R4 Akira Not So Special?

In a report on the MichaelDVD R4 News site Madman have stated that a full-blown R4 Limited Edition of Akira is just not commercially viable for the Australian market. Up until now Madman themselves had said this meant the R4 release would simply lose the Tin casing but it would now appear that the R4 Akira release will also lose the second disc!

Released on a single DVD-9 (Dual Layer Disc) we can expect an Anamorphic PAL transfer, the new English DD5.1 Dub created by Pioneer for the R1 release, the original Japanese Soundtrack in DD2.0 and in an unusual move (but one that I personally welcome) the R4 will also feature the original Streamline Pictures English Dub that will also be presented in DD2.0.

The Extra Features from the R1 that will definitely make the transition are....

- Akira Production Report (50mins)
- Trailers
- Selected Glossary Items and Still Photos

The Akira Music Documentary featured on the R1 may also make it across, but the extras likely to be omitted are....

- Directors Interview
- Restoration Details
- Most of the Still Photos/Storyboards
- and it is unknown whether the Capsule Option will make it onto the R4 release...

So it would seem that the R4 version will not be all that we had hoped, the PAL transfer is a plus as is the inclusion of the original English Dub (for completists and fans of that Dub alike) but as well as the lack of extras you also have to question the final quality of the disc when they are cramming the selected extras onto a single DVD9 when the R1 (with its lower resolution NTSC transfer) required a single DVD9 just for the film...and of course it is now left to the UK release to offer a PAL transfer with the extras of the R1 release.

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