Wow. WOW. I haven't even watched this disc yet, but I'm already overwhelmed by unboxing it. (yes I am a pathetic RK fangirl shoot me now) It got here from RightStuf this afternoon.
This appears to be a straight-out port of a Japanese-language disc in that all of the packaging is in Japanese, except for the discreet external addition of a text-only pamphlet that translates the illutrated insert booklet. The booklet is a slim little thing, but it includes concept sketches, character IDs (thankfully *not* including ADV's bogus claim that Okita was Saitou's apprentice-- sheesh), a few production notes, and an interview that actually does explain the bleedy Tomoe scene:
Q: In the storyboards, there's a note to the effect that "Tomoe becomes a horse" (i.e., Tomoe gets her period). I think it's somewhat rare for a woman to be depicted menstruating in animation. What made you decide to depict it?
A: Since "Trust and Betrayal" is a story about a man and a woman shedding blood, I thought it was necessary. It was an essential element of showing Tomoe's conflicted feelings toward Kenshin, and her emotions gradually getting the better of her. Normally, the daughter of a samurai family would never, ever betray her fiance.
Note [screenshot caption]: Tomoe endures abdominal pains in the toilet. In this era, a woman's period was called "the horse".
That's... a new idiom for me. I wonder whether they were also invoking the dreaded "fire horse" symbolism for her-- iirc according to canon, Tomoe was born in a Fire Horse year. The most recent Fire Horse year was 1966, in which there was a huge birthrate drop in Japan because no one wanted to give birth to a Fire Horse, especially a girl-- it's traditionally said there of Fire Horse women that they kill her husbands.
While Kiyosato and Kenshin might not personally agree with that, Tatsumi certainly did.
So I'm guessing that Aniplex may've completely redone the English translation for the subs, and it's possible that they haven't even bothered to license in ADV's dub track.
Waiting for the wombat-consort to get home in case he wants to watch the disc too. Dunno if he will, but may as well ask.
Update, post-viewing: Nice disc is nice :)
Much smaller subtitle font than ADV used. The translation may've used theirs as a starting point, since a lot of the dialogue looks the same as I remember, but there also seem to be some signficant revisions in some scenes.
When loaded into the player, the disc automatically heads right into an all-chapter playthrough with Japanese dialogue and no subtitles. There is a menu, but I didn't see it until after the ending. The only "extra" I saw was a Japanese tv spot (no subtitles) for the first episode.
The credits music for the first two episodes remains the same, though the technicolor paper pinwheel is gone. (I miss the pinwheel.) In the last two episodes, the credits are hard-coded over the footage at the beginning or end, which was initially jarring but packed an unexpected punch for the final display of the voice credits for Kenshin and Tomoe. (It helps if you can recognize the name kanji.) No sign of English-language coding credits, interestingly-- there is an English dub track after all, but I didn't listen to it.
No direct comparisons to the DVD version until I have another chance to find that again and take a look. The Blu-Ray images are beautifully clear, though-- at the beginning just before the bandit attack, the little flowers in the grass freeze-frame into perfectly shaped petals. Kanji in the background are so sharp-edged and readable that I honestly can't remember ever having seen them before-- maybe they were added in? Just before Kenshin first sees Tomoe on the street, there's a "snow" yuki
on the wall behind him; later when she's asking him out for a date, the "night" yoi
is on his room's lintel over the screen.
...oh, and in the translated interview booklet, the director says that the reason he had Tomoe deliberately cut Kenshin's face is because that's what Watsuki said would happen; when the director finally read the end of that manga arc, his reaction was, "Hey, that's not what you told me on the phone!"