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The Valley of the Wind in HD - reviewing the Blu-ray,
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This review is from: Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
First, the bad news. Yes, you are going to need to upgrade your Studio Ghibli DVD collection. I played Optimum's new Blu-ray alongside the same company's 2005 DVD release and the differences left my mind recovering from a heavy session of boggling. Maybe I'm speaking in hyperbole (I don't think I am) but the Blu-ray brings the artwork of Miyazaki's masterpiece to life with sharp edges and dazzling colours on top of details hidden from DVD viewers. Even when upscaled through my Blu-ray player, the DVD now looks like a VHS copy by comparison.
As is often the case, the audio isn't such a headline grabber, but the lossless LPCM 2.0 stereo does offer a degree of improvement in clarity nonetheless. Subtitles are given the usual extra sharp definition from 1080p. As before, the English dub is a highly commendable effort with star turns from Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman and Mark 'Yes, as in Luke Skywalker' Hamill.
Optimum has fleshed out the bonus section of its DVD release to include a feature on the recording of the English dub as well as the feature commentary from Hideaki Anno and Kazuyoshi Katayama from the recent Japanese release. As far as the latter goes, while they're amiable enough hosts, reading the subtitles for a Japanese commentary while watching a Japanese film is something for the hardcore, truth be told. It's not something to buy this release for, put it that way.
Disney handled Nausicaa's native Japanese release and it should come as no surprise that the packaging for that version is far more stylish and desirable than what Optimum has come up with. Indeed, this Blu-ray packaging is nothing more than a re-sized replica of the five-year-old DVD release. Regardless, Optimum has delivered where it matters most and Nausicaa has to be considered an essential addition to your Blu-ray collection if you've made it this far into my review.
As for the film itself, 26 years and several Miyazaki classics later and its majesty remains undiminished. Like all the Ghibli greats it treats children like adults and adults to a second childhood. And thanks to this latest release, home viewings just got a bit more special. You may have thought there wasn't much that Blu-ray could do for a film like Nausicaa but that's because you've never seen Nausicaa on Blu-ray before.
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Showing 11-19 of 19 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 15 Nov 2010 10:45:38 GMT
I haven´t got the Japanese Nausiacaa yet, so please let me know the colour of the subs. Thanks.
In reply to an earlier post on 15 Nov 2010 11:10:14 GMT
Good news my friend. The Japanese version has white subtitles with a very thin black border (hardly noticeable at all).
I would think hard as to whether the extra cost is warranted with such a high quality release available in the UK at a very good price. None of the extra's are english friendly and the dub track is only dolby digital on the Japanese version. But if the only consideration is the movie itself in it's original language with your preferred subtitles you won't be disappointed. Being an Evangelion fan I caved and have ordered the optimum release as well for the Hideaki Anno commentary and extra feature. Otherwise I would have just stuck with the Japanese release and to be honest for the movie itself will most like only watch it.
Can't wait for the Japanese release of Laputa at the end of next month!
One other quick point on the Japanese version subtitles. As is so often the case with subtitles on Japanese releases, dropped letters (eg: g, j, q, p, y) are all raised a little. Not really an issue, but some might find it odd and off putting.
In reply to an earlier post on 15 Nov 2010 15:30:55 GMT
Go ahead and order the Japanese one if you like, but at £50 inc P&P imported (cheapest price I've seen), and no English subs on the special features, I think you'd be crazy. Especially as the subs are not really THAT yellow on the UK version....they're a *very* pale yellow/cream colour...not the in your face yellow that some titles have. I've watched it twice already now and they're clear throughout without being too obtrusive. I think Optimum used to use a bright yellow on the DVD Ghibli's, and perhaps this is what you're fearing, but I can lay your fears to rest....this pale yellow is very different.
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2010 11:01:32 GMT
Thank you so much for your ideas and thoughts. I will go for the Japanese versions as they are so beautiful, and because the subs are white. Even very pale yellow is a disturbance for me. Expensive, yes. My christmas gift for myself.
In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jan 2011 12:36:37 GMT
J. Potter says:
How did you manage to set your dvd subs to yellow on your divx player? Mine are small and white and I can hardly see a thing!
In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jan 2011 15:08:32 GMT
My Philips DVD/DivX player has a third party firmware authored by an enthusiast, it added lots of subtitle options....changing size, colour, font, outlines....you name it.
Posted on 6 Feb 2011 00:12:32 GMT
Lewis Williams says:
Very Good Review :) (y)
In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2011 16:31:40 GMT
I now have the USA version and according to the Ghibli Blog it has better picture quality than the British. It also has white subs!!!
In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2011 18:52:54 GMT
Well of course it comes down to opinion and preference, but going off the screenshot comparisons on that ghibliblog page, the JP version clearly has the worst of the red tint that ALL versions of the BD suffer from to some degree or another, the US has the second worst and the UK the least. I mean seriously...just look at Nausicaa's skin tone. Also, in my opinion, the guy writing that must be blind to say the UK version has no grain... umpteen reviews I've read pay it the compliment of not having used ANY DNR in the transfer. I own it, I've watched it several times and with that I consider myself more of an authority than someone who has banged it in his player to make a quick comparison on the grain issue. The fact he says the JP version looks best of all should tell you all you need to know of that 'reviewer'...as both the US and UK versions look better than the JP. Take a look at the amazon.jp reviews...see how many low scoring reviews there are! If you translate the amazon.jp page, it is the red tint issue they're moaning about. Anyway, you got your white subs and that's the main thing, even though I don't understand the issue with the pale creamy yellow subs of the UK version myself.