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Old 2008-03-04, 10:08   Link #141
Slice of Life
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You find the raws at the usual place. I see no indication that they are licensed too. So maybe a fansub group ...
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Old 2008-03-10, 07:38   Link #142
SeijiSensei
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Wow, Media Blasters certainly got this series out quickly. The first volume will be relased on 3/18/08 and contains two discs with episodes 1-7 (?) of the series plus a few extras.

I don't know what they mean by an "episode" here, though. The running time is about 160 minutes, but an episode of TW is only ten minutes long. Perhaps these are doubled up the same way the R1 DVD was? In which case 1-7 really is 1-14 of the original forty.

The Media Blasters website is such a gigantic mess of useless Javascript and other cruft that I can't find a simple answer to this question. Hell, I can't even find the TW announcement page. Their site is a good example of how marketing can absolutely destroy a website by stressing "bling" over actual content.
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Old 2008-03-10, 11:06   Link #143
Vexx
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I'm finding the website comment true of most anime and manga distributors -- more "bling" than data and way too much reliance on idiotic Flash and other resource-wasting crap. Media Blasters is one of the bigger messes I've seen though. Let me be stronger... the Media Blaster site is a total pile of blingy crap that only lacks BLINK text....

I'm assuming that the releases will be 'subtitled only' without an english dub track so that vastly reduces the time-to-release. However, it *does* say dubbed.... so I'm kind of doubting the dub is worth much with the short turn around.

I wonder if they're just going to tie episodes together in 24 minute clumps or something? Trying to remember if any of the episodes ever started out with a recap (which would make episode coupling awkward).
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Old 2008-03-10, 11:21   Link #144
SeijiSensei
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They all have brief recaps. One of those ten minute episodes actually consisted of 3 minutes of OP/ED and another minute or so of recap. There's really only about six minutes of new content in each ten-minute episode. I presume all of this was intended to work well with the attention span and memories of young children.

Of course, here in the United States, only people 13+ are supposed to watch Tweeny Witches! I don't know who gave this show such a ridiculous rating, but now the parents of the real audience for this anime, elementary school children, will be discouraged from buying the DVDs. I know the story has some darker themes, but I don't think it's worse than, say, Snow White. Unless MediaBlasters is afraid of young childrens' reactions to the mistreatment of the sprites, or more importantly parents' reactions to these themes? It just puzzles me how they could set the minimum age so high.
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Old 2008-03-10, 11:59   Link #145
Vexx
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This is the society that now proclaims imagery of Cookie Monster "smoking" in Monsterpiece Theatre makes Sesame Street classic episodes too mature for children.

Translation: we're completely ****ed as a society and its just a matter of time before the collapse
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Old 2008-04-09, 14:18   Link #146
Vexx
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Got my copy of the first volume and the collection box.

The quality of the box is a bit less than, say, Bandai but it really is pretty cute. Its constructed like a thick magic spell book with enbossing. Bound and uses a "page mark" red ribbon to open.

Will update later to comment on DVD #1.

Edit: I'd forgotten just how rich this series was, particularly the soundscape. It still has a lot of the really disorienting weird camera angles and still shots that I originally thought were shortcuts to animation --- apparently its artistic However, despite them using a lot of CGI underlay, the animation is painted over in a rich lush fashion. The result is just beautiful and the story itself, though oriented to children/young teens (especially young girls) is very, I don't know the words.... but I'd rather have a daughter of mine watching this ANY DAY over the crap that passes for entertainment on the toon channels (Bratz, Sabrina-happy-moral-of-the-day, etc).

The label is 13+... but I'd show this to almost any age group 7+ I think.

Disk quality itself... the menu system is decent, you get your choice of english/japanese mixes in 2.0 and 5.1.
For being "Media Blasters" cheap -- they've done a pretty good job with the budget.
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Old 2008-04-10, 08:32   Link #147
driftr
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What a disappointment this release is. For anyone who hasn't read the review at animenewsnetwork.com you should do so now http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/revi...-witches/dvd-1

Media Blasters has butchered this series. Right from the get go the first episode starts different in some odd attempt to cut and re-edit the episode. They insert non-existing dialog thus resulting in many "off screen" dialogs where you're looking at feet/legs/table chairs etc when the talking is happening.

What a joke ~_~
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Old 2008-04-10, 14:55   Link #148
xris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driftr View Post
Media Blasters has butchered this series. Right from the get go the first episode starts different in some odd attempt to cut and re-edit the episode. They insert non-existing dialog thus resulting in many "off screen" dialogs where you're looking at feet/legs/table chairs etc when the talking is happening.

What a joke ~_~
I haven't seen the Media Blasters release but I suspect that neither have you. I think you have totally mis-interpreted the ANN review and have blamed MB for something they hadn't even done.

The ANN review has this.
Quote:
The series runs into trouble in its editing, animation, and scene selection, however. At times the course of events suddenly skips forward with little or no transition, occasionally leaving viewers with the impression that some content was cut out.
I think it is quite clear that they are talking about the original release, not the MB release. I don't see how MB has the resources to edit the episode as you think they have. Why would they? Don't you think ANN would have mentioned that the MB version had been edited if it had?

Anyway, I will wait until Vexx reports back here and gives us the actual situation.

I would say that the ANN review is a positive thumbs up.
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Old 2008-04-10, 15:05   Link #149
Vexx
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I think someone at ANN may have simply been disconcerted by the artistic style of the editing/directing. I have just compared the first couple of eps with the old fansubs. There's some random cleanup --- but the use of camera angles, arty still shots, and flashback/forwards is still there, so I have to conclude the directing and editing is exactly the way the creators intended it.

The series starts off with a lot of those techniques -- I believe the intent is to increase the disorientation so you can sympathize more with the main character who has been thrown into a topsy-turvy world. They definitely had some budget (sound, art, colors, voicework, CGI, KOTOKO) so though its possible a slim animation budget drove some of the results ... I suspect the director was actively going for a sense of disorientation.

yeah, I now remember the poster was involved in the original fansubbing so kudos to him for that effort, but the post almost looks like an outrageous ANN advert link placement to drive page views, doesn't it?

I won't be visiting it.
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Old 2008-04-10, 15:11   Link #150
SeijiSensei
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Reading the ANN review made me think the reviewer had never seen the original nor the fansub.

So, am I right in thinking that each "episode" on the MB release is two of the original episodes edited together?
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Old 2008-04-10, 15:29   Link #151
Vexx
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Aye... what MB did was simply concatenate two episodes together to produce "an episode". It is only annoying if you're trying to, for example, jump directly to an ED because the scene selection menus lack sufficient resolution within an episode. A DVD episode consists of "OP-Episode_A-interstitial-Episode_B-ED+bonus_moment"

The dub is passable (caveat: I hate dubs). The voicework probably wouldn't bother anyone already fine with dubs and maps the original dialog fairly well. The english voice for Arusu is pretty grinding whiny at times. The other voices I found no issues with.

The DVD limitation on subtitles really hurt the magnificent scenery though when watching with Japanese track+subs -- I really wish anime distributors would do something with the standard like letterboxing the scenery with the subtitles in the black space.

On the ANN "review",
Yeah, someone copied me a transcript of the ANN site since I don't "send them money" in the form of page views if I can help it.
I'm with Xris.... the ANN review is actually quite a positive review so I'm either wondering what crack was being smoked --- or that the purpose of the post was simply to drive pageview counts up for the ANN website. At the least, its a misleading characterization of the review. I'm a bit confused because if I'm remembering right, driftr was involved in the original fansubs so he'd definitely know about the quirky camera angles and off-screen dialog that were part of the original airings.

Some Fair Use snippets of the review for those who also don't want to visit include:
Quote:
And the background artistry and overall artistic style is where the series most triumphs. Wonderfully bizarre settings, stylized witches' garb, and strange robots and critters, all done in a heavily earth tone-based color scheme that makes brief shots of the real world seem bright by comparison. Character designs range from stylized elementary school kids to crude caricatures, with Arusu's broad-smiling design almost certain to win a viewer over, but no one goes around toting wands or uniforms with hearts on them (though hats do seem to have eyes, as well as other things that should not normally have them); think of what the Harry Potter movies might look like if they were animated and took a walk on the wild side and that will give you at least a basic impression of what this series looks like. Some CG animation and renderings get almost seamlessly mixed in to sharp effect, while the opening visuals resemble Renaissance and Reformation-era European paintings. What animation actually gets shown looks good, but as mentioned before, the series takes a lot of shortcuts. Amusingly, the panty-flashing scenes one might normally expect to see have been replaced by bloomer-flashing scenes. Also watch for odd bonus visuals after the credits for each double-episode, where Next Episode previews would normally be.
Quote:
Tweeny Witches mixes some mildly serious themes in amongst its wonder and fun, giving the series a little more meat than might normally be expected from magical girl fare. It may suffer from some problems, but lack of vision and creativity are not among them. It is worth a look even by those who do not normally care for the genre.
There's a lot more, but it is almost 95% positive.
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Old 2008-04-10, 17:44   Link #152
NoSanninWa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Aye... what MB did was simply concatenate two episodes together to produce "an episode". It is only annoying if you're trying to, for example, jump directly to an ED because the scene selection menus lack sufficient resolution within an episode. A DVD episode consists of "OP-Episode_A-interstitial-Episode_B-ED+bonus_moment"
You can't blame MB for that either. The R2 DVD release concatenated episodes together also. This is the way that Studio 4C wanted it to be released.
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Old 2008-04-10, 18:47   Link #153
gaguri
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Speaking of reviews...

my thoughts on this show as a whole

Wrote that like five months ago :/
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Old 2008-04-10, 19:27   Link #154
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSanninWa View Post
You can't blame MB for that either. The R2 DVD release concatenated episodes together also. This is the way that Studio 4C wanted it to be released.
Then I'd say the only remaining point for possible MB whine is the dub
And I, the dub hater, thought the dub was okay (though I'm not fond of the voice for Arusu) -- basically the product appears to be a good value for the money.

Well-written review, gaguri, and it pretty much correlates with my feelings about the series.
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Old 2008-04-11, 08:51   Link #155
SeijiSensei
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I was about to order this today until I looked at my email. Rightstuf is including the collector's box in its Weekly Specials list for just $18 (normally $30)! I just hope that's not an indication of their sales expectations for this series. Maybe they're trying to build an audience for the remaining discs.

The sale price is good until next Wednesday.
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Old 2008-04-11, 09:17   Link #156
xris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I was about to order this today until I looked at my email. Rightstuf is including the collector's box in its Weekly Specials list for just $18 (normally $30)! I just hope that's not an indication of their sales expectations for this series. Maybe they're trying to build an audience for the remaining discs.

The sale price is good until next Wednesday.
Well, bear in mind you can find this for prices such as $18.59 and that's the regular (discount) price for Tweeny Witches, Vol. 1 (with Collectors Box). So while it's 59c cheaper, I don't think it's any indication that they are having a fire sale
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Old 2008-04-11, 09:25   Link #157
SeijiSensei
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I was surprised to see it in the Specials list because that usually contains older and clearance merchandise. It's rare to find a just-released series in that list.
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Old 2008-04-11, 13:16   Link #158
driftr
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Correct I have not seen it. Incorrect in that I don't know what I'm talking about. As another member of the original fansub team has purchased it and watched it, we know what we're talking about. If you were to watch the start of episode 1 R1 DVD to the start of episode 1 R2 DVD (yes both 22min long as they're R2 TV eps 1&2) they DO NOT match. Media Blasters has hacked the video apart and pieced it back together. They also butchered the translations (thou it was difficult to translate lots of bits to english and make it mesh well). If you don't believe me please request that I give you some comparisons as I'm purchasing it (mostly for the box) now.

Please understand when I say, this is an unacceptable action on their part.

Last edited by driftr; 2008-04-11 at 13:49.
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Old 2008-04-11, 16:25   Link #159
iwubanime
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@driftr: I wouldn't mind seeing these comparisons because I was debating about picking this up sometime down the line. It is one of my favorite series and I really enjoyed the R2 version.

I find it amusing that most people say that the pacing is what they didn't like. For me, that's one of the beauties of the show. While I don't think every anime would do well with this approach I do think Mahou Shoujo Tai pulls it off quite well. Granted, I don't have a non-fast-paced version to compare with but I find that this makes it really easy to speed through the episodes (which adds to the addictiveness)

Really hope that a fansub group releases the OVAs cause I wanna see them :\
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Old 2008-04-11, 16:37   Link #160
Vexx
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okay.. I guess I'll go compare the old fansub ep 1/2 against the DVD again. I didnt see much in the way of re-editing from the aired broadcast.
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