Pretty Packaging: FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST Ultimate Edition

Editor, Europe; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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(Anime Limited goes crazy pimping, part III...)

Last week saw a veritable deluge in releases from Scottish distributor Anime Limited, three of which easily qualified for a "Pretty Packaging" article. So on Saturday we showed Miss Hokusai, yesterday we showed the Escaflowne Ultimate Edition, and today we go to the biggest yet: the utterly insane Fullmetal Alchemist Ultimate Edition.

This boxset contains the Blu-ray edition of the original Fullmetal Alchemist series from ten years ago, and that immediately poses the question who would buy this. That series famously got remade entirely in HD a few years later, in a longer version with a different branching story, called Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and that one has easily been available for a while already. So who'd invest in the older version?

Fans. That's who. Fanatical devotees of the original version, collectors, crazy completists... that is the market. So Anime Limited used a business model where, if they would only sell a couple of copies in that limited market, they might as well pimp the edition to high heaven, to make those few copies commercially viable again. And that is exactly what they did.

Early rumors noted that the edition was going to weigh 8 kg (which is 17 lbs), and blimey, those rumors were true. The discs are housed in a resin slipcase-of-sorts which is called "The Gate", and... well, see for yourself. Here is a gallery of shots. Click on the edge of the pictures to scroll through them, or at the center of each to see a bigger version.

And here it is, the resin slipcase known as "The Gate". Less than a thousand of these have been produced, and it's heavy enough for Agatha Christie to use as a murder weapon in one of her novels. It feels and weighs like brick.

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ManateeAdvocateNovember 21, 2016 11:53 AM

That is decadent. I'm not a fan of the series, but that set is breathtaking.

ZetobeltNovember 21, 2016 5:39 PM

That's..... superb!

YojimboNovember 21, 2016 6:48 PM

Mr Manatee have you received and watched your Lone Wolf and Cub Criterion collectors set yet?

Ard VijnNovember 22, 2016 6:50 AM

Apparently I had a massive general knowledge failure last week, but Doug Redway pointed out on our Facebook page that the gate in the series is a copy of (or at least an homage to) Rodin's sculpture "The Gates of Hell":

ManateeAdvocateNovember 22, 2016 7:54 AM

Oh yes. It's wonderful and well worth the upgrade.

YojimboNovember 22, 2016 9:08 AM

Cool beans! can you tell me if the Blu-ray discs are region specific as in US only?
As it is not available here in the UK.

ManateeAdvocateNovember 22, 2016 9:18 AM

I'm so very sorry friend. They are region A. Cue Ard coming in and telling us to stop being stubborn and buy a region free player already. I don't know why I haven't done so yet myself. I've missed out on some wonderful looking UK only releases.

I hope this set gets released in your region someday.

Ard VijnNovember 22, 2016 9:29 AM

I wasn't even... oh, all right, I would have.

YojimboNovember 22, 2016 10:15 AM

So what make and model of Multi region Blu-ray player do you have oh wise one?
Or what would be your recommendation be?

; P

Ard VijnNovember 23, 2016 4:55 AM

You're Netherlands-based, right? There is a company called Stegen Electronics in Rhoon which sells players modded for regionfree, with warranty intact.

Note that making a player regionfree makes it more than double in price; it actually costs less to buy a cheap second player (most people only need A and B). Especially if you already own a Playstation 3 or 4, I'd advise to just buy a Blu-ray player from the other region.

But I like that I have a single machine which plays all three regions. Mine is a modded LG BP550. A modded LG BP350 would be cheaper but the BP550 can do 3D as well. ;-)

YojimboNovember 24, 2016 5:21 PM

No no longer Amsterdamned back living in sunny Scotland where even the CCTV cameras have windscreen wipers on them ; ).
Probably will buy a second player my Sony is old now and whiney like a PS3 which I Suspect it share a lot of it's internal gubbins with.