DVD Title
 Sayonara Jupiter
International Title
 Bye-Bye Jupiter
Movie Length: 129 minutes Original Length: 129 minutes
Company: Discotek Release: 2007
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic: Yes
Region: 1Discs: 1
  
Language/Sound: Order
Japanese (5.1 Surround), English (2.0 Stereo)
Subtitles:
English
Extras
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (45)
· Trailers: Bye-Bye Jupiter, Mikadroid, The War in Space, Lupin the Third: Strange Psychokinetic Strategy
· Making of Special (30 Minutes)
· About the Film (English)
· Photo Gallery
· Another Sayonara Jupiter (English)
Captures
Review
Anthony Romero

Easily Discotek's best Toho DVD to date, Sayonara Jupiter is an excellent release across the board, featuring superb video and audio quality while also being stocked with a ton of extras. To be fair, though, this release isn't quite as grand as the Pioneer two disc set that was released in Japan, but given that the region 2 set is now long out of print, sold for more than three times the cost of this one, and lacks English viewing options, the choice between the two should be easy for most.


 Video:

The disc is complemented with an excellent video presentation. Overt digital inconsistencies are nonexistent here, and while the movie could have looked sharper the detail visible is still rich. The colors are also nice and distinct on this release, not as vibrant as is possible on the format but the deep reds and yellows still look fantastic. The print used for the transfer, outside of a few scratches, is also in amazing shape with a very low level of visible grain.

Bye-Bye Jupiter is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs. Sadly, the video track has been heavily window boxed (a black border around the image). This will allow the DVD to play without a hitch on older sets, which sometimes crop the edges, but also causes for the video, from the perspective of newer sets, to be needlessly compressed.


 Audio:

This disc contains two audio tracks, one presented in 5.1 surround and the other in 2.0 stereo. The first is the original Japanese track in surround, while the second is Toho's international English dubbing for the production, which redubs dialogue even for the numerous English speaking parts in the film. In terms of audio quality, both are excellent, featuring no inconsistencies while the added speaker distinction works well for the surround presentation. Overall, the Japanese track fares better, with a much more rich sound to both the dialogue (naturally) and sound effects, but both are still solid audio presentations. As for the performances in the stereo dub, it's bad even by Toho's standards for these tracks, while a lot of the dialogue readers should be familiar to viewers as they have been doing these tracks since the 1970's while a few of them would continue on dubbing into the next decade for the firm.

The audio can be accompanied with, removable, English subtitles. The subtitles only appear for the non-English speaking parts in the film, though. For those interested in the pricey region 2 set, it's worth mentioning that this release lacks the original 2.0 audio track and the 5.1 DTS track of the movie that are located there.


 Extras:

For a single disc release, Sayonara Jupiter is packed with extra content. The star attraction here is a half hour "Making of Special", covering mostly the special effects that went into the production. Unfortunately, the video quality is a little iffy, as seen here, but the reason for this is because Pioneer (the company in Japan which put out the R2 DVD, and the same DVD Discotek is using for their release), decided to transfer the original VHS tape of this "Making Of" special directly to DVD. As a matter of fact, the very beginning of the special starts off by saying Toho Video. So, what we are watching essentially is a copy of the original VHS cassette, which is kind of nostalgic in a way, but also makes one wish that the original source could have been found. The feature is still very informative and in depth on how a lot of the sequences were created, making for an excellent inclusion regardless.

Next up is a menu based feature called "About the Film". Now I have never been a fan of these types of features, such as the boring "by the book" ones that AnimEigo does. However, this one is really superb, featuring a huge amount of reports on the film, informative bios on the cast and crew, tons of production stills and concept art which can be clicked on to fit the whole screen. It might be a little overwhelming though, as there are tons and tons of pages to sift through while a couple of their translations also go astray (Godzilla vs. Mega-Girath G and Godzilla vs. Mega-Godzilla), but the information contained within is incredibly in depth. There are also four trailers, including one for this film, of Discotek's four Toho titles.

Rounding out the disc are two more features, one a short bio on a play version done of the concept for Bye-Bye Jupiter called "Another Sayonara Jupiter", which is the least interesting of the extras but is exclusive to this release, and another which is a very thorough Photo Gallery. The gallery features background text, with Japanese from the region 2 being seen while Discotek overlapped English translations on top of most of these. The galleries cover the ships, the tons of merchandise released with the film, and stills for the IO production company that was created specifically for this film.

Despite the breadth of supplemental content available here, there are still a number of things missing compared to the Pioneer two disc set that was released in region 2. These include three additional making of features that consists of a 46 minute behind the scenes video (showing the cast and crew at a press conference among other things), a 22 minute "TV Clip" segment (which shows Sakyo Komatsu, Koichi Kawakita and his staff discussing the film) and a 45 minute video called "Continuity" (which is a long segment showing all 850 storyboards on a projector). There is also some additional concept art, a commentary track and a "SFX Selection" feature that showcases the scenes of the ships from the movie.


 Overview:

Bottom line, if anyone has an interest in the movie, and hasn't already helped themselves to the region 2 set, then Discotek's offering is a must for its English options and easy to swallow asking price.