DVD Title
International Title
Movie Length: 138 minutes Original Length: 138 minutes
Company: Universal Release: 2008
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic: Yes
Region: 1 Discs: 1
Language/Sound: Order
Japanese (5.1 Surround)
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (20)
Anthony Romero

It's rare that one sees a Universal release of a Japanese production outside of Japan. The company is actually very active within the country, helping to produce several movies including the one being reviewed here: Dororo. Given the subtitle "The Quest of a Samurai Warrior" on the front, this release is stellar in some areas, and poor in others. In terms of video, this is the best the DVD format can produce. However, the audio, while good, is fairly limited and there are no extras at all on this disc.


The video presentation for Dororo is top of the line, as Universal has done a fantastic job. The print looks incredibly sharp and is devoid of overt digital inconsistencies as well. The colors are vibrant when allowed to be and spot on with wonderful contrast between them, yet at the same time signs of over saturation are kept to a minimal. The movie itself has a lot of odd creative choices, with segments having added grain or artistic color tints added to them. Its not unlike what was done for Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), and putting that into consideration the company has done the best job they could in placing the video on the DVD format.

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

 Audio: Star Rating

There is one audio track on this release, which is a 5.1 surround presentation. The track is great without any inconsistencies, while there is some decent range to it as well. Its not as stellar as a surround track could be, but on the bright side it can play normally in a two speaker setup as well without sounding awkward like a more robust 5.1 track does. This is nice as the DVD lacks any other audio option, which is where its getting points taken off for.

The audio is complimented by removable English subtitles, with an extra option for the hearing impaired that contains more subtitles.


Nothing. The disc contains menus and chapters, but no more. A trailer would have been nice, yet even that is absent. In the end, this release defines bare bones.


Bottom line, its clear that Universal used the space not being taken up by extra audio tracks or bonus features toward making the video track look as nice as it does. The release is not unlike what Sony used to do with their "Superbit" line, sacrificing other aspects of the release for optimal picture quality. However, in this case consumers don't have a choice of a more extra robust option on the region 1 market, and in the end it would have been nice to at least see the original Japanese trailer included if nothing more.