Cinedigm’s Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Season 1 DVD Box Set: An Overview

January 13, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Posted in 5D's, English dubbed, Konami, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 8 Comments
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Cinedigm's Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Season 1, Volume 1, Disc 1 DVD menu

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s makes its DVD debut in the United States today! “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Season 1” is the newest Yu-Gi-Oh! home video title from independent media distributor Cinedigm on its Flatiron Film Company line. The four-volume, eight-disc box set contains the first 64 episodes of 4Kids Entertainment’s English dub of the anime. This set is available now at your favorite video retailer for a suggested price of $44.99.

Like my previous overviews of Cinedigm’s Classic Yu-Gi-Oh!, GX, and ZEXAL products, this post will provide a brief overview of the contents of Cinedigm’s Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s release. This post will also offer a short overview of the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s home video releases available to the Australian and Japanese markets for comparison. An examination of the video quality of these home video releases, as well as of the streams available on YUGIOH.com (via Hulu), will also be included.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s from Cinedigm

The packaging and contents of Cinedigm’s Yu-Gi-Oh! video products have all been very consistent. Its season sets are all made up of two or more volumes housed in a card stock slipcover box. Its individual volumes all feature attractive designs of characters and monsters from their respective series. And its region 1 DVDs all feature a basic menu with a similar number of episodes on each disc.

Cinedigm’s “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Season 1” set continues these trends. This set is comprised of four 2-DVD volumes that are housed in a card stock box. The design on this box features only the logo of the show and the seal of the Crimson Dragon on a blue backdrop with no characters or monsters. While it is a little more subdued than the box art of the other series, it is nevertheless very attractive. On the spine of the box is a picture of Yusei Fudo and his Duel Runner which, when aligned with the season 2 box, will form a larger image.

Like Cinedigm’s GX and ZEXAL releases, each volume of 5D’s is comprised of a lightweight black Amaray case with one swing tray. The artwork for the four volumes includes pictures of the show’s main characters. Their spines together line up to form the first half of an image of Yusei on his Duel Runner and Stardust Dragon flying overhead. Each double-layer DVD in the first three volumes includes seven or eight English-dubbed episodes, while those in volume 4 contain nine episodes each. No extras are included other than the box.

As with its Yu-Gi-Oh! GX product, Cinedigm is offering Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s as a season set only. The individual volumes are not available for sale separately.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s From Australia’s Madman Entertainment

Long before a region 1 home video release was even in the works, the English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s enjoyed a DVD release on the other side of world. Madman Entertainment, an independent media distributor in Australia who owns the largest home video catalog of anime in the country, released the first season of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s for region 4 on its kids label.

Madman’s 5D’s releases totaled five volumes, each containing two DVDs. The first four volumes included episodes 1 through 53 and were released between February and September 2010. The fifth volume, which contained episodes 54 through 64, was not released until two years later in September 2012. The company did not release season 2.

The organization of Madman’s DVDs seemed to involve a process of trial and error. Its first disc (“Escape From The Satellite”), which included episodes 1 through 5, some trailers for Madman’s other children’s home video releases, and a rather sinister warning about video piracy in Australia, occupied a mere 4.5 GB. The second disc (“The Facility”) included episodes 6 through 12 and clocked in at 5.7 GB. Despite using double-layer DVDs, Madman failed to take full advantage of the discs’ free space, which, as seen in the below screenshots, may have adversely affected the video quality.

Madman appeared to have learned from this experience, as later discs would hold more episodes and make better use of the space. The video quality doesn’t improve substantially, however.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s From Japan’s Kings Records and Marvelous Entertainment

In Japan, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s received a complete DVD release from King Records and Marvelous Entertainment (MMV) between 2008 and 2011. The series spanned a total of 13 box sets, with each set containing three 1-disc volumes. Each box retailed for 17,000 yen (about $145). Each double-layer DVD contained four episodes except for the last two DVDs, which only contained three each. Like all of the other Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! DVDs released to date, these are locked to region 2 and don’t include any English subtitles.

The first box of the series, titled “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Duel Box 01,” was released in September 2008. Its three volumes are housed in a chipboard art box featuring original artwork of Yusei, Jack, Stardust Dragon, and Red Dragon Archfiend. As with “Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX Duel Box 1,” the extras in the 5D’s box include clean (textless) opening and ending animations on each disc; four post cards; and a booklet that contains a list of the anime’s cast and production staff, an episode guide, and line art of the characters. The quality of the scans of the line art are a step up from those seen in the booklet included with GX Duel Box, however.

Despite being the first Yu-Gi-Oh! anime to air entirely on HD television, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s did not receive a Blu-ray release in Japan.

Video Screenshot Comparison

The video quality of Cinedigm’s Yu-Gi-Oh! DVDs have been somewhat hit-or-miss. Its Classic Yu-Gi-Oh! and ZEXAL releases have been decent, but its GX release wasn’t so hot. How does 5D’s fare?

Below is a table containing links to select screenshots from episode 1 of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s. They were captured from Cinedigm, Madman Entertainment, and King Records/Marvelous Entertainment’s DVDs, as well as from Hulu’s English- and Japanese-language streams in both high quality (SD) and high definition (HD) settings.

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

 

[1]
5D's episode 1 screenshot 1 thumbnail - Kaiba Dome

[2]
5D's episode 1 screenshot 2 thumbnail - Yusei Fudo

[3]
5D's episode 1 screenshot 3 thumbnail - Red Dragon Archfiend

[4]
5D's episode 1 screenshot 4 thumbnail - Red Dragon Archfiend

[5]
5D's episode 1 screenshot 5 thumbnail - Taka

[6]
5D's episode 1 screenshot 6 thumbnail - Wiretap Trap card

[A] Cinedigm

A1

A2

A3

A4

A5

A6

[B] Madman Ent.

B1

B2

B3

B4

B5

B6

[C] King Records/MMV

C1

C2

C3

C4

C5

C6

[D] Hulu English (SD)

D1

D2

D3

D4

D5

D6

[E] Hulu Japanese (SD)

E1

E2

E3

E4

E5

E6

[F] Hulu English (HD)

F1

F2

F3

F4

F5

F6

[G] Hulu Japanese (HD)

G1

G2

G3

G4

G5

G6

A note about the screenshot dimensions: Cinedigm and King Records/MMV’s DVDs follow the NTSC encoding system familiar to Americans and have a source resolution of 720×480. Madman Entertainment’s DVD uses the PAL encoding system and has a resolution of 720×576. All three DVDs are anamorphic widescreen so they are flagged by the video player to automatically display at a 16:9 aspect ratio; the screenshots are presented here in this ratio. Hulu’s SD videos have a resolution of 720×400 and are also flagged to display at a 16:9 aspect ratio. Hulu’s HD videos have both a source and display resolution of 1280×720.

Cinedigm’s 5D’s video is very impressive and beats King Record/MMV’s release in quality. Cinedigm’s has the better crop, sharper picture, and slightly better colors while the Japanese release suffers from some ringing artifacts. Cinedigm, why couldn’t your GX release look this good?! Madman’s release is hideous and is inferior to any streaming option. Perhaps something went wrong during the NTSC to PAL conversion that led to such awful blurring and interlacing.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's season 1 Cinedigm DVD box mock-up

Product Summary

Title: Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Season 1
Street Date: January 13, 2015
Distributor: Cinedigm Entertainment
Label: Flatiron Film Company
Licensed by: 4K Media (Konami)
Region: 1
MSRP: $44.99
Disc count: Eight double-layer DVD discs
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (16:9)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Episodes: 1-64
Language: English
Closed Captions: Yes

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

8 Comments »

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  1. Nice overview. But do these episodes on DVD have the ending credits made for the dub?

  2. Yes, the ending credits are in there.

  3. Nice. Thanks for the reply. Let’s hope Cinedigm release Seasons 2 and 3 of GX and Season 2 of 5D’s soon.

  4. I gotta say I was really hoping they’d release 5D’s on blu-ray alongside this, wasn’t that announced?

  5. Yup, that’s right! I wonder what happened to those plans…

  6. Thought so. I’m glad the DVDs are decent quality, but I think I’ll be holding off on these until the whole series is out… I suppose it’s not very likely but perhaps they are planning to release a complete set on Blu-ray instead? They’d definitely have the storage capability for one.

  7. ravegrl, what Season Set can we expect after this? They could either go back and release Season 2 of GX, continue on with Season 2 of 5D’S or release the entirety of Season 1 of Zexal? I’m hoping for Zexal, they can’t just release Season sets for the previous arcs and not Zexal, it wouldn’t make sense.

  8. Nothing has been formally announced yet, but you’ve more or less laid out all of the possibilities. Stay tuned.


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