And now for something completely different...a look at anime on LaserDisc!
This month, I finally succeeded in getting rid of my 26" Sony HD-CRT, a super-massive battle tank that weighed 230lbs. It was an interesting compromise between traditional picture tubes and 21st Century HDTV, and while it had its strengths, the compromises were too much to bear. And did I mention the weight thing? So having sold it, I upgraded...to a traditional 24" Sony Trinitron. Ya know, standard def.
This new situation gave me an opportunity to explore a form of media for the first time - Laserdisc. The original optical storage media, the ancestor to CD, DVD and Blu-Ray, the humble Laserdisc only succeeded among the hard-core cinephiles and home theater buffs of the 1980s and 1990s. In Japan, however, the format was much more popular, and it proved to be the destination of choice for anime lovers.
Yes, I'm getting old and nostalgic for outdated media. I accept that. It's why I collect vinyl records, cassette tapes, and classic video game systems. These are pieces of my youth. But there's something more, a dissatisfaction with modern digital media. I'm not that fond of CDs, and I'm not that fond of DVDs, either. Blu-Ray? Well, strange as it sounds...I'm really not that big on it. I can't quite explain why, after owning an HDTV and BD player for two years, I have only a handful of movies to show for it. 2001 and The Searchers look fantastic. So why haven't built a large BD movie library?
I've noticed that curiosity about Laserdiscs have risen in recent years. It might just be that, curiosity, and nothing else. It might also be a yearning for alternatives in this ultra-slick digital world. I can't say just yet. But there is something to the LD format, the way it delivers the complete experience. The Experience - there's that phrase I used in an earlier post. Hmm.
Have a look at this YouTube video, which shows off a number of anime LDs and looks quite good. SD quality animation that rivals DVD, but without the pixelation, digital artifacts, or compressed audio? More to the package than a plastic case, or worse yet, nothing but a digital file? This could be interesting. Share your thoughts and memories if you're so inclined.