Los Angeles, Calif. - Texas-based FUNimation has purchased multiple Phoenix Finish licenses from Image Systems, formerly Digital Vision, for use on several projects, including the restoration of the "Dragon Ball Z" anime series, which is slated for Blu-ray release on November 8, 2011.
"Dragon Ball Z" is a popular Japanese manga series, consisting of 42 volumes and selling more than 152 million copies in Japan and more than 200 million copies worldwide. The art, characterization, and humor of the story has influenced the international anime and cartooning industries, and created a cultural phenomenon.
"This is a show that has a huge and loyal global audience," says Matthew O'Hara, lead DVD author for FUNimation. "When it came time to restore the series for Blu-ray, we simply had to make it the very best it could be. After looking through our options we believe that the Phoenix was a clear, best choice."
"Dragon Ball Z" originates on 16mm film, and over time had begun to show signs of aging--dust, scratches, some shaking, and focus. "We are doing a frame-by-frame, shot-by-shot restoration in HD," explains O'Hara. "In this process, the Phoenix has greatly enhanced our ability to recover the quality of the original material in a realistic time frame without the artifacts some algorithms leave behind. The dust, scratch, and grain reduction tools in the DVO Restore part of our Phoenix purchase, has allowed us to just repair and renovate the animated series ready for repurposing."
"'Dragon Ball Z' is one of the most recognized anime titles in the world, with a massive following," says Martin Bennett, managing director of the Media Business Unit for Image Systems. "To see how the talented team at FUNimation has used our restoration tools and especially DVO Clarity, our foremost digital and film noise reducer, to create these new versions of the show is gratifying."
"We have a well-loved series with an audience of millions of people who follow its distribution avidly," O'Hara concludes. "The new Blu-ray set was eminently awaited. We had a high bar to reach, and working with the team at Image Systems has been a great support to our plans. The 'Dragon Ball Z' workflow is film based, but we are successfully working on other projects that are HDCAM 4:4:4 or file based and we are seeing the same successes. Phoenix supports the entire workflow at FUNimation, seamlessly and with great support."