Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Kuroshitsuji Musicals Revisited


Ah, good to see you again. This is my second review about the Kuroshitsuji musical. I really have a great deal of respect for the actors and this production as a whole. So, if you will, please humour me this second time around.

Welcome back, guys, as I once again talk about the Kuroshitsuji musical. But this time is a little different. I’ve actually managed to acquire the DVD! …Or more truthfully, I’ve managed to acquire a DVD, which is trying to pass itself off as an official copy. However, this is just my conjecture. As you all know, I am rather partial to this musical, as it has done great justice to the source material, even with its numerous liberties. However, despite – or maybe because of – my adoration for this production, I am still very critical of this product. Because of that, there will be a great deal of length to this review.

So if you please, join me under the cut for my thoughts.

The DVD ended up coming a week late because of the bad weather we’ve been experiencing here in the states. I’ve been on edge trying to track my packages because I’ll be returning back to Savannah in a few days’ time. Despite my anxiety, I still know that there was nothing that could have been done, and I’m, at the very least, happy that eBay sent out an email about it. I think that’s the one thing that I do find, hm, excusable about this entire ordeal - the weather problems that no one has any control over.

I went to pick up the DVD from the post office, and the packaging came in deplorable condition. I can’t even really call this packaging. It’s just flimsy paper that had been incredibly torn by the time it arrived to me. And I know that this DVD came a long way but really. Thankfully, the inner contents weren’t damaged or in any negative state. The DVD was actually wrapped up nice and tight in bubble wrap. They were very careful to make sure that the bubble wrap was secured and stayed in place during its shipment. For that, I’m grateful.

But, man, I won’t lie. I honestly think that the DVD case is beautiful. The lettering, the oval border, and the outer crosses all have a shimmery texture, and the main lettering and seal are embossed. The front of the DVD just looks so official and is honestly very well crafted. And it’s more or less the same on the back, but I still have a few questions. Past the bilingual text that talks about only the second musical, there are a couple of questionable things there.

There’s a barcode on the back that has two things I don’t usually see: a red marker stricken through and a horizontal cut. I’m not familiar with either of those two being general practices. I’ve never heard of anyone experiencing this either. And that’s what makes it so strange to me. The second thing, which is what I noticed first, is this large seal. It’s labeled “Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wings Eps 1 – 26”. …What. Now I’ve heard of Last Exile, and I’ve never had the opportunity to watch it myself. However, I’ve watched the Kuroshitsuji musical an embarrassing amount of times, and I can assure you that this is not Last Exile.

After loading up the DVD and getting past the scrolling, bilingual copyright warning screen, I was presented with the title menu. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it surely wasn’t something so amateurish. The letters are huge; a little off center, but the music quality is good. In That Butler, Friendship, there are overlapping pictures that haven’t been cropped and cut properly. There are only a two sections to choose from. The subtitle options are right there on the title screen. The screen selection isn’t the best I’ve ever seen. For the first musical That Butler, Friendship, Sebastian is grainy; and the picture of him is shifted over towards the left, so there’s a bit of white space next to him. In The Most Beautiful DEATH in the World, the photo is better. It’s centered; it properly fits the screen, but if anything, it’s still decent to look at. In both DVDs, there are only three scenes to choose from: the scene in the beginning, a scene in the middle, and a scene at the end. They’re not divided by song; pre and post intermission — nothing. Just three moments in time that set apart each section. What’s pretty cool is that each selection shows a bit of each scene, so I think that’s a nice touch.

The presentation is poor at best. And that’s just for lack of a better word.

The subtitles are large and block-like. The video quality isn’t very good at all. In what I do have – in what I have seen, neither musical is exceptionally high definition, but they’re not this. The shared downside to the DVDs and to what I have seen is that neither of them can be put in a larger screen or full sized and maintain that smooth effect. They both get the slightest bit blurry. But there’s a significant difference in what the DVD offers and what those other versions have.

The DVD discs lag; they pixelate; and they blur beyond belief. Sometimes, they just flat out won’t rewind or they do so jerkily, and they don’t go back to the previous scene if you hit your Previous button. There is very, very little I liked about watching this DVD.

Safe to say, I’ve been bootlegged out of some serious money here. I can say that I somewhat expected this, but at the same time, I’m still not pleased about what I got. It wasn't worth the money, but at least I carried some sense of understanding out of this. Disappointed as I am, I'm not sure if I want to even link to the seller or the listing itself.

So I guess I’ll have to wait to get a proper DVD, and even though I’ve seen this production numerous times, I would feel happier with owning my own physical copy somewhere along the line, so long as that’s possible.

If you want to view the full gallery of pictures, then please click here.



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