Tenchi Muyo Universe (R2)

First created on 1st May 2003.
31st Jul 2003: use CSS.
30th Nov 2003: use CSS for most elements.
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I like Tenchi Muyo Universe, even though the show proceeds at a snail-pace. To a certain extent, I prefer it over the OVA. (I watched the Universe first.)

When I made the decision to buy it, it was not released in R1 yet. In fact, I thought it would never be -- it didn't seem very popular. R2 was the only way. However, the R2 DVDs are a disappointment. Even so, I bought 3 discs (out of 8) before I gave up. The last straw was viewing on a big screen. Simply terrible.

Each disc costed 6090 Yen (~US$51). I expect much better quality for that kind of money. I'm now waiting for a remastered version before I'll buy it. It must be DVD quality, at least. ;-) (Apr 2003: each disc is now 5800 Yen.)

The R2 DVDs were released in Feb 1999. Maybe at that time, the quality of the master needed for a good DVD transfer was not understood.

Category R2
Bitrate ~4.83 Mbps
Language tracks Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0, 384 kbps)
English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 384 kbps)
Subtitles None
Others Interlaced (blending); rainbowing; mosquito noise; slight EE; splice marks


The rainbowing is present almost all the time and is extremely distracting. There is some EE, but the rainbowing is far more obvious. Let's not even talk about the softness.

The rainbowing is so bad that I wonder what master is used. Does this happen on the laserdisc version too? I wonder if anyone blames the cables or the comb filter, when it is the source that is the problem!

Mosquito noise

In normal viewing, you will see the mosquito noise when the scene is relatively motionless. Then, you will observe the noise crawling around the edges. (That's very often because the animation frame rate is very low.)

The second scene is not quite representative because it is part of a fast action scene. I show it because the noise is more obvious. You can see that the textureless regions are affected as well.

Insufficient bitrate

You can see blocking in fast action or fast changing scenes. I didn't pick the worst frames, that's too easy. This can be seen on normal viewing. I suppose we pick this up easily due to its highly repetitive look.

The following frames show how the low bitrate affects a scene.

The region around the blast does not look right.
Flashing seems to be a problem. Shows blocking everywhere.
Look at the face.
Four frames later, the artifacts on the face disappear totally. The appearing and disappearing of the artifacts draw attention to themselves.

These images are captured using PowerDVD 4.0. No hardware acceleration is used. Bob mode is used, as the video is encoded as interlaced. No resizing or sharpening is done. They are converted from BMP to JPEG (quality 9) using Photoshop 6.0.