The first Appmon DVD-Box is out!
It's been awhile since Digimon has had a standalone retail DVD release in Japan (there have been rereleases or DVDs paired with CDs, and DVD releases of content that also got a Blu-ray, but I think the last retail DVD may have been Savers related, or perhaps the most recent Adventure DVD-Box roughly a decade ago.)
Lots of scanning and editing on this one.
As normal, I won't be reviewing the show itself, just going over the actual DVD release.
Any screencaps from the DVDs are lossless PNGs.
All images in the article are smaller copies from our gallery (to keep loading sizes smaller for everyone), but link to the full sized versions when clicked.
Scanning was done as high quality as I could do, and compressed and shrunk to reasonable sizes, along with reasonable quality JPG compression. I've explained my workflow in my personal thread and will answer any questions involving it or the processes used. Scanning generally went well with one exception which will be explained later...
First up will be all the physical stuff. Everything included with the DVD was scanned minus one thing.
We start with.... an obi card!
This obi covers 3 sides completely and the bottom portion of the front, it's made from some decent card stock, and has all the information for the release. Much like the tri. disks, this means that once it's removed, the box is almost completely clean of random information.
The packaging for the disk itself is a 'brick' style DVD case (also known as a fatpack.) A bit unique to see in a Japanese anime release, but not unheard of. I actually rather like this packaging style minus two things:
1. It tends to mean less art than if you had separate cases for each disk.
2. Because it's a pack with only one double sided 'disk page' inside, it means one of the disks is underneath the booklet.
The front and back cover for the Blu-ray are relative simple.
The front cover (at the top of the article) is new artwork of the 4 kids and their Appmon. All of the characters have their personalities on display in a fun way. It's new art and it is basically on model to the show, which many people will appreciate.
The back cover basically emulated a smartphone interface with Appmon icons. The icons for the Applidrivers' Appmon are in the dock at the bottom. They are not centered, leaving an obvious empty slot for a fifth character...
Because it was an insert, I also was able to scan the side easily. It's just clean text along with a DVD-Box 1 at the bottom. It's interesting how various bits of the DVD-Box use a very clean English logo instead of the normal Appmon logo.
The DVD-Box came with a very nice slipcover that covers 5 sides. The slipcover is a soft and glossy black paperstock, with Gatchmon drawn in red foil (the Gatchmon is the design from the DVD cover.)
For various reasons these scans did not come out well, so I spent minimal effort on editing them, as editing wouldn't have helped much. I'm aware how to scan these for a better result, but I do not have the materials on hand.
As for why the scans came out wonky... basically the glossy paper reflects light in a way that makes scans come out poorly (to say nothing of showing every bit of dust and smudges from fingers.) The foil also reflects light so specifically that it just doesn't come out correctly.
An attempt to photograph a bit of the surface of the slipcover came out... not necessarily better, but at least shows the surface a bit better (along with reflecting to show my phone and anything else the glossy black paperstock is within range of.)
The black is a nice inky black and the red foil is a bold rich crimson red color, which unfortunately neither the scans or photograph show off.
The official press image doesn't really show off the slipcover properly (especially the red), but it's the closest thing we have to a clean image of it at the moment.
I may get the materials and rescan the slipcover later, but even using the proper materials, it won't ever look 'quite' right.
The four physical DVDs use the standard Appmon logo, along with a design that emulates a flat 3d surface (not unlike the old SNES Mode 7 to my eyes.)
Each disk has it's own color and part of the flat 3d motif actually is used in the next bit of scans...
A booklet was included.
The cover uses the Appmon logo, along with a nice digital design. It also specifies it as the book for DVD-Box 1 and includes the kids' and their Appmon in silhouette.
The first two page spread has a story description for the series, along with episode synopsis' for the first 4 episodes for disk 1.
The second spread covers the episodes on disks 2 and 3.
The third spread has disk 4, along with a page about Haru, Gatchmon, and DoGatchmon.
The fourth covers Eri, Astra, Dokamon, Musimon, and their Super grade levels.
Next up we have Rei, Hackmon, and Raidramon. The other side begins information on Appmon who aren't partners.
Another two pages of these Appmon.
The book finishes it's internal pages with one and a half pages of this, and then ends with information on Yuujin, Ai, and Watson.
The back cover has cast and staff information for Appmon.
Appmon included no ads, but did include a postcard for the previously known about Appmon contest with 100 prizes.
I scanned the back of the postcard that shows the prizes in a condensed manner. The front was just a basic postcard with no real information worth scanning for.
The outside of the plastic wrap for the DVD-Box also had a sticker for the contest. The plastic wrap was tight enough on the slipcover I wasn't sure I'd be able to remove the plastic cleanly enough to scan the sticker intact, so I scanned it while the plastic was still on the box.
And that's it for the physical... onto the disk contents itself!
The video is encoded using MPEG2 at an average bitrate of roughly 8.9 Mbps. This is quite good for animated DVD content. In addition, the DVD is 480p instead of interlaced.
The video is encoded properly in anamorphic widescreen. The screencaps are provided stretched to the proper aspect ratio to emulate how they would appear during watching (raw screencaps from the DVD would not look correct.)
The DVDs are encoded at 30fps, but the pulldown was done properly, and any player should be able to reverse the pulldown to get clean 24fps playback.
The audio is a 2.0 Dolby track at 448k. That's on the higher end of the scale for compressed DVD audio and everything sounds rather nice.
Each episode overall is 1.5 GB, which is generally good for DVD content.
Everything above suggests a good DVD (which isn't always a given when dealing with Toei, who has had some modern show releases on DVD that simply stunk.)
Of course... everything above only applies to disk 1, which is a dual layer DVD with 4 episodes on it.
The other 3 disks are single layer disks with 3 episodes on each disk.
Although honestly, minus a dip in video bitrate, my comments are mostly the same. My DVD bitrate scanner kept crashing on episodes on disk 2, and after 2 or 3 of them I simply stopped. The closest I got to reading an average was roughly 7.7 Mbps. Episodes are about 1.25 GB each.
Everything else I said above though applies to these also. There may be some minimal differences if you go frame by frame, but in normal watching, I don't believe there is a reasonably noticeable difference.
No subtitles are included, which is expected.
The video quality overall is quite good, but I still wish the show had gotten a Blu-ray. The video is quite good, but the resolution bump, to say nothing of a much better video codec, would certainly have lead to a much richer picture all around.
Appmon looks about as good as could be expected for the show on DVD. Hopefully when the show is further along Toei will decide to do Blu-rays, as the clean art and very vivid cartoony colors would benefit.
The menus are basic, perhaps a touch overly basic (at least some music would have been nice.)
The menu is a static screen with a play all option, along with each episode. Disk 1 additionally has a special features button.
If you click All, it plays them all. If you click a specific episode, it pops up a tiny screencap and an episode title, you click again to play the episode. If you click SPECIAL it gives you a list of special features to play from. Simple but it works well.
While there is no chapter menus for the episodes, there are chapter markers everywhere you would want them to be on the episodes themselves.
Time for extras!
Clean OP for Dive
Clean ED for Blue Flame Syndrome
A short promotional video for the series (roughly 30 seconds)
The Character Introductions Promo Video (Just under 4 minutes), this is the video that showed up online before the series premiered with a lot of footage of the characters 'talking' on cell phones.
Appmon DVD-Box 1 is a pretty good DVD release for Appmon, at a reasonable price considering some DVD prices in Japan. The extras are minimal but not bad. The only real shame is that Appmon could really benefit from a Blu-ray release.
These 13 episodes are a good start, let's hope that even if Appmon doesn't get a Blu-ray release, that the future DVD-Boxes stick to this level of quality.
Appmon is also receiving rental DVDs in Japan. The disks are being released one a month, and the episode count per disk seems to match up with the consumer box release. We do not know if special features or video quality is different on these.
At the time of writing this, two of the rental DVDs have come out. The first used Appmon key art, while the second used Haru and Gatchmon from the DVD-Box art.
Screencaps were taken largely at random while jumping around (although if I knew a moment was coming up I wanted a cap of, I'd wait.)
Screen captures of episode 1 (Encode type A, disk 1)
Screen captures of episode 6 (Encode type B, disk 2)
The scans can all be found in the gallery.
The scans are very small compared to the master scans I did (the work and backup folder structure for the scans and screencaps is over 30 gigs.) I will try and make wallpapers if people are interested. If you want to see a specific screencap of something give me the episode and a rough timecode if you can.
If you have any questions about the release feel free to ask.
Digimon Universe: AppliMonsters DVD Box 1 is still available to order. In addition, the other 3 announced boxes are available to pre-order (Affiliate links.)
Digimon Universe: AppliMonsters DVD Box 1
Digimon Universe: AppliMonsters DVD Box 2
Digimon Universe: AppliMonsters DVD Box 3
Digimon Universe: AppliMonsters DVD Box 4
Thanks to everyone has donated for us to do various scans and breakdowns. We are still taking donations so we can do this again for future releases. If you are willing to donate please take a look at the most recent thread on the subject.
We should have a few more things soon for people to look at.
Images are hosted on our gallery and embedded on the forum, so let us know if anything is acting up.