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Funimation’s Emulating DVD Packaging
By Marc | August 14th, 2008

After going over ADV’s changing boxart, I realized another company is doing something in regards to their packaging.
Funimation has been emulating DVD packaging styles.
Let’s take a look at what they’ve done.
Now, first thing to mention.  I don’t have an acceptable quality camera to take pictures to show examples, so you’ll have to follow along with me in your head or with your own DVDs if you want to see.  There will still be a few covers shown as examples though.
First look at the DBZ season sets.  These are done like your average season sets.  They are a digipak (folded cardboard with plastic disk trays) with a paper/cardboard slipcover.
Now let’s look at Shin-Chan.  Shin-Chan airs on [adult swim] and it’s packaging emulates the style of [adult swim] DVDs.  It’s a very thin digipak made to hold 2 disks and the cardboard has a bit more of a grainy feel to it.
For their new stuff in boxes and recent re-releases Funimation has been going with the more classy thinpak boxes.  You get a cardstock box, with thinpaks in it.  The rerelease of Yu Yu Hakusho replaced the style of coverart the series had as singles, boxsets, and it’s rerelease in favor of a classier style, even going so far as to alter the logo and style of artwork on the cover to make it look fancier.

On the left you have the first cover from the Yu Yu Hakusho mini boxes that started their release in 2006.
On the right is the new season set recently rereleased.  As you can see the colors used are much more subtle, giving the set a fancy/classy look to it.  Yusuke is doing his ‘spirit gun’ attack on both covers, but the one on the new season set looks noticeably nicer than the ‘show style’ art of the old one.  Then they changed the logo.  In the USA Yu Yu Hakusho has used silvery letters on a blue plate since it first started coming out.  For the new release they kept the text as is, but removed the plate, and changed the color to match the new set.
A step and a hop away from the end we have the Dragonball Z movies re-releases.  The DVD versions of these have been in steelbooks.  Steelbooks are generally seen as high end special editions, or meant for something more than normal.  A few releases that have used steelbooks before are: Spawn The Series 10th Anniversary Edition, the Best Buy exclusive versions of all 4 Die Hard movies and Batman: Gotham Knight, the limited edition versions of Devil May Cry 4, Halo 2, Perfect Dark, and the limited edition versions of Hellsing Ultimate.  Using a steelbook for the DBZ movies gives a specific impression that they are improved and special.
For the last look at Funimation’s specific packaging (and if anyone thinks I’ve missed any, feel free to let me know) we look at new release Sasami: Magical Girls Club- Season 1.  Sasami is a two disk release, so by logic, it should be the same as Funimation’s other recent two disk release Aquarion Part 2 right?  Well, not exactly, Aquarion fits in that more classy thinpak style.  Sasami is in a normal DVD case with both disks in it.  This seems to emulate recent kid’s show releases from Warner Bros.  Shows like Ben 10, Teen Titans, and some of their other ‘this is a kids show season set’ use this exact release type.
Whether it’s all coincidence or Funimation did this all purposely we will likely never know.  It seems a good business decision to use packaging to help make it match the type of product/release the show is though.  I’m curious to see if we will see more emulated packaging styles, because… you know, after doing season sets, doing a fancy series set for long running popular shows is becoming quite popular to do.  Could a gigantic uber DBZ box be a year or so away?

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