Hey everyone, I’ve been getting a lot of excited fans asking about the recent announcement that I’m working on IGPX. First, thanks for the kind words, they mean a lot, but there seems to be a lot of confusion about what exactly is going into this release. So to clear things up, I thought I’d try to answer some of the questions I constantly get here. (Note to would-be video nerds, don’t use the screenshots presented here as an indication of video quality, they’re for aspect ratio demonstration purposes only.)
1) Which versions of IGPX will be included on this set?
This set will include:
a) Original Japanese uncut version
b) English dub of the uncut version
c) Toonami version that aired on TV in the US, remastered to be properly displayed in 16:9
2) Wait, does that mean you’re cropping the Toonami version?
Not really. IGPX was produced in 16:9 HD from start to finish, however when it was brought over to the US, Cartoon Network did not have any choice but to air IGPX letterboxed for 4:3 screens. This led to the Toonami version always being presented with black bars on the top and bottom for all the episodes. For the DVD, we’re simply removing the bars and presenting it basically the way it was always meant to be presented. If Toonami really wanted to, they would have cropped the show to be 4:3 for American TV. Since then on home video the Toonami version’s been presented in 4:3, and it’s return on Toonami recently was stretched out 4:3. So think of this as presenting it as it was supposed to be presented, just never done that way before.
3) Weren’t there graphic borders on the top and bottom for the episode intro/previously on/next time segments where the letterbox would be?
Yup, there are, and we’re adding them to the sides now as well. We are cropping those SLIGHTLY to make the picture inside (you know, the important part) bigger and more presentable for wider TV’s. And before you go apeshit, this change was approved by DeMarco, so producer/writer on the show >>>>>>>> you.
Original broadcast version borders
Remastered broadcast version borders
4) Is there going to be a re-dub or replacement of voices for the remaster?
Nope, the dub will not be affected by the remaster.
5) Will the Ninja Tune music be replaced?
Hell no! Ninja Tune music will still be apart of both the uncut and Toonami versions. We’re not changing a thing.
6) So how are you remastering this exactly?
Overly technical answer incoming, so head’s up. Using a combination of the DVD masters which are properly in 16:9 (no letterbox) and the broadcast masters, I’m cutting them together to basically recreate the Toonami version’s cuts. Certain shots in the Toonami version (like this composited shot below) isn’t in the uncut, and rebuilding is probably too time consuming, so in cases like those, we’re simply blowing up the shot to remove the letterbox and filtering it somewhat to make it look good.
Episode 6, original uncut version shot
Episode 6, original Toonami version in 4:3, as presented on TV
Episode 6, remastered Toonami version presented in 16:9
There’s also the question of color timing. The Toonami version, for whatever reason, looks a little more saturated overall, so I’m color correcting to make sure it matches and doesn’t vary from shot to shot (using the broadcast master as the ultimate guide, color wise).
7 Will the 5.1 tracks from the previous Bandai discs be coming over?
Yup, in fact, I’m actually syncing my video to those tracks.
8) Will the special features from the Bandai release be coming over?
Discotek has told me that they are, so all the commentaries, interviews, IGPX micro-series episodes/movie cut, Comic-Con panel, promos and IGPX music video will be coming on over (I don’t think I missed anything).
9) What about the new special features? What can we expect from those?
Well, I’ve already done 2 interviews, one with writer/producer, Jason DeMarco, and one with editor/music supervisor Sara Hardy. The interviews in total are about 35 or so minutes long.
I plan on producing more features, like some new commentaries, but we’ll see about that! No firm plans have been made for new features as of this writing (other than the completed interviews), but I’m simply concentrating on getting further in the remaster, for now.
Probably not. I mean, ultimately that’s up to Discotek, but there’s no plans currently. The show was made in HD, according to Jason, but we don’t have access to those masters. I assume they’re over at Production IG, but again, we don’t have them, so we can’t use them. We’ll see what the future holds. Maybe if this set sells really well, that might give us more leverage to get IG on-board… so, you know, buy the DVD… and buy 18 copies of it for your friends. And then buy another copy for your parents. And then one for your cat, because secretly, all cats wish they were IGPX pilots like Luca.
11) Will this remastered version air on Toonami?
Well, that’s not really up to me! I personally have 100% no problem if [adult swim] wants to take this new version and air it on TV. I would personally make sure it would be upscaled properly to 1080i for broadcast. Ultimately, that’s up to the powers that be if that’s possible, or even if Toonami wants to air it again!
12) Is Toonami involved in the process of the remaster?
Yup. They’ve been very cooperative in providing masters and feedback, and lucky for me, they’ve liked the work I’ve done. Overall, they’re giving me space to work.
13) Is Discotek involved in the remaster process?
If they had said “No,” that basically would have been the end of it. Thankfully, they’ve been extremely responsive and supportive, providing the DVD masters for me to use. And frankly, Discotek knows how to put together amazing releases, and I’m not just saying that because I’m working on this set, I’m saying it as a fan. I mean… they released Mad Bull 34 and put Castle Of Cagliostro on Blu-ray! The amount of cool stuff they’ve put out is staggering!
14) Will you autograph my set?
Sure, but it’s not like my name’s in the credits.
15) How did you even get involved in all this?
Short story: Networking. Most powerful tool in the media industry.
Long story: Pitched Jason an idea about doing new features and a 16:9 Toonami version (which I created a demo for using my own DVD’s). He said he wasn’t involved with it, and told me to talk to Discotek. After numerous attempts, I finally got in contact through some of my connections and friends, and presented those same materials (along with the interviews to prove I was serious). I was told, “yes.” I got to work immediately, only stopping to work on the trailer for MoMoCon.
16) If I have any more questions, can I contact you?
I don’t mind, but I can’t guarantee I’ll have an answer. I might not know, or I might not be in a position to divulge that information, so please try to understand. Best way is to tweet me, @Jose_CNN.
Hope that answers a lot, and thanks for reading. Look forward to the full release… whenever it has a date!