Pretty Packaging: The French Collectors’ Edition of SHERLOCK HOUND

The films of legendary anime creator Miyazaki Hayao get plenty of attention, and rightly so. The man is one of the few true cinema geniuses the world has, and even better: he’s still alive and creating a new film. Rejoice!

That very fame makes it a bit surprising that so little of his television work is easily available. I’d pay good money for a Blu-ray of the episodes of Lupin III he made with his regular partner-in-crime, the late Takahata Isao. I’d pay good money AND rob some people to own an English-friendly Blu-ray of the Future Boy Conan series.

One of Miyazaki’s works that DID manage to get released in the West was his 1984 series Sherlock Hound, a take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous Sherlock Holmes stories, but a version in which all characters are antropomo… anthro… played by creatures. DVD boxsets have been released in 2010 and 2014 but are now very much out of print and sought after.

France tends to be a bit ahead of the English-language territories when it comes to anime, and last Christmas the French distributor Black Box released a remastered high-resolution Blu-ray DVD combo edition of Sherlock Hound, simply called Sherlock Holmes there, as the French assume people will notice the difference with any live-action human versions anyway. This release has amazing visuals and some nice extras, including a 200-page art book. Alas, no English dub or subs, so once again it pays to be polyglot.

That boxset also looks mighty fine, and carries a decent price tag nowadays, so… time to train my French subtitle-reading skills! And here are some pictures of the set. Click on the edge of the pictures to scroll through them, or at the center of each to see a bigger version.

And here it is: a nicely decorated cardboard box.

Opening the lid reveals that the box is completely full, no fillers or cheating involved.

The contents: two digipaks, a set of 5 oversized art cards, and the art book.

All Contents spread out. Each digipak contains one Blu-ray and two DVDs.

The reverse sides of the digipaks.

The art book. At 200 pages, it’s a very nice addition to this set, and a stellar extra for fans of Miyazaki’s artwork.

In it are design sketches, backgrounds, conceptual art, and the bulk of the book is taken up by storyboards.

The (back) end. That’s a very fine release, Black Box! Now please hurry up and do Future Boy Conan next…

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