DVD Title
The Castle of Cagliostro
International Title
Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro
DVD Length Original Length
102 Minutes 100 Minutes
Company Year of Manufacture
Manga Video 2000
Language Subtitles
Japanese, English English
Region Number of Discs
1 1
Aspect Ratio Sound
1.85:1 2.0 Stereo
Extras
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Menus (English)
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Chapters (11)
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Trailers: Manga 2000 Preview
Captures
Review

Manga Video's release of one of the most critically acclaimed Anime films is, sadly, not up to snuff with what one has come to expect in recent years. To be fair, it's not a bad release, with decent video and audio presentations that manage to rise above the almost utter lack of extras. However, it's not really deserving of the huge amounts of praise that many usher on the Manga Video release, which could largely be in part that this is the first time the film has been available uncut in the states.


 Video: Star Rating

Not a horrible transfer by any means, but the video quality does show its two decade old age. The most problematic aspect here is the shape of the print used, which is riddled with a good deal of grain and some noticeable scratches. The frame isn't always stable either, as it shakes up and down, but thankfully this is only noticeable in some parts, like around the 13 minute mark for example. Artifacting is also slightly apparent, mostly appearing in the dark reds and similar shades. Those aspects aside, the video quality is good on this release. Colors are distinct, without the muddled shades found on the VHS releases in the states, while the movie is sharp without any signs of edge enhancement.

The Castle of Cagliostro is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.


 Audio:

Manga video has done a decent job with the audio on this DVD, although faults are still apparent. In total there are two audio tracks present, both presented in 2.0 stereo, with one being the original Japanese and the other being a freshly conducted English dub. In terms of audio quality, the dub is near perfect (not counting acting performances, of course) with good speaker distinction and crystal clear dialogue. Unfortunately, the same can not be said of the Japanese track, which has almost no speaker distinction, in fact it sounds like a mono track that was doubled for a 2.0 presentation. Furthermore, the Japanese track also sounds a lot more muddled and fuzzy, which is blatantly obvious when one flips back and forth for segments that have the same audio as the dub, such as the opening theme song. Now, to make it clear, the Japanese track is not horrible in the least, but the flaws are hardly unnoticeable either.

The audio can be accompanied by, removable, English subtitles that correspond to the Japanese track.


 Extras:

Manga Video's release has really nothing to boast in this area. What little content there is would count more as advertisements for the firm's other products, with a longwinded Manga Video 2000 Preview clip and then other "extras" like a DVD catalogue for other titles.


 Overview:

Bottom line, if one is looking for a decent presentation of the movie and not much else, this release will suffice. The movie itself is so highly acclaimed, though, that many will likely check it out regardless. Thankfully, it has gone down considerably in price compared to its initial retail cost of $30, and is a bargain at the current prices it goes for.

- Anthony Romero  
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