25th Anniversary Studio Ghibli Concert DVD

Just got this ... this DVD features a live 2008 concert recording to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the cooperation between the Ghibli greats - Miyazaki and Hisaishi. It also served to launch the then-new "Ponyo on the cliff" movie.

Apart from Japan, it seems that no other country has released this in any form yet and I was ready to import all the way from the land of the rising sun when I saw it whilst browsing at a nearby video store. For RM29.90 (approx US$10) you get a single DVD disc and an audio CD. The region-free DVD features the full concert that was held in Budokan and broadcast on NHK. The concert is 1 hour 56 minutes long in total and features 10 songs from 9 animated features (Nausicaa, Mononoke, Kiki, Ponyo, Laputa, Porco, Howl, Spirited Away and Totoro). The other disc features nine songs - minus the encore - but on a more audio-friendly CD format for listening in the car. Why no encore? Well, it IS pushing the limits of the audio CD format because at nine tracks it already reached the maximum 80 minutes and the last song would definitely never be able to fit in there and remain red-book compliant.

With the source recorded in high-definition, the DVD presentation thankfully is properly down-sampled to NTSC resolutions with no signs of ghosting/interlacing seen. Compression rates are kept pretty low , averaging 6.74Mbps, with the entire concert taking up the 5,577MB of a double-layer DVD (totalling 7.6GB). Compared to the Japan R2 release which was split onto two dual-layer DVDs, the entire concert is squeezed onto a single one here so a sacrifice had to be made - the audio is limited to stereo Dolby Digital only (Japan R2 has 2 channel PCM stereo and 5.1 DD surround) but once again, it has been kept at a high bitrate of 320kbps thus maintaining the clarity of dynamics of the concert extremely well.

Other than the concert, the two specials are also available on this disc - "Making of the concert" which lasts 21 minutes and "The Big Screen" running for 17 minutes. The making video shows the amount of work done in preparation for the event which included 200 members of the orchestra and a 400-person choir. Although insightful and informative, this video is in Japanese only with no subtitle options. There is only a sprinkling of spoken dialog though so it doesn't really affect much - most of the important stuff (names, venues etc) are hard-subbed as part of the video.

The big screen video basically repeats what was shown on the projection screen at the Budokan venue during the concert. Various clips from the animated features are shown during the concert and this video allows you to see the entire content without interruption and camera changes. All clips from 10 songs are combined as one long clip here.

Overall, its great that you can purchase this recording outside of Japan but the only dissapointing thing is the lack of subtitle options on the extras. Online purchasing may still be available here but at a higher price .. so find a store to buy it from instead if in Malaysia. Options to buy the Japanese R2 release is still available at CDJapan or Amazon. For those with HD playback, the blu-ray versions are also at CDJapan and Amazon.
P/S : I question the legality of the release but then it IS included with a license /censorship board sticker which I hope means that all royalties/duties were paid. The DVD comes with a slipcover that duplicates the same label content but with a foil effects. The audio CD also comes with a slipcover but has no label of its own. The DVD is mislabeled LOVE STUDIO GHIBLI CONCERT instead of LIVE STUDIO GHIBLI CONCERT but both carry valid IFPI numbers imprinted and embossed.

..... Show/hide full post

No comments:

Post a Comment