So just a little over a year since the kickstarter project for this first launched, the final product of the Otaku no Video Blu-ray Premium Otaking Edition campaign by AnimEigo finally arrived a few days ago.
I was originally planning to do an unboxing video for the set but then decided to just take photos of it for now (the Australian 2016 election and usual work commitments also had a factor in delaying me to start it >:|), might record a video sometime later in the future though and include it in this post.
This AnimEigo kickstarter project launched back in June 3rd, 2015 and got funded in just half a day. I was one of the early pledgers taking up a Patron reward slot where my name would get listed at the startup screen when popping in the disc in the blu-ray player. I had also done this for AnimEigo’s previous kickstarter project for their Bubblegum Crisis blu-ray release and had a really good experience and was very satisfied with the final product, which was why I pledged to be a Patron again for the Otaku no Video blu-ray kickstarter.
Robert J Woodhead did a very great job in keeping everyone who backed the project updated on its status and organising the overall quality of the product with his crowd production team, so kudos to all of you guys! 😀 Now time for the actual blu-ray product!
Since I pledged for the Patron reward slot, besides getting to see my name listed on the startup screen, I would receive the Premium Otaking Edition of the blu-ray set. The contents of the premium set includes:
The Otaku no Video 1982 & 1985 OVAs in a clear amaray blu-ray case housed in a chipboard artbox with new original artworks created by Kenichi Sonoda.
Plus a thick manga-sized artbook (at least 200 pages I assume from the size) which also contains a brand new 6-page doujinshi comic made exclusively for this set, also done by Kenichi Sonoda.
Special on-disc extras for this release includes:
- English Color, Greyscale & SDH Subtitles
- Two Japanese Audio Commentaries – one featuring Sano Toru, Inoue Kikuko & Murahama Shoji and the other featuring Sano Toru, Yamaga Hiroyuki & Sato Hiroki
- English Audio Commentary – featuring Gilles Poitras & Robert Woodhead
- Reconstructed HD Trailers
- Colour Artwork Gallery
- Line Artwork Gallery
- List of Premium & Basic Backers
Being a Patron backer, I also have my own SMOO easter egg code on the disc to enter on the pop-up menu to view my certificate :D. There’s also some bonus AMV and random easter egg videos when trying to enter the codes on the menu too! Here are some easter egg codes discovered by “Felaguin” on one of the kickstarter updates.
の-お-く-ビ-オ-ビ-デオ: Tatakae Otaking music video
の-お-く-ビ-オ-オ-オオ: Tatakae Otaking music video
の-お-く-ビ-く-お-く-お: Tatakae Otaking music video
おーくービーオーデーのーたーく: Tatakae Otaking music video
おーたーのーオーデービーくーお: Proto Misty May build video
Included within the amaray case are a foldout sheet containing lyrics to the opening and ending themes and liner notes on one side.
While the other side features the English version of the brand new doujinshi comic and biographies of all the commentators.
The other foldout sheet included in the case is a poster featuring Misty Mae on one side.
And a list of all the backers on the project on the other side.
I love that the spine of the chipboard artbox contains text and label of the anime making it look like a VHS cassette tape, obviously an homage to the old generation of home video release the anime had when it originally came out.
Also the top of the spine features the main leading and supporting characters in their chibi form!
Other physical bonuses that came with the set includes two embroidered patches, one featuring Misty Mae and the other a Japanese sign of the “Secret Master of Otakudom”.
And a 40mm polyurethane limited edition mini-figure kit of Misty Mae (not assembled or painted).
I bought the add-on option of having the mini-figure kit assembled and painted since I have never attempted painting any anime figures before or assembling figure kits and fear I would stuff it up if I tried lol.
I’ll be honest, the painting on the figure isn’t the best as I can see some uneven paint jobs done on it and some parts seem to have the paint peeling off or left unfinished (particularly towards the thighs and arms) or smudged around (the hair), however, I don’t think I would’ve done any better if I attempted it myself so for me the painted figure is passable.
Other add-on options I bought in addition to the set includes a larger-size condensed 44-page version of the artbook containing some new contents that isn’t included in the thicker manga-sized version as well as a different cover.
And the two B2-size posters of the 1982 and 1985 OVAs of the anime.
Here you can see the difference in size between the two artbooks.
And took some sample photos of the two artbooks. First up is the manga-sized artbook.
And here are some sample photos of the larger A4-size 44-page artbook. (Back cover of the book first up)
Both artbooks also contain the 6-page doujinshi comic in its original Japanese version with English translation liner notes following it. Only the foldout liner notes sheet in the amaray case contains the English version used as texts in the speech bubbles.
There is also a more extensive and comprehensive collection of liner notes and information regarding Otaku no Video and this kickstarter release on AnimEigo’s wiki page for those interested. The only thing I didn’t get with this AnimEigo blu-ray set were the two promotional mini-CDs, “1982″ & “1985“, containing karaoke versions of the opening and ending themes and the image song as well (Graffiti of Otaku Generation). These could only be obtained by luck since they were randomly allocated to backers due to limited supply (only 200 were available), likewise for the Otaku no Video goody carry bag according to this update from Robert Woodhead on the kickstarter page for the project, I didn’t get that either. Had I been lucky enough to be allocated both of those bonuses then I would’ve had a real full complete set of the AnimEigo kickstarter blu-ray release of Otaku no Video! The Ultimate Premium Otaking Edition! 😄
As for the anime itself, I had never actually seen it before until I received this kickstarter blu-ray release. Once I did though, I could see why this anime is such a classic among the old generation of otakus with characteristics and behaviours of the various “otakus” portrayed in the live action segments, they certainly must’ve felt very connected to it, including its humour at poking fun at themselves! The characters in anime were pretty well defined in their personalities too, but it was hilarious to see Kubo transitioning from a normal guy into a full fledged otaku by the 2nd half of the anime! So much so that I initially thought it was actually just Tanaka dreaming about it with Kubo helping him achieve their otaku dreams, when in fact it really was Kubo actually pursuing it for his career.
Though the ending scene to the anime made me question whether it was actually all real or just a dream to him after all they went through (it felt somewhat bittersweet to me for some reason). That might have been spoiler for those who still haven’t seen the anime but watching the anime definitely gave me a better understanding of the new exclusive doujinshi comic included in this blu-ray set and its context in regards to the anime. I recommend those who have the blu-ray set and have never seen the anime to watch the anime first and then read the new doujinshi comic in the foldout sheet of the liner notes, you’ll definitely appreciate the anime much more after reading it.
I also gotta say that having listened to both of the two Japanese audio commentaries on the blu-ray, I could hear the differences between the two a lot in terms of what they discussed. The first commentary between Sano Toru, Inoue Ikuko and Murahama Shoji had a lot of the three joking and laughing about on the anime & live action segments, its plot and characters plus the period the anime was released in and its impact, all being nostalgic XD. The second commentary between Sano Toru, Yamaga Hiroyuki and Sato Hiroki seemed to have a lot of focus on the differences between the old generation otakus portrayed in the anime and live action segments compared to the otakus in the current modern days, but they also discussed a lot on the production aspects such as the scripting and story-boarding of the anime and inspirations in creating it to setting up the shots from the live-action scenes.
Both commentaries did however have the commentators say how these days watching anime and cosplaying seems like a normal hobby like playing tennis compared to back in their days when those hobbies were looked down upon and would have to be hidden from public. I guess it really does show how much has changed in the otaku culture perception from more than 20 years ago. There’s also the perceptions of otakus changing somewhat slightly to being more acceptable in Japan (although how much is questionable and another topic altogether), but in the western world it’s pretty much a badge of honour and somewhat cool now like reading comics and dressing up as superheroes.
Finally getting back to the product from this AnimEigo kickstarter project, I’m very satisfied with the final product as Robert and his crowd-production team has delivered a release that pretty much rivals the Japanese limited edition anime home video releases in terms of packaging, presentation and extras. Having already backed AnimEigo’s next kickstarter release, Riding Bean, I’m anticipating on more announcements and will definitely back the AD Police OVA whenever that project is launched. I’m also still hoping that Robert might look into doing one for Scramble Wars and the Vampire Princess Miyu OVAs so we can finally have those classics in the glorious blu-ray format! 😛