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Customer Review

20 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Manga UK do it again...., 24 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Ninja Scroll Blu-ray/DVD Steelbook (DVD)
With another disappointing release. Not to sound too cynical but Manga really have a habit of promising the world and failing to deliver. Ninja Scroll is one of my favourite ever Animes and it deserved the ultimate version, this falls way short.

First problem, albeit not the biggest one but still needs to be mentioned; the aspect ratio is '16:9 pillarboxed' which means big black borders down the sides of the screen. This I can almost forgive as Ninja Scroll was in 4:3, and when it was released on DVD in widescreen people complained about the stretched picture. It's not an easy compromise but there you go. The DVD version included is also the same ratio.

Transfer quality looks good but it has been touched up to the point of removing all the grain from the picture. This is a personal choice as some people like the smoother look, while others prefer it in its original state. It is however littered with white specs of dust and dirt throughout, why these weren't cleaned up ill never know. Ignoring this though, the picture is nice and smooth and looks good for its age, but considering this is one of Mangas major releases for the year, it really should have had a full restoration job done on it. It is the best Ninja Scroll has ever looked in the home, it is just not what it should be.

The other massive flaw is the total lack of bass in the English 5.1 audio track, which is so tinny it almost has an echo; it is an absolute disgrace. The Japanese 2.0 track is much punchier and will be most peoples choice as a result; there is no comparitive English 2.0 track unfortunately. It would have been nice if the previous audio tracks had been added to this release as well, as opposed to one DTS master audio (English) and Japanese 2.0.

The extras are a Directors commentary, 2 trailers, and the booklet is basically about the Director, Yoshiaki Kawajiri.

The Steelbook itself looks great, however most steelbooks are limited editions and worth something, Manga - like they did with their Akira release - will probably produce tens of thousands as demand dictates, almost removing any real collectors value.

If your a Ninja Scroll fan you really have no choice but to buy this I guess. It's a cracking film and the Bluray is nice, but for such a big release I really shouldnt be talking about any flaws, unfortunately this is littered with them, and they are the kind that will annoy a lot of people.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Nov 2012 04:00:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 27 Nov 2012 15:20:09 GMT
DeeJay says:
Forgot to mention that there is a lack of a "grainy" look that should be associated with an older release like this, epecially an animated one. So it leads me to believe that it has had a bit of smoothing over done to the picture, as opposed to simply cleaning the print. This doesnt effect it as badly as it would live action, and the picture still looks nice; just though i'd highlight it for those that want all the info.

Added this information to the main review. Funny you see some people "not think this adds to the discussion" when pretty much every other review has confirmed that the picture has been smoothed over. Its one thing to not agree, but facts are facts.

Posted on 27 Nov 2012 09:43:43 GMT
You're talking about the 1.35 presentation as it is a flaw. It is not. The OAR of Ninja Scroll is not 16/9, but 4/3. As for the BR presentation, it respects this OAR, but the technology compells to have black bars for the 1.78 HD norm compatibility.

It is NOT 16/9 pillarbox. It is 4/3 compatible 16/9.

I thus do not understand your complain about the ratio.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Nov 2012 14:53:11 GMT
Last edited by the author on 27 Nov 2012 15:20:28 GMT
DeeJay says:
It's a small thing, but the back of the box has it listed as '16:9 Pillarbox'.

Perhaps you should read the line about the aspect ratio again. Where I acknowledge that it was originally in 4:3, that the display is not an easy compromise and that I can almost forgive it for that reason; but it has already been released in widescreen which some people may expect. It still however, does not make for the most pleasing picture, and as I said, it was not the biggst complaint, but it certainly had to be mentioned for those looking to purchase it. There will be plenty of people who dont like the pillarboxed picture format, but for others will be fine. That's the purpose of a review, to inform.

Posted on 29 Nov 2012 18:08:02 GMT
Geo says:
Hey nice review man.
Despite the pillar-box aspect ratio (which i haven't seen yet, but will probably hate), at least Manga UK seem to be finally waking up to the Bluray format. then Manga, when can we expect a new bluray Steelbook for Fist of The North Star?

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Dec 2012 12:14:33 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Dec 2012 12:26:03 GMT
DeeJay says:
Thanks. Some people wont agree, others will, it'll be a mixed bag. People will hate the DNR that's been done to it, others will like the smooth picture, people will hate the tinny DTS English track on their TV, but others will have their DTS system hooked up 24/7 and it wont be as bad. I can only report on what I see, so its a shame some people vote this as "unhelpful", especially given the other review on site at the time said nothing about the actual Bluray.

Manga dont make any of these releases themselves, they just license existing Bluray masters from other companies. Right now there is no Bluray release of FOTNS, but when it comes out in Japan, then we can probably expect it in the UK. They have at least stepped up more releases like you said, Code Geass, Tiger Bunny, Persona on Bluray - all licensed from Kaze. I just hope they dont do what they did last time with releases like Casshern, FMA and Xam'd and cancel the Blurays if the first vols dont sell well.

Posted on 5 Dec 2012 00:23:02 GMT
Ceallaigh says:
Well as far as I can see none of these are real flaws. It should fit the intended aspect ratio, not be forced to fit widescreen, and I always watch anime in japanese anyway...this all aside, would you say the image and sound quality are a big improvement over the old Manga DVD release?

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Dec 2012 03:14:43 GMT
Last edited by the author on 6 Dec 2012 03:16:00 GMT
DeeJay says:
I would say having the picture dnr'd so it doesnt look as it was originally intended is a pretty "real" flaw for some people.

From my review, "It is the best Ninja Scroll has ever looked in the home,"

So yes, a big step up from the DVD release, it just has many things that will divide opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2014 19:43:47 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 16 Mar 2014 05:09:24 GMT]
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