Pretty Packaging: Take A Look At The French SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HARLOCK

When we had the idea to start posting galleries of particularly noteworthy disc-releases, we did not intend to make this an exclusively French affair. But the thing is: the French really enjoy pimping the films they love, and even those they are merely fond of. And these things sell as well, there is a healthy market for them, giving distributors extra incentive to pretty-up their releases.

Take this French release for Aramaki Shinji's Space Pirate Captain Harlock, or simply Albator as they call him in France. The film itself has us divided here at Twitch. While it looks gorgeous, and some found it fun (see Peter van der Lugt's review), others think the film is soulless, merely a very long videogame cutscene. So who is going to lavish so much attention to a Japanese 3D-cgi film based on a manga?Well, the French, obviously.

Maybe this shouldn't be a surprise. The television series of Albator was very popular in France, decades ago, the country being very much a frontrunner in Europe when it comes to anime appreciation. Years before any English-friendly releases of Studio Ghibli were available outside of Asia, French-subbed releases were already easy to get.

So guess what happened: French colleagues and friends expressed great enthusiasm for this "Edition Prestige" when I showed it to them, some immediately asking where I bought it. Sadly, I had to tell them it sold out on pre-orders alone, and the going on-line price is easily twice what I paid for it, despite this release being only a few weeks old.

And with a market like that, I think we can rest assured we haven't seen the last of France in this column.
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