Limited Edition "The Chikuwabu Box" Review

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Tue 2012/03/20 02:32 JST
I'm Morgan, 26 from Oxford, England. I've always loved Japanese culture, as well as art, videogames, toy collecting, anime and lots of other Japanese TV shows such as Super Sentai and Kamen Rider.
Oxford, England · Sentai Ranger · http://www.morgan-lamia.deviantart.com

As everyone is proooobably aware of by now, I'm a big Fireball fan, so naturally, I couldn't pass up on pre-ordering the limited edition Chikuwabu Box as soon as it popped up. But, what exactly is this "Chikuwabu Box"? Let's dive right in and investigate for ourselves...

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It's a tin! A very pretty tiny at that as well. It's very lovingly been recreated to look just like one of the Zugzwang from the show.

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BOO. (This thing we eat your soul... Or something. Possibly. If it had a mouth.)

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Hell, even the back looks just like a Zugzwang. The detailing of the textures on this tin is just mind blowing, with little scratches, grime, grease, oil, rust and dirt weathering all over it. They did a really great job.

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Let's open her up!

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...And inside we're first greeted with this tray containing not one, but three Zugzwang figures!

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All three Zugzwang are just like their on-screen counterparts from the show.
However, you may notice that they actually have little rubber wheels on the bottom. That's because not only are these very nice little figures, but they're also pull-back toys. You pull them back...

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...And they zoom across any flat surface, just like in the show!

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Let's have a closer look at them though. These is probably my favourite of the three.

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As you can see, they have some great details that match the CG models pretty well. Even all the little panels, bolts and grills are there.

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Here's the blue guy. He's pretty awesome too. He has some kind of gizmo on one arm...

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He also has this pretty cool triceratops logo on his side that I never noticed until now.

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And finally here's Mr Green.

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Don't ask me what those cylinders are on his back, because I have no idea. XD
[small](Also note that tiny, tiny logo and text printed on there...)[small]

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*BOOOOP*

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"Those... whatevers... look WEIRD. Get away from me, you ugly things..."
([small]Yeah, they're not quiiiite in the correct scale for pairing with the Chogokin XD)[small]

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As you may have noticed, they also have simple up-and-down joints in the shoulders, making scorecard holding possible. (With a little tape ;p)

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All in all, these figures are a really great addition to the set. The detailing is great and they're very nicely made. They're also the only Zugzwang merch available so far, and exclusive to this limited edition set too.

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Oh, and they also come with an instruction sheet for those fascinated by pieces of paper.
You may notice that bright blue thing under it too...

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On closer inspection, it's a translucent slipcover for a couple of more things. It's made to look just like a certain scene from the last episode, with all the markings of constellations.

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The back of the case has some great art of some Zugzwang and Yuri. But that's enough of coverart, the real contents are inside.

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A very simple but beautiful artwork on the front, in a nice and perfectly appropriate white blu-ray case.

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A book and a blu-ray O.O Let's take a look at the blu-ray first.

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So very pretty. And inside this slipcover?

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As you probably (hopefully) have already guessed, inside is Fireball Charming on a Drossel-ized blu-ray disc ^^ It looks like there may be more inside, however...

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And you're right, a Gedachtnis DVD and... a soundtrack CD?!

Suprising, right? This audio CD features 16 tracks. Not only does it contain the opening, ending and all of the other music from Fireball Charming, but it ALSO contains all of the music from the first season! O_O (It even has the short music track from the Disney Channel "glowstick" station eyecatch/ident.)

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Going back to the blu-ray, here are the contents. Of course, it includes all 13 episodes of Charming, viewable both individually and with a play-all option and with stereo or surround sound. It also comes with a promo trailer and commercial.

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Unfortunately, I have no way of capturing any screenshots from the blu-ray, but trust me, the picture quality is gorgeous.

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The DVD? That's exactly the same as the blu-ray, but in standard def and no option to choose between stereo and surround.

But wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. What about the book?

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And so we come to the final piece of the Chikuwabu box. The Imoni. As you can see, it's a beautiful little book.

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And by "little", I mean 80 pages, by the way.

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The contents? How about in-depth episode-by-episode guides?

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Very, very, very thorough information and designs for every character, every set and every prop...

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I told you it was thorough. ;) All of the design pages are like this. The level of mechanical design is amazing.

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And how about this? A sample of some of the early designs for Drossel.

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The amount of design sketches and schematics will blow your mind.

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So much detail...

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This is just a few select pages from the 80pg book, just to whet your appetite.

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There's even quite a few little surprises like a music sheet and plenty of information and interviews with cast and crew about every little aspect of the show's creation.

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I love this bike... Unicycle... Thing. I'm still eagerly awaiting the figma-scale version ^o^

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My final conclusion? I think this is a great set.
It's a little on the expensive side at ¥8190, but considering the regular high prices of DVDs and blu-rays over in Japan, plus the fact that you get the whole season on blu-ray, the whole season on DVD, a soundtrack CD, a pretty long book, three very nice figures and a beautiful tin? I think that it's well worth the money.
Downsides? The only thing that I could think of would be the lack of a special bonus feature like the DVDs for Season 1 had. A "making of", even a joke one like last time, would've been very nice. A real making-of would have been awesome.

Final-final conclusion? A recommendation from me, for sure. ^o^

4.5 / 5

If you would still like to own Fireball Charming on blu-ray or DVD without paying quite so high of a price, there's also a regular edition available for ¥3990. However, this is the basic version which only contains the blu-ray and DVD discs, with none of the other awesome stuff.

Posted by

I'm Morgan, 26 from Oxford, England. I've always loved Japanese culture, as well as art, videogames, toy collecting, anime and lots of other Japanese TV shows such as Super Sentai and Kamen Rider.
Oxford, England · Sentai Ranger · http://www.morgan-lamia.deviantart.com