DVD Title
International Title
Movie Length: 113 minutes Original Length: 113 minutes
Company: AnimEigo Release: 2007
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic: Yes
Region: 1Discs: 1
Language/Sound: Order
Japanese (2.0 Stereo)
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (24)
· Trailers: Dora-Heita (Teasers), Shogun Assassin, Shinsengumi, Samurai Assassin
· Image Gallery
· Program Notes (English)
Anthony Romero

AnimEigo continues to increase their ever growing line of Toho-related titles, with this being their most recent offering to date, having been released "just" seven years prior to theaters. Quality wise, this disc falls into line with other releases from the company. There is nothing particularly outstanding about it, although nothing to be really disappointed with either, unless one was expecting a more substantial supplement presentation than the normal bare bones selection found on the company's releases.


Dora-Heita is not an easy film to rate the video quality of. For those unfamiliar with the movie, it does tend to have a unique look under Kon Ichikawa's supervision, sporting a subtle earthy brown type of filter to its color scheme along with a faint glow. This makes it harder to objectively judge the video quality, but far from impossible. First off, the most notable flaw of this transfer is simply signs of compression. There are honestly a lot of pixilation through out the movie, which is particularly noticeable in any scenes with overly light or dark shades that cause this to standout more. The movie also looks a little soft on account of this, lacking a rich degree of detail. The print used to make the DVD looks to be in fantastic shape, though. However, this particular disc does have a few moments where the frame gets shaky, most notably around the 18 minute mark. Overall, though, it definitely does more right than wrong in the end.

Dora-Heita is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


The DVD includes one audio track, which is the original two channel stereo DTS presentation. In terms of speaker distinction, it's a pretty unimpressive audio offering with really no positive examples to cite. However, it's not exactly a surround track anyway, for that matter Dora-Heita isn't really the type of film that could make a lot of use of the added audio depth, and the stereo track included more than gets the job done. As expected with this being a fairly recent production, the track is devoid of overt inconsistencies as well.

The audio can be accompanied by, removable, English subtitles that are available in two options: the first is for all audio and text, and the second is for text in the film only. 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.

 Extras: Star Rating

Another AnimEigo release, another fairly light selection of extras, although they do seem to be, very marginally, improving over time. Like just about all of their titles, this disc includes the company's trademark Program Notes. Generally, these were kind of a throwaway feature, unless one was looking for a general background of the time period. These, however, delve a little more into aspects of the production, and explaining particular elements of the movie, making it a more worthwhile read. The disc also contains a limited image gallery, which mainly features black and white production stills, which in itself is odd considering the film was only released seven years ago. Rounding out the supplement material is a selection of trailers to other Toho releases from the company and teasers for Dora-Heita. Unfortunately, there seems to be a fairly large video error with the teasers, where in the feed is anamorphic... despite the picture being very obviously a full screen video track with the black bars already set to the correct aspect ratio. The result is a very stretched image for the adverts.

 Overview: Star Rating

Bottom line, this isn't a spectacular release by any stretch, but it's not at all a bad means of watching the movie either. The video and audio quality are really more than serviceable in the end, with the only real weak spot of this release is the lack of any real substantial extra feature.