Sweet extras on revitalized “complete” anime sets

Here's some Magical Beach Girls for you all

It’s great to pur­chase ani­me that have recent­ly fin­ished, but even­tu­al­ly years down the line (if demand is high enough), they may be re-released with improved qual­i­ty and redone mas­ters accord­ing to the stan­dards set by that time. While improved video qual­i­ty may be enough to cap­ture the pur­chas­es of the diehard fans that ani­me com­pa­nies are aim­ing for, there are a mul­ti­tude of ways fans can be fur­ther sat­is­fied with buy­ing their favorite series yet again.

Per­son­al­ly, if one of my old favorite series was retouched and released with a new eye-can­dy res­o­lu­tion, I would buy it regard­less. How­ev­er, there are more than sev­er­al ways that these re-releas­es can sat­is­fy my needs as a fan — which I will delve into, right after the jump.

Because art is cool

Bonus Art/Guide Book

Nat­u­ral­ly, a fan’s ulti­mate col­lec­tion should come with an item that rein­forces their respect for the intri­cate design of their favorites series, as well as the work put into it by the staff. This is where art and guide books shine the most, espe­cial­ly when pack­aged togeth­er as a neat bonus.

These books should obvi­ous­ly be fan-cen­tric and con­tent may vary depend­ing on the series, but the fol­low­ing is the bare-bones of what an ide­al “series guide” should be like if includ­ed in a com­plete series set. As well as being an episode guide, these books should include fun tid­bits such as in-uni­verse and real life time­lines (espe­cial­ly for clas­sic, long-run­ning series like Drag­on Ball or Yu Yu Hakusho), char­ac­ter pro­files and their rela­tions (fam­i­ly tree, rela­tion­ship chart, etc.), and a char­ac­ter design page, with details about the evo­lu­tion of their designs (includ­ing pro­to­type designs).

Pro­duc­tion art­work for things such as recur­ring set­tings is always nice to have either includ­ed in a book or as a fea­ture with­in the discs, regard­less of the set’s sta­tus as a col­lec­tor’s item or just a reg­u­lar set of discs.

Best Modern End Card Ever

End Cards

I’m con­fi­dent that peo­ple who read mu posts have kept up with an ani­me series as it was air­ing in Japan before (either through Key­Ho­leTV or through fan­subs). Ever notice those nifty sta­t­ic images at the end of every episode, usu­al­ly accom­pa­nied by a “Thanks for watch­ing!” or a “See ya’ soon!”? Well, be sure to take as many screen­shots of them as you can, as those tend to be very rare finds. Why? Because they are almost nev­er includ­ed on home releas­es.

Sure, these aren’t a neces­si­ty, and it’s way too nit­picky to com­plain about, but con­sid­er­ing the pric­ing of these “com­plete” series sets, includ­ing them in a bonus art gallery as a fea­ture or includ­ing them with­in the above-men­tioned art books should­n’t be too much of has­sle for ani­me com­pa­nies to do. Unless they’re thrown away at the stu­dio, which they real­ly should­n’t do (god bless Ani­plex and Shaft for con­form­ing to these wished for Puel­la Magi Mado­ka Mag­i­ca!). It should­n’t be much of a prob­lem for mod­ern ani­me, as they were pro­duced dur­ing the era of file-shar­ing and have a low pos­si­bil­i­ty of hav­ing things like this turn into “lost gems,” but it would still be a nice inclu­sion nev­er­the­less.

CCS 1080p Movie Menu

Awesome Main Menu

Not real­ly an “extra” con­sid­er­ing DVDs and Blu-Rays are gonna have menus any­way, but a good menu screen is always a plus.

Sure­ly, sets that are billed as the “Per­fect Best” or “Ulti­mate Best Col­lec­tion” should­n’t have a flat and bor­ing menu screen. At the same time, it should­n’t be too flashy. Bland menu screens can cer­tain­ly be over­looked on reg­u­lar releas­es, but when you throw “Per­fect”, “Best”, and oth­er pos­i­tive superla­tive adjec­tives out there, fans expect even the small­est things to give them a sense of “awe.” A nice design that fits the style of the series, cou­pled with a nice track from the OST, can go a long way in pump­ing you up for a marathon of your favorite ani­me on the couch, as you hit that “Play All” but­ton.

Visu­al­ly, a good exam­ple of this would be the pic­ture above, the menu of the first Card­cap­tor Saku­ra movie on Blu-Ray. Fans of the ani­me will see that it’s styl­ized to fit with Card­cap­tor Saku­ra, but at the same time does­n’t go so over­board that it looks hard to nav­i­gate.

Monkeys everywhere

Special CVs and Other Junk

Some of our favorite ani­me char­ac­ters become pop­u­lar enough to guest star in sil­ly pro­mo­tion­al videos and vari­ety shows. A com­plete set of these clips rarely crop up as an extras fea­ture, espe­cial­ly for revi­tal­ized releas­es of ani­me that aired before the recent decade.

No, seri­ous­ly, unless some­one in Japan record­ed these on tape and put them online, they’ve become long-lost gems nev­er to be seen again. It would be nice if com­pa­nies took a lit­tle bit more effort to archive these and add them to these types of releas­es. For all we know, they aren’t even lost, just sit­ting in a vault some­where wait­ing to be seen again.

the work face

Making of Remastering”

Not much of a rar­i­ty com­pared to the above, but it’s per­son­al­ly still a shame when­ev­er a remas­tered series col­lec­tion does­n’t fea­ture a video going over the process of remas­ter­ing the footage and talk­ing to the staff behind the work as they’re doing it, à la Cul­ture Japan Sea­son 2 Episode 9.

I always found such doc­u­men­ta­tion to be inter­est­ing and of course, watch­ing bits and pieces of how every­thing unfolds in pro­duc­tion, as well as the sweat and tears put into it, real­ly makes me appre­ci­ate the work put into mak­ing an ani­me. It’s not all shits and gig­gles.

Bottom Line?

Would just buy­ing a remas­tered, com­plete series set of my favorite ani­me sat­is­fy me enough as a fan? Of course! Watch­ing your favorite series look­ing bet­ter-than-ever will always be a nice treat. That’s a fact, and I will absolute­ly enjoy my awe­some pur­chas­es to death. But being more hap­py is nev­er a bad thing, and the inclu­sion of these small (and prob­a­bly amus­ing) aspects into a com­plete series set will at least make me feel sure that I bought a (near-)perfect release of my favorite ani­me.

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