Recent Pickups: Belladonna of Sadness Collectors Edition (UK Blu-Ray)

This is a unique one, to say the least!

Between 1969 and 1973, a series of three adult anime films conceived by Osamu Tezuka (best known for Astro Boy) were released. These were known as the Animerama triology and consisted of 1001 Nights, Cleopatra and Belladonna of Sadness.

All three films are considered hentai, but I don’t think anyone watches them for arousement. In fact, the first two only received a ’15’ rating from the British Board of Film Classification and the pornographic scenes would be very difficult for most people to enjoy.

Belladonna of Sadness is the only one of the three Animerama films that Tezuka was not directly involved in, so we have director Eeichi Yamamoto to thank for this, and I have to say its the most extreme, weirdest and best of the lot.

The film deals with sexual violence, so if that’s a trigger for you its probably best to avoid it, but I feel its portrayed in a tasteful manner and The Daily Beast even praised it for having a ‘boldly controversial feminist narrative’.

So, that’s a little about Belladonna – now, why am I writing this post?

Last year, Anime Limited released the film on Blu-Ray as a collectors edition only, and it didn’t take long to sell out. The set is now out of print but I was still able to purchase a copy on Amazon, and I would like to share my thoughts on it.

The set comes with a slipcase, the Blu-Ray box itself, six gorgeous art cards and a 22-page information and art booklet. The slip case has no BBFC rating taking up space on the front as that was part of the plastic wrapping instead.

A good amount of information about the film as well as some breathtaking art can be found in the booklet, and the cards are nice to have too – and if you’re curious, four of them are clean while two feature nudity.

Its also worth noting that the back cover on the slipcase peels off to reveal another lovely piece of art, but I’ll be keeping mine on for the sake of completeness.

There’s no shortage of video content either – the disc contains three trailers plus interviews with the four main staff.

As for the Blu-Ray case, its pretty typical for an Anime Limited release. The spine features the company logo, the BBFC rating and a small piece of artwork from the film, the front cover is peaceful and the back contains information like runtime, language and credits.

Overall I’m pretty happy with the extras in this set and I look forward to watching Belladonna in glorious high definition!

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