madman didn't release their sets until after the UK (they even used the UK discs with the BBFC rating and Manga logo (the Madman logo and ACB rating are absent)).

I may note Occultic;Nine as either green or orange, as Just Passing Through didn't notice any problems with the transfer in his reviews.
 
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BlackCondor93

Student Council President
Update: I've noted Fate/Stay Night [Heaven's Feel] 1.presage flower as Green.

I'm still debating about whether I should mark Occultic;Nine Green or Orange, considering there's mixed views on the disc. Naiera (from another forum) stated about the compression artifacts (as also mentioned by Professor Who), yet Just Passing Through said no issues about the transfer on the review.

I'm also stuck on Nisekoi, as most people claim it to be one of Kaze's better releases, yet Professor Who stated otherwise.
 

NormanicGrav

Yume no Shima Shinen Kōen
AUKN Staff
Update: I've noted Fate/Stay Night [Heaven's Feel] 1.presage flower as Green.

I'm still debating about whether I should mark Occultic;Nine Green or Orange, considering there's mixed views on the disc. Naiera (from another forum) stated about the compression artifacts (as also mentioned by Professor Who), yet Just Passing Through said no issues about the transfer on the review.

I'm also stuck on Nisekoi, as most people claim it to be one of Kaze's better releases, yet Professor Who stated otherwise.
Regarding Nisekoi, I have Season 2 with me so I'll eventually watch them at some point. Season 1 had some subtitle issues but I haven't read any issues with regards to the second season.

When it comes to video quality, I would say the BD forum folks are more accurate on video quality as they have the proper equipment to check the results.
 

BlackCondor93

Student Council President
Season 1 had some subtitle issues but I haven't read any issues with regards to the second season.
If I'm correct, the issues only occurred in episodes 2 and 4. I have no idea about Part 2 of Season 1, as they reviewed the DVD version of that part.
 

BlackCondor93

Student Council President
For the time being, I'm marking Occultic;Nine as orange, due to mixed responses overall about the video quality.

As for Nisekoi, after asking Jaysgba on Twitter regarding the releases, I'm marking Season 1 as orange due to the subtitle issues in episodes 2 and 4, with it being problem free for the rest of the series, and Season 2 as green as it's problem free for the entirety.
 

Professor Who

School Idol
I don't own most of these, so I'm just going off of what I've heard/seen. I may get Kaze's Nisekoi because it's cheap, so I might have a proper analysis of the transfer.

I agree on putting Heaven's Feel so highly. Not perfect, but very good considering the price.

And wow... SAO S1 isn't as good as I had been told. I was more talking about the A/V quality, but ouch in regards to the subtitles and missing content...
 

BlackCondor93

Student Council President
I've added MVM's release of Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu to the list and marked it as green as it appears that MVM have used the AoA discs for their release.
 

BlackCondor93

Student Council President
MVM's release of Kizumonogatari Part 2: Nekketsu has been added and marked as green for the same reason as Part 1 (the AoA discs were used). I'm ignoring the packaging blip as that's not really the main reason for the list (I'm mainly focusing on disc content).
 

BlackCondor93

Student Council President
As the Q4 list showed it will get a SE eventually. So it should be on this list
I won't be listing the CEs and SEs separately. The only time I'm listing a release separately if an Australian release and a UK release use different disc masters (which is likely to be the case with Anohana, but the UK release won't be listed yet).
 

NormanicGrav

Yume no Shima Shinen Kōen
AUKN Staff
Aldnoah.Zero uses the same masters as AoA as i remember?
Hanabee made their own master for ALDNOAH ZERO. While the disc count is the same, the audio is not Dolby Digital 2.0 but the video quality is the same as Unlimited Blade Works was (i.e. not amazing but watchable).
 
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