It’s great to purchase anime that have recently finished, but eventually years down the line (if demand is high enough), they may be re-released with improved quality and redone masters according to the standards set by that time. While improved video quality may be enough to capture the purchases of the diehard fans that anime companies are aiming for, there are a multitude of ways fans can be further satisfied with buying their favorite series yet again.
Personally, if one of my old favorite series was retouched and released with a new eye-candy resolution, I would buy it regardless. However, there are more than several ways that these re-releases can satisfy my needs as a fan – which I will delve into, right after the jump.
Bonus Art/Guide Book
Naturally, a fan’s ultimate collection should come with an item that reinforces their respect for the intricate design of their favorites series, as well as the work put into it by the staff. This is where art and guide books shine the most, especially when packaged together as a neat bonus.
These books should obviously be fan-centric and content may vary depending on the series, but the following is the bare-bones of what an ideal “series guide” should be like if included in a complete series set. As well as being an episode guide, these books should include fun tidbits such as in-universe and real life timelines (especially for classic, long-running series like Dragon Ball or Yu Yu Hakusho), character profiles and their relations (family tree, relationship chart, etc.), and a character design page, with details about the evolution of their designs (including prototype designs).
Production artwork for things such as recurring settings is always nice to have either included in a book or as a feature within the discs, regardless of the set’s status as a collector’s item or just a regular set of discs.
I’m confident that people who read mu posts have kept up with an anime series as it was airing in Japan before (either through KeyHoleTV or through fansubs). Ever notice those nifty static images at the end of every episode, usually accompanied by a “Thanks for watching!” or a “See ya’ soon!”? Well, be sure to take as many screenshots of them as you can, as those tend to be very rare finds. Why? Because they are almost never included on home releases.
Sure, these aren’t a necessity, and it’s way too nitpicky to complain about, but considering the pricing of these “complete” series sets, including them in a bonus art gallery as a feature or including them within the above-mentioned art books shouldn’t be too much of hassle for anime companies to do. Unless they’re thrown away at the studio, which they really shouldn’t do (god bless Aniplex and Shaft for conforming to these wished for Puella Magi Madoka Magica!). It shouldn’t be much of a problem for modern anime, as they were produced during the era of file-sharing and have a low possibility of having things like this turn into “lost gems,” but it would still be a nice inclusion nevertheless.
Awesome Main Menu
Not really an “extra” considering DVDs and Blu-Rays are gonna have menus anyway, but a good menu screen is always a plus.
Surely, sets that are billed as the “Perfect Best” or “Ultimate Best Collection” shouldn’t have a flat and boring menu screen. At the same time, it shouldn’t be too flashy. Bland menu screens can certainly be overlooked on regular releases, but when you throw “Perfect”, “Best”, and other positive superlative adjectives out there, fans expect even the smallest things to give them a sense of “awe.” A nice design that fits the style of the series, coupled with a nice track from the OST, can go a long way in pumping you up for a marathon of your favorite anime on the couch, as you hit that “Play All” button.
Visually, a good example of this would be the picture above, the menu of the first Cardcaptor Sakura movie on Blu-Ray. Fans of the anime will see that it’s stylized to fit with Cardcaptor Sakura, but at the same time doesn’t go so overboard that it looks hard to navigate.
Special CVs and Other Junk
Some of our favorite anime characters become popular enough to guest star in silly promotional videos and variety shows. A complete set of these clips rarely crop up as an extras feature, especially for revitalized releases of anime that aired before the recent decade.
No, seriously, unless someone in Japan recorded these on tape and put them online, they’ve become long-lost gems never to be seen again. It would be nice if companies took a little bit more effort to archive these and add them to these types of releases. For all we know, they aren’t even lost, just sitting in a vault somewhere waiting to be seen again.
“Making of Remastering”
Not much of a rarity compared to the above, but it’s personally still a shame whenever a remastered series collection doesn’t feature a video going over the process of remastering the footage and talking to the staff behind the work as they’re doing it, à la Culture Japan Season 2 Episode 9.
I always found such documentation to be interesting and of course, watching bits and pieces of how everything unfolds in production, as well as the sweat and tears put into it, really makes me appreciate the work put into making an anime. It’s not all shits and giggles.
Would just buying a remastered, complete series set of my favorite anime satisfy me enough as a fan? Of course! Watching your favorite series looking better-than-ever will always be a nice treat. That’s a fact, and I will absolutely enjoy my awesome purchases to death. But being more happy is never a bad thing, and the inclusion of these small (and probably amusing) aspects into a complete series set will at least make me feel sure that I bought a (near-)perfect release of my favorite anime.