According to Google, Code Geass is the second best anime of all-time, right behind Cowboy Beebop. To be fair, it often swaps with Dragon Ball Z which is expected due to the fanbase and nostalgia of that series. Though having never seen the series, I decided to get this one from Malaysia and pay a bit less, just in case it “isn’t quite as amazing” as expected.
What To Expect:
The box contains R1 & R2 (which are both seasons of the series) as well as a bonus disc of Akito The Exiled in Japanese/Cantonese audio, with Malaysian/Chinese and English subtitles. Akito The Exiled is only available in Japanese, but also features native subs. I paid about $19 for this box with free shipping via ebay. Unexpectedly, it came early and even featured a bonus DVD movie for a Volleyball anime called Haikyu. The film is entitled “The Movie 2: Shousha To Haisha.” It will be covered below this review.
The box, just like that of Keijo was quite beautiful in appearance. As with Keijo, the logo was embossed in foil. Malaysians have to pay 52.90 RM for this one, which is quite a bit. Inside, we have a reverse DVD case (they open from the right, rather than the left) as well as two large pieces of detailed art inside the box itself. The case was pure white (with obvious back & front cover images matching the box). Inside, I found cloth holders (quite like you’d find in a CD pack) which held all three discs, including the Akito bonus. For sakes and purposes, I’ll be putting the Haikyu movie inside of the case, because it did not come with a case – just a strip of plastic. That’s fine though, it was a free bonus gift. The cover images on the first three discs are all the same, but labeled by disc (1-3) and the Akito disc features different artwork. Note that this does not come with the numerous other OVAs in the series, but it’s honestly more than enough given the price.
The first disc that I put into the PS3 read fine, showing a low-quality DVD menu which opened with the theme song. It allowed for different subtitle and audio options via the “Setup” portion of the menu. The picture quality was admittedly fuzzy, but I guarantee that I have episodes in just as low quality ripped from my own discs. I can see it and tell what it is, which works for me. The second disc took a while to read, but once things got going I was able to choose between R1 or R2 respectively. Choosing R1 and starting it up, I noticed some more fuzz – but hey, I’ll live. The subs are a little odd, but for the most part I’m an editior and can understand even broken English well enough to tell what is going on. Even if it becomes a problem, I’ll just download the subs after I rip the episodes themselves. The third disc didn’t read at all in the PS3. It just said “Mode Not Supported.” That’s fine, it is a picky PS3 console anyway and not an actual DVD/Blu-Ray player. They have more security and such. Again, I’m ripping it anyway. The bonus disc plays quite well with a bit less compression in the files. It is only five episodes, though they may be a bit longer. I have no audio issues to report from any of these sans the first disc. This collection also includes the 8.5 and 17.5 episodes, so that’s a nice touch. Only one episode in the set came up a bit fuzzier than the others, which is the fault of multiple ripped sources. Other than that, they’re all the equivalent of a standard stream with a nice presentation box.
Now for the PC anaylsis. In the scan, the files look great in their small size. The PS3 does scale pictures to fit the screen, which can make these LQ files look incredibly fuzzy. They’ll look good on your cell though. I can prove that with the old rips I have had to make. DVDShrink also found that each file was around 400-500mb, which is actually much larger than you’d get from a website in LQ. Just as with Keijo, they’ll look fine in their respective format. When I opened the DVD, I found eight VOB files. It’s better to use DVD shrink to pull them off that way, so you don’t have to play with video cutting software and waste two to three hours of your time doing that (but while listening to metal records, so it’s not a waste!) But I was able to decompress them with DVDShrink, which made a huge difference in the files, to the point where nearly all of them feature a 480p resolution.
The second disc is setup interestingly. 2-18 are considered parts of R1, while 1,3,4,9 and 16 are all parts of R2. There are six VTS 1 VOB files and five VTS 2 VOB files on the disc itself. Hey, at least they’re separated. The third disc just has seventeen episodes stuffed on it. They’re the same size and are encapsulated in just nine VOB files. The bonus disc contains five episodes, which are about an hour each. Can we really even call them episodes at that point? These are actually between 700-1gb each, which is DVD quality. This bonus disc has the best quality out of the collection, albeit some slight stuttering and a little bit of fuzz fade-ins and outs. You can fix that with many programs.
As far as the quality goes on the main discs, I’m definitely going to recommend that you download/stream the high quality files or just buy the discs outright from your favorite online stores. It’s a bit fuzzier than I would like on the PS3 and I’ll clear it up with my programs. That being said, I would only recommend picking up this set if you’re on a budget. Also keep in mind that some (if not all) of these files are direct TV rips from a few years back, so don’t expect miracles. In any case, the presentation is nice as far as the box is concerned and it’ll look good on your shelf.
Bonus: Haikyu! Movie 2: Shousha To Haisha –
Presentation: The disc came in a small plastic sleeve, like I would get if I’d received a promo in the mail. Nothing really special there. No box, no case – just a disc. The disc has an image on it, from what I’d assume to be the DVD cover. So nothing amazing.
Performance: Perfect. Absolute clarity. The DVD menu is pristine and contains proper subtitle options. From what I’ve read, the subs are legit. This is identical to the actual Japanese DVD as far as performance is concerned and since some of this stuff is not licensed in the west, it might be your best bet to pick these single movies up instead of the DVD sets. Especially if you want a physical copy, which I’m sure this one would have. But a free DVD doesn’t equal out to a case and that’s fine. I can’t review the presentation based on this small plastic sleeve, because that’s not how you’ll buy it from their shop.
Overall: Not bad for a free DVD and this will be my first sports anime, so I’m interested.
– Next Up, Dragon Ball Super Boxsets! Stay Tuned!