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Posted: 25 Mar 2024, 20:09 

-snip-

Now that you've mentioned it, it does jive with my observations, like the thing you mention about the anime that stayed on VHS due to most consumers renting instead of owning, most of the listings I've seen for those anime were on rental tapes or in rental cases and the like. Rarely did I see them in a "sale" VHS case.

With what you said about long-running/big shows often not getting LD boxsets due to their length makes it quite a miracle that Yawara! got the three LD-boxset release it did from Victor.

Thank you for answering, especially since you went on a detailed explanation of it all. I especially didn't know too much about the Gundam LD release history so hearing how the original show just barely made the cutoff point surprised me.

As for Tonde Burin, I was just more surprised that the distributor thought there was potential profit to be made with that route. In retrospect, Nippon Columbia's 90s anime output didn't seem to have any noticeable hits, besides possibly the few Tatsunoko anime remakes and... (maybe) Hyper Police and Master of Mosquiton OVA's that they released. They took a long break from handling anime releases themselves for a long while seemingly after 1999 so I guess the lack of profitability took its toll on them?

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Posted: 26 Apr 2024, 19:54 

Infinite Ryvius: Infinity Box (1999) [BELT-1542]

I don't know how it happened, but by a stroke of luck, I happened to be surfing Suruga-ya through their LD listings and found a copy of this still listed for sale. I don't know how it wasn't snapped up by the time I discovered it (maybe the listing saying there was "box damage" dissuaded some from getting it). So I got it and it just arrived at my residence today.

I have taken some photos, though I can't give it a more thorough look as I'll be preoccupied with some stuff today. However, I'll take more pics later on.

So, here's the box:

https://images2.imgbox.com/82/df/gRzH4VPk_o.jpg

https://images2.imgbox.com/9d/b8/gXyLQL0i_o.jpg

https://images2.imgbox.com/41/9f/qkseDg0H_o.jpg

The inner-box: https://images2.imgbox.com/52/ba/cAKABn63_o.jpg

The jackets each feature a prominent character from the cast on the front. Unfortunately none of them had Neya, which was an interesting choice.

https://images2.imgbox.com/c1/ae/y2XJiubY_o.jpg

https://images2.imgbox.com/23/ee/gv6laDRo_o.jpg

And here's the ring label for the first disc: https://images2.imgbox.com/4c/a0/nVzZ8kif_o.jpg

The first disc has mint markings from Pioneer Japan.

I've tested the playback of the first disc, and so far the picture quality is pretty good. Granted, it's a 2001 LD release so that's probably a given.

There is a booklet inside the inner box as well, and that's probably what the "Ryvious Magazine" is. I took a few photos of the exterior and one of the pages. I'll take more pics of the pages inside if anyone wants me to.

https://images2.imgbox.com/c6/be/FSjiFrvX_o.jpg

https://images2.imgbox.com/d3/80/tnKWoxFt_o.jpg

https://images2.imgbox.com/86/2e/aMqkD3NE_o.jpg

The fandisk content is on side 2 of disc 7 according to the chapter list.

Anyway, I think that's about it for now. Let me know if you have any comments or questions.

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Posted: 27 Apr 2024, 01:38 

signofzeta wrote:
I’ve never seen this show but I know I’ve seen this box…has it been talked about on the forum previously?


Yep, under Very, very late Anime Boxset releases in Japan.

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Posted: 02 May 2024, 03:42 

Super Mobile Legend Dinagiga Vol.1 [POLV-3211]
Super Mobile Legend Dinagiga Vol.2 [POLV-3212]

Tl;dr: In which I give DinaGiga a standing ovation.

https://images2.imgbox.com/6a/75/U1YwzaAC_o.jpg
No matter how one feels about the OVA, the MC is cute and klutzy, which makes her somewhat stand out as an MC to me in my honest opinion.

During the late 90s, when anime was a burgeoning niche and market, there was a general trend among certain licensors to gobble up any title they can, especially those that could sell well to their buyers. So almost every anime that had been recently made were up for grabs by these companies... some were grabbed willingly, others were foisted upon them by Japanese companies as a condition in order to license a more desirable anime.

So when a title is overlooked by even the most ravenous licensor of the time, it makes it notable, and Super Mobile Legend DinaGiga happens to be one of them.

So it happens that the title is obscure outside of the mecha community who have ambivalent thoughts about this two-part OVA. Now you might be wondering "Why don't you watch Gunbuster instead? Why did you buy this?" Heck, maybe I might be declaring heresy if I said that I watched Dinagiga first, and that I haven't actually watched Gunbuster... yet.

Well, the reason for this is that I had a somewhat unorthodox introduction into anime. There's the standard gateways of discovering anime when a television channel airs something like Robotech back in the day, or when one acquires VHS tapes of a pretty popular, yet localized anime like Pokemon or Digimon. A decent amount seem to have discovered and grew up on anime through channels like Toonami in America and Locomotion in Latin America.

I did not really go through such gateways. Granted, I did discover anime through one of these methods I mentioned, yet it didn't really stick to me. I really only started to get involved in anime and other Japanese media through visual novels.

Yes, the niche within a niche. Playing and reading through them happened to break quite a few barriers, which was getting used to Japanese voices and reading "subtitles", since visual novels featured a lot of prose, and there weren't many visual novels that are dubbed (and those that are dubbed are usually the visual novels that aren't my cup of tea).

Visual novels was how I met a good group of close friends that I hang out with to this very day, and it's how I started importing media from Japan. Surprisingly it was an anime I imported first before a visual novel, but I digress.

Seeing that I did not grow up on anime, it gave me pretty much a blank slate to choose anime from. I did not consider the masses and their popular opinion. When I sought out an anime, I sought those that piqued my interest, whether it'd be through an interesting premise, or in a lot of cases, an appealing visual design and/or character.

https://images2.imgbox.com/32/30/0xUZMzfz_o.jpg
Most Samoans will never know of Hikari's appreciation for their island paradise.

This was the main impetus behind getting DinaGiga. I remember perusing through AniDB and focusing on anime made in the 1990s. I saw the page and I liked what I saw with the character design. It did not matter that it had not gotten a release stateside, or that there wasn't really much... discussion or attention about it. At this point, I had already imported quite a few anime so I immediately hit up Yahoo Auctions and looked for listings of this particular anime.

Now, at the time, I did not have access to a LaserDisc player just yet, so I focused on VHS tapes... Unfortunately, there was only one volume for sale, but I got it anyway, even if it was a rental that had been used quite a bit. It was the second volume, and I happened to enjoy it, even if I skipped a volume that would've explained the setting or what led up to the events within. Further clarification was provided by the (at-the-time) sole existing hardsubbed rip that was sourced from the LD.

https://images2.imgbox.com/ce/55/ldEQYjxf_o.jpg
Want to know where this white-haired mysterious heroine came from? The second volume has some revelations about her.

Eventually, I manage to recover my family's LaserDisc player that I now use. I then upgraded from the VHS to a complete LaserDisc set of the anime (after a false start on Yahoo Auctions. I acquired my copies from Suruga-ya).

And now I can get to actually reviewing it.

So, let's start off with the technical aspects, starting with the runtime.

Now you might be curious as to why I want to make a note of the runtime. Well, there's a discrepancy between the VHS and LaserDisc releases in their runtimes. The two VHS volumes have a printed runtime of 30 minutes, and it consists of just the OVA and nothing else much (besides the opening logos and the copyright warning at the end). I was initially expecting both LD's to be CAV just from that alone...

However, the LD volumes have a printed runtime of 35 minutes. So what's in those extra five minutes? Good question. I'll delve into that soon.

Now, the picture quality happens to be great for this particular OVA. I dare say it's actually on par with DVD quality, and it helps accentuate the OVA's good animation quality, courtesy of Studio DEEN, quite a prominent studio for an obscure two-part OVA. The audio is also of great quality and I have no complaints in that regard. In fact, when people do talk about this OVA, they mostly remember the catchy OP, even if they think the OVA was otherwise middle-of-the-road...

Another thing to note is... how many chapters both discs have. On one end there are OVA's which only have one chapter for the entire runtime, and on the other end, there's OVA's like DinaGiga. They each have 30+ chapters, which is quite fascinating, and puts some early R2J anime DVD releases to shame in regards to its chapters (I'm looking at you, Kaitouranma).

As a side note, even though these discs were pressed by Mitsubishi, who have a middling reputation for rot, I have not noticed any rot on these discs at all, and I've played them quite a few times over the past year.

Yes, I have rewatched this quite a few times. Sure, it might be a bit rushed in its story and in its pacing, but it's an anime with good visuals, and a likeable main character--Hikari Touno--whose ditzy nature is endearing, and that even most of the cast can't help but appreciate (even Nana, who happens to be a bit tsun about her).

I actually like rewatching it because it is short and because of the main character. So this anime is quite special to me for a few reasons. It's also one of the first anime that I imported that didn't have a stateside release, so that's another reason.

Either way, I actually liked it enough to where I got the drama CD's and its associated soundtrack which brings me to another point. The OVA actually didn't come out of nowhere. The series started off as a series of drama CD's released by One-Der Entertainment, which happens to be one of the companies in this OVA's production committee. They were the ones handling the music for the OVA. Since it never got released in the States, people who watch the OVA will probably be missing out on information in regards to the setting and character unless they own the drama CD's, which is similar to another anime that I watch and own on LD and that I'll make a review of sometime in the future.

Either way, I'll now talk about the extra five minutes that each disc has. Basically, this is the only release I have and that I know of so far whose LD release has exclusive content compared to its VHS release.

https://images2.imgbox.com/f2/09/KoFDUK2n_o.jpg
What comes after the ED in the first volume.

The first volume is dedicated to a behind-the-scenes featurette, some of which is filmed by Hikari's seiyuu's shaky cam. The second volume has three bonus segments: a live-action music video featuring... well, Nana's seiyuu singing in Guam, but not the OP or the ED... rather a song that was only on the first drama CD. The other two are the creditless OP and ED, which was a pretty typical bonus for most PolyGram anime LD's, but still interesting to note because how many two-part OVA's have a creditless OP and ED?

https://images2.imgbox.com/60/1b/2p2ZczeP_o.jpg
https://images2.imgbox.com/97/6f/Mw39fup9_o.jpg
https://images2.imgbox.com/93/47/M4PFZSvj_o.jpg
https://images2.imgbox.com/f6/e8/oN4x3Zhb_o.jpg
As a side note, the creditless OP has a slight change from the regular OP.

On another note, this OVA also has drastically different cover art compared to its VHS release. Both VHS and LD cover art feature Hikari and Nana, but whereas the VHS covers have them overlay on a simple white backdrop with either road signs or the titular DinaGiga... the LD's have them placed with detailed backgrounds and in different poses. Another factor in the LD's being the definitive upgrade.

There's nothing to write home about in regards to the inserts. The inserts are pretty small and are the standard "punch this stamp out and mail in the completed insert for a bonus." I forgot what the bonus entailed. I believe it was for a poster, but correct me if I'm wrong.

All in all, these are neat LaserDiscs for an OVA that is overlooked by many. Perhaps I have written too much about this OVA and this release and that I should've condensed it a while back, but I cannot help but be enthusiastic. Perhaps I am one of the few in the West that care about it. Many may see it as nothing special, but I see an eager passion project for one Takeshi Doi and the staff, who had to make do with sudden constraints as they had to downsize an ambitious vision to two episodes. But even with these constraints, they're still lucky that this property even got an anime adaptation and enough sponsors to make it so, even if it couldn't become a television series like they hope for. One-Der Entertainment is not well-known. They only existed for a brief period (a year and a half in fact) before folding (the soundtrack CD for the OVA was their last release). Could this have been the company's last hurrah?

To conclude this review, I'd like to mention that Dinagiga's creator has started a web novel for this series and what possibly could've been had they been given more episodes. I do like the OVA, so if anyone's interested, please feel free to give it a read, even if it's only in Japanese.
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