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ハチ公物語 (Hachikō Monogatari / The Story of Hachiko)
#1
[Image: vlcsnap-2020-06-08-23h08m59s384.png]

This is less of a full-on audiovisual restoration and more of a subtitle translation, but nonetheless, I want to ensure I'm utilising the best elements available. As always.

The only Blu-ray Disc releases I know of are a Japanese one from 2015 and a German one from 2019. I have no reason to believe that the video encodes are different, especially since German releases (in my experience) seem to lift existing video and plonk it on a disc, maybe with different audio and/or subtitles, but without actually doing any new encoding. There is at least one problem with the Japanese audio (a glitch a few minutes into the film that sounds like a sound card going nuts or something) that I would like to patch over, but the original Japanese audio (which on the Japanese disc is 2.0 LPCM) is completely absent from the German disc, which makes it pretty useless to me. So I'm looking for alternative sources.

There are sellers on eBay trying to punt extremely dodgy looking DVDs which I assume to be pirate copies, specifically from Greece (which has an extremely poorly doctored JPEG image instead of any photos) and Thailand (which appears to show a sealed DVD in a box but it's supposedly PAL and "region 0" with "very good quality" English subtitles). Otherwise, there is a French DVD that supposedly also has the original Japanese audio as Dolby AC-3. But, again, it's PAL. The only NTSC source I know of is a Russian DVD which I frankly don't trust as far as I can throw it either, and obviously Japanese DVD(s) that I can't easily (read: affordably) get into Europe.

To be fair, I doubt it really matters much considering the only bit I've found thus far that needs patched is about 13,522 samples = ~225.4 milliseconds = ~0.2 seconds, so it probably would still be significantly better if I just used a PAL AC-3 source, slowed it down without shifting the pitch, then inserted the missing samples from it. But it would of course be better to just use a source that's already NTSC in the first place. I expect this is extremely unlikely, but if anybody has a LaserDisc with PCM on it, I'd bite your arm off for a capture of that (the only one I can see any evidence of existing is VHP49510 which the LDDB has very little data on).

There probably won't be much going on in this thread, but I figure it might make sense to track as I go nonetheless. I might post the odd update as I pass certain hurdles or notice new issues that need fixing.
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Thanks given by: PDB , HippieDalek , ReconWorld
#2
I'm not familiar with the film, but I've petted Hachiko's statue outside Shibuya station a few times.

The VHP49510 listing from LDDB is actually a VHD; a vinyl disc based system that was exclusive to Japan, it's similar in many ways to CED if you're familiar with that. I don't have any experience with VHD but I think it only carries FM analogue audio.

I did a bit more searching on LDDB and it seems that it did get a laserdisc release but again it looks like it's analogue audio only.

https://www.lddb.com/laserdisc/13108/SF0.../Ha-Chi-Ko

I've got a few Japanese friends who are into laserdiscs so I'll ask about and see if they know of any other releases. LDDB is the best LD resource but it can be pretty incomplete when it comes to more obscure foreign language films.

If there are any LDs with PCM audio available then I'd happily do a bit perfect rip for you.

Good luck with the project!
Program material is recorded on the other side of this disc...
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#3
(2020-06-09, 12:28 AM)HippieDalek Wrote: I'm not familiar with the film, but I've petted Hachiko's statue outside Shibuya station a few times.

The VHP49510 listing from LDDB is actually a VHD; a vinyl disc based system that was exclusive to Japan, it's similar in many ways to CED if you're familiar with that. I don't have any experience with VHD but I think it only carries FM analogue audio.

I did a bit more searching on LDDB and it seems that it did get a laserdisc release but again it looks like it's analogue audio only.

https://www.lddb.com/laserdisc/13108/SF0.../Ha-Chi-Ko

I've got a few Japanese friends who are into laserdiscs so I'll ask about and see if they know of any other releases. LDDB is the best LD resource but it can be pretty incomplete when it comes to more obscure foreign language films.

If there are any LDs with PCM audio available then I'd happily do a bit perfect rip for you.

Good luck with the project!

I got right up beside the statue but didn't actually touch it or get any photos because it was a constant string of tourists taking photos and I got bored waiting around (also I was with a group who would have buggered off without me if I had). But god damn it man, I miss Japan so much. I've only been there for about 2 weeks of my life but it was the best time I've ever had. I just about bankrupted myself in Nipponbashi...

The good news is that I seem to have managed to get hold of that Russian DVD I mentioned which is obviously AC-3 rather than PCM but that shouldn't really matter for about 0.2 seconds of patching, if indeed that turns out to be all I need it for. It might also be interesting to see what the maybe-official-maybe-not English subtitles are like, since they're supposedly on there as well (no HD release has English subtitles, which is partly what led to me translating it all myself; the existing fan translations are really, really bad).

If I do end up finding any LaserDiscs with PCM then yeah, I'll be all over that and may well take you up on that offer since I don't have any LD gear whatsoever. Although, frankly, at this stage I'm considering trying to buy some so I don't have to keep annoying people for help!
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#4
Checked the Russian DVD and the audio glitch is on that as well. Bugger.

On the bright side, I did get a laugh from the terrible subtitles!

[Image: Thank.png]
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#5
Ha ha! Oh dear. Though to be honest whenever I'm in Japan and try talking to locals many of them have to try hard not to laugh as my Japanese level is toddler level and not much above "Thank".

Sounds like the audio glitch is possibly on the master then, it could well be on every release.
Program material is recorded on the other side of this disc...
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#6
(2020-06-09, 04:53 PM)HippieDalek Wrote: Ha ha! Oh dear. Though to be honest whenever I'm in Japan and try talking to locals many of them have to try hard not to laugh as my Japanese level is toddler level and not much above "Thank".

Sounds like the audio glitch is possibly on the master then, it could well be on every release.

Yep. I spent a lot of time saying something along the lines of "Su'imasen, watashi wa Skottorandojin nanode Nihongo ga heta desu"*, hahaha. But I got by.

This glitch is really annoying me, but I don't think there's a whole lot I can do to make it better than it currently sounds... it's really ugly though, I dunno if even just straight up deleting it is less jarring (you'd still notice the silence but at least it's not a glitchy digital buzz). Maybe there's even some crappy old VHS floating about somewhere, but it's not exactly a popular film in the West so I highly doubt I'd be able to find such a thing. I don't even have VHS capture hardware any more, the stuff I had years ago was crap and I didn't keep it.


* "Sorry, I'm from Scotland so my Japanese is awful", basically
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#7
(2020-06-09, 04:58 PM)pipefan413 Wrote: Yep. I spent a lot of time saying something along the lines of "Su'imasen, watashi wa Skottorandojin nanode Nihongo ga heta desu"*, hahaha. But I got by.

This glitch is really annoying me, but I don't think there's a whole lot I can do to make it better than it currently sounds... it's really ugly though, I dunno if even just straight up deleting it is less jarring (you'd still notice the silence but at least it's not a glitchy digital buzz). Maybe there's even some crappy old VHS floating about somewhere, but it's not exactly a popular film in the West so I highly doubt I'd be able to find such a thing. I don't even have VHS capture hardware any more, the stuff I had years ago was crap and I didn't keep it.


* "Sorry, I'm from Scotland so my Japanese is awful", basically

Boku mo Skottorandojin! Demo boku wa Igirisu ni sunde imasu*

Is it just happening during ambient sounds and/or music, or is it during dialog? If there's nothing critical happening during the glitch you might just be able to patch it with surrounding audio.

*I'm Scottish too, but I live in England now.
Program material is recorded on the other side of this disc...
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#8
(2020-06-09, 05:17 PM)HippieDalek Wrote: Boku mo Skottorandojin! Demo boku wa Igirisu ni sunde imasu*

Is it just happening during ambient sounds and/or music, or is it during dialog? If there's nothing critical happening during the glitch you might just be able to patch it with surrounding audio.

*I'm Scottish too, but I live in England now.

HA! I should've known. The custom title + the fact us Scots seem to have some weird affinity for Japan. Also, my sympathies.

Unfortunately it's right in the middle of speech. Somebody is (I think, it's obscured) saying "anno..." so I'm pissing about in Audacity trying to see if I can do something experimental like stretching the tiny piece of "n" sound over a slightly longer duration and fill the rest with silence, but I don't know if it's going to work. We'll see.
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#9
Ah the "Highlander Fanatic" custom title is more to do with my unhealthy obsession with the Highlander franchise than where I grew up ha ha.

I've noticed that there are a few Japanese sites with the film available to stream, such as niconico. There's a version on YouTube with Spanish subtitles too but it's blocked. These shady streaming versions might be from older sources and if so then you might be able to at least verify if older versions have the glitch.
Program material is recorded on the other side of this disc...
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#10
(2020-06-09, 05:37 PM)HippieDalek Wrote: Ah the "Highlander Fanatic" custom title is more to do with my unhealthy obsession with the Highlander franchise than where I grew up ha ha.

I've noticed that there are a few Japanese sites with the film available to stream, such as niconico. There's a version on YouTube with Spanish subtitles too but it's blocked. These shady streaming versions might be from older sources and if so then you might be able to at least verify if older versions have the glitch.

VPN should fix that easily enough. I'll have a look, good idea. EDIT: That Spanish subtitled one on YouTube has the glitch too. Bugger!

And aye I guessed it was the franchise, but... still. Not that many Highlander fanatics who aren't Scots, I'd wager!
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