Cinedigm’s Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Season 1 DVD Box Set: An Overview

October 14, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Posted in English dubbed, GX, Konami, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 3 Comments
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Cinedigm's Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Season 1, Volume 1, Disc 1 DVD menu

Yu-Gi-Oh! GX returns to the home video market today, giving school duel fanatics an opportunity to own the complete first season of the English-dubbed series on DVD in one complete package. “Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Season 1” is a three-volume, six-disc box set from Cinedigm’s Flatiron Film Company label that includes episodes 1 through 52 of the anime. The DVDs are locked to region 1 and retail for $44.99.

Previously, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX was released on home video in the U.S. by FUNimation between 2006 and 2009. The series was also added to Hulu in late 2010, where it is still available today. This post will provide a short overview of Cinedigm’s new Yu-Gi-Oh! GX product and compare it to these previous releases, and will also briefly touch upon the Japanese- and English-language DVDs released outside the U.S.

Yu-Gi-Oh! GX DVDs in America

4Kids Entertainment’s English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX made its home video debut in several territories worldwide at roughly the same time in the fall of 2006. In the United States, FUNimation distributed the anime on DVD for 4Kids. The first 28 episodes of the series were released between 2006 and 2007 over four single-disc volumes. It would take over a year before episodes 29 through 40 would be released in 2008, arriving in a two-disc volume. This was followed by episodes 41 through 52 in 2009, also in a two-disc volume. These were among FUNimation’s last Yu-Gi-Oh! video products.

The English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has never seen a complete home video release anywhere in the world. But thanks to 4K Media and Cinedigm, every Duel Academy student at heart will finally get the chance to own the series.

Cinedigm’s Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Season 1 box set is very similar in style, contents, and quality to its Yu-Gi-Oh! The Official First Season box set. Each of the three volumes uses a black Amaray clamshell case with a swing tray. The box and volume cover artwork include some character and monster images that hadn’t previously appeared on FUNimation’s covers (a sight for sore eyes!). Together, the volumes are housed in a card stock slipcover box. The spines of the DVD volumes line up to form a larger picture of Elemental HERO Neos, while the spine of the box includes the first part of a larger image of Jaden Yuki. Each DVD contains eight or nine episodes. No extras are included.

Unlike its Classic Yu-Gi-Oh! releases, Cinedigm is not selling the single volumes of GX individually, so if you are strapped for cash, or you already own part of season 1 from FUNimation and want to fill the gaps in your collection without overlaps, you’re out of luck.

Yu-Gi-Oh! GX DVDs in Australia, the UK, and Canada

Around the same time it made its U.S. home video debut, 4Kids’ English-dubbed version of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX was also released on DVD in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Sadly, none of these releases got any further than FUNimation’s did.

In Australia, Magna Pacific released the entire first season on six 2-disc volumes. Each volume included a reversible slick and each DVD contained between four and six episodes.

The United Kingdom’s Contender Entertainment didn’t fare nearly as well with its products. The company released a mere 20 episodes over three single-disc volumes. All three volumes were then packaged in a box set.

Canada fared even worse, with Quebec-based distributor Imavision releasing only one volume. Fortunately for GX fans north of the border, Canada shares the same DVD region code as the United States, allowing them to import compatible American releases.

The above three companies had previously distributed Classic Yu-Gi-Oh! in their respective territories, also with varying levels of success.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX DVDs in Japan

In Japan, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX was released on home video in 15 box sets by King Records and Marvelous Entertainment (MMV) between 2005 and 2009. The first of their region 2 releases, “Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX Duel Box 1,” hit store shelves in June 2005 and included the first 12 episodes in three volumes. Each volume included a two-sided slick and contained a double-layered DVD that held four episodes and the clean (textless) opening and ending animations.

Also enclosed were four postcards and a booklet featuring an episode guide and line art of main characters and their monsters. All of the items were encased in a glossy chipboard artbox adorned with original art work of Judai and his friends. Each Duel Box retailed for a cool $160 and included a Japanese language track only.

Video Screenshot Comparison

Below is a table with links to a few screenshots from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX episode 1. They were captured from Cinedigm and FUNimation’s DVDs and Hulu’s streams (on the “high quality” setting). Screenshots from the Japanese release from King Records/MMV are also included for additional comparison.

All links open in a new window. Warning: Uncropped, full-size PNG images!

 

[1]
GX episode 1 screenshot 1 thumbnail - Jaden Yuki

[2]
GX episode 1 screenshot 2 thumbnail - Vellian Crowler

[3]
GX episode 1 screenshot 3 thumbnail - Card close-up

[4]
GX episode 1 screenshot 4 thumbnail - Wicked Token

[5]
GX episode 1 screenshot 5 thumbnail - Elemental HERO Flame Wingman

[6]
GX episode 1 screenshot 6 thumbnail - Ancient Gear Golem

[A] Cinedigm

A1

A2

A3

A4

A5

A6

[B] FUNimation

B1

B2

B3

B4

B5

B6

[C] Hulu

C1

C2

C3

C4

C5

C6

[D] King Records/MMV

D1

D2

D3

D4

D5

D6

The most noticeable difference between Cinedigm’s release and the others’ is the absence of the black bars on the left and right of the picture. To retain the correct aspect ratio, Cinedigm cropped out a few pixels from the top and bottom of the picture, then upsampled the picture to retain its proper resolution. The end result is the inclusion of some unsightly blocking and ringing artifacts. There is also a defect in the bottom four or so horizontal lines of the picture. Yikes.

If these flaws are already quite noticeable to a non-videophile like me, they’re going to stand out like a sore thumb to the anime fans who put all of their collections under the microscope. C’mon, Cinedigm, you are better than this!

Product Summary

Title: Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Season 1
Street Date: October 14, 2014
Distributor: Cinedigm Entertainment
Label: Flatiron Film Company
Licensed by: 4K Media (Konami)
Region: 1
MSRP: $44.99
Disc count: Six double-layer DVD discs
Video: Fullscreen (4:3)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Episodes: 1-52
Language: English
Closed Captions: Yes

Other product overviews:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL Season 1, Volume 1 DVD
Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time DVD and Blu-ray
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Official First Season DVD box set

3 Comments »

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  1. Any word on Season 2?

  2. Not yet. Keep your eye on the Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Page on Facebook and YUGIOH.com for the latest official announcements!

  3. The quality of the packaging is definitely a step above the original Yu-Gi-Oh!’s packaging. I woldn’t be surprised if the quality got a boost in GX from all the revenue the original Yu-Gi-Oh! releases brought in. I just hope the quality doesn’t drop with the future releases.


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