By Justin Cook (Producer – Yu Yu Hakusho)
Hello all, Justin here to fill you in on some of the efforts we’ve put forth to bring you a refreshed, improved and fulfilling YYH Blu-ray experience. First, being given permission to remix the series was a special responsibility and one that is rare in the world of entertainment. Most of the time there is a magic box that can present a nice upgrade from older mixes, thus not taking up the time of both a producer and mix engineer. As I’m sure you all know by know, time is money, and money don’t come cheap. But alas, the property warranted an extensive update, not to mention that the audio masters are so old that a straight remix was just simply not possible. We started production on Yu Yu Hakusho back in 2001; quite honestly it seems like a lifetime ago, but to quote Kurama “That all depends your lifespan”. And, with a remix in the works now ten years later, many of the mix techniques and standards of quality in recording as well as our attention to flaps (mouth movements as compared to the spoken words from the actors) have improved ten fold with each year of experience gained since the time that we originally started production 10 years ago. Therefore we felt that the best way to present YYH to you in Blu-ray was to do a complete remix from the ground up. And that’s what we did.
We started by having our ADR engineering staff comb through each episode “cleaning up” the dialogue, things like removing any arrant anomalies, adjusting lines to better fit the “flaps” and adjusting the line to improve the over all presentation and quality. Next, our mix staff started each episode as they would a new mix, however and of course, we kept in mind the original tone and feel of our first approach, that’s to say that we haven’t completely re thought the filters for spirit world or character effects and the like, but a new approach to EQ’s were established and a fresh new approach was taken to all dated filters and audible atmospheres. Lastly, I, myself, went through each mix upon completion and notated additional changes to better match the tone and feel of the show, in regards to flaps, possible need to record any lines, drop reactions, and anything else that I felt would improve the overall audio quality of the episode.
So, will you notice a difference? The answer is maybe, the changes are subtle, but there are numerous subtle changes. As to voice changes, you will find only one in the first volume. In episode 22 the voice of the Surgeon who implanted Hiei’s eye has been re-recorded as Pete Weber (who plays Shigure in the 4thsaga of YYH, and is revealed at that time to be the Surgeon in question.) the voice was originally played by Jerry Jewell, but at that time we of course had not cast the group of characters to appear nearly 90 episodes later. This is an example of the efforts for consistency that we are trying to obtain for this release of YYH. More extensive changes have been made to the further volumes of YYH, and I’ll go into those in later blogs.
To give you an example of a few changes made within the episodes, I’ve included the notes I made to Episode 16 here:
6:40 – Byakko’s Roar should be more echo-y through out the castle, and then project and more true canyon style echo on the exterior shot.
6:52 – roar needs to move to the left.
9:24 – Byakko’s flaps (line to left)
10:56 – Byakko’s flaps (little to the left)
12:30 – Kuwabara’s second moan here, I think we should try to move it to the left.
12;42 – Second part of Yusuke’s line needs to go to the left. (I think if we cut a breath, we’ll be all right)
15:35 – Yusuke line slightly to left.
17:26 – roar here is good, but could be bigger, maybe if we double or triple up the yell that would help…you can ask me about this one when you get to it.
Please remember, that these notes were made after both an ADR engineer and Mix engineer had gone through with their improvements. What I’m trying to get across to you is that we’ve made hundreds of changes. Latterly combing through each episode looking for anything to present a far superior version of the series, for your enjoyment and for preservation of Blu-Ray.
Finally, I would like to mention that each episode had been remixed in stereo, as the original materials supplied by Japan for this series prevent us from mixing a true 5.1 version of the series. However, for your listening pleasure we will be presenting the English version of the episodes on Blu-Ray in 5.1. This up-convert was performed by our authoring department and supervised by our mix department to give you the most immersive experience of YYH you’ve ever felt. May 31st is the day, so please enjoy this version of Yu Yu Hakusho again and for the first time, for a great classic anime with an entirely different audio and visual experience.
Watch the vlog below for even more indepth information from Justin Cook.