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Old 08-27-2018, 07:37 PM   #2253
professorwho professorwho is offline
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Apr 2017
Southeast Michigan, USA

Legend of the Galactic Heroes

Before we even discuss picture quality, I have to talk about how the series was produced and its home video history- as failing to do so can give false expectations about what is being presented.

Legend of the Galactic Heroes is a 110 episode OVA series produced between 1988 and 1997. It was shot on 16mm film, being made on cels, and was originally released on both VHS and Laserdisc. When DVD started to become a thing, LOTGH was an early title, but to convince people to spend an insane amount of money on the new DVDs, several scenes from the first 2 seasons (the first 54 episodes) were reanimated from scratch. Not bad right?

Wrong. These were done digitally, and while not inherently bad, the character designs were different, the colours were wrong, and it looked cheaper than the cel artwork. As a result, these have been included in every release of the series onwards. There is NO way to view the original, and superior looking scenes without watching it on Laserdisc and/or VHS. And, as a result, because of that, the series is upscaled.

No HD scans were produced for the series, as that would be expensive, so the original scans used for the DVD release, and the original masters of the reanimated scenes were used for the Blu-ray.

With that out of the way...

Disc 1 (Episodes 1-8): 38.5GB

Episode 1: 4.51GB

1080i MPEG-4 AVC
21.6 mbps AVG
35 mbps MAX
3.75 GB

Japanese DTS HD-MA 5.1 24-Bit 4418 kbps

Okay, first, the audio. On the packaging, Sentai lists Japanese DTS HD-MA 2.0, but it's actually the 5.1 mix created for the DVDs. It sounds great. Zero issues in terms of clarity. Not sure how well it utilizes all 6 channels, but I'm happy.

The video... being an upscale of what is an SD transfer of 16mm film, it looks as good as you can get. Clarity is good, lines are sharp and not aliased, grain is present, and colour is rich and vibrant. There is an inherent softness to upscaled content, but here it's okay. It's near perfect given the source...

That being said, I hate that it's interlaced. Not that it's interlaced over progressive, but due to frame rate. It's at a constant 29.97 fps and it looks kinda weird. I'm assuming this is because those ugly AF re-animated scenes were done at that frame rate, but in normal footage (everything not re-drawn) it looks weird, most prevalent in scenes with characters moving- it looks weird. Kind of distracting, but it's not the worst thing ever.

Overall, it is probably the best the show will ever look outside of a new HD remaster. I'm happy with it, but the interlacing being somewhat distracting, I'm not sure if this was present on the Japanese Blu-rays or not. While I've read they are 1080p, there is no definitive proof it was progressive from what I've found. If it is interlaced, then that must be a source thing. If not, Sentai might've been sent a somewhat inferior master.

Regardless, it's Legend of the Galactic Heroes. The greatest anime ever made (fight me), so it's something I'm happy to own.

Next time, I'll be looking at the movies, and then Gaiden.
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Lionel Horsepackage (08-27-2018), Naiera (08-28-2018), Nostalgic Twilight (08-27-2018), Vanguard (08-27-2018)