Cinedigm’s Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Season 1 Vol. 1 DVD & Blu-ray: An OverviewSeptember 6, 2016 at 10:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, English dubbed, Konami, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 3 Comments
The Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V anime makes its debut on home video today in the U.S. and Canada with the first 24 episodes landing on both DVD and Blu-ray! However, you would be forgiven for not being aware of this since 4K Media (Konami) has not formally announced the availability of this title, nor has distributor Cinedigm Entertainment added these products to its online catalog. With all of the radio silence, it wasn’t clear if orders would even be filled. Thankfully, they were.
Cinedigm’s Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V home video release is one of many firsts. This post will look at what makes this title special, examine what’s included with Cinedigm’s products, and compare them to the only other physical ARC-V home video product currently on the market — the Japanese DVD from Marvelous.
Yu-Gi-Oh! History is Made Again
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V marks the first time any Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series has received a high-definition Blu-ray release. While Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL both made their debut in the era of HD broadcasting, neither received a BD release, not even in Japan. Both series do have HD download-to-own options in North America, however. Up until today, the only Yu-Gi-Oh! BD product was for the movie Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time.
Speaking of download-to-own options, Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V is also the first series to have episode downloads released simultaneously while the show is still on the air, ahead of the home video release. Cinedigm has been adding DTO episodes to popular video platforms as they air on Nicktoons, with the option to buy a season pass. Fourteen episodes were uploaded before Nicktoons went into reruns. But as of today, episodes 1 through 24 of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V are available for download on various platforms, including Amazon, Google Play Movies & TV, iTunes, Microsoft Movies & TV, PlayStation Video, and VUDU.
Today’s Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V release is also the first time that an English dub has landed on home video first in North America since the days of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX — that was way, way back when FUNimation was distributing that show between 2006 and 2009! Since then, the English-language releases of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL both debuted on DVD in Australia long before they made it to this side of the planet. (However, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s never saw season 2 over there, and ZEXAL didn’t even finish season 1.) And Manga UK, the British division of Manga Entertainment, was the first to bring out Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time on DVD and Blu-ray for the British market.
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V from Cinedigm
The Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Season 1 Volume 1 DVD and Blu-ray are released on Cinedigm’s Flatiron Film Company label and include episodes 1 through 24 of 4K Media’s English dub. Both products include three double-layer discs. Curiously, there are eight episodes on disc 1, nine on disc 2, and seven on disc 3. Among anime releases, putting eight episodes on one disc is a bit much for DVD, but is not at all unusual for BD. Some other anime publishers often squeeze thirteen HD episodes onto one BD disc (which isn’t necessarily detrimental to the video quality; it depends on the show), so Cinedigm handled the data spacing challenges well here.
Both versions include the basic single-page menu pictured at the top of this post. Yuya’s pendant swings back and forth in the background while the harmony for the theme song, “Can You Feel The Power?” loops.
The DVDs are housed in a black Amaray clamshell case with a double-sided swing tray. The BDs sit in a typical blue-colored clamshell case with a double-sided swing tray and is a few millimeters thinner than a DVD case. On the cover of both products is Yuya Sakaki, Timegazer Magician, and Stargazer Magician. The spine of the DVD volume shows part of an image of Performapal Hip Hippo which, when placed beside future releases, will form a larger picture. The BD case does not have an image on its spine; it has only the text “ARC-V Season 1 Vol. 1.”
Neither the DVDs nor the BDs include any extras, as has been the trend with almost all of Cinedigm’s Yu-Gi-Oh! releases. Both products are region locked — the DVDs to region 1 and the BDs to region A.
4K Media opted not to release Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V in a season set, a decision last seen in September 2014 with the Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL Season 1 Volume 1 DVD. It remains to be seen whether Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V will get season box sets. (ZEXAL eventually did.)
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V from Japan’s Marvelous
Japan saw its first Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V DVD in September 2014 from Marvelous. The show’s home video release in Japan is noteworthy in its own way because of its elimination of box sets. For the first time since the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters days, Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V is sold only as single volumes.
As expected from a Japanese anime home video, Marvelous’ volume 1 DVD includes only the first four episodes for a cool 6,264 yen (about 62 of today’s U.S. dollars). Naturally, the product is locked to region 2 and includes no subtitles.
Despite not being included as part of a larger set, volume 1 nevertheless contains numerous extras on the disc, like the clean (textless) opening and ending; a line art gallery of the main characters and monsters; commercials for the ARC-V anime, DVD, and music CD; and a 20-minute round table where the voice actors for Yuya, Yuzu, and Syuzo chat about the show’s characters. First printings of volume 1 also included an application to see a special ARC-V talk show that took place in February 2015, plus three photos of the show’s characters.
Video Screenshot Comparison
The table below contains links to a few screenshots from Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V episode 1. There are only three products to compare: Cinedigm’s DVD and Blu-ray and Marvelous’ Japanese DVD.
All links open in a new window. Warning: Uncropped, full-size PNG images!
[A] Cinedigm Blu-ray
[B] Cinedigm DVD
[C] Marvelous DVD
The video quality of Cinedigm and Marvelous’ Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V DVDs aren’t all that different from their previous releases, especially when compared to their handling of the anamorphic widescreen Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s and ZEXAL DVDs.
Once again, Cinedigm’s video has the better crop and better colors. And yet, Cinedigm’s video still suffers from the same defect with the horizontal lines at the very bottom of the picture seen in its Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, 5D’s, and ZEXAL DVDs. In the ARC-V screenshots, the problem is most noticeable in B2, right below the lower button of Nico Smiley’s suit jacket. While the video is playing, this problem doesn’t really stand out, but the mere fact that this is still an issue after so many DVDs have been created is an annoyance. Fortunately, Cinedigm’s BD doesn’t have this problem.
Marvelous’ video once again suffers from ugly ringing artifacts that are present throughout. This is especially pronounced in an image like C6, where the picture is mostly still and features large sections of solid color. The artifacts are all too visible all around the borders of Yuya’s hair, face, and clothes. Also note the substantial bleeding of the red text outlines in C4.
Cinedigm’s Blu-ray plays very smoothly and would be fantastic if not for one glaring problem: the colors look way off. The reds in the picture aren’t red enough while the greens are much too green. The amount of blue seems to be okay. At first, I thought my computer wasn’t correctly calibrated to play BDs, but Cinedigm’s Bonds Beyond Time BD doesn’t suffer any color problems during playback. So what’s the deal here? Anime videophiles, let me know what your experience is with these products.
Title: Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Season 1 Vol. 1
Street Date: September 6, 2016
Distributor: Cinedigm Entertainment
Label: Flatiron Film Company
Licensed by: 4K Media (Konami)
Disc count: Three double-layer DVD discs
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (16:9)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Closed Captions: Yes
Disc count: Three double-layer BD discs
Video: 1920×1080 (16:9) at 23.976 fps
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Closed Captions: Yes
Also available for download on various digital platforms.