Otaku Fanzine

Man, ADV really farged things up this time, neh?
"Hey Gendo, when did that computer monitor turn into a CHEEZY English graphic? The Magi say that it's coming from the American DVD! Get Ritsuko to 'delete' it and start again!"

Save Our EVA DVDs!!!

You know what? I'm sick of defending (welllll, maybe not "defending", but essentially not "slamming") ADVision. They have lost all my faith in them as a decent anime company. They have destroyed the EVA DVDs and they don't think anything of it.

What's wrong with the EVA DVDs?

The answer, lots of things. The two biggest and most important probs are: Image quality is horrendous; and they ALTERED THE ACTUAL ANIMATION (What kind of sickos "alter the actual animation"?!?! Surely not anime fans).

First to address the "image" deal. I just went out and got my EVA DVD from Best Buy and popped it in. I had heard the rumors of the above problems (and a few more) and decided to see for myself. Yes, ADV tried their damndest to kill EVA. The image was even worse than their release of Battle Angel at the end of last year (which had some noticable image quality distortions).
"Blockiness" (artifacting) galore! It is only slightly (fractionally) better picture quality than their VHS release... Okay, that's an exageration..... a minor exageration. Then I popped my region two EVA DVD in. It was a painting on my screen :)!!! It was like night and day. The Japanese release was *angelic music* gloriously better. Then I slipped Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer (American release) in. This used to be one of the lowest image quality discs I had. EVA was well below it. The EVA DVD may not have been as bad as say the (ghastly) Project A-ko disc, but what really is. Even my Megazone 23 part I disc has better picture quality (and this was not the best quality release). I could also go so far as to list Castle of Cagliostro as a great example of an old movie (over 20 years!) that still looks crystal clear on DVD (as long as companies put a little money and time into a good digital transfer, a really nice picture is easy).
I've already returned the EVA disc. I do not want this piece of doo-doo in my video library.

There is no excuse for the image quality on this disc. ADV even spent extra months working on this DVD to get it right! Apparently all they've been working on is the OBVIOUS and TERRIBLY CHEEZY Overlays.

THE OBVIOUS and TERRIBLY CHEEZY OVERLAYS

For some God-only-knows reason ADVision has taken it upon themselves to actually ALTER THE ANIMATION of EVA (they started this with their VHS releases by changing the already in English screens [like commercial breaks] and by replacing totally Japanese screens [like in eps 25-26] with low resolution English Screens. TOTALLY UNNECCESARY and OBVIOUSLY below the quality of the rest of the show. They must have thought that Gainax didn't know what they were doing when they originally made the show. You see, whenever a sign or any Japanese text is displayed in the show on the DVD, ADV tried to cover them up (to shield us stupid gaijin from the horrors of the written Japanese language I'm guessing). They must have thought that we would never be able to figure out that the stop signs in Japan (although written in Japanese) mean STOP. I know I had trouble with that before.
Not only that, but they alter Misato's picture to Shinji (I guess we couldn't have ever figured out that it was suggestive) and (get this) GRAFFITI!!!! They block over ART with their really bad graphics! The one that gets me the most though is their extremely bad attempt to cover up the map that Misato is using in NERV HQ. -_- They didn't even try.

Now, this trend of ADV's (started in the fun Nadesico VHS release with no success) is bad in and of itself. Subtitles could have easily (much easier than making bad graphics) been used to relay the message of the signs and text where needed.... But who the **** needs to know what graffiti says?!?! That's just ruining somebody else's art for the sake of destroying it.

These ADVision "added on English translation graphics" wouldn't be so bad in and of themselves, but the fact that ADV spent maybe 15 seconds on each is an insult (both to us viewers and to Gainax). They are obviously just "plopped" on to the image with no sense of merging with the rest of the animation. Fer the love of ALL that is Holy, POKEMON did a good job of making English graphics look like they belong in the image (see whenever the poke-gang enters a new town or gym, the text appears to be part of the actual show). What ADV did is more akin to the badly digitally painted "flowers" and "rocks" added to the Americanized Dragon Ball when lil' Goku was nekkid.... but the Dragon Ball graphics were actually better!!! That's how piss-poor a job ADV did.

Well, what can I do to change it?

Everything.

You see, ADVision is a business. They supposedly do things that the general public wants. But recently they've been changing the music (Americanizing it), names (Americanizing them [like in City Hunter]), botching translations (see last 4 Eva subs for big instances) and COVERING UP THE ORIGINAL ART with their really Cheezy graphics (I know 1st year computer art students with 2 weeks of Photoshop experience that could do a better job -_-). This last one is the worst (as seen in Nadesico and now EVA), but if we the consumers don't say anything, it'll only get worse as ADV figures they can take MORE liberties with their liscences.

The Future is NOW! (Yeah, I don't like quoting Robotech, but that verse is pretty cool :)

Reps from ADVision have stated that they listen to what fans want, but that "ON-LINE" fans are a minority. So in order to change their practices of BUTCHERING anime (and not just any anime, but EVANGELION!!! The series that MADE ADV who and what they are today!!) we have to start a campaign the likes of which we've never even SEEN before!

We have to go OUT of the internet to get our point across! (That point being that you don't farge with our anime!)
Of course, if you want to e-mail the bejesus out of ADV, be my guest ;). Nobody's stopping you (and I encourage it). We SHOULD let them know just how many of us "on-line" people there are out there who don't like our anime changed by American distributors.

You can e-mail them at:
info@advfilms.com
and
customer@advfilms.com

If you think that they did a bad thing by altering the animation, Tell them! Give them some options of what they can do to fix this habit of theirs in the future (examples follow):

  1. Use soft subtitles on DVD releases
        Either soft subs for signs on their own subtitle track (the IDEAL thing to do if they must do something -_-)
        Or just soft subs in the original subtitle track (I know that there are only 4 colors they can use, but these subs don't have to be a different color!).
  2. Hard subtitles for the necessary sign translations (like they did in the VHS release with things like the "toothpick" container and such. I mean, who needs to see EVERY sign translated!! Just the necessary things!
  3. And for those of you who think that "subtitles clutter up the screen" you can suggest that ADV either just don't translate every insignificant sign,
  4. OR ask them to use LINER NOTES (either on the disc itself or seperate pieces of paper included with the DVD) with scenes listed and what signs say within those scenes,
  5. Or that they USE ALTERNATE ANGLES (which is one of the promises that they made at Anime Weekend Atlanta 98 [or was that 99?] in regards to the Nadesico eventual release on DVD which they are now backing down on -_- [I know it'd be more expensive, but it would be cool and a great selling point... and Kami-sama knows that if any anime company can afford it it is ADV]). This would be a great alternative if they truly believe that their no talented digital artists really deserve a chance to get their abominable hack jobs on their releases.

If you can think of your own alternate way of translating the signs, share it with them!! Please (I can't believe that the path that they chose looked like the best solution to them :(. They really DO need your help)!!!
Personally I don't think they need to translate every stop sign and piece of subway art. We KNOW that it is in Japanese and it is NOT important to the story at all!!!! ADVision, you guys are NOT saving us, you're keeping us down (Whoa! Where'd that come from ;).

Now, it has also been rumored that the reason that the video quality is so bad is because Gainax did offer the awesome transfers that they used for the Region 2 DVD release of EVA, but because they wanted to charge a bit more money for it (as it wasn't in the original EVA contract), ADV refused and used the VHS/Broadcast master to make their pressing.... How lame is this. Just a bit more money to get a GLORIOUS print! It would have been pixel per pixel as good as the R2 release.
There is still time to save this too, on ADV's part. But unless we are relentless in pushing for it, ADV will just push it aside and bitch about how "Fans just complain and they don't understand". This is untrue and unflattering. We know what we want and we want GOOD digital transfers and UNALTERED anime (for Eva, Nadesico, etc. etc.). That is NOT too much to ask (and should be expected).

Because of a few loudmouths at conventions who just like to talk outloud (and usually out their arses), ADV has destroyed a masterpiece.
Now it's time to take back the night!

Well, what can I do to change it? (part II)

Here's what we do:

  1. Call them. Call them and complain. Give them the options (or just tell them not to translate insignificant signs and entire monitors). They said that they listen to VOICES more than e-mail. So TALK to them ;)
  2. Fax them. Fax them a nice letter.
  3. Write them. Snail-mail them. This is ALWAYS listened to more than a simple e-mail. I've already sent two letters to them verbalizing my opinion.
  4. GO UP TO THEM AT CONVENTIONS and tell them what you want and that what they've been doing is not how you want them to continue doing things. You are the consumer. You keep THEM in business. Tell them what it would take to keep your business (i.e. pay for the transfers and don't alter the anime).
  5. Then e-mail the hell outta them! Send them so much e-mail that it backlogs their server (errr, or something;) ! They must know that we, the internet fans are strong and have opinions too!
  6. DO IT POLITELY!!! Nobody'll listen to you if you just yell at them and call them names. State what you think they did was wrong and then clarify what you want. If enough people are nice and polite to them they will listen. NO YELLING ON THE BUS!!!!
    This is a quote from David Williams of ADV as posted on the Anime on DVD Message board:
    "I make notes of how many comments we get and from where those comments come from. Then I factor out the people who repeatably bitch about something or yell the loudest at cons so they only get one vote. We check our email, read our snail mail, talk to clubs, look at sales and many other factors. Then we put out a new video and see what happens." So DO IT POLITELY!!! This cannot be stressed enough.

Snail-mail them here:

A.D.Vision, Inc.
5750 Bintliff #216
Houston, Texas 77036-2123

Phone them here:

(713) 341-7100

Fax them here:

(713) 341-7195

(All the contact info above is posted on their website, so feel free to use it to drop them a line or 20;)  And then pass the word on to your friends that ADV is using crappy digital transfers and is altering their anime. Get them to write in to get them to stop messing up their great shows (if they mess up the Nadesico DVD or the rest of the EVA DVDs I'll really get angry >:(

Then tell them to FIX these problems in the second printing of the EVA 01 disc! This disc is MUCH more botched than Aniemigo's BubbleGum Crises set, and they went back, fixed the stuff that was bad AND THEN THEY ADDED A BUNCH MORE GREAT STUFF! If a tiny company like Animeigo can afford that, ADV Definitely can!! Especially for the show that gave them their money in the first place!

Then you can pass these quickly made buttons (but they're still better looking than the graphics that ADV screwed up EVA with;) around the web and get people who don't know yet about the horrors that are becoming real.

    

And not to be too rude, but to quote a friend, "If the sight of Japanese text bothers you so much that you need to see some good old English in it's place, you picked the wrong hobby, baby."

(Also, people complained that the text in EVA [i.e. newspaper text, computer monitors, etc.] moved way too quickly and that they couldn't read the subs that moved with it. Welllll, not to be a spoilsport, but replacing the subs with English Graphics in the same allotted time won't help that problem at all. But that's what the "pause" and "rewind" button are for. Use them wisely;).

If you have any other questions on the series, please feel free to e-mail me at
cross@mindspring.com

Go Back to the Beginning of Gendo's Ultimate EVA FAQs Homepage.


Now it is STORY TELLING TIME ^_^

This is a story told to me by numerous unrelated people and that I've seen a couple of times on the web. It could easily just be hearsay, or just be partly true, but it does sound a lot like how both ADV and Gainax do business. So take it as a "rumor" and have your grain of salt ready.

You see, a looooong time ago, when ADV brought the final translations and dubs of the first EVA tapes to Gainax for final approval before duplication and distribution, Gainax was appauled! They heard the dub and did not like it. They ordered ADV to redo it, to which ADVision's people replied "Sorry, it has already shipped". Gainax has not been happy with them since and because of ADV's unwillingness to play by G's rules, we, the Gaijin Consumers, get screwed bigtime (now we will never likely see the extra footage of episodes 21-24 [see Eva Director's Cut Page], nor a decent DVD transfer unless ADV opens its wallet a bit more and shakes the moths out).

Granted, ADV paid a lot for EVA and should have had the option to use whatever bad dub they wanted, but they signed a contract for the series that Gainax had final ruling (Like Chairman Kaga) and they broke the contract (according to this story).

I don't know howtrue this is, but I do remember also reading in Anime UK back before any US company got the rights to Eva (and all of them were fighting tooth and nail for it), that ADV claimed that they had already gotten the rights for it and that they planned to "add more frames of animation to certain scenes" and make the whole show smoother. Gainax said that nobody had the rights at the time, but eventually the American rights went to ADV anyway. This should have been the first sign -_-.

Next, Greenfield himself answered my personal question at AWA 98 that the EVA DVDs would have the extra footage only seen on the Japanese LDs (and eventually DVDs).... I should have known better than to believe him :(.

Sooooooooo, get off your arse and call, write, and bother ADV at the cons! "We want a good digital transfer and we DON'T want our anime ALTERED with CHEEZY English graphics!!!"

Spread the word.

-the Rossman

 

"If a person truly wants to live, he can make anyplace he wants a heaven" - Yui Ikari

Go Back to the Beginning of Gendo's Ultimate EVA FAQs Homepage.

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I do not claim any ownership or rights to these things, so get off my back!  I'm only making this cool page to show how much I love Evangelion.


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