Chinese / HK DVDs

mal

Member
I've been looking around for some anime DVDs on eBay and found that there are incredibly cheap DVDs available. They claim to be genuine releases and not bootlegs, but something must be up.

Are they bootlegs, crappy quality or just churned out in millions and that makes them cheap?
 

sizone

New Member
depends on which one you get. i'll admit to having purchased a few of them. stuff that has no region one release and would be devistatingly expensive to import. my copy of angels egg looks pretty good. can't tell you exactly how good as i've never seen the video on an authentic copy. galaxy express 999 liewise looks as good as i think it's going to. the menus are all garbage and the language options on g.e.999 are kinda fuckered. now we come to the trophy of my bootleg anime collection. the studio ghibli archives. there are 2 full length (ghibli full length so like 140 minutes +) crammed onto each disc so ya know qualities gotta suffer. also each movie has periodically popping up on screen an incredibly irritating pirating group logo which apears in much the same way that a vh1 or ktvu fox-2 logo would. i will be replacing this with officail releases one movie at a time except for only yesterday. not needed as whispers of the heart is the ultimate chick flick. the day i can actually lure a human fmeale into my den of depravity to watch my sensitive, touching anime is however also probaly the day that pigs will fly. life is full of suprises though. god knows when i wass 8 happily munching on fruit roll ups i would never in a million years have said "yeah, that guy who was in predator's gonna be the next gov. of this state."

to summarize

angels egg was well worth it. it's such a quirky arty little film i'll pro'lly end up getting an offical copy at some point in time

the galaxy express 999 collection was perfect for pirating. adequate vidoe and audio for films that i really wanted as a novelty. because they used to occasionally air dubbed when i was a brat and therefore have sentimental meaning. not really something i'd ever be willing to pay 60$+ for though

ghibili. kind of a mistake, but good as a sampler. also pretty good as a stop-gap measure while disney produces region one variants of its content.

anyway. the litmus test for authenticity.

if it goes for less than 20$ for a single movie, pr'lly a bootleg release

if it's region free. definantly bootleg
 

Trenton net

New Member
Offical Chinese DVDs are cheap because distributers need to stay competitive against pirates. In the US they have no such worries so prices go sky-high for a single movie. As an example the offical Chinese edition of Harry Potter released by Warner Bros. on VCD or DVD is only a couple of dollars at most in China. Otherwise who can pay those prices VS Pirate copies?

Beware!: If you don't know Chinese, many if not most, asian Cartoons / Movies are in Chinese subtitles ONLY. Most Japanese cartoons only have Chinese subtitles as it is more trivial to add than English. The only editions which have English are ether Poor "Fan" copies, or the USA domestic Version. Most box's will state that they do have English Subtitles however, since if its a pirate, it will sell better.
 
I've bought a few HK's in my years of collecting anime. I bought the Love Hina spring and christmas special before any of the series was out here, I bought the kenshin tv series before it was out here, same with full metal panic. Generally the quality is good (not perfect), the subtitles often have issues... like they go engrish style once in a while, so you know what they're trying to say, they just fail to say it lol. Also, on the kenshin dvd's once in a while you'll see in the subtitles an advertisement for either a company that sells HK's or a fansubbing company (though I haven't seen this in my other HKs).
 

Jeffrey

New Member
I used to live in HK.

I'd buy movies that had JUST come out in the theater on Temple street for about 1 american dollar. They were almost always on super thin cheap discs (either vcd or dvd) but low material.

And almost always made with a cam corder pointing at the screen. people getting up and waliking in front of the camera, baby's crying etc.

Now, I wouldn't trade those movies for anything. I love them.
 

Trenton net

New Member
If you know which Chinese shops to goto you can get pirate movies which were telecined from the actual movie reel, which gives awsome DVD quality. Screw waiting for it to come out for a year on US DVD. Just get it as soon as its released.
 

mal

Member
Those type of DVDs aren't the ones I was talking about.

Let's leave that type of piracy discussion out of the forums, OK?
 

it290

Member
The biggest problem I have with a lot of HK bootlegs is the translation quality. Sometimes you get one so bad that it makes you wonder if the translator knew Japanese _or_ English. A friend of mine has a RahXephon set like this, and it's almost unwatchable because the translation makes no sense whatsoever. He also got ahold of a Gunbuster bootleg set that was like this (I don't think GB has an official release), and even though I love Gunbuster, I have to admit that if it was the first time I had seen the series, I would have thought it was terrible. Example: even though the girls say 'Coach!' (in english) whenever they're talking to the coach, it's always translated as 'trainer'. That's just freaking stupid.

OTOH, I have a FLCL set where the translation is very nearly as good as, if not better than, the official release. So I guess it's kind of just the luck of the draw, but I would say that longer series seem to be more prone to translation problems.
 
I've seen plenty of translations by actual companies (bandai, etc.) that did much the same thing where they decided not to use the english word that was actually used.
 

it290

Member
Yeah, that's true. One that comes to mind is Serial Experiments Lain... seeing the subtitles go 'Arisu! Arisu!' over and over was kind of annoying. Sometimes it even makes sense, if the word is something that has been perverted into a different meaning by the Japanese. But the original sub of Gunbuster was never like that...I mean, 'Coach' was practically the character's name. Makes you wonder why the pirates don't just use the original English subtitles in cases like that.. it sure would save them some time.
 

Trenton net

New Member
Its possible that some DVDs are in fact the official localized release. In which case, Chinese is the most important while English subtitles are more of a gimmick. However, the reason why most HK titles have English subtitles is because when the British held onto Hong Kong there was a law which required English on most things. I suppose for the sake of effective government, as well as for the sake of British people living in HK. But now that China has taken HK back, such rules no longer apply. I don't know how much less english will be used in HK products but most probably will still include some form of crude English just as a cheap way to make more money. In regard to Chinese though, there isn't such problems (as with English) and that most of the Chinese subtitles are good, if not very accurate.
 
I haven't seen serial experiments lain, when do they say arisu? is it like a name or something? Cause I was under hte impression that arisu is the japanization of the name alice?
 

it290

Member
Yeah, exactly, her name is Alice but the subtitles always say Arisu and I believe they dubbed it that way as well. Makes no sense.
 
well, if the girl is japanese (which makes sense since she's in japan) then her parents would have named her arisu, not alice. That would be why her name is put in as arisu. In fact it bothers me when they try and change names to americanize them (or re-americanize them). An example is one of my favorite animes please save my earth. The girl in that is also named arisu, but in the anime when they dubbed it they called her alice, and in the subtitles they call her alice.
 

it290

Member
Yeah, you have a point, but I dunno, it just bugs me for some reason. I agree with you in general, and I wouldn't want them to change Japanese names to English ones, but I don't really think that the character would be named 'Arisu'; if her parents wanted to name her Alice why wouldn't they just name her that? A lot of people change their names when moving to another country, but usually when parents give their child a foreign name it's because they like that foreign name and want to use it.
 

ratfish

Member
Originally posted by it290@Oct 25, 2003 @ 07:07 PM

if her parents wanted to name her Alice why wouldn't they just name her that?
Because they're Japanese.

My bad, ScaredRabbit already said that.

I guess we'll never know... :sigh
 

Lyzel

New Member
Well, unless you know Japanese, I say stay away from these. The English subtitles are just terrible and a big turn off. I bought the FULL Box Set of Yu Yu Hakusho from eBay because I saw the 1st five episodes before (it was so awesome -- so I had to have it!), but the English translations on the HKs ones were just terrible.. I have yet to see episode 7. Just watching episode 6 was a big turn off for me. The English subtitle did not make any sense at all. It was like they use an English translation website like altavista to translate it.. It made no fricking sense.. :( ... I still have this series stacked somewhere.. and two other box sets are still shrink-wrapped.
 

Edge-`

New Member
This is not always the case. Some HK Imports have excellent subtitles, while some have horrible timing/translation. Some are exact rips of the subtitling from the original producer of the discs, others are produced by staff of the HK DVD factories that could be good or bad. But you really have to consider that you are getting what you are paying for. There is no way you would be getting the exact number of retail set of discs from the oroginal US or Jap retailers for the price you paid for the Yu Yu sets. If you have no moral issues with HK Imports and they have the required authenticiity to make it past your nations' customs, and you are paying taxes to import them, often HK DVDs are a viable second option for those wanting anime on a budget. But at the same time you must except that you are taking a risk in investing a lower amount of money for a possible lower quality release. Often, you will get lucky, other times there may be some issues that make the anime hard to watch.
 

Trenton net

New Member
Heh, though strange (Since they odviously could do it), I've seen many HK DVDs which have excelent grammar and English use, but make no parallel to what is actually being said. Sometimes they say a line in Chinese which is fairly involved like "Let us see if we can not influence him to change his mind... Give us the stone before we make you sorry!" but for some strange reason they just get lazy and put "Damn you!" or "Now its time to die!" in English and then they run up and start fighting. Also some topics lines are changed all together, for the sake of sensoring?. For instance, if a guy was saying "Ya, I heard she was attacked and almost raped last night" they will sometimes change the story totaly to something like "I heard she had some problems". But of course the worst is when you have stories which make sence (To the pictures anyways) but are just plain diffrent from what is being talked about.

Heh, Actually, a funny and strange side effect of this is that I've had numerous gatherings where people wanted to watch a cartoon, and half knows Chinese and the other half doesn't. Which is strange because since the Chinese and English subs for Japanese/Chinese movies (In diffrent dialect) are like night and day, many of the Chinese side start laughing at a joke, while the others don't get it because they reduced the English subs to a few un-humerous "Damns" or "No way!".
 

ExCyber

Staff member
if her parents wanted to name her Alice why wouldn't they just name her that?
To elaborate on what's already been said, "Alice" cannot be written/spoken in the Japanese language. The necessary combinations of sounds simply do not exist in Japanese, the same way the Japanese "r/l" and Chinese "p/b" sounds do not exist in English. "Arisu" is the closest thing you can get.
 
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