Look at that. It’s the director’s cut. Yeah, that’s right. We’re getting the director’s definitive vision.
Someone, somewhere, is psyched to see the above scene on their 60-inch big screen TV. This isn’t a post about censorship. I don’t like censorship. This is a post about director’s cuts.
Typically, directors film more than they should; they might bring three hours of footage to the editing room and pare it down to two hours, maybe two and a half. There are a multitude of reasons to edit down a film: pacing issues, tone, flow, etc. Sometimes, though, too much is taken out of a film during the editing process and the resulting theatrical release isn’t quite as good the director might have hoped. It has been a recent trend for directors to go back to the editing room with the intention of putting together a superior cut of film for a DVD release. Often times, this has resulted in a better movie (e.g. Leon, Kingdom of Heaven, etc.). Even when the original theatrical release didn’t suck, a director’s cut can simply add more detail for the hardcore fans to salivate over (e.g. The Lord of the Ring’s extended editions). Sure, some studios now use it as a marketing gimmick to rake in more DVD sales, but you typically get more in a director’s cut. You usually get something substantial over the initial release.
When uncensored versions of Seikon no Qwaser episodes starting popping up, my reaction was apathy. I didn’t like the show so I didn’t care, but what people wanted to watch is up to them. My interest was piqued though when I heard about the “director’s cut” of Qwaser:
The official homepage for this month’s new Seikon no Qwaser anime television series has announced that “director’s cut” episodes will premiere on the Anime One streaming site beginning on the 16th. Japanese viewers will be able to purchase 7 days of streaming access to “director’s cut” episodes for 105 yen each. The first “director’s cut” DVD/BD volume will go on sale in Japan on April 21. — AnimeNation.net
A director’s cut for Seikon no Qwaser? Really? At first, I wasn’t convinced, but after viewing the director’s cut of the first episode side by side with the original broadcast… say no more. My money is yours, director.
Let’s go over some of the “major” changes.
1. The director’s cut clocks in at 24:30 while the original broadcast was only an oh-so-paltry 23:54. That’s thirty-six seconds of possibly extra footage. You’re getting your money’s worth. I, for one, will not regret buying a new BD for the extras.
2. In the opening, instead of seeing just a moth on the wall, you’re treated to a variety of flayed naked women with… red rods attached to them.
It’s a commentary on how body modification has gone out of control.
2. In the original, we could only hear the victim’s screams while the anime panned across a wall.
Clearly all meaning to this gripping scene has been lost, but be faithful my soma fans. The director has graced us with his vision… of a girl pissing her panties. Powerful.
3. Soon, the villain flays her latest victim. Yet again, we are treated to that dumb moth.
Say it isn’t so, director-san. This scene cannot end so pitifully! The director agreed:
Red jelly doesn’t just splatter all over the moth. The moth falls off the wall from all the blood covering it. Obviously something about the irony of blood, the fluid of life, killing a living thing…
4. We’ll skip to when the villain has Mafuya restrained against her will. In the original, all we get is a lame closeup of the villain. We’re expected to put our imagination to the test. Pfft. What is this, Friday the 13th?
The director’s cut shows us the true vision of horror: titfucking Mafuya with a practice sword. Probably a commentary on how extracurricular sports will just screw us all in the end… Fuck you Dad! Maybe I don’t want to be a sports star!
5. When Teresa is giving her precious soma to Sasha, Mafuyu wonders where she’s seen this before.
The original broadcast then cuts to a painting of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus.
We’ve allowed pretentious art to get in the way of the true character interactions, scenes of such vision and subtlety as demonstrated in the director’s cut:
Mm hmm. Nothing more poignant than a man and his breast milk.
I’m going to stop here. There are obviously other changes between the original broadcast and the director’s cut, but if you aren’t convinced by the examples shown above, then I don’t know what to say. You’re just not a true anime fan. Now, if you are a true anime fan, please buy the BD for just 8552 yen. Even if you already own non-director’s cut version, support an artist’s vision!