It’s finally here.
A few months ago, I spent 13 hours in an oversized aluminium alloy tube to get to Japan and back so that I could attend Maaya Sakamoto’s 15th anniversary concert at Budokan. A few days ago, the DVD and Blu-ray recordings arrived at my door step. A few hours ago, I finished encoding them into H264 MKV files and went out for ramen.
The first press releases of the DVD and Blu-ray come with a special matt cardboard packaging and a ribbon. Future releases will only come with the plastic DVD case found inside the box. The Blu-ray box is white while the DVD box is black, but I suspect the actual plastic cases have the same cover design. (I don’t have a Blu-ray player, so I only opened the DVD version.)
The ribbon comes in either red, blue or gold colour at random. The gold version is supposedly a “rare” item, but I suspect it’s only there because they ran out of red and blue…
The special box has a cover fold that doubles up as a small photo booklet. It’s pretty decent considering that it’s a freebie for first press buyers.
The DVD casing is a regular plastic case. The front cover art is a photo of Maaya playing the guitar intro for “Get No Satisfaction!!” and the back is a song list.
There’s another smaller booklet of credits and a few photos in the DVD case itself.
The DVD edition comes in two discs. The first disc contains the main concert itself (2hr+) and the second disc contains the encore (40min) and two short specials (behind the scenes footages and Maaya practising the guitar).
The recording is pretty decent, although the Blu-ray version should be even better. I sat pretty far away from the stage during the concert, so it’s nice to finally get to see the performance close-up. But it does kind of miss out on the stage effects.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the most memorable moment for me was this part where all the lights were switched off, leaving a few spotlights trained on Maaya as she was slowly elevated by a mechanical platform in the centre of the stage. When she reached the chorus of Hikari Are (“Let there be light”), the lights came on. This effect is quite unnoticeable in the video because the camera auto compensates for the change in ambient brightness. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.
Refer to my post on the concert for more thoughts.
Watching through the DVDs, I’m actually quite surprised by how much I managed to cover in my last post by memory. I’m usually not very good at remembering details. The only thing that I didn’t catch was when Maaya missed a line of PLATINA.
I also love the MC sessions where Maaya talks about her personal take on life and how she expresses it through her songs. Not all singers can do it the way she does, full of sincerity and meaningful pauses.
The two omake footage on Disc 2 show the lead-up to the big day.
There’s a scene in the encore, where Shoko Suzuki presented Maaya with a surprise birthday cake and Maaya blew the candles while the audience sang Happy Birthday, that was cut from the main recording for some reason. The first omake footage contains a short portion of it starting at around 13:30.
Don’t know why they cut it from the main footage. Maybe they forgot to keep the cameras running… Oh well.