[Unboxing/Review] Mirai: Blu-ray/DVD Collector’s Edition (Region B: EU/OCE)

Many moons ago in November of 2018, I had the absolute privilege of seeing the latest movie by esteemed anime director Hosoda Mamoru [The Girl who Leapt Through Time; The Boy and the Beast; Summer Wars] known in English territories as Mirai, or Mirai no Mirai (“Mirai of the Future”) to those of the Japanese language persuasion. Ever since the viewing in my local cinema, I have been anticipating a home media release, as I just had to add this beautiful time-travel meets coming-of-age tale to my collection.

Finally, to my absolute joy, UK anime licensor and distributor Anime Limited (also known as All The Anime) have released Mirai to us in the form of a limited edition Blu-ray/DVD dual-disc with a whole host of bonus goodies for us collectors to enjoy. In today’s post, I would like to briefly take you lovely readers through the contents of the release and show any interested customers what they get for their money!

I will preface this piece by saying that I shan’t be reviewing the film in this post (though rest assured that I adore this film, and any readers with appreciation for either Hosoda Mamoru’s other films or stories themed around family life, coming-of-age, sibling rivalries and human connections will love Mirai as well!), so please don’t expect intricate thoughts and feelings about the story nor criticism of the film’s technical and production aspects. With that out of the way, I’ll make a start!


Right off the bat, I would like to discuss the pricing of the release. Currently, Anime Limited offer three home media releases of Mirai:

On a subjective and personal level, I have a problem with the retail price of both standard edition releases. Just shy of £18 is an insane price for a standard edition DVD with no special features—almost every standard DVD release of a new film is pitched at £9.99 (Avengers: Endgame; Alita: Battle Angel; Detective Pikachu). I realise anime as a medium generally has higher prices, but £17.99 for this is incredibly steep! The Blu-ray price commits a similar offence, with new and upcoming Blu-ray releases coming in at £15 compared to Mirai‘s £19.99, however this is a smaller percentage increase to the DVD version and thus is relatively more fair. I have no complaints about the Collector’s Edition Blu-ray/DVD dual-disc price, as the extra content is absolutely worth it, as we shall see!

With that said, Mirai does not only contain the Japanese language with English subtitles, but also comes with an English language dub so from a pure “bang for your buck” standpoint, you do get more content for those extra pennies! Additionally, to Anime Limited’s credit, at time of writing they have bonus pre-order discounts on all three releases, so be sure to check the links above to see what the price looks like for you!

With a sigh of relief and relaxation, finally! The unboxing itself!

Front cover and outward-facing spine.
Back cover “leaflet” and contents of the box.
Back cover “leaflet” in detail.

The outer packaging is a fairly standard affair slipcase made of a very rigid cardboard—if you have ever owned a collector’s edition or even a box-set of an optical media before you’ll be familiar with this packaging! As with all Anime Limited Collector’s Editions, the information leaflet containing the technical details of the discs is gently tacked onto the back of the slipcase, and is easily peeled off revealing some beautiful artwork from Studio Chizu used as the theatrical poster! I highly urge removing these leaflets from every Anime Limited release as there’s always a delightful little extra something underneath that is much nicer to look at than the garish red information leaflet.

Back cover artwork beneath the leaflet (Japanese reads “Mirai no Mirai”).

With the slipcase covered, we can now remove the material from within and show the real meat contained by it!

The contents of the slipcase (in order: theatrical poster; optical media digipack; 40-page behind-the-scenes booklet; five art cards).

There isn’t much to say about the first item I’ll be showing off—the poster is a relatively basic A3 replica of a promotional poster used for the theatrical release in Japan. It’s a really lovely piece showcasing four-year-old Kun holding hands with his baby sister Mirai (and yes, she is his younger sister—it’s not called Mirai of the Future for nothing!):

The A3 replica theatrical poster (with a cameo from Chris Trott of the Hat Chat podcast’s torso).

The next item is a staple of Anime Limited’s collector’s releases: the insert booklet! Many of their high-end editions come with some kind of insert booklet, containing concept art and prints of background scenes, and interviews with directors, producers, staff members and industry professionals about behind-the-scenes topics regarding the production. In this case, the booklet contains 40 pages of the above bound in a really pleasing (to me) shade of green. The booklet follows the timeline of the movie’s production, right from its inception all the way through to its public release. Of particular note is an uncommon thing for Anime Limited: the insert booklet is hardback! This makes reading the book much more pleasant and inviting, as leafing through the paperback ones makes me anxious that I’m going to ruin the pristine pages and spoil the look of the thing. The rigid, hardback cover thus makes reading this a treat and something I’m happy to do!

Front cover of the 40-page booklet.
An example spread showcasing a provisional concept proposal and a talk with industry and studio staff.
A spread showcasing artwork used in the film from the team of production designers.

Third to be shown off is the digipack. “Digipack” is the ~technical~ term for the cardboard fold-out “trays” that hold the optical discs inside plastic trays within. This is where we find the movie itself, and an incredibly exciting addition. There are three discs within the digipack: the film on high-definition Blu-ray disc, the film again on standard DVD disc, and the original motion picture soundtrack! Until Mirai, I haven’t ever purchased anime that comes bundled with any kind of OST, so this is a massively welcome treat. The cardboard exterior of the digipack is printed with monochrome sketches of prominent characters from the film drawn in blue, and the interior has a pleasing stickerbook design with cutouts of characters and scenery appearing to be stuck to a scrapbook. I appreciate the attention to detail here as an owner will rarely see the artwork hidden below the discs, so knowing it’s there demonstrates care and attention on the distributor and designer’s behalf. To further the detail, each disc is printed with a different scene from Mirai, and whilst this is a standard affair, it still adds to the visuals of the digipack.

The three discs within the digipack (from left to right: Blu-ray; DVD; original soundtrack).
The cardboard exterior of the digipack (rear side of the above image).
The scrapbook/stickerbook design of the interior—this is one of my favourite parts of the whole packaging design!

And the fourth and final item contained in the Mirai collector’s edition (and my absolute favourite part of any and all home release of a series or film): art cards! I absolutely adore receiving art cards in a Blu-ray box and I have begun plastering my walls with photo frames to show them off—I like to think of this as a classy way to represent my anime fandom over paper posters sticky-tacked to my walls. Mirai contains five art cards each showcasing a different beautiful scene from the film. They show off the sheer talent of the background artists wonderfully and are printed on glossy card and measure somewhere in the region of 17 x 13.5 cm (roughly 6.5 x 5.5 inches for you lowly imperial users). Another lovely touch is that one of the five cards has, printed on the back, an identifier telling you which number copy you purchased! As the image below shows, I managed to get my hands on #11, just missing out on the first 10 copies printed—that would have been a nicety!

The five art cards: you can hopefully see the glossiness of the card stock.
The backs of two of the cards: the left one is the card containing the identification of your copy of the film!

And with that, that concludes everything contained within the Mirai Blu-ray/DVD Collector’s Edition distributed and sold by Anime Limited. At a price of £39.99 (or £34.99 if you pre-order before 15 July 2019), it’s an incredibly good value purchase for a brand new anime film by an esteemed and veteran director! The presence of both Blu-ray and DVD copies of the film, both Japanese and English voice dubs and the soundtrack on CD makes the price worth it alone, and the addition to the five quality art cards and the behind-the-scenes booklet just boosts the value for money. From a collector’s standpoint this wouldn’t be out of place on any shelf, and from an anime lover’s perspective this is just great value for a really freaking lovely film!

⋆⋆⋆

Mirai releases on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK on July 15 2019 and is distributed by Anime Limited. You can purchase it at the links below:

Direct from Anime Limited:
DVD // Blu-ray // Dual-disc Collector’s

Sold by Amazon UK:
DVD // Blu-ray // Dual-disc Collector’s

Mirai can also be accessed digitally at:
Amazon // YouTube // Google Play

 

 

 

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