If memory serves me, I once wished I had $810; fate intervened back in March, when a friend contacted me about a consulting gig. Six weeks of nights and weekend work paid off quite well, and I decided to take a small portion and buy Lupin the Box. Every TV episode is now in my possession; ladies and gentlemen, you may all commence to be jealous.
Boxes within boxes
This massive set is contained within a plain cardboard box with a plastic handle in case you feel the need to cart it around and prove your obsession with Lupin. The outer box includes a message about the 40th anniversary of the franchise. You remove the actual box from the side, and a thin piece of cardboard covers the top to prevent the handle from scratching the box. A plastic sleeve covers the box set and can be slipped on and off easily.
The main box is constructed from a very sturdy material to hold the weight of 23 discs and a thick handbook. A number of people on the Y! group loved the artwork when the first images were available. I was not blown away by it; the art is well drawn, but I find the lack of color makes it look drab. Now that it is in my hands, my opinion has not changed; the anime series is a colorful affair. Why is the box set that houses it just black and white? Is it simply to keep cost down? I can see the effect they were going for based on the trim for the box, but the lack of color just detracts from the artwork and visual appeal.
Twenty three cases and one handbook line the inside of the box; the cases are cardboard covers wrapped around a plastic shell. Other than the movies and one or two TV cases, the shell is designed to hold two discs, one on each side when you open it. Artwork wraps around the entire cover and is tailored around the content of the discs. The handbook has a summary of every episode and movie and tons of conceptual sketches from the series.
The handbook is likely to be the main extra for this set, but I did quickly pop in Cagliostro. It had two trailers for the film, the same two I believe were on the original Japanese DVD release. It is a good bet that the other films will have similar trailers. If I find any other extras, I’ll blather on about them in a separate post.
I’m really excited to have every single TV episode in my hands and in the best condition they are likely every to be. Now, the only items missing from my Lupin collection are official copies of Bye Bye Liberty, Hemingway Papers, and Trailers Collection. I never thought my collection would be so complete.
However, I also now own five different copies of Cagliostro and five different copies of Mamo… five of each! For Cagliostro, I have the original Streamline VHS release, the Manga Entertainment DVD, Manga’s special edition DVD, the Buena Vista Japanese DVD, and the DVD from this set. For Mamo, I have the original Streamline VHS, the Streamline DVD, the Geneon DVD, the Japanese DVD from the movie box set, and the DVD from this set. And like a true obsessive collector, I will likely never part with any of those copies.