Thursday, August 16, 2007

Zipang: Reconnaissance

Zipang Episode 1: Lightning strike
The last DVD came in shortly after its North American release but I only got started yesterday. The gist of it is that the Mirai, a Kongo class guided missile destroyer, goes back in time, arriving on the eve of the Battle of Midway. For more detail (and spoilers), there's always the Wikipedia article.

I'll spare notes about the actual content for another entry. This one will be on the technicals and goodies. Essentially, there are no extras worth mentioning, unless you count the mouse pad that came with the collector's box. Each DVD comes with OP, ED, and DVD production credits and Geneon previews, and that's it.

No problems with the artwork and animation. There are no pretty characters; it's war after all. CG for ship models and other war pieces blend in well. There were some instances where footage was reused, like in search light signaling, but it wasn't detracting.

Background music either stands out (in a good way) or doesn't. Zipang has one standout theme, played by a saxophone wailing in the night. There's also a strings variation, but the saxophone is most prominent and occurs during combat.

Zipang: Isoroku YamamotoI just thought this image was kind of badly pasted in.

I don't watch with dubs, so no comment there. As for the subtitling, well, I don't know what's par for the course, but I estimate there were more nitpicks than I'd find with a fansub released by the likes of a.f.k, and one would think that no one pays their quality check members.

I've listed the minor annoyances below. I'm not out to be Geneon USA's QC; these were things picked up during a first pass.

Well snap. I seem to be missing one DVD that will be released October 16, 2007. Quite the lack of due diligence on my part. See you in two months!

"Your father was in the marine." — Episode 1. Did he actually say, "in the marines," or mean to say, "in the navy?"

"I'm am no god." — Episode 8. Fail.

"It's name is Zipang." — Episode 13. Its versus It's, but technically both are correct and it is a matter of preference.

Episode 15 intro on fast forward. Not a subtitling problem, but it was kind of awkward. It was a conscious decision, since the audio was in line with the scenes and not fast forwarded.

Near the end one of the scenes in Episode 16 (not the last scene) the subs drop out. Sometimes they do that if what's being said is a recent reiteration, but it's still annoying. There are also some timing errors (I think) where the line may follow before or after it's spoken.

"...the Mirai can still avoid them easily with her speed superior mobility." — Episode 20. Missing an "and."

Episode 21 featured two glaring omissions of subtitles: during a scene involving a prone body, and during the next episode preview.

"Make you get back before curfew, alright?" — Episode 22. Make sure…

"It too late." — Episode 23. There's something missing here, but I can't quite put my finger on it.