Grave of the Fireflies DVD - Sentai vs CPM

Ah, now this is interesting.  I hadn't paid much attention when Sentai Filmworks reissued Grave of the Fireflies on DVD.  The film was shortly obtained by ADV Films when Central Park Media went bankrupt, and it was essentially the exact same disc.  I had assumed Sentai's release would be the same.  I was wrong.

Sentai's Fireflies DVD may be bare-bones, but the picture quality is far clearer and more balanced than the CPM disc.  Was Studio Ghibli's DVD used as the source?  I can't make a direct comparison to be sure, but on first glance, it appears so.  Let's take a look at a couple comparison screenshots so you can judge for yourselves.

The Sentai photos are far more balanced with color and contrast, and I'm reminded of the strangely "bleached" look to Miramax's Princess Mononoke DVD, which didn't hold a candle to the Japanese version.  The slight black border is typical of Ghibli's Region-2 Japanese DVDs, which strongly suggests they are the Sentai's source.  That's certainly good news for any potention Blu-Ray release in the US, although my vote remains "Not Likely" until we hear otherwise.  I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Until that happens, we have a most excellent DVD to enjoy.  Kudos to Sentai...maybe you guys could spend a little more on marketing next time, please?  If you have a better DVD, tell somebody about it!


jFan said...

Well, now I'm torn. I plan on adding more Ghibli DVDs to my collection when it's convenient (don't have the disposable income for Blu-Ray player or discs; it's backward compatible, anyways), and it seems I'm stuck between these two versions. Superior visual quality (which I likely wouldn't have noticed had it not been pointed out) or juicy bonus features? This isn't the only Ghibli film I've been stuck on.

J.R.D.S. said...

Wait for the Sentai BD in November and see if it includes a DVD with any extras? With it coming so soon after the DVD re-release I'd admittedly expect it to be the same disc with extras if any only on the BD, but such things have happened before when someone's licensed extras for a BD release and as they've bothered to do so also re-encoded the DVD to include them.

More Ghibli Blog Posts To Discover