Masked Rider Agito - 26-28

Okay. So as you all know, this is a scrub (a term that someone else came up with for this sort of release after we started, but we like) of the Cruel Angel Productions episodes that were ripped and encoded by BrownRanger. For the most part, we have avoided direct potshots at this release. If you've downloaded them yourself, you understand what these releases are saving you from, both in terms of video and the subtitles. But perhaps some of you are unfamiliar with the issues. Odds are very good that most of you don't even realize the issue with episode 28, which was so mind bogglingly stupid that we felt it necessary to point this out.

First off, episode 27. This is a typical episode, any would do, but 1-26 have already been sacrificed to the pits of BitHell.

And here is its counterpart from our release.

The difference is probably fairly obvious. The DVDs are interlaced anamorphic widescreen, so 720x480 is set to expand to 852x480 (give or take) by the player. This is exactly what is encoded here. To be clear, that one episode that people were complaining about was just improperly flagged, not improperly encoded. A player override would have fixed it trivially, unlike the CAP up here that needs cropping and AR correction.

The trouble is Cruel Angel apparently couldn't figure out how to handle anamorphic DVDs, so the pieces of shit they sold (yes, they asked for money for this, these were not free fansubs) apparently reencoded the video letterboxed. In this case, the 720x480 video is converted by your player to 640x480, and has the black bars built in for you. It's good for the ten people on the planet who bought extremely early (and therefore expensive) DVD players and never, ever upgraded when they became like $20, but for everyone else it just means lower quality. Worse still, BrownRanger didn't do the sane thing with such a garbage source (resize to 640x480, crop off 60 pixels of matting from the top and bottom), leaving you with encodes that are wider than they should be and black bars all over the place. This is Bad.

But now let's get to episode 28, the target of our rage. It is worse. We'll start with a couple shots of the OP.


So, you must be thinking, "weren't you picky assholes just complaining about matted letterboxing?" You'd be right, though you can probably tell just by looking that once again the CAP version is wider than it should be. Moreover, this time the black bars are taking up even more of the screen. Why is that? Well let's compare two shots from the bulk of the episode.

Have you figured it out? Do you understand what happened here? Let us spell it out for those of you that have not: Cruel Angel resized this episode to fit as matted 16:9 widescreen, despite the fact that the original source is primarily 4:3 with only a couple flashbacks (and a flash forward in the very beginning) and the OP in 16:9. Then BrownRanger compounded the issue by failing to correct for the AR issues in a sane way, though to be fair even crop/resize to 640x360 like the rest should have been would have been weird looking here, and a proper expansion to 4:3 would be losing a lot of detail due to the initial incompetence.

This is inexcusably stupid for a paid product, so in this sense we must tip our hats to BrownRanger for pirating the shit out of the original pirate goods, and making it so that nobody should ever really consider paying these assholes money. We only wish BrownRanger had a clue what he was doing himself as he did it, but seriously shame on you Cruel Angel.

With that bit of tl;dr out of the way, have some links: