Saturday, October 13, 2018

Techno Police 21C (Blu-ray)

There's a saying: "Once in happenstance; twice is coincidence; three times is enemy action". If that's true, then Something's Going On, because the Blu-ray release of Techno Police 21C is the third time a high-definition source has appeared just after Orphan released a version based on laserdiscs (the other two were the Kindaichi movies).

Of course, I'm actually thrilled when one of our analog projects gets a digital release, whether it's a web stream, a DVD, or a Blu-ray. VHS tapes and laserdiscs both have finite lifetimes. Physically copying a VHS tape, if even possible these days, always results in degradation. Physically copying a laserdisc is impossible. A digital source, on the other hand, can be dispersed and preserved in multiple locations, providing better guarantees of longevity.

In past blogs, I've speculated on why anime properties are allowed to rot on analog media. Tangled intellectual property rights are one reason; loss of film masters is another. But the biggest reason, of course, is that remastering old anime costs money, and there is little prospect for most of the analog projects that Orphan has worked on making money in digital form. When a digital release happens, there's usually a fairly obvious reason. Kindaichi is a beloved detective series; Blazing Transfer Student is considered a classic of its kind; etc.

And that brings me to Techno Police 21C. I'm was a bit baffled that a Japanese company went to the expense of creating a Blu-ray release, complete with Blader action figure:

Techno Police 21C is not exactly well known, and it's certainly not considered a classic. The director's resume is very thin. There doesn't appear to be a compelling reason for a Blu-ray release, but then I saw it was from Bandai, the toy (and media) company. So here's a new one: a Blu-ray release to promote an action figure.

I won't go over the specifics of Techno Police 21C here; see the blog entry about the laserdisc release for details. It's a fun ride, and the Blu-ray certainly looks better than the laserdisc. The script is little changed from the previous version. The timing has been shifted and adjusted, the signs have been tweaked to match the Blu-ray's colors and dimensions, and a few lines have been fixed because of the wider screen. Jarly, a new team member, bought the Blu-ray and did the encode, which is an all-singing, all-dancing 1080p FLAC extravaganza. After I did the initial shifting, ninjacloud did the fine timing. I did all the typesetting and dialog adjustments, as well as the release check, so you can blame me for any errors.

You can get the Blu-ray release of Techno Police 21C from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm... I don't think I've ever watched this. I guess it's the best time now, since I get to see it in all of it's blu-ray glory. ;)

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