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Shelf Life - Chihayafuru Season 1


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angelmcazares
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:34 am Reply with quote
article wrote:
The dub makes a smart decision by keeping the poetry lines in Japanese during the karuta matches

Thank you for doing this Sentai. Things could have gone very wrong if you had attempted to dub the poem reading.
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fathomlessblue



Joined: 28 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:23 am Reply with quote
An excellent series, I'm super happy it's finally seeing an official release. I've only seen a few episodes dubbed so far, but it's pretty solid. I'm still not entirely convinced by Taichi's performance but maybe he'll grow on me.

I will say for anyone considering, maybe just go for the standard edition over Sentai's premium set. I bought it primarily due to the boxed art and came away extremely disappointed. Even putting aside the rest of the extras, which are glorified trinkets and pieces of card over anything substantial like an art book or production notes, that box is easily the most cheaply made product that I've ever encountered from an anime company. It's made out of thick cardboard, complete with ribbed surface, while the actual artwork is a slightly washed-out ink print with no surface gloss. It feels like it was put together on someone's home printer, which considering Sentai, wouldn't be the biggest shock. Also there's a gap space in the set, presumably for the second season, but it seems like they expect you to buy both the blu ray and dvd disks separately in order to fill it up.

I've bought dozens of collectors boxes over the years from the likes of Funimation, Nozomi, Anime Limited, NISA and ADV, but I've never encountered a so-called premium edition as underwhelming as this. I honestly feel slightly conned. Well, fool me once, Sentai...
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angelmcazares
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:38 am Reply with quote
fathomlessblue wrote:
I've bought dozens of collectors boxes over the years from the likes of Funimation, Nozomi, Anime Limited, NISA and ADV, but I've never encountered a so-called premium edition as underwhelming as this. I honestly feel slightly conned. Well, fool me once, Sentai...

You must be very lucky and have bought only the good Funimation LE/CE releases because they have released crap LE's in the past like the Darker Than Black BD set and the Cowboy Bebop vinyl-style release. I am surprised you think this Sentai LE for Chihayafuru is underwhelming; most fans seem to really like Sentai LE's.
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fathomlessblue



Joined: 28 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:08 pm Reply with quote
angelmcazares wrote:
You must be very lucky and have bought only the good Funimation LE/CE releases because they have released crap LE's in the past like the Darker Than Black BD set and the Cowboy Bebop vinyl-style release. I am surprised you think this Sentai LE for Chihayafuru is underwhelming; most fans seem to really like Sentai LE's.


I admit to being fairly lucky regarding Funi's releases. If I had backed their Escaflowne kickstarter, chances are I wouldn't be anywhere near as positive. Still, in terms of sets like Steins Gate or Jellyfish Princess, they've served me well so far.

I feel it's probably unfair to judge Sentai's premium editions collectively, as there doesn't seem much consistency between them. I could understand why people might have a positive reaction to their plastic Food Wars bento box, or the metallic ammunition case Gate is housed in. However, in terms of producing a fairly standard thick card box design, they've been left extremely wanting in this case. Even putting aside subjective things like extras, which I already knew about before making my purchase, I shouldn't be spending $130 on a $200 srp set, only for it be significantly inferior compared to the $40 copies of One Punch Man and (UK) Berserk Blu Ray set that arrived the same day. Maybe they need to look at the manufacturers their competitors are using and take a leaf from their book. This set feels like it was produced in-house with much more limited means, and in no way matches the asking price.

Naturally, I'm not telling people to avoid buying the physical Chihayafuru release; it's a damn good show and deserves to be supported. However, in this instance, I would recommend going the standard route. Maybe Sentai will get their act together and improve on their processes in the future, but as it currently stands, I'm staying far away from their traditional boxed designs until I hear otherwise.
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angelmcazares
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:45 pm Reply with quote
fathomlessblue wrote:
Maybe Sentai will get their act together and improve on their processes in the future, but as it currently stands, I'm staying far away from their traditional boxed designs until I hear otherwise.

I think you are being very harsh on Sentai. I have bought 4 LE's from them, and I am satisfied with the overall quality; the housing boxes are sturdy and of good quality. I agree that their boxes are not perfect, and I would be in favor of standardizing the style of their premium sets.

But the bottom line is that fans, at least the fans in NA, seem to really like Sentai LE's, and from the high demand of sets like Chuunibyou S1 and Monster Musume, their premium sets initiative is a big success. That to me sounds like Sentai has their act together and know what anime fans like to buy.
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fathomlessblue



Joined: 28 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:49 pm Reply with quote
angelmcazares wrote:
I think you are being very harsh on Sentai. I have bought 4 LE's from them, and I am satisfied with the overall quality; the housing boxes are sturdy and of good quality. I agree that their boxes are not perfect, and I would be in favor of standardizing the style of their premium sets.

But the bottom line is that fans, at least the fans in NA, seem to really like Sentai LE's, and from the high demand of sets like Chuunibyou S1 and Monster Musume, their premium sets initiative is a big success. That to me sounds like Sentai has their act together and know what anime fans like to buy.



At the end of the day I’m paying money to support their product and judging it accordingly. I don’t feel there’s any inherent harshness to that. Sentai have never been my favourite licensor, but even when they’ve done things to annoy me (Penguindrum’s dub/titles, Shirobako’s 12 episode/1 disk release), I’ve still bought their releases when they had something I wanted. I’ve always seen them as a fairly barebones company, releasing simple disk only sets, often without extras or dubs for a reasonable price. I might sometimes wish a show I particularly like received slightly better treatment, but I can’t fault their business model.

However, if their new strategy is to follow the market demand for deluxe editions, they need step away from such cost-cutting means if they want to stay competitive. You seem happy enough with your purchases, so maybe my case is an aberration. Maybe their focus on unique, specialised sets also results in inconsistent quality per product. I don’t know. However, if the most expensive box set (per run-time) I’ve bought also has easily the lowest quality of 41 other hard cardboard anime sets from various other companies, I have every right to judge them for it. At the end of the day, I’m a consumer before I’m a supporter of their company. I’m not going to keep giving them my money for a product I feel is inferior to the norm, in the hopes they might eventually improve. They need to create a product that their customer base want to support, not the other way round.

Again, if you and others seem happy with some of their releases then Sentai’s product are clearly working in some instances. I won’t be hurling abuse at their twitter account or trying to arrange a mass-boycott of their catalogue. However as a consumer I have the right to candidly talk about my views on the worth of their individual products without being blindsided by sympathy or sentimentality to the corporation behind it.
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angelmcazares
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:42 pm Reply with quote
fathomlessblue wrote:
However, if their new strategy is to follow the market demand for deluxe editions, they need step away from such cost-cutting means if they want to stay competitive. You seem happy enough with your purchases, so maybe my case is an aberration.

My question is why do they need to improve? Who are they exactly competing with? In NA at least Sentai has more or less become the best company at doing premium anime disc releases. Funimation does nice premium releases here and there, but they can be very inconsistent. Aniplex USA and PCUSA do "limited edition" releases, but they are expensive and of not that high quality. Viz can do nice releases, but their release output is so small to be considered a big competitor. NISA's PE's were well received, but right now they are virtually out of the anime market.

Quote:
They need to create a product that their customer base want to support, not the other way round.

Like I said before, fans seems to really like and want to buy Sentai LE's. If the products sell well, where is the need to improve.

Quote:
However as a consumer I have the right to candidly talk about my views on the worth of their individual products without being blindsided by sympathy or sentimentality to the corporation behind it.

Of course you have that right. I am just saying that your expectations are not in line with what the majority of consumers seem to be satisfied with.
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CatSword



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:28 pm Reply with quote
Chihayafuru is the kind of show that can work for almost anybody that'd give it a chance in my opinion.

I watched it several years ago, as a twelve-year-old boy who didn't enjoy sports and had never seen a josei before. Still loved it.
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TasteyCookie



Joined: 19 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:10 pm Reply with quote
With all due respect angelmcazares, it does seem like you are just attacking them because they said something negative about Sentai. Which wouldn't be the first time on here :/ I absolutely love Sentai's CE's (I have purchased 8 in the past year and a half) but they do vary a ton in quality. Some of them have been absolutely fantastic (Monster musume, Food wars, DanMachi) while other very underwhelming (IMO: HoTD, Chivalry of a Failed Knight, Amagi Brilliant Park.) They are still my favorite CE's for the most part, but sometimes the expensive Aniplex releases are nicer with just the provided art cards or on disc extras such as Gurren Lagan.

I appreciate the opinion of owners like fahomlessblue because Chihayafuru is a show I have never seen but am greatly interested in. I debated on buying the CE but wanted to see some opinions on it before taking the plunge. Of course I'll be looking at other reviews as well but for now I'll probably end up getting the standard release.
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dragonrider_cody



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:58 pm Reply with quote
Okay, the Penguindrum "dubtitles" rumor needs to stop...lol. Making the English dub script little more than a straight read through of the subtitles was not a good decision, but saying they are "dubtitles" is highly inaccurate. The one slipped up line hardly ruins all of the subtitles.

Also, I have to say that I was a bit surprised by the style they went for with the collector's set. It does give it an interesting rustic/older look, which can work in this case. I still prefer my Danmachi and Amagi Brilliant Park sets though, which have been my favorites so far. I can understand not putting as much into the Chihayafuru set, as the show is clearly a bit more niche.

While I may not entirely appreciate the textured appearance of the box, it's at least sturdy and feels well made. That's far more important to me, and it doesn't feel as though the artwork will peel off anytime soon. The collector's sets I have from Funimation have all mostly warped or started to peel at the corners. Meanwhile, I still have old ADV and a Geneon boxes that look almost brand new.
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:11 pm Reply with quote
fathomlessblue wrote:
..while the actual artwork is a slightly washed-out ink print with no surface gloss. It feels like it was put together on someone's home printer...


This part bothers me. Never understood why US distributors rely so much studio supplied, low quality scans for packaging when there's often a wealth of artwork out there owned by private parties, drawn by the studio staff, that could be used instead. I have a lovely sketch of Chihaya drawn by Morio Asaka when he was last at Anime Expo that has been publicly viewable for years in my online gallery, and had Sentei asked to have used it for their packaging, I would have gladly supplied a high res scan for their use for free.

I know of several anime art collectors who feel the same way. A lot of us would love the chance to help to make a better quality product for everyone instead of fugly DVD/Blu-Ray covers of older anime.
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RDespair



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:01 am Reply with quote
Is there any way to buy a digital copy of Chihayafuru? Don't want to subscribe to Crunchyroll just for one series and I prefer digital copies to physical ones.
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dragonrider_cody



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:37 am Reply with quote
Cutiebunny wrote:
fathomlessblue wrote:
..while the actual artwork is a slightly washed-out ink print with no surface gloss. It feels like it was put together on someone's home printer...


This part bothers me. Never understood why US distributors rely so much studio supplied, low quality scans for packaging when there's often a wealth of artwork out there owned by private parties, drawn by the studio staff, that could be used instead. I have a lovely sketch of Chihaya drawn by Morio Asaka when he was last at Anime Expo that has been publicly viewable for years in my online gallery, and had Sentei asked to have used it for their packaging, I would have gladly supplied a high res scan for their use for free.

I know of several anime art collectors who feel the same way. A lot of us would love the chance to help to make a better quality product for everyone instead of fugly DVD/Blu-Ray covers of older anime.


They can also use artwork that is authorized by the producers. While it's not entirely impossible that they could have used it, it would required getting permission from the artists and production committee. Some will not approve art work that isn't officially supplied by them.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:23 am Reply with quote
TasteyCookie wrote:
I appreciate the opinion of owners like fahomlessblue because Chihayafuru is a show I have never seen but am greatly interested in.

Do you only watch dubs? If not, you could have watched Chihayafuru on Crunchyroll at any time in the past five years. If you're willing to watch subs and live in a region served by CR, I don't understand the logic of waiting for a physical release.
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fathomlessblue



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:36 am Reply with quote
Cutiebunny wrote:
This part bothers me. Never understood why US distributors rely so much studio supplied, low quality scans for packaging when there's often a wealth of artwork out there owned by private parties, drawn by the studio staff, that could be used instead. I have a lovely sketch of Chihaya drawn by Morio Asaka when he was last at Anime Expo that has been publicly viewable for years in my online gallery, and had Sentei asked to have used it for their packaging, I would have gladly supplied a high res scan for their use for free.


Just to clarify, the problem I had wasn't with image itself, which seemed to have a resolution perfect for boxed art packaging. It was more that the surface of the cardboard and the ink used to print on it was much lower quality than the standard, resulting in the translucent pigments of the watercolour design having a more faded or washed out appearance, rather than the striking ethereal vibrancy you expect from such artworks. The issue was purely down to the manufacturing standards, not the asset itself.
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