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Discotek Licenses Japanese Sonic X!

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by KingOfBunnies, Oct 25, 2022.

  1. KingOfBunnies

    KingOfBunnies

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    Not in all caps. Superior yellow font color too.
     
  2. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    That confirms they updated the subs, then.
     
  3. Mendinso

    Mendinso

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    As for the situation with the subtitles since I'm sure people were wondering:

    Since I did work on this portion (to a degree), I can confirm we updated the subtitles, rewrote things, retranslated things, and even had to translate some stuff from scratch due to missing in the original scripts we were using from TMS Entertainment & 4Kids Entertainment. Largely background dialogue, but some other stuff was missing too, due to over simplification of dialogue. Episode 58 in particular was the worst offender in this, as I could tell whoever worked on the scripts originally had issues with with writing the dialogue here (due to the usage of the Metarex using Osaka-ben) and I had to retranslate and have these scripts checked to make sure everything was fixed.

    We discussed about handling of certain dialogue, characterizations, game lines, and such.

    Trust me, we didn't just use the original scripts (base scripts were the same ones used for 4Kids Hulu and Youtube releases) without making sure things were checked.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2023
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  4. Mecha Sally

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    The credits being missing is a pretty big yikes on TMS's part. They're a pretty big name company so one would think they were more competent than that.

    The champagne scene using the 4Kids edit is a bit disappointing, but I get it. Though now I'm curious if there other scenes that used the 4Kids master instead of the original. Like... is all of the text that 4Kids erased put back in (i.e. those signs Sonic and Chris hold up in that one episode)? Or do we once again have to look at a inexplicably blank wooden sign when Amy is crying and calling Sonic "baka"? :V
     
  5. KingOfBunnies

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    4Kids didn't do that. TMS did that. I think Brady said earlier in the thread that TMS scrubs the footage so that companies can put what they want there but 4Kids either chose not to or didn't have a reference of what was even supposed to be on the sign.

    I don't have the quote in this thread, but here's a similar one that he said on twitter.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Chimes

    Chimes

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    Normally I would be ironypoisoned and cynical about it; no one knows who worked on AOSTH's animation.
    But this is like... Sonic X we're talking about! A show with cool robots and awesome Sonic characters that has far reach! If the credits were still here I guarantee there'd be entire MAD reels with IDs to see who drew that cool scene.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2024
  7. HEDGESMFG

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    The cruel irony being that Season 3 has a ton of excellent sakuga reels with no known/confirmed artist. The season appears to have had higher amounts of these moments than the entire 52 episode main run.
    https://www.sakugabooru.com/post?tags=sonic_x
     
  8. Chimes

    Chimes

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    On that note gengaman Keisuke Watabe's cuts are amazing. Episode 1 with the BG animation was highly impressive.
     
  9. ElectricAngel

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    Alright, this post is gonna be a bit of a biggen. I'm going to start off saying, I think Blue Spikeball has a pretty good point and it's kinda sad seeing people gang up on him a bit for being overly sensitive about edits in this release. As far as I'm aware there are some more mistakes I've seen people discuss in the Blu-Ray forums regarding some background motion, as well as background signs having the signature 4Kids blurs instead of text. Before I get too much into detail I want to say I'm not the biggest fan of Sonic X. In all honesty, I could never get past the first season watching it (even with the JP version). The theme songs are good, but that's about it for me. However, in the past few years I did have a curiosity as to which way was the best way to watch the show in Japanese.

    I know Hulu had the series streaming so I checked that out first, but the quality was... not great. Standard definition video in particular can get quite messy on streaming, and Sonic X had various issues on Hulu from poor deinterlacing, blurry image quality, broken subtitles, and lots of missing text information. At first I thought this was due to it being a more "raw" version of the show just badly presented on streaming, but after finding scene ISO rips (and I hope this is okay to bring up in this forum..) I noticed that in fact, it is a pretty different version from what's presented on the JP DVDs. I tried using ripped subtitles from Hulu paired with the DVD files of the JP release and noticed the timing was off the further the video went. This meant that the Hulu version was running at a faster framerate. Having had studied a lot of video content in the past, it was obvious to me the Hulu master was a PAL version, sped up to roughly 25fps. So I know that this was likely the version given out to international broadcasters to dub over or edit as they want. The missing text was there so that various localizations would include titles and subtitles or on-screen text in their native language. I'm also assuming this is partially what the French dub of the show used. I'm not entirely familiar with that version, other than it is mostly (it not all) uncut and the only European version to not use 4Kids edits.

    So going back to the JP DVDs I noticed going side by side that the 4Kids version had a slightly softer image and slightly more picture on the sides.
    JP:
    [​IMG]
    US:
    [​IMG]

    If you'll notice, the JP DVD has some haloing present. This can mean 1 of 2 things usually. Either the base source was high definition and the video was downscaled, creating the artifact, or there was a sharpening filter applied to the image. Because it's a rather subtle effect, and not present in other sources and before HD content was being regularly produced in Japan, I'd argue it is sharpened up for the DVD to try and give off a bit of a more premium feel. This wouldn't have been as noticeable on television sets but when inspecting up close you can see where they might have tried to enhance it. I know Discotek used the better looking master to their eyes, and I can see why they might prefer a slightly more expanded image and less visual artifacts. But I can't say I particularly... get their case. As I don't have the SD BD release I'm unsure if they went ahead and deinterlaced the content themselves or left it interlaced. If they did deinterlace it, it would need a bit of care taken into it due to visual artifacting that can take place during it like so:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Both the JP and US sources have the same type of interlacing, with it being present only during moving objects (sometimes as little as a mouth moving, only the mouth would have interlacing). This is a common occurrence of digitally produced animated content of the time. You see it in both anime and western cartoons, and is particularly egregious in shows that are fully digital animation wise, but stored on digital video tapes. Wow, that's a lot of use of the word digital, but you get my point. There's not much that can be done in this case aside manual deinterlacing or using a very thorough filter that can differentiate between frames with interlacing vs frames without it. It can be done, and can make the final product look very nice, but it's a lot of work, that I don't think Discotek would want to do.

    Now, I read that Discotek used 6 different masters for this release, but I'm curious as to what those could entail? If I'm to guess it would be the US digibetas, JP DVDs (due to mention of 5.1 audio from the hi-spec versions), International broadcast tapes, JP rebroadcast, JP streaming, and I guess US DVDs? It's really kind of a lot to take into account, but I'm honestly really curious as to all the different sources used. The only thing here is.. why use the 4Kids versions at all? I've seen people slander the Japanese DVDs and Discotek say they can't use them but going back to back between the US DVDs Discotek released and the JP DVDs, there's.. hardly much of a difference in picture quality. I saw people post and talk about this tweet showing the error with the alcohol being miscolored and multiple people in this thread and other forums saying it's somehow proof that the JP DVDs look awful? Or that TMS didn't take care of the show? When.. that screenshot is taken from the International broadcast version on Hulu. The original DVD looks like this:
    [​IMG]

    There's no rainbowing or analog video noise present at all. So, I don't see how people claim the 4Kids version was just "better" when it looks roughly the same, to be honest. I understand there's a drive and passion to try and present the show in the best possible way but I feel like.. well, it's ultimately pointless to try so hard. I don't mean to dismiss the work done because I'm sure it was painstakingly worked on, but at some point you're getting diminishing returns.

    So don't get upset at people who expected this to be an uncut release (me included) with no usage of 4Kids masters, because when you look at it in detail, there isn't much of a gain to be had. Both versions seem to have pretty similar issues, just native to how the show was produced at the time. This post might mean a lot of nothing to most people, but I sort of got tired of seeing all the slandering of the JP DVDs in this thread and wanted to share my opinion on the whole matter.

    It's been a long day and it's pretty late here and I get very bad at organizing my thoughts when I have a lot to talk about so I hope I made some sense in my post? If I missed something I'll probably edit it later. But yeah, I'm hoping someone from Discotek who worked on this release can explain some of the decisions to use the 4Kids masters in great technical detail because I would love to learn about any particular difficulties or quirks that I may not be seeing.
     
  10. Blue Spikeball

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    Thank you. I was sure that I had watched the Japanese episodes without glaring artifacts before.

    For comparison, here is your screencap along with the Discotek version:
    [​IMG]

    I don't see anything so wrong with the pic on the left that it guarantees using the 4kids edit. In fact, it looks slightly more vibrant than the 4kids/Discotek version to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2023
  11. ElectricAngel

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    The only real difference is the fact that the JP DVD is sharpened a bit. So the 4Kids version does look a bit more natural to the eyes. But yeah, I still don't think that warrants replacing the source. When it comes to shows that are known to be mangled by 4Kids or the like, those masters should never be considered. Period.

    But also I'm unsure of whether or not other JP sources were used. I did read somewhere that possibly the JP rebroadcast version from 2020 was one of the sources, and surely that one looked even better than the DVDs? Typically when mastering discs, the closest possible original source is preferred. Like negatives or interpositives for film, and master tapes for TV shows if film is not an option like in digital animation or older shows shot on tape, for instance. Broadcast standards are pretty strict I'd say, better than streaming or disc, so I would've used those as a base if they were provided.

    I believe I saw someone on Twitter mention "seizure edits" done to the recent broadcast masters, whatever that means. But in that case, could they not have still used the recent masters as a base and used the DVDs or whatever as a fallback? This is why I kinda wanna talk to or have input given from someone who worked on the release. Not sure if it would be taboo, as I've seen studios be a lot more open as to where material is sourced from these days. I can only make assumptions as someone on the outside.
     
  12. Mendinso

    Mendinso

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    So for context of "Seizure edits", I'll explain a bit.

    Following the incident of Pokemon Shock in late 1997, networks around the world established guidelines, known as Harding Tests (named appropriately after Dr. Harding), to check programs if they could potentially be a problem. These range from flashing, repeated color rotation, swirling, background movement, etc., and if something is flagged by these tests (often checked automatically or manually), they are then edited. There are tools to automate the process for the editing, but some studios will manually apply edits. These can range from blending, reducing the frame rate, dimming the image, and so on. These are generically known as Harding Edits.

    Sonic X's Japanese base masters still have plenty of edits here and the International masters, curiously when TMS Entertainment prepped them, did not. So this is partially as to why the 4Kids Entertainment masters were used, both due to the masters generally being higher quality (they were, trust me) and they had the least amount of edits (funny enough) here in regards to this. Sonic X, surprisingly, has a lot of flashing effects and such. When the show was broadcasted in Japan recently, Kids Station and TMS Entertainment did a process to ensure the masters were safe to air (we believe it was automated because sometimes the Opening had an edit, sometimes it didn't, and I assume the tools can be a little overly sensitive sometimes).

    Likely due to it being a "Kodomo", or "Young Children's" targeted show (roughly 6-8+), I have to assume the home video release in Japan still contained edits. I've seen this with a lot of similar titles where younger kids may be watching the program that the home video releases still have some edits and sometimes even the masters sent to licensors will still have Harding Edits applied. It's probably just a safety measure. Sonic X just happen to be a case where this wasn't for masters sent overseas.

    This is as much as I can comment on.
     
  13. Windii

    Windii

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    Just wanna say that something similar happened to AnimEigo's Blu-ray release of Madox from last year. Apparently whatever English dub audio they had on hand sounds fuzzy compared to what the old DVD releases had, making those DVDs not entirely disposable to people who like that dub. It's an amazing Blu-ray release and I'd never put the DVDs over it, but if you really care about having the dub audio in the most pristine quality, you might have second thoughts. I don't know what happened there exactly but I assume just extracting the non-fuzzy audio from the old DVDs and sticking it on the new release wasn't an option for a variety of reasons we're not privy to.
     
  14. Mecha Sally

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    Ah ok, that makes sense. I must have overlooked that earlier post.
     
  15. ElectricAngel

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    Ohh I see. Yeah I'm aware of harding tests, and as far as I know the US is the least strict on that kind of stuff. I wasn't sure if scenes were just darkened or outright edited for Sonic but it makes sense if you used it for that reason. I don't entirely agree with the process but at the same time I understand it. By technicality, it would be closer to how it was originally produced or intended by the artists. Not to mention the slew of people who grew up with the US dub would surely notice something would be off if those harding edits were in the release. Better to have a background with no text (which I believe did also happen sometimes in the JP version) that only really really peculiar people would notice, than have entire scenes and effects changed that would likely cause an uproar of people upset the release was edited or toned down in a way. It's a fine line for sure, so I get that now. Thank you so much for taking time to comment on it :) I really appreciate it and find it super cool XD
     
  16. Chimpo

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    I'll apologize to Blue for being a dick since there does appear to be a suitable equivalent. Genuinely sorry about that.

    But still firmly stand-by my stance. :colbert: If that was the best video source they had to work with and the only one they had on their hands, then I think they made the correct choice. I don't collect anime, but I do collect film and the amount of times I've been burned by a sub-par blu-ray release with a God awful transfer is infuriating. I appreciate the effort Discotek put in piecing together to give us the best possible version for such a niche commercial release. Dragon Ball, despite having the money and resources behind it, still has yet to receive a good home video release because of actual lazy catch-all work they put into it. I'm willing to let Discotek slide on this one since it's clearly wasn't intentional.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2023
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  17. Yash

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    I feel like the OJ edit is too granular to be genuinely upset about, but now that it’s assuredly been brought to Discotek’s attention, they should fix it before pressing anymore copies. Maybe offer a replacement program if the demand is truly there. I don’t think I could be assed to send my copy back over the color of a drink in one scene, but I’m sure some folks would appreciate the gesture.
     
  18. ElectricAngel

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    Well from what people have said there are a few more minor slip ups with background text but the OJ was the most noticable. The shot in particular lasts like literally 3 seconds so all things considered, 3 seconds out of like 39 hours of content is microscopic to say the least.

    I still believe deep down that they should've stuck with one master and called it a day, two at most like other shows do just for consistency sake but I get that they may have been a bit too passionate about the project.

    Also not sure if what Chimpo said can apply here, really.. Dragon Ball is an odd case where film elements exist and are scanned but good restorations took time and resources that people didn't want to pay for (see the Level sets). Sonic X was just digitally produced and there's really no way to make it look much better or worse than it already does. For film you have more to take into account like if negatives or film with the least generations down from the source exists, then scanning or using existing scans of said film, deciding how much noise reduction to use, clean up dirt, scratches, digitally restore tears or stabilize the video, color correction, all sorts of stuff that is heavily dependent on budget and time with how well it can be done. Digital animation you either have the original files to work with or the distributed source be it digital files for modern content or digibetas or even analogue broadcast tapes depending on how old we're talking about. Nowhere near as much work is needed in those cases, comparatively.
     
  19. Chimpo

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    I should clarifying my complaints with Dragon Ball is mainly towards the audio side, specifically the Japanese version. The community has done an excellent job in recovering the broadcast audio versions and have provided them to Toei, but yet they still give us the low quality crap. The video side of Dragon Ball is a whole different beast. There are multiple factors and issues throughout various releases that can be it's own thread.
    Point is, I like DiscoTek. They are trying. This was a tiny oversight. There's no reason to write this release off like the Blu-ray chumps are doing.
     
  20. ElectricAngel

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    Oh for sure. As far as I'm aware there's nothing particularly offensive about the release. It's perfectly acceptable. I was just curious as to the production of the set and details on the sourcing of content.