Second Anniversary Celebration: Review of Gate Premium Box Set

Introduction

The first review I wrote for Crow’s World of Anime was of Gate’s eighth episode. It was actually the third post, with a preview of the 2015 summer anime season from Crunchyroll being the first post and the summer 2015 preview for Funimation being the second. I thought it might be appropriate to review the Gate Premium Box Set as a celebration of that first review!

Packaging

Gate Premium Edition’s box looks great. It’s very realistic for a cardboard box!

The box looks great! It really looks like an ammo box — so much that I expected to be able to use the handle to open it! The handle’s embossed, but it’s not functional. That doesn’t detract from the impact, though. The color, faux-distressed scratches, and how the box opens contributes to the illusion. See Figure 1.

The box looks so realistic, in fact, that I expected it to be bigger, like a real ammo box. It’s smaller than that, and I’ve included a shot of the open box with Rory Mercury beside it. See Figure 2. It goes without saying, but just to make sure I’m clear: Rory Mercury is not included with the Premium Set! I just thought including Rory in a shot would be a fun way to set perspective.

I’m not sure how well you can see it in Figure 2, but the box is lined with foam rubber. It keeps the contents nice and snug! It also protected the contents during shipment.

Figure 2: Rory Mercury helps you see that the box is a little smaller than one would expect, given how realistic it looks.

The box contains four things:

  1. The Blu Ray edition of Gate. The box contains three discs that hold all 24 episodes plus extras. The extras include a musical montage of the series, title-less openings, title-less endings, and some of the television advertising spots. I like the artwork of the characters on the disc’s labels (see Figure 3).
  2. The DVD edition: I think this is the same content spread across 5 discs. I say “think” because I’ve focused on the Blu Ray, since it looks so much better!
  3. Hardbound art book. The book’s jam-packed with lots of art. The first section describes all 24 episodes. It also includes a section that describes all of the characters. When I say “all,” I mean even bit characters like the “Gullible Old Man” who tried to kill Lelei la Lalena late in the series. See Figure 4. It also includes an extensive, and I mean extensive, discussion of the military technology used in the series. The series prided itself on military accuracy, and the geek in me enjoyed learned more about the kinds of equipment the JSDF used. It doesn’t stop there: the section talks about the heavier equipment like tanks and airplanes, as well as military tactics and politics.
Figure 3: The Blu Ray cover art showcases the main characters.

What’s in the Box in the Box?

In Figure 2, you’ll notice that beside the art book, there’s a box. It contains the extra goodies, some of which are very cool. See Figure 5. The contents are:

  1. Set of postcards: There are six glossy postcards with shots of the characters. All six are two-sided, so there are twelve pictures total. See Figure 6 for an example.
  2. Military patch: According to Wikipedia, the patch is for an OR-3 or “leading private.” According to the handy-dandy hardbound art book, that means it’s the insignia for Hitoshi Furuta, Daiki Azuma, Daisuke Tozu, or Hayato Sasagawa. I wonder why they didn’t go with a commissioned officer’s rank?
  3. Imperial flag: It’s a good reproduction of the imperial flag. Decent size, too: about 24 includes wide by 16 includes tall.
  4. Replica of Rory’s Axe: It’s not as large as the axe that comes with Rory’s figure (see figure 7). It’s not as large, but it’s made of metal, and it has a good level of detail. I’m pretty sure I could use it as a letter opener if I wanted (and I don’t!).
Figure 4: The hardbound art book contains a wealth of information about the series — even minor characters!

Of the items in the box (that’s in the box), I think my favorite’s the postcards. It captures some character moments that I enjoyed remembering.

Is the Premium Box Worth It?

One obvious way to approach the question is to answer another: did you like the series? Since it’s one of my favorites, it was easy to at least consider the premium box. I liked almost everything about the series, from the mechanics like pacing and world-building to the more artistic aspects like the artwork and the characters. The premium set helped me explore some of those. The hardbound art book, for example, has a ton of information about the episodes, characters, and technologies from the series. It’s on high-quality paper, too. All by itself, it almost justified the cost of the premium set.

Figure 5: The Extras box contains some interesting goodies — especially the postcards and the replica of Rory’s axe.

The patch didn’t appeal much to me. I’m still wondering why it’s for a “leading private;” not that there’s anything wrong with that, because that rank’s important in a military unit. Rather, I don’t understand why the patch doesn’t represent the rank of one of the main characters like Yōji Itami. On the other hand, it was well-sewn. It’s a quality piece of merchandise.

The flag as a solid “okay” for me, and I get that they couldn’t exactly include a Japanese flag — what with nationalism running the way it is nowadays.

The axe was detailed and made of metal, so it wasn’t just cheap molded plastic. It’s detailed matched what came with the figure I have of Rory Mercury, even if it was a little smaller. So it was a worthwhile addition to the set.

So was it worth it? For me, it was! If you’re interested, Amazon’s selling it here. If you loved the series but don’t think the extras in the Premium Box would deepen your enjoyment, you can also buy the standard Blu Ray from Amazon. The DVD’s also available.

Figure 6: The postcards are printed on high-quality stock and capture some beautiful character moments.

Did you buy the Premium Box Set? Or did you enjoy Gate? Let me know in the comments!

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Post Author: tcrow