Nur auf Englisch:
I planned to write this article a lot of sooner, but at least it will be finished before the German Blu-ray is officially available at retailers on Friday.
Because of the relatively small German anime Blu-ray market, we only got a normal Blu-ray packaging. Furthermore, there are not many illustrations available so that an official screenshot had to be used.
The Hong Kong versions is like a cheaper version of the Japanese packaging. The used material and the „paint“ is inferior to the Japanese release. I like the design nevertheless^^.
The original and most expensive version also looks the best – no real surprise^^;.
All versions have the booklet in their languages (the content look very similar). The HK version also contains a CD-R(!) with a Mari illustration. The Japanese one came with a film strip.
Hong Kong: A
Japan: no restrictions
Hong Kong: BD25
Germany: MPEG-4 AVC Video 29977 kbps 1080p / 23,976 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Hong Kong: MPEG-4 AVC Video 19998 kbps 1080p / 23,976 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Japan: MPEG-4 AVC Video 31824 kbps 1080p / 23,976 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
DTS-HD Master Audio German 2474 kbps 6.1 / 48 kHz / 2474 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 6.1-ES / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 2443 kbps 6.1 / 48 kHz / 2443 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 6.1-ES / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 2668 kbps 6.1 / 48 kHz / 2668 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 6.1-ES / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Japanese 2121 kbps 6.1 / 48 kHz / 2121 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB)
Dolby Digital Audio Chinese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 2370 kbps 6.1 / 48 kHz / 2370 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 6.1-ES / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Japanese 2416 kbps 6.1 / 48 kHz / 2416 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 640 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / Dolby Surround
The German version offers nearly everything from the Japanese Blu-ray, only some promotional stuff like TV commercials are missing. Furthermore, one trailer is only SD letterbox in contrast to the Japanese version.
Hong Kong gets no bonus material at all, but it is available separately.
The Japanese version offers obviously the most most stuff.
The German version uses its own design (similar to the German 1.11 release), while the Hong Version „copies“ again slightly from the Japanese versions.
Germany gets obviously German subtitles (songs are translated), while the Hong Kong version seems to be using the English subtitles of the international screenings and also offers Chinese subtitles. The Japanese BD only has Japanese subtitles.
Germany / Hong Kong / Japan
The low bitrate of the Hong Kong version clearly shows in the screenshots, there are many more artifacts in the shots. Furthermore, the the outlines seem to „pixelate“ sometimes, as visible in screenshot 5 (Eva-02) and in screenshot 8 (Asuka’s plugsuit). Furthermore, the gradients have a lot of more steps in the Hong Kong version, as visible in Asuka’s hair in screenshot 6. The German Blu-ray also has some problems with more steps, but the higher bitrate seems to help. The Japanese Blu-ray seems to have always the best picture quality and the SBMV-technology really seems to help to produce smoother gradients by adding more noise. The German encoder obviously didn’t use such kind of technology, but these steps are normally quite common in anime Blu-rays, even the Japanese ones (e.g. Bakemonogatari). The AVC code doesn’t seem to like the perfect artificial blends in animes so the SBMV technology really seems to help to improve this.
I didn’t compare the tracks but they should be very similar because most of them are lossless anyway.
If you understand German, this version is definitely a good version to get because its problems are minor and it most scenes there’s no difference to the Japanese version. For the English audience I think the Hong Kong version is ok to watch the movie, but I would recommend to get the probably better Funimation version when it gets available.
More pictures and information can be found in my articles about each version: Germany, Hong Kong and Japan.