Sunday, March 10, 2013

Goodbye, Yawara-chan (For Now)

FroZen-Evil has just released Yawara! The Atlanta Special. This actually wraps up the entire storyline, showing Yawara competing at the Atlanta Olympics in 1992. (Yes, the TV show said she was going to the Barcelona Olympics in 1988, but the TV show didn't finish until those Olympics were over.) It also brings conclusions, of sorts, for all the characters in the show.

This release has a complicated history. The previously available raw was just terrible - a VHS rip that had been brightened far too much and showed obvious signs of tape stretch. The team's attempts to find a better source turned up nothing for a long time, until finally a copy of the LaserDisc release was offered at an auction in Japan, at an incredibly exorbitant price. Despite the cost, one of the team members bought it. Getting it shipped required working through a third-party broker, which added further delays and costs. Finally, the disc was shipped from Japan via Europe to the US, where Suzaku from Live-Evil has a working LaserDisc setup based on an industrial-grade player. Then came further problems with ripping the disc. Most video capture cards these days apply compression in hardware, but Suzaku wanted a pure, uncompressed rip, so that filtering, if any, could be done in software. The rip looked rather dark, but any attempt to brighten it resulted in the sort of wash-out that plagues the VHS raw floating around the Internet. So the encode is, so to speak, sweet and unfiltered.

Our intrepid translator, kokujin-kun, translated the script. In addition, to honor the project's status as the final Yawara release, he fully typeset all the signs, with motion tracking. The results look very nice indeed.

All the usual suspects worked on this release; I won't repeat their names. I would like to thank the newest member of the team, Suzaku, for encoding. I also must thank CP for engineering the acquisition of the source material, which required coordinating buyers and shippers on three continents.

So that's it for now. Apparently there's an omake on the DVDs that's never been subbed before; perhaps it will get done at some point. The original soundtracks will show up one of these days, and we'll release them as well. Meanwhile, the team is moving on to another project, but that will have to wait for another blog post.

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