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!