Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Star Blazers" Fan Remaster

On May 1, 2008, the last episode of the Star Blazers Remastered project was completed. This project was strictly a fan-based, non-profit effort, done by fans for fans to digitally remaster the first two seasons of Star Blazers. Star Blazers was the English-language adaption of the Japanese animated television series Space Cruiser Yamato (宇宙戦艦ヤマト, Uchū Senkan Yamato). It was first broadcast in syndication in the United States and Australia in 1979. The United States copyright-holder of Star Blazers and the owner of the Star Blazers trademark, Voyager Entertainment, was in no way involved with this remastering project.

The project took three years to complete using existing English-language soundtrack material previously released on VHS and DVD by Kidmark and Voyager Home Entertainment. The original Japanese audio was used for restoration of selected scenes where English-language dialog was not present or not an issue. I presume that video source material for the project came from the digitally remastered Space Cruiser Yamato DVD box set released in Japan.

In Japan, the original 35mm master negatives were digitally revived and restored in consultation with Space Cruiser Yamato co-creator Yoshinobu Nishizaki to create the Space Cruiser Yamato DVD box set. I understand that the digital restoration process also faithfully reproduces all foreign objects that were also present on the animation stand when the cels were filmed. Dirt, cigarette ashes, hair, and dandruff all leap off the screen in razor sharpness.

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