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Jan 25, 2011 5:29 PM
Anime Relations: Ga-Rei: Zero, Kuroshitsuji, Seiken no Blacksmith
Today I got a package from Right Stuf. In addition to 9 volumes of manga, the box included two of the new Limited Edition Funimation sets: Black Butler Season One Part 1 and The Sacred Blacksmith. Now, just so you know, this is just my opinion of the packaging and nothing else. Out of the two series I've only seen Blacksmith (as it was airing in fansubs), so I can't even share an opinion on how good of an anime Black Butler is.

If you're unfamiliar with Funimation's new Limited Edition campaign, they're now putting out their releases with Limited Editions coming before the normal, usual release. The Limited Edition version comes with a quality box for the DVD/BD's and most of them also have some other little bonus to go with it. The Limited Editions are sold at $5 more retail price and when they're gone, they're gone! Anyway, here we go:

I'll go ahead and start off with Black Butler since I don't really have any major opinions on it. The release is pretty much just like the usual half-season sets that Funimation has been putting out lately, except that it includes a "sturdy" chipboard box instead of the usual flimsy-card packaging. It's still the same usual DVD thinpacks and it has a flimsy filler-box that you can take out and replace with the second half of the series after it comes out. No real physical extras with this purchase other than the box itself, which is okay with me. The box is very pretty and shinny. But sadly, I had one little problem. "Sturdy" is up there in quotes because my poor little DVD box got a little crushed somehow before it got into my hands! I mean, it's not totally destroyed, but the nice box is cracked in the top back end and is a little sunk in on the left side of the opening. It really sucks and the fact that the Limited Edition sold out for Funimation means that I probably couldn't get it replaced. But really, I probably wouldn't bother anyway. It's not in that bad of condition and it probably might have gotten cracked the next time I moved anyway.

So, on to the next box!! The Sacred Blacksmith luckily came to me in proper condition. But unfortunately, I don't like this release as much as I like Black Butler. Black Butler is a 24 episode series so the box is big enough to hold 4 thinpack DVD cases. Well, Blacksmith is a 12 episode series so the two DVD's that the box came with is all that's in the series. The problem? They still used the same 4-thinpack size box! So the stupid flimsy little filer-box that takes up the other half of the nice chipboard box is there to stay. Pretty lame. Now the box itself, it looks great. It's nice and sturdy, didn't break before it got to me, and it has some nice clean artwork on it. It also came with a little 32 page artbook. It's alright. It has some nice illustrations in the beginning which look like they were done by the original novel's artist. After that comes the original Japanese anime cover artworks for the DVD/BD release over there. Then there is this small double-sided centerfold poster in the middle with Lisa on one side and then a super fan service version of Cecily. After the centerfold there are a few anime screenshot pages and then more fan service! Kind of weird that they used such a fan service angle with the artbook since the actual series isn't overly fan service-like. But I guess sex sells and Funimation tends to be pretty good at exploiting that. About half of them I've seen from the pages of Megami magazine, so not really anything new, and they're so much smaller. In the end, I think I regret getting the Limited Edition in this case. The stupid filler box really annoys me and the artbook isn't really that great in my opinion. Others who might enjoy the fan service pictures more fully and might not be bothered by the filler box thing, I'd say it would be worth it. But for me, not really. Maybe if the artbook was better, had a bunch of character designs, weapon designs, background designs, interviews, or something more and if it was actually a nice hardcover book that took up the entire filler box space instead of having the stupid filler box, I think I'd like this a lot more. Instead the artbook is a thin stapled together thing with a little bit of good art which I ended up just putting inside of the stupid filler box. Lame.

So yeah, in the end, pretty disappointing. The Limited Edition that I was really looking forward to ended up being underwhelming and the one that ended up actually being okay ended up being kind of broken. Oh well. Hopefully Ga-Rei Zero's Limited Edition release (which I have pre-ordered) will be better or I might have to give up on Funimation's cool new little gimmick. Laters!
Posted by pluvia33 | Jan 25, 2011 5:29 PM | 1 comments
spazirae | Jan 27, 2011 1:00 PM
That is pretty lame. I'm pretty sure if you complained about the quality of the box they might refund you the difference in price that you paid to get it. Like store credit or something. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't mind giving you back $5 to spend on their site. But it's probably not even that big of deal to you, but the fact that it came that way is pretty lame. and it's even more lame about the filler box you got. GAS