To read Part 2, my thoughts regarding the performances of this DVD, click here.
Hi everyone. :) Here is my pretty timely post on Sakamoto Maaya's most recent concert DVD, Countdown Live 2012-2013 - Tour "Mitsubachi" Final (release date: 06/13/13) - a recording of the last tour date of her holiday tour back in December 2012. Before I get into anything, I want to say that this post is going to follow the same format as my Singer-Songwriter review: that is, it is going to be split into two parts. The first, which you're reading right now, is going to focus on the first press bonus details and have a lot of pictures. The second, which I will link here when it's up, is going to focus on my opinions/reactions to the performances/other features of the DVD.
Anyway, I am still basking in the natural high that I get every time a Sakamoto package finally arrives in the mail (lol). The time between preordering and actually receiving feels like forever sometimes! But this past Sunday, I finally got the much-anticipated email saying my package was shipped out (again, I love how early CDJapan sometimes sends out preordered products in relation to their actual release dates - this one was shipped out on 06/10 when the release date wasn't until 06/13). And then, when I was ready to go walking yesterday, I saw this...
|Yay for packages!|
I don't know how I managed to put off opening it until after my walk, but I somehow did. And then I tore through the tape/seals, sore arm from surgery and all, and was greeted by this:
My day was made when I saw my copy of Sakamoto Maaya's Countdown Live 2012-2013 - Tour "Mitsubachi" Final DVD.
Now, in the past, the bonuses for first press editions have ranged from posters to booklets to small themed objects. I realized when I opened my package and saw nothing more than the packaging encasing the DVD that I had no idea what CDJapan posted in terms of this release's first press details. As such, I wasn't sure what it was that I would be looking for. So, I decided to recheck the website, where there's usually a brief description of the first press bonuses on the product page, and saw that the only details listed were "special packaging." I am going to say now, since I only have the first press edition and have yet to run a Google search on this, that I'm not sure where the first press edition bonuses start and end in relation to the regular edition of the DVD. I will of course be showing everything anyway but yeah - I'm not sure if the regular edition is just the plastic DVD box with the DVD discs inside, or if they are both encased in sturdy cardboard packaging and differ in other ways, etc.
Enough text - onto pictures! :D
|LEFT: Front of the sealed DVD.|
RIGHT: Back of the sealed DVD.
|The side of the sealed DVD.|
The DVD came in three 'layers' of packaging. The first, shown above, was a plastic wrapping most likely used to protect the second layer, a removeable 'sleeve'/paper 'band' with information and snapshots from the concert. Sakamoto's Live2011 "In the Silence" DVD was packaged in much the same way, actually. A closer shot of the sleeve after the plastic wrapping is removed is shown below:
|LEFT: The packaging with the 'sleeve' on.|
RIGHT: The packaging with the 'sleeve' removed, as well as a partial closeup of the 'sleeve' itself.
The first thing that is visible upon opening the packaging is a booklet which, when removed, reveals an additional interesting item and the whole point of the product - the DVD case/discs themselves.
|LEFT: The packaging as it appears when it is initially opened.|
RIGHT: The packaging once the top booklet is removed.
I suppose I'll just describe the items in the order that I investigated them, which was pretty straightforward. The first item I looked through was the booklet which, to my surprise, had one more little bonus inside: a sticker of the tour logo.
|The booklet opened to reveal the tour logo sticker inside.|
|A closeup of the sticker.|
The booklet itself is labeled "Mitsubachi Diary" with the years "2012 -> 2013" in larger text. As implied by the title, the booklet is like a chronological picture-book of the entire tour. Though most of the 'bigger' (two-page wide) pictures are from the final tour date - that which is recorded on the DVD - there are a few pages with smaller collections of photos that seem to be taken throughout the entire tour. In fact, the diary begins with an incomplete calender of December (shown partially in the picture above and in totality in a picture coming up soon below) and ends with a completed version from when the tour has finished. I find this booklet to be a perfect companion to the documentary on the second of the two DVD discs (I will delve into the documentary further during Part 2 of this review).
Before moving on to the rest of the first press/packaging details, I have a few pictures that I took of the pages inside the booklet to share:
|The same calender from an earlier picture. This is the incomplete calender that starts the diary.|
|One of the collection of smaller photos. The one on the bottom left of the left page is so funny - it's the bass guitarist dressed as a reindeer for the Christmas performance. x]|
OK - now for pictures of the interesting item mentioned earlier.
|A closeup of the text on the item is shown in the bulk of the picture above, while a smaller picture in the top-right corner gives full view of the item (still enclosed in plastic wrap).|
When I first saw this, I had no idea what it was. Initial thoughts were that it was a pen or pencil, and I thought that was pretty neat and decided that, if my assumptions were true, I would use it sparingly to preserve the ink in it (that's a strange set of three words to have in a row o.O). Then when I looked at the bottom of the item, I saw that there was a hole in it and that it looked somewhat paper-y (no picture of this, sorry!), so I thought instead, "Oh, maybe it's a miniature poster or banner."
...Those of you who have already seen the product page of the Blu-ray version of this release probably think I'm a total dunce, but I am prepared to defend myself!
a) That second image on the Blu-ray product page may not have been there until recently! and...
b) Even if it was there the entire time, I don't own a Blu-ray player and had no reason to view the Blu-ray product page (though I do think I viewed it months ago out of curiosity and, if that's true, then I can say for a FACT that there was no picture of the little extras on there!!!)
Anyway, for those of you who weren't spoiled by the link above, when I finally took the little object out of its plastic wrap I discovered that it was an adorable baby flag (because every inanimate object that's smaller than average is a baby to me)! Isn't it cute?!
|Baby flag! :D|
I was really happy something like this was included because, well, aside from being more unique than a pen, it kind of felt like a connection to the actual concert, where people were able to get bigger versions of it that they (including Sakamoto) were waving in the end during the final performance of "Dekoboko March (Tairetsu wa Kimi ni Tsuzuku)." Not surprisingly, then, this is my favorite of all the extras.
Last to talk about is the plastic DVD case and what comes inside. Nothing too special here - in fact I think it's safe to assume that none of the following are first press bonuses (surely not the discs themselves, HA!) - but I have pictures regardless.
The plastic DVD case matches the sturdy cardboard box shown earlier, only the back has typical information, including a breakdown of what is provided on each of the two DVD discs inside and some small pictures from the final concert.
|LEFT: Front of the plastic DVD case.|
RIGHT: Back of the plastic DVD case.
Here are closeups of the disc breakdowns, for those interested:
|Breakdown of what's on Disc 1.|
|Breakdown of what's on Disc 2.|
The following is what the inside of the plastic DVD case looks like when opened:
|The open DVD case with the information booklet tucked in place.|
|The two discs once the booklet is removed.|
In addition to the two DVD discs, there is a thinner information booklet with the performance list, pictures from the final concert, pictures of the performers, and credits. Again, nothing surprising here. I took a few pictures of the pages from this booklet as well:
|The performance list from inside the information booklet.|
|I wanted to include a picture of the two pages dedicated to images of the performers because I think they all did an amazing job. :)|
And that's it! That is the last of the pictures I have to share with you from Sakamoto Maaya's Countdown Live 2012-2013 - Tour "Mitsubachi" Final DVD! (That's a mouthful, isn't it, lol?) I hope this post was enjoyable, if not helpful, and want to thank you for stopping by as always. If anyone can elaborate on what is and isn't a first press bonus of the extras discussed in this post, please feel free to do so in the comments below.
Here's to our own, current countdown...to the release of Sakamoto Maaya's next single, Hajimari No Umi, to be released 07/31/13. ;) 'Til next time! ('<>')>
Stay tuned for Part 2 - my opinions/reactions to the content on both discs from this release.
P.S.: I was singing Sakamoto Maaya songs last night/this morning at 2 A.M. when I was 'embossing' the pictures for this post with my blog's beautiful URL. I'm not saying I typo'd the URL for sure, because I haven't bothered to check every single picture, but if I did, then you know why. =P