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Old 07-06-2018, 11:06 PM   #2021
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Speaking of Shinbo...

Yu Yu Hakusho
(FUNimation)

Disc size: 43.7GB

Feature size: 42.9GB (Episodes 1 to 10)

Episode 1: 4.2GB (Every episode is either 4.2 or 4.3GB)

Video:
1080p MPEG-4 AVC
19.0 mbps AVG
40.0 mbps MAX
31.5GB

Audio:
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 24-Bit 457 kbps
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 24-Bit 2018 kbps

Yu Yu Hakusho is a rare breed. That could be said for the series itself, but the fact that a 112 Episode series received such a good HD restoration is amazing. The classics are restored, obviously. Gundam always gets Bandai's best as it sells (not as much as Love Live, though), but YYH is a title more modern viewers haven't heard of, and while the manga sold well, it doesn't have the name power of something like Dragon Ball. The series simply looks beautiful. The artwork is stellar and the animation quality is exceptional. Episode 58 is perhaps one of the best directed (Shinbo) and animated episodes of anime period. It is legendary stuff.

Bandai's Japanese release was spread across 15 discs, as opposed to FUNimation's 12. The series is getting re-released in Japan this year across 4 sets (as opposed to Bandai's original 3), but the disc count is identical. Though, a new OVA is being produced for it. FUNimation has 4 sets with 28 episodes each, a perfect split in terms of episode count, with 10 episodes on Discs 1 and 2, and 8 on Disc 3. Despite the slightly lower episode count, file-sizes are the same, perhaps due to using the same encoding preset to save time and money.

FUnimation's release is good, given the limitations. The big point of concern is compression. 10 episodes on a disc? Yeah, it's not optimal, but it could be worse. The issue is prevalent regardless of source, but as Yu Yu Hakusho is a 1992 series shot on 16mm film, there is grain, which is random, as it should be. Grain makes a compressionist's job harder in some ways, and a higher bitrate ensures it to be better preserved, but it appears the compressionist here has achieved a good result given the storage. There is less grain than I expected, but I don't think it's DNR or anything like that. It has a soft appearance, but without shots of the JP release, I'm not sure if its a source thing or not. Banding is almost non-existent for most of it, but when several characters are on screen, the load is simply too much and the ceiling gives way to atrocious banding, though it isn't a common issue, and there is some aliasing, which is there more than I'd like, but there is one artifact in particular which is strange.

As mentioned before when talking about the odd artifacts in Sentai OPs on BD, that is attributed to a Low Pass Filter, and I assume it may be at work here, as I see some odd things... there's some odd highlights around the characters that don't look like part of the source, and it's not a one off issue, that would be acceptable, it appears quite a bit for several seconds at a time. If you view it from a distance, I doubt it's noticeable, but it's there, and on a PC monitor and me overly analyzing things is it very distracting when it shows up.

Also is frame wobble. It's rarely ever appears, but when it does, its distracting. This is a source issue, and not something FUNimation messed with.

The site's review is laughably bad, but for the second "season", the reviewer mentions "quite a few frame to frame alignment issues, creating slight shifts that are nonetheless pretty noticeable" as I noted, so at least the reviewer has some ability to see flaws.

There appears to be a good source, but because of the storage issues, the image appears bitstarved. It's hard to describe, but it loses detail quite a bit and some areas, specifically single colours like the backs of people's clothing from overhead shots. The bitrate is lacking and the grain is not as visible as it should be. Had there been 7 episodes per disc with a higher bitrate, then this wouldn't be a problem, but as it is, it's just okay.

I've said before I don't like dubs, but I've just realized the ones I do like are ones I saw first dubbed, from when I was younger. Yu Yu Hakusho is one of them. I've tried to watch it in Japanese, but it's not as funny and the characters sound younger and less intense. This is a rare exception where I urge watching this dubbed instead of subbed. Most modern anime dubs are flat because there's no energy and they use the same voice actors in everything, but YYH is older, uses a better cast of actors, and is just more fun.

In terms of audio quality, the two tracks are about the same in terms of compression. Audio levels are higher in the dub and it sounds more full. The Japanese track has a laughably low bitrate, but sounds good for a 1992 production. Yes, the dub track sounds way better, but for an older track, the Japanese track is a perfect representation of the older source.

The FUNi Yu Yu Hakusho Blu-rays aren't the perfect presentation they've been made out to be, but they're miles better than the DBZ season sets. Had there been more discs and the lack of an LPF, these would be amazing. They look near perfect at first glance, but when looking closely issues show up.

Score:
Video- 6/10 (LPF and aliasing/banding distract and are results of low bitrate)
Audio- 9/10 (Technically great, though for different reasons)
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Thanks given by:
bubba111 (07-08-2018), Naiera (07-07-2018), neoz (06-12-2019), NLScavenger (07-07-2018)