A lot of the charm in picking up freshly localised niche Japanese games is seeing the kinds of goodies and collectibles that go into their inevitable collectors edition releases. Idea Factory hasn’t been slacking at all in this field, putting out wonderful limited edition boxes for recent releases like Death end re;Quest and DATE A LIVE: Rio Reincarnation.
They’ve pulled out all the stops with their latest title, though. The limited edition box for Azur Lane: Crosswave is bigger and better than anything they’ve done so far, packing in a bunch of unique collectibles that are sure to get the wallets of any ship-girl enthusiasts howling.
The box itself is a gorgeous collectible in its own right, with the beautiful key-art of the game printed on top and some slick logos on the sides of the top cover. The inside layer of the box has just as much detail, with the emblems of the four nations represented in-game printed on either side of the box. Once you dig into the box, you’re immediately greeted by… another box! This one is smaller, thinner, and made of metal though. It’s a steelbook case for Azur Lane: Crosswave, and it is absolutely gorgeous. A lot of steelbook cases tend to go for an ultra minimalistic look, but Idea Factory blasts their steelbooks with gorgeous colour and full on artwork. The steelbook here features the formidable duo of new characters on the front, Shimakaze and Suruga, while the back has illustrations of a couple of Siren enemies on it.
Inside an even smaller case is the official soundtrack of the game, boasting 16 tracks and more gorgeous artwork on the inside and outside of the jacket. Aside from the cover art of the game being the same as the art on the top of the main box, there isn’t any repeated artwork across all of the materials in this collection, so you’ve got a lot of unique and colourful illustrations to drool over while you’re listening to the exciting music of the game.
If you want even more art to peruse, then the included artbook will be right up your alley. While I’m not usually a fan of the miniature, coffee-table sized artbooks that tend to come in limited edition video game releases, the 100-page Nautical Debriefing book for Azur Lane: Crosswave is packed with an incredible collection of concept art and design work that I absolutely loved flicking through. There’s a massive amount of characters in this game, and they’re all accounted for in this book with multiple pages of wonderful, behind the scenes illustrations.
Perhaps one of the most unique collectibles in this entire box is the adorable little figure of protagonist Shimakaze. Clocking in at just shy of 4″ tall, this isn’t a particularly big figure, but it also isn’t exactly keychain-sized. The adorable PVC collectible has a tiny display platform and a head that swivels around on a ball joint, adding just a touch of flexibility to the figure. It’s rare to see figures included in limited editions, and the detail on this one is fantastic. The paint job is crisp and the sculpting is absolutely perfect, making this one of the best parts of the package.
To top it all off, there’s a special standee art card that features illustrations of three iconic Sakura Empire characters. The acrylic standee of Takao, Atago, and Yamashiro is about 6″ wide and 4″ tall, which is pretty big for an acrylic standee. They’re joined by a set of three adorable enamel pins of Javelin, Ayanami, and brand new character Suruga. These 2″ pins are made of hard enamel and have two pin-backings, ensuring they’ll survive even the roughest of conditions on your favourite bag or jacket.
There’s a lot to love in this limited edition release of Azur Lane: Crosswave, and you can tell that the team at Idea Factory really cared about making this package as much of a fan-pleaser as possible. Standard items like the soundtrack and steelbook look stellar, but I’m really blown away by more unique inclusions like the Shimakaze figure. If you’re a fan of Azur Lane at all, this box is packed full of stuff that you’re going to want to get your hands on.