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4.0 out of 5 stars The Pros and Cons of the Anchor Bay Release (From Someone Who Owns it As Well As The Arrow Blu-ray Special Edition), March 17 2012
This review is from: Battle Royale: The Complete Collection - Collector's Set [Blu-ray + DVD] (Blu-ray)
PRO: This edition has an English language dub on the Director's Cut of the film only (it's a pretty typically bad English dub done using voice actors that don't do the film justice, but it's there for the people that want to see the film but don't want to read the subtitles).

CON: Several; the BIGGEST and STUPIDEST is the fact that Anchor Bay forgot to add a, 'Signs Only' English subtitle option, as this film has a lot of onscreen text (i.e. the opening scrawl and an ongoing update of who's died in the game as it progresses, etc.) so what you have to do is keep the English subtitles on while you listen to the English track, but the problem with this (and the one thing that Anchor Bay got right, though without the 'Signs Only' subtitle option, this can be a tad annoying) is that the English dub track and the English subtitles differ which can be a tad disconcerting when watching them together (like you have to if you're watching with the English language dub and also want to get the subtitles for the Japanese text that appears throughout the film).

PRO: The picture quality is the best I've seen this movie look, even better than the European Arrow special edition Blu-ray (which is kind of odd, as the subtitles seem to be a direct port from the Arrow edition in content and timing, but the Anchor Bay picture quality is better, nowhere is this more prevalent then in the cave sequence near the beginning of the film; in the Arrow version there's a milky haze to the darkness as the two lead characters make their way into it, where as in the Anchor Bay version, the milky haze is gone).

CON: This edition claims to be the 'Complete Edition' but is missing the superior director's cut of the second film called, Battle Royale 2: Revenge (I'm not counting the resent 3D version of the first film because it doesn't add any new content, where as the second film has 20 minutes added to it's running time in the Director's cut).

CON: This set comes housed in one of those 'Book' type packages, where the discs are slid into the ends of hard cardboard pages, and upon trying to extract the discs from their housing, fingerprints where unavoidable as were scratches on the fourth disc (which is a DVD which doesn't have the extra durability coating that the Blu-ray's have) so once the discs are out, you may want to do as I did and put them in CD cases. The dumb thing is that the set's packaging resembles a book, but for what reason I don't know as there is no book used in the film to tie this in with (a cookie tin wrapped in cellophane would have made more sense if you know the film, or even a backpack).

CON: 'THE GLITCH'. Yes, every gosh darn version of the first film (be it Theatrical or Director's cut) has this stupid 'GLITCH' near the beginning of the movie (during the first class pandemonium scene where everyone is running around the classroom, there's this pause like 'GLITCH', you'll know it when you see it) which I had hoped would be fixed in this version (as it really is nothing more than a 'GLITCH' and shouldn't be in the film). I have several different Asian versions of this film on DVD and every single one has this stupid 'GLITCH' left in (kind of resembles a really bad DVD layer change).

So there you have it, hope this helps (oh, and the 4 star rating out of 5 is because of the screw up with the subtitles where the English language dub track is concerned, as well as the bad dub itself which could have been done a lot better).
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