before about video streaming site Viewster's premium Omakase service. Rather than a straight-up ad-free option, it also sends anime fans a curated box of themed anime merchandise- in the same vein as services like Loot Crate- every other month. The first boxes are about to go out to subscribers this month, but we were lucky enough to get sent one of the launch boxes to preview (thanks Viewster!). So is it worth your money? Read on to find out!
Please note: Unfortunately the final date to order the first box is November 23rd, so if you're reading this after that date you will have missed the first box. However it will still give you a good idea of the kind of stuff you can look forward to if you sign up.
First thing first: it comes in a slickly designed box. Ours was a little scuffed up from the transatlantic trip, but it's not exactly a big deal. The attention to detail is great- even the inside of the box comes printed with nifty designs. All very well you may say, but what about the all important content itself?
The theme for the first box is Trigger's hit series Kill La Kill. When you crack open the box you'll be greeted with a series of treasures staring back at you, like Christmas has come a little early. A menu card- complete with some exceedingly cool art from the series lays out and introduces all your goodies.
The smallest item is a badge/button featuring Guts (the Mankanshoku family's pet dog). Next up is a wristband featuring the iconic three-star design from the anime. If you're familiar with the series you'll understand the design's significance. And if not, then in it's just a wristband with a cool design.
Completely exclusive to Omakase is the Senketsu scarf. It's design is based on lead character Ryuko's now-iconic uniform, but is not so obviously anime merchandise-y that anyone unfamiliar would just likely see it as a perfectly decent scarf design. Unlike in the anime though, this item of clothing is not sentient.. at least we hope not!
The most surprising item however (and it was kept under wraps before the boxes shipped) is... a bath towel of all things (not pictured). Featuring a stylish design featuring the best friend character of Mako, it's definitely a brilliantly off the wall (and very useful) addition. The towel will be available to the public via Great Eastern Entertainment early next year. The Towel seems to be of pretty good quality- and looks awesome.
The box's most high-profile and sought after item however is an exclusive edition of the first volume of the Kill La Kill manga. The first volume (published by UDON) can be picked up from manga stockists everywhere but this gorgeous hardback Gold Foil cover edition is a one-off and exclusive to this box.
As you can see the box offers an impressive selection of goodies, that will certainly appeal to the collector mentality of many anime fans. Of course a key issue is that undoubtedly if you're no fan of Kill La Kill the appeal will be significantly less. But hopefully future boxes will live up to this highly impressive start- and we're looking forward to seeing what other treasure future boxes will hold.
We'd also have to point out that as these are shipped from the States, fans in the UK and Canada have to pay extra delivery and shipping charges on top. This is best considered very much a premium service then- but if you can afford it looks like you won't be disappointed. Bear in mind that paying subscribers will also get additional digital goodies- music, digital comics and more- plus the ad free streaming, with full HD also coming soon.
Omakase certainly offers something very different from it's rivals and based on this inaugural box, we're certainly impressed.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Take a Look Inside Viewster's Omakase Launch Box
Posted by Chris Perkins
Chris writes about movies, games, TV and other stuff you love, and has written for places including MyM magazine, Rant Gaming, KillStreakMedia and Anime UK News. He particularly specialises in the field of animation and spends far too much time watching cartoons for a grown up. He regrets nothing. Follow him at @misterchristor.