Unboxing: Escaflowne – Ultimate Edition (Blu-ray) [UK]

Last year Anime Limited surprised fans by releasing an ‘Ultimate Edition’ of the Escaflowne anime franchise with it containing both the Complete TV Series and feature-length-film remastered in High Definition with a soundtrack CD Collection and artbook. From an ‘Ultimate Edition’ perspective it certainly featured everything an Escaflowne fan could ever want but alas it also came with a £150 RRP Price-Tag. So was this Ultimate Edition worth the cost – and more importantly the wait? Well let’s take a look in our latest unboxing!

Originally released on DVD within UK by BEEZ Entertainment over ten years as individual volume releases, before being boxed into a complete series collection, but now fans can enjoy the series in its complete form with improved picture quality, thanks to the High Definition upgrade, and new english dub produced by FUNimation. Those looking to retain the authentic experience will also be glad to hear that this set also retains the original Japanese audio track (with English subtitles) as well as the original Bandai Entertainment English Dub that was included with the previous releases of the series within the UK and America.

With the slight history topic aside for the moment lets look at the overall packaging. Just like with the Full Metal Panic and Terror in Resoance Ultimate Edition sets (which we also unboxed) the Escaflowne Ultimate Edition comes in a large wide box featuring key-artwork on both front and back with the side featuring artwork. An information sheet is also attached to the back of the box; but like with Mobile Suit Gundam sets the glue can potentially damage the artwork – so take when removing it.

On the inside of the Ultimate Edition box we find a simplistic carded padding (of which can easily get damaged) with the TV Series, Movie, Soundtrack Collection and Artbook placed on top of one another with no care in the world (quite literally); each of which are in Collector’s Edition chip-board artbox styled packaging.

The first item out of the overall box is the Escaflowne movie, known as The Vision of Escaflowne, in a chip-board artwork with both the DVD and Blu-ray variations of the film packaged in a digi-pack sleeve on the inside of the artbox. There is no information or logos on this box so its possible Anime Limited may intend to release this item as an individual Collector’s Edition set in the future.

The next content out of the box is the actual TV Series and bizarrely Anime Limited have opted to place both the Blu-ray discs and Soundtrack discs into the same chipboard box as opposed to two seperate boxes. The discs are however seperated into their own digi-pack sleeves (with different singular artwork per content); but once again no further information is presented anyway around the collectors edition boxes.

The Digi-Pack sleeves for the Soundtrack CD discs do feature track information; but its surprising that Anime Limited couldn’t make a seperate box for the CD’s with the information listed; as personally I don’t want to keep removing the CD digi-pack sleeve in order to watch the Blu-ray discs – which is exactly what you have to do.

The final piece of content included with this Ultimate Edition set is the hardback artbook which features various artwork, such as character designs, concept drawings and background designs, packed into a single book. Unlike the art book included with the Full Metal Panic Ultimate Edition it feels better quality and more durable which is of course a good thing.

Overall the Ultimate Edition set for Escaflowne offers mixed opinions; content-wise it features a lot of content that far outweighs any past Ultimate Edition set as it features everything you could want from the Escaflowne franchise in a single box. However from a presentation stand-point it feels unfinished and deserving attention.

For starters the lack of sleeves across the film and TV series collectors boxes mean there is no information about the ‘actual product’ contained within the set and the fact that the soundtrack is bundled within the same artbox as the TV series (as opposed to seperate) baffles me slightly. Personally it feels like the disc contents were quickly packaged into sleeves and artboxes and throw in to the larger box with no real care or attention to detail; Of course you could say I am being picky but it is just my personal observation and points of interest.

It goes without saying though that Escaflowne Ultimate Edition is a superb set for fans of the series but for newcomers it is a ‘pricey experience’ for a blind buy; especially when the standard edition TV series has now been made available for a third of the price – but alas you won’t get the artboxes or soundtrack CD selection.

Escaflowne – Ultimate Edition is now available; alternatively the series is also available as a Standard Edition Blu-ray and Standard Edition DVD set. There is currently no news on whether the movie will be released on its own.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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