Today, after some customs delay and courier problems, I finally received the first volume of Tears to Tiara. Having got a PS3, I chose the Blu-Ray version (priced 8,192 yen, quite steep if you hear me): as I preordered it soon enough, I got the first presse edition, which, according to CDJapan, was comprised of a “deluxe outer case”, a “stick poster” and a booklet, in addition to the Blu-ray itself.
This is how it looked after unpacking:
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The “deluxe outer case” is in fact a cardboard case which is quite large. Perhaps too large for its contents when we look inside:
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As you can see, we have here a rather thin artbook, the famous “stick poster”, and the BD itself. The rest of the box is filled by cardboard to keep things in place. Not the best deal for 8000+ yen, indeed.
The artbook contains interviews with the staff, details about the places, and information on the characters. Here is an example (badly taken photo) showing a part of Arawn’s profile:
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The “stick poster” is quite long once unfolded, and is an illustration of Morgan and Octavia, done by the series’ character designed, but colored in a way that reminds more of the game:
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And now to the BD itself. Video is encoded at 1080p (quite nice!) but the audio is classical stereo without any bells and whistles. I wonder what the buyers of the non-first press version get, because inside there is absoultely nothing save a promotional sheet and the disc. Once loaded on my first-generation PS3, the disc played normally, and indeed at 1080p. It’s quite nice to view the opening in HD format.
The menus inside are terrible. They only offer chapter selection, a “play all” feature and an “information” link which plays some commercial of related Aquaplus anime adaptations, namely To Heart 2 (the upcoming OAVs) and Utawarerumono (again OAVs that should be out very soon). Sadly, this is on par with the rest of the offerings from other Japanese companies (and most Western anime publishers, too): the disc is simply a container, and nothing else is offered. I could understand if the price was lower, but at 8000 yen and more it’s simply unacceptable.
What about the content? Weil, I like it of course. The anime is very faithful (save some minor changes in recent episodes) to the game and thus I’m enjoying it qute a bit. I haven’t watched the episodes closely yet, but I doubt there will be any “redone” parts in this volume (I was hoping for specials a la Utawarerumono, but oh well…). Hopefully I’lll be able to write a little more (time permitting) once I finish watching it.