PictureComparing this release against the other editions, it is identical to the disc found in the Japanese Boxset reviewed a couple of weeks ago.
The 2.35:1 anamorphic image is crisp, clean and highly detailed. The various film techniques used ranging from Japanese anime to dusty American desert landscapes are presented in all there glory. Colours are rich and well defined with blacks looking solid and stable and shadow detail is prominent. Flesh tones are natural and the copious amounts of blood, especially during the 88 gangs' demise, is a stream of solid reds with no signs of bleed (pun intended) or bloom present. Edge enhancement is kept to a minimum and overall this is a great presentation of the movie which when compared to the R1 & R3 discs is identical apart from the uncut scenes and the black and white fight footage on the R1 & R3, this edition shows everything is Colour.
It is worth noting that English subtitles during the Japanese language parts of the film are NOT burnt into the screen so you will have to use the English subtitles. You can either watch the entire movie with the subtitles on or try and be quick doing it on the fly, not great but not as distracting as you may think.
SoundYou watch Kill Bill one way and that is loud. The soundtrack is great fun and adds to the comic book sensibilities of the movie to bring the action alive. Matt reviewed the R1 edition a few weeks back (click the compare button to read it) and he summed it up brilliantly. The dynamics are full on, LFE is deep and dialogue crystal clear. This is reference quality audio in either DTS or DD flavours with very little to distinguish the two apart. The DTS in my opinion was a little tighter and wider, but there's not much in it. Swapping between this Japanese R2 and the R1 & R3 is not very scientific and produced no surprises as they sound identical to me.
ExtrasThe extras start with a pick a fight feature; this basically jumps to the various fights within the film. There is behind the scenes footage of fights being practiced and shot and then compared to the finished article. Next up is a Japanese featurette on the anime section, this includes interviews with the team behind the animation, but this is in Japanese language with no English subtitles. Moving on and we have the finished anime compared to the storyboard art, a production photo gallery and concept art gallery and rounding off the package are 3 trailers for the movies (1&2) and 5 TV spots. Whilst far short from a real collector's edition, there is plenty here to keep you happy until Volume 2 hits the format.
VerdictIdentical to the Boxset disc and with all the action in colour this would appear to be the best version to get. Yes you will have to switch the subtitles on during the Japanese language parts as you do with the R3 Korean disc, but the advantage is that the Korean disc is black & White during the fight scenes, this disc is not. Not cheap to import but certainly cheaper than the boxset.
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