Monday, 21 November 2016

Unboxing [UK]: Makoto Shinkai Twin Pack: The Place Promised in Our Early Days & Voices of a Distant Star - Collector's Edition (BD/DVD)

Fun fact - This is actually Anime Limited's third license (February 2013 for reference). It has taken this long to finally see a release and I managed to pick up this set at a slightly cheaper price via HMV. Of course many others who pre-ordered it with Amazon got it for way less.

Here's a good look at what this long awaited set has to offer.

Makoto Shinkai is a well-known director. He's worked on about six feature-length films and the most recent film Your Name (Kimi no Na wa.) has been dominating the Japanese box office like a storm. This collection of films is from his earlier works; Voices of a Distant Star (Hoshi no Koe) is the first one, released back in 2002 as a 25 minute feature film. And the second is The Place Promised in Our Early Days (Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho), a 1 hour and 30 minute feature film from 2004. The Place Promised is actually one of my favourite anime films of all time, the story and animation is really good and I'm so happy to finally own the film on Blu-ray. It may have taken 3 years and 9 months for this to arrive but it's here!

Also included with this collection is the short film She and Her Cat (Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko), which was actually re-adapted recently as She and Her Cat -Everything Flows-, so you can currently stream that over on Crunchyroll if you wanted.

Originally planned as a standard film double pack, it was eventually upgraded to a Collector's Edition release that includes both films on Blu-ray and DVD across two clear Blu-ray cases housed inside a chipboard box with clean art (no BBFC & Anime Ltd logos and info details, as they're instead on the slipcover). Both films are available to watch with the English dub and original Japanese audio with unlockable English subtitles. The regions are locked to B however, which is unfortunate for US fans as these films are still out of print in their zone.

I've heard reports that the 5.1 Japanese audio for Voice of a Distant Star is slightly out of sync on Blu-ray but the other audio types and the DVD version are perfectly fine.

Blu-ray Specs:
Languages: Japanese, English
The Place Promised in Our Early Days Audio: DTS MA 5.1 & LPCM 2.0 [Japanese], DTS MA 5.1 & LPCM 2.0 [English]
The Place Promised in Our Early Days Video: 1080p HD Native 16:9
Voices of a Distant Star Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 & LPCM 2.0 [Japanese], DTS MA 5.1 & LPCM 2.0 [English]
Voices of a Distant Star Video: 1080p SD Upscale 4:3
Region: B
Subtitles: English
Subtitles Locked: No
Discs: 1

DVD Specs:
Languages: Japanese, English
The Place Promised in Our Early Days Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 [Japanese], Dolby Digital 5.1 [English]
The Place Promised in Our Early Days Video: SD NTSC 16:9
Voices of a Distant Star Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 [Japanese], Dolby Digital 5.1 [English]
Voices of a Distant Star Video: SD NTSC 4:3
Region: 2
Subtitles: English
Subtitles Locked: No
Discs: 2

Plot Synopsis (via Anime Limited):
The Place Promised in Our Early Days
Hiroki, Takuya and Sayuri are two young boys and a girl living in Aomori, the closest province in Honshu to Hokkaido. These three young classmates become fascinated by the gigantic yet mysterious tower that they see across the Tsugaru Strait, promising that one day they will build and fly an aircraft to the tower and unravel its mystery.

Voices of a Distant Star
A young pilot named Mikako volunteers to be sent on a journey through space to join the fight against a hostile alien race. Leaving behind the man she loves, her only means of contact with him is via text message, which take longer to reach him the further she travels from Earth.

On-Disc Extra Content (The Place Promised in Our Early Days):
Interview with Yuuka Nanri
Interview with Masato Hagiwara
Interview with Hidetaka Yoshioka
Interview with Makoto Shinkai
Trailer Collection

On-Disc Extra Content (Voices of a Distant Star):
Alternate Japanese Audio (Featuring Makoto Shinkai) [Dolby Digital 5.1 (Blu-ray), Dolby Digital 2.0 (DVD)]
She and Her Cat short
Interview with Makoto Shinkai
Trailer Collection

Collector's Edition Extras:
Chipboard rigid box packaging
28-page Booklet

Here's the photos of the set:

The Makoto Shinkai Twin Pack is available as a Blu-ray & DVD Collector's Edition combo pack. At the time of this post there is currently no licensor holder in North America.

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Member of the Anime UK News forum, and also once part of the Sheffield Hallam Visual Arts society throughout 2013-2017. Been collecting anime since 2012 and supported the anime distributors ever since. Also been hanging around on the Blu-ray forum and Fandom Post forums.

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