DVD Title
 Demon Spies
International Title
 Demon Spies
Movie Length: 86 minutes Original Length: 86 minutes
Company: AnimEigo Release: 2005
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic: Yes
Region: 1Discs: 1
  
Language/Sound: Order
Japanese (2.0 Mono)
Subtitles:
English
Extras
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (24)
· Trailers: Demon Spies, Shadow Hunters, Echo of Destiny
· Image Gallery
· Program Notes (English)
· Character Biographies (English)
Captures
Review
Anthony Romero

The 19th live action Toho disc from AnimEigo holds no surprises over the 18 discs that came before. All in all, this release is a little on the weak side, with a decent video and poor audio presentation, while the extras do little to turn heads.


 Video:

Flawed, but still a good presentation all around. The colors here, sadly, are a mixed bag though. They are distinct, but the entire movie is slightly discolored as it appears that the magenta level has been set too high. The brightness level is another mixed mark. It's not set low enough to completely obscure any of the scenes, but it is low enough to give those with a darker set up some trouble during the many night sequences. As for digital inconsistencies, the disc is mostly spot on, but there are some signs of some faint artifacting, most noticeable in the reds which are slightly pixilated on this release, a color shade which is always the most effected by digital compression. Still, the movie does look sharp, while edge enhancement isn't overly apparent. The print used for the transfer also looks to be in excellent condition as there are almost no scratches present and visible grain is kept to a minimum.

Demon Spies is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio: Star Rating

AnimEigo as usual here; in fact, I could copy the audio section from just about any other disc from the company and paste it here without notice. Anyway, there is one audio track present: a 2.0 mono track in Japanese. The condition of the track is a little poor, sadly, although it at least doesn't have any hiss or crackle. Its main detractor, though, is it sounds faint and lacking in clarity, like you are hearing it from the next room or there is something blocking the speaker.

The audio can be accompanied by, removable, English subtitles. Like other discs from the firm, the subtitles are color coded so it's easy to tell when multiple characters are speaking during the same scene. The subtitles are available in two types: a general one, and one that only subtitles onscreen Japanese text.


 Extras: Star Rating

AnimEigo has never been known for their extras, and this disc is no exception. There is the usual collection of trailers (Shadow Hunters, Echo of Destiny and the film's own trailer) present... but wait, is that an image gallery? Is this an extra beyond the trailers on a AnimEigo disc that is actually worth someone's time to look over? In short, yes. The image gallery runs for 3 and half minutes and shows off 42 production stills from the movie, 12 color and 30 black and white. The quality of the photos ranges from good to fair, with some being heavily washed out while others are discolored.

Beyond this "upset" in AnimEigo's collection of extras, it's business as normal here as some program notes and character biographies round out the disc. Unfortunately, AnimEigo has changed the presentation of these, as they are now videos instead of a series of pages that can be scrolled through. It's still text based, but now it changes automatically to the next slide, so one will have to have the pause button ready on some of the more text heavy parts. The compression here also makes it difficult to read, especially on the very dry character biographies. On the positive side, at least the program notes cover some of the crew of the film in detail, although it would been nicer had these segments been separated, and selectable on their own, instead of having to sift through the program notes to see them.


 Overview: Star Rating

Bottom line, Demon Spies is a decent release at best, although even that might be stretching for it. To be fair, it's not bad, but there is really nothing commendable about the release either. The $30 asking price is way too high for this DVD too, and probably should have been sold at a budget level.