studio-ghibli-logo

Full Metal Jackets: All that Glitters Is Ghibli

A flood of new Blu-rays in collectible SteelBook packaging have been announced at a steady clip in recent months. This batch available at UK retailer Zavvi focuses on a quartet of beloved animated classics from Japan’s Studio Ghibli.

The good news on these is that they should be genuine SteelBooks, not the inferior MetalPak variation. Also, unlike its competitor site Play.com (which also tends to get a lot of exclusive Steelbooks), Zavvi will ship to the United States.

The bad news is that all four of these discs will be locked to Region B. Although Zavvi often defaults to listing every Blu-ray as Region B, even those that later turn out to be region-free, the situation in this case is complicated by the fact that the Ghibli titles are distributed by Disney in North America but Studio Canal in Europe.

I had previously imported the UK Blu-ray copy of ‘Ponyo’, which contains the movie’s original Japanese-language soundtrack in uncompressed PCM format (whereas the American release from Disney relegates the Japanese track to lossy Dolby Digital), and I can personally confirm that the disc is Region B locked. It stands to reason that these others will have the same issue.

Also, it’s been reported that some of the video transfers for Studio Canal’s Ghibli discs suffer Digital Noise Reduction problems not found on the American copies. Even if you have a region-hacked Blu-ray player, I have a hard time recommending purchasing any of these SteelBooks (except perhaps ‘Ponyo’) unless you already have the American editions and plan to swap those discs into these metal cases.

Even to that end, the artwork on these SteelBooks, while respectful enough to the films, is a little too basic and doesn’t really excite me. In fact, the earlier ‘Ponyo’ disc I imported came in a nice digipak that I frankly like better than the looks of the below SteelBook. (It appears that the digipak version has since gone out of print. The only other current edition of ‘Ponyo’ available in the UK comes in a standard keepcase.)

Since I already have that ‘Ponyo’ digipak, and the American editions of the other three movies, I think that I’ll pass on these. Other Studio Ghibli fans or SteelBook collectors may feel more excited for these than I do.

‘Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind’

Available at: Zavvi
Release date: Nov. 25th, 2013
Price: £19.99
Region code: Region B locked

Nausicaa SteelBook Full Metal Jackets: All that Glitters Is Ghibli

‘My Neighbor Totoro

Available at: Zavvi
Release date: Nov. 25th, 2013
Price: £19.99
Region code: Region B locked

My Neighbor Totoro SteelBook Full Metal Jackets: All that Glitters Is Ghibli

‘Howl’s Moving Castle’

Available at: Zavvi
Release date: Nov. 25th, 2013
Price: £19.99
Region code: Region B locked

Howls Moving Castle SteelBook Full Metal Jackets: All that Glitters Is Ghibli

‘Ponyo’

Available at: Zavvi
Release date: Nov. 25th, 2013
Price: £19.99
Region code: Region B locked

Ponyo SteelBook Full Metal Jackets: All that Glitters Is Ghibli

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>