Editor, Europe; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)


As a most splendid surprise (even though he announced it beforehand!) GhibliWorld's own Peter van der Lugt wrote us a magnificent DVD-review after receiving his PAPRIKA JAPANESE LIMITED EDITION BOX SET!!

He already posted this in the "reviews" part of our forum, but it's too good not to put it on the main page for everyone to see.

So here it is! The stage is yours, Peter:

Finally, Satoshi Kon’s latest film Paprika, which I enjoyed so much during various film festivals this year, has been released on DVD. On R2JP DVD that is. Reason enough for this little DVD review in which I’m not going to tell you how damn good this movie is and why you should buy the DVD. Just search ScreenAnarchy for the various reviews they did and you’ll find out soon enough if you hadn’t already.

May 23rd various editions of Paprika have been released in Japan: a regular edition, a bluray edition, UMD and, like almost all of Kon’s films, Paprika is also available as a limited edition box set which is limited to 5,000 pieces. Unlike the R2JP editions of his previous films, none of the Paprika releases come with English subs, which is indeed a major let down, but there are still enough reasons for non-Japanese Kon fans to buy the limited edition box set of Paprika anyway.



I’ll keep it nice and short. This is what animation is meant to be. There’s quite an amount of anime on the market which is simply bad and gives anime a bad name. However, Paprika is far from like that, it's in a league of its own: animation haters might even love it.
Search ScreenAnarchy for a plot outline and more info, there are numerous pieces to tell you all about it.

Presented in its original aspect ratio and enhanced for 16x9 displays, the anamorphic widescreen transfer is gorgeous. Paprika looks excellent from start to finish. The film's color palette is crisp and clear and during various dark scenes the black level is good without losing detail. Also, during fantasy scenes the color palette is often highly saturated, but no blooming or color bleeding is to be found. As to be expected of an animation which was digitally made there isn’t anything to complain about. One can imagine the bluray version in 1080p will look even better.

In terms of audio Paprika comes with two options: a Dolby Digital 5.1 track and a DTS 5.1 track. I was a little amazed they didn’t include a DTS-ES 6.1 track, but the soundtrack sounds as good as perfect anyway. As usual Hirasawa Susumu made the soundtrack, and both audio tracks do it honor: letting you enjoy it as a perfect match for the stunning visuals Kon delivers. Also, concerning the various dialogues, there’s nothing to complain about either.

Bonus Features:
Spread over both discs, there are a number of nice special features that come with the Paprika limited edition box set.

Disc 1 contains a great audio commentary by Kon Satoshi and composer Hirasawa Susumu. Also, there is a 12 minutes long special - The Art of Fantasy – a nice feature in which art director Ike Nobutaka explains how the various backgrounds of Paprika were made. Of course there’s also the obligatory trailers (Paprika Japanese release trailer, Paprika US release trailer, Tokyo Godfathers trailer) and a rather strange feature: a karaoke track that allows you to provide the voice for protagonist Chiba Atsuko.

Disc 2 is a dedicated special features disc with a 30 minutes long Making-of, a 30 minutes special discussion (with Kon, author Tsutsui Yasutaka, and voice actors Furuya Toru and Hayashibara Megumi) and Shooting Paprika with Kato Michiya: a behind the scenes special about the film’s 3D world from the cinematographer’s point of view (15 minutes)





One of the first things you’ll notice is the beautiful packaging with original double sided box art made by Satoshi Kon himself. Inside you’ll find two separate keepcases: one for the movie + some extras, and one for even more extras like described above. In addition the box also contains a nice and interesting 760-page storyboard book including commentary and interviews (note: all in Japanese).

Compared to the box sets of Kon’s previous films the Paprika release is a little bit less impressive. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great set, but there are just some minor things that make you wonder if they had less time to make this edition. For example there is only one box, an outer box which is lovely designed, but the Tokyo Godfathers set came with a beautiful outer plus inner box. The Millennium Actress set even came with an impressive heat sensitive box which changes after putting it under a lamp for a few second. In addition post cards also came with those sets, which in this case are missing.





Final Thoughts:
The R2JP limited edition box set of Satoshi Kon’s Paprika is a great release and a must have for every fan of Kon’s work. Content, PQ, AQ, extras, packaging, it’s all there. The only problem is that it doesn’t contain English subs, not for the film, nor for the extras. Therefore, if you don’t speak Japanese you might want to wait for it to be released with English subs. The Japanese box set of Kon’s previous film Tokyo Godfathers was converted to a UK edition as well, so chances are an English version of the Paprika box set will end up being released somewhere in the future as well. Either way, it’s highly recommended!

Review Info:
This review was made viewing on a Full HD 40” Sony 40W2000 LCD TV, playing on a Harman Kardon DVD47 player with internal scaler scaling it up to 1080i. For audio a Harman Kardon AVR245 7.1 receiver was used with Harman Kardon 7.1 set-up.

Ardvark here again. Here are links:

GhibliWorld, without a doubt one of the best sources for news concerning Ghibli on the Web
Peter's original post in the forum, with clickable pictures (and better editing)
My radiant review:
Todds radiant review:
The Flash-y US site:
Play a bit with the Japanese site and listen to the music:
Click here to see the beautiful French poster, large:

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