I didn’t have high hopes for this show; I will admit that. How to make Geralt combat ready for any situation. So, despite my lack of knowledge of this franchise’s history, I can only come to one conclusion: Sakura Wars the Animation was bad. With its anime stylings and a cast of lovable protagonists, the franchise became a wild hit in Japan before its fate was sealed along with the Dreamcast. The famed Imperial Combat Revue’s Flower Division fights to protect the world from the forces of evil. Total: 66/100 - For the first game since the PS2 title “So Long My Love”, Sakura Wars is an overall entertaining anime troupe game that will keep your attention throughout. Never did I get a sense that Sakura was a strong warrior simply because the story said she was. The plot doesn't even remotely make sense and I didn't mind in the slightest. As a stand-alone product, this series fell flat, and it fell hard. With our current climate of gaming in such a spoiled state of high stature and quality, Sakura Wars see’s itself in a unique situation where it wears many hats in the preeminent categories that Anime inspired title’s have a stronghold over. And even if it had, I was a Nintendo fan during the console wars, so I wouldn’t have been caught dead with a Sega system. What I am getting at is, this review was going to be much more critical. Here is where Sakura Wars the Animation being a sequel comes into play. Comments for this article are now closed. But these are just my thoughts. Leave all the feedback -- positive and negative -- in the comments. I’ve seen cookie-cutter bad guys before, but when they are in a show that is as barebones as this was, it’s all the more irritating. Its members include: After an incident in Russia, the Imperial Combat Revue receive a new and mysterious member, Klara M. Ruzhkova (voiced by Misaki Watada). There was a point where Sakura’s teacher, Hakushu, explained that despite using the young Clara as bait, Clara was always under the constant protection of Hakushu and Sakura. I was unsure what to expect when I decided to take on the new soft reboot of the Sakura Wars franchise. I didn’t know any of this, and though I don’t want to make excuses, can you blame me? Also, be sure to follow James on Twitter @thelofzodyssey for more anime related content. Sakura Wars is firmly dating sim/visual novel first, combat second, as it belongs to a genre of games called 'gal games' - dating sims for heterosexual men. For now, though, Sakura Wars the Animation can be skipped. This sort of humour might be immature to western audiences, but it's a result of a culture that treats bodies in a very different way. In 2009, the series was licensed by Sentai … What's not to love? Also, and this was a big slap in the face, Sakura Wars the Animation’s villain was boring, like so incredibly boring. Original Run: April 3, 2020 - June 19, 2020 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Action, Mecha, Science Fiction Based on the Video Game: Sakura Wars ***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Sakura Wars the … An anime television series sequel produced by Sanzigen premiered on April 3, 2020. Thanks for taking part! While there are many gal games that take dating to misogynistic, demeaning extremes and borderline illegal territory (I drew the line at Tokyo Mirage Sessions, for advertising often misogynistic and borderline illegal practices in a real industry), Sakura Wars remains above board. And if you’ve liked what you read and want more anime content, please follow me at LofZOdyssey Anime Reviews or on Twitter @thelofzodyssey. There were only two aspects of this show that I found any interest in. The animation was atrocious. In Japan, gal games are part of the mainstream, so much so that dating sim elements are a natural part of many games you know - take the Fire Emblem or Persona franchises for example. Characters, environments and battles alike are all rendered in a lovely cel-shaded art style, with CGI anime cutscenes here and there for more significant … Re:Dive Series Review: Functional But Hollow. Sakura Wars' real strength lies in the passion with which it delivers its story. I do however need to point out that the creepy options are always played off for laughs, which is pretty jarring considering the overall respectful tone. Second, assuming I am wrong, and the game didn’t explore these characters, then that would make this series as awful as I initially thought it was. It is based on the Sakura Wars video game franchise by Sega and Red Entertainment.. Aside from Sakura, none of the team had much, if any, of the show dedicated to them. One heavily marketed point with Sakura Wars is that the main characters were designed by manga artist, Tite Kubo. FeatureLarian's gorgeous Baldur's Gate 3 looks to be a game of groundbreaking systemic depth, The Witcher 3 builds: The best alchemy, Death March, Sign builds and other combat builds to use. The character designs do really stand out as unique and the world itself has a brilliant atmosphere, partially due to the design and detail. What I can say for sure, though, since this was my first taste of Sakura Wars, I am not impressed and have no interest in looking into this series any further. There are life and death situations, fisticuffs, and battles set to the triumphant title theme while characters discover their true strength thanks to the power for friendship. And knowing this anime is a sequel, that would explain some of the show’s shortcomings. The 10 most popular stories of the day, delivered at 5pm UK time. However, considering that the Sakura Wars franchise is both a role-playing game AND a dating sim, I suppose this would have been expected. It is easy in these moments to forget that Sakura Wars is a video game and not a very well-made anime.. The world is under constant threat from demonic attacks, and it is the job of the World Luxury Operatic Federation (WLOF) to protect humanity. It’s difficult to know the best way to approach a review for episode 1 of Sakura Wars: The Animation because, well, where do you start? Had this been the first installment, things probably would have died here. Within the first few minutes of the series, I expected even less. It starts a little slow and there's less action than you might expect, but the characters and acting are great, the art is … However, Klara’s presence brings about a powerful enemy that will stop at nothing to obtain her. I think that is an excellent word to describe this show: Irritating. When I went into Sakura Wars the Animation, I didn’t expect much from it. And boy, do they react. Moving on, I mentioned how Sakura proved her worth as a member of a highly elite demon-fight, mecha-ridding, combat-ready task force. However, Sakura Wars the Animation was about as good as what was seen on the Sega Dreamcast or the Nintendo GameCube. ... On top of all this, the visuals are fantastic with anime character models that have a unique design with close-together eyes and expressive features. Sakura Wars as a franchise is immensely popular in Japan because it's a multimedia blitz on the senses. In order to make a gaggle of women into a real team, you need to get to know them, help them overcome personal struggles and realise their true potential. If you gain a character's trust, you can trigger a 'trust event'. The only reason Sakura Wars the Animation won’t fall to obscurity is thanks to it being attached to an already accomplished franchise. The passion all but incinerates your screen. For more information, go here. Sakura Wars isn't a bad game at all, it just wasn't for me and I feel I may have outgrown the series in terms of its plot and tone. Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say. Their struggles feel real because they are not easily solved. I know I always say that animation does not make a show. In summation, Sakura Wars is a well done series with a blend of fun alternate-past demon fighting and more serious character-driven drama. It's your job to help restore the Imperial Theatre to glory and keep Tokyo safe. Regardless, what separated Sakura from the rest of her team was her importance. When the film debuted, Sakura Wars 3 was already in stores, and Sakura Wars 4 was due out in mere months. The different environments, while little more than pretty backgrounds for conversations, are detailed and the design of each main character is memorable. Fortunately, the world and the characters are full of charm … All Rights Reserved. Sakura Wars (サクラ大戦, Sakura Taisen) is a 2000 Japanese anime created by Madhouse first broadcast on TBS and later on other TV stations. Actually, this charm is the Sakura Wars 1 OVA. Almost a decade has passed, the Sakura Wars franchise finally has a new game release outside of Japan.Sakura Wars (2019) takes place in an alternate 1940s (about a decade after So Long My Love) where Taisho Democracy endured and technology evolved into steampunk with airships, steam powered machines, and Edwardian opulence.The game seeks … Re:Dive Series Review: Functional But Hollow, Seijuro Kamiyama (voiced by Yohei Azakami), Hatsuho Shinonome (voiced by Maaya Uchida), Azami Mochizuki (voiced by Hibiku Yamamura), Anastasia Palma (voiced by Ayaka Fukuhara), Clarissa “Claris” Snowflake (voiced by Saori Hayami). I’m aware of the series, and also own a game from the series. However, without that context to fall back on, this series is not going to make a damn whit of sense to the average American anime fan, which is sort of a shame. That assertion, of course, is only my speculation. The combat is uninspired and grows stale over the course of the 15- 30-hour campaign. She could be a bit starry-eyed and love-struck at times. That would be the perfect word to describe Sakura Wars, in 2020. Sakura Wars review summary. The famed Imperial Combat Revue’s Flower Division fights to protect the world from demonic forces. Originally conceived back in 1996 as a way to offer an RPG franchise on the Sega Saturn, the original Sakura Wars series was a mix of visual novel, dating sim and round-based strategy combat. Review for Sakura Wars on PS4. I'm split on the borderline creepy dialogue options, which include asking for a kiss or making sexually ambiguous jokes. Each of the women conform to established personality types - the bookish one, the short-tempered one and so forth - and you get to know them better the more you talk to each of them. Sakura Taisen, released in … These situations can be deliberately naff - one character just wants to practise a romantic scene in a play - but they are, and this is important, fully consensual and do not reduce the young women only to their bodies, even while ogling is definitely going on. There's also 'analogue LIPS', a conversation option where what Sejiuro says is predetermined, and you only settle on the intensity with which you want to say it. Also, be sure to subscribe here at The Outerhaven and never miss any of your video game, anime, and other nerdom news and content. Still, as I continued to watch, I couldn’t help feeling like I was missing something crucial. Fighting quickly without getting hit raises team morale, which in turn has an effect on attack and defence. 4.0 out of 5 stars Sakura Wars is taking over the world!! Maybe, and that’s a big maybe, I might give the games their fair shot. Also Read: Princess Connect! Sakura Wars takes place in 1940’s Tokyo, where former navy captain Seijuro Kamiyama is brought in by the Combat Revue to serve as a new captain to Tokyo’s Flower Division, an all-female combat squad tasked in defending Tokyo from a variety of demonic creatures with the help of their mechs named Kubos. Throughout the show, she demonstrated her skills as both a swordmaster and leader. Have you seen this series? No part of this site or its content may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright holder. ", The Witcher 3 next-gen version will add ray-tracing and more. Although a part of a celebrated video game franchise, this anime adaptation is a poor attempt at … Review. Malindy is a freelance writer whose equally torrid love affairs with literature, Japan and Guybrush Threepwood have led to her covering video games. Both in combat and in conversation, your actions influence your team's opinion of you. This particular anime, since there appear to be several, also serves as a direct sequel to the 2019 soft reboot of the franchise. Pros: The presentation is 100% anime, with some surprisingly impressive graphics.Decent dialogue system and there’s an undeniable … Hatsuho Shinonome and Azami Mochizuki were given some attention, Clarissa Snowflake was briefly highlighted, and Anastasia Palma was around, I guess. The plot is silly and the combat's simple, but I loved spending time with the main characters and seeing what they have to say and how they react to the increasingly high-stakes plot developments. Listening to the show I would guess all the very good, kind of good and not so good voice over artist were booked on other jobs, because pretty much everyone in this series sounds awful. Well, she was the only one who did that. The player controls a male protagonist in a setting where they're almost exclusively surrounded by young, beautiful women, and players may 'pick' their favourite. The story was dull. Sakura Wars is a loving tale of friendship brought to life by a splendid cast of characters. The TV series was licensed by ADV Films in 2003 and was released on DVD in six volumes and a box set. This site © 2020 Gamer Network Limited, a ReedPop company. Although I am willing to grant some leniency because of its association with a much larger, more acclaimed franchise, my goodwill can only go so far. I can't laugh about it, but I understand why it exists. While it has been a long wait, Sakura Wars is a satisfying blend of everything that the franchise has done well for a new generation on PS4. Designed like a TV anime, complete with episode previews and title cards for 'ad breaks', it focuses on a different member of your troupe with each chapter, while also driving the overall story forward. My history with Sakura Wars is very brief though, and I’m sure that applies to many. As a rule, there is no anime he is unwilling to review, and any series he starts, he must finish. sakura wars review Exciting Combat Payoffs — Your bonds with team members flow into the high-energy combat finale of every episode, featuring action-packed fights with giant steam-powered mecha. Sound - 4/10 It would appear that Sakura Wars was dubbed in the heyday of anime being imported into the U.S., but sadly I don’t mean that in a good way. The demons don't really get a chance to stand out in battle - if you look closely you can see them stumble and fall overdramatically like kaiju in old Japanese monster films. Sakura Wars Review Sakura Wars' unique world, fun character interactions, and high-stakes melodrama help it overcome mediocre action sequences. And considering this show was a sequel to a game that came out for the PlayStation 4, you would think there would be a bit more quality. James Devlahovich has been an anime reviewer since 2015, an anime fan for much, much longer, and is currently based in Osaka, Japan. If nothing else, Sakura felt like she belonged in everything that was happening. It's important that, unlike other games which paint you as the hero no matter what you say, these options are always penalised - you're explicitly encouraged to be a good person, and that expectation entails giving players an option to be bad. To do so, they use mechs called Kobu, powered by the strength of their spirit. How would you advise Sakura Wars the Animation? That being Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love on the Nintendo Wii (also came out on PS2). The west only saw the localisation of the last Sakura Wars game, Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, its New York setting and all-new cast considered a good entry point into a series often deemed to be too Japanese. In this event, which uses first person POV, one of the women will have a personal chat with you that will end in some PG-13 touching. Sakura Wars is a new follow-up in a long series of games that hasn’t had a new release in over a decade. Sakura Wars is best described as a cross-genre game with Action RPG mixed Hack & Slash gameplay coupled with Dating Sim and Visual Novel segments. This was an all-around waste of my time. This is why I said this show felt cheap; it f@#$ing looked it. Never miss a thing. The story of the new Sakura Wars is quickly told: the old Combat Revue, including teams from other countries that appeared in previous Sakura Wars entries, died in a grand battle to seal away the powerful Archdemon, saving the world from certain destruction. Although Sakura Wars the Animation was not a good series by any stretch of the imagination, there were aspects I didn’t know about it. It may not make sense, but each episode has a clear dramatic arc that resolves satisfyingly. Other than those instances, Sakura’s squadmates were relegated to be background fillers. Free upgrade for all PC, PS4 and Xbox One owners. He is well known for his work on the popular manga and anime, Bleach. The place where Sakura Wars shines most is in its animation style. I had watched some of the anime and dabbled in it when Sakura Wars: So Long my Love released on the Wii a while ago. This series’ animation, holy hell, this series’ animation. Sakura Wars bills itself not as an RPG, but the world’s first “dramatic adventure game”; the story is presented in a mix of old and new entertainment forms. Additionally, when Sega was still making consoles, a Sakura Wars release would become one of the best selling titles on its respective system in Japan. That, of course, would have been impressive if, you know, it was twenty years ago. During cutscenes, Sakura Wars switches to an impressive anime-like CGI. The revamped gameplay from grid based tactics to all action is a welcome change and being able to walk around and talk to people is much better than the visual novel approach. "How is this possible?" Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. The series has a dedicated fanbase in Japan and a small, passionate group of admirers internationally, despite the series being mostly inaccessible outside of Japan aside from the underperformance of the PS2/Wii entry and a few older anime … Gameplay-based DLC was released between 2019 and 2020. The very niche Sakura Wars franchise hasn't seen a western release in about a decade so let's see if this latest game will win our hearts. Series review of Sakura Wars the Animation. Hakushu was that one island of entertainment in a sea of blandness. Project Sakura Wars was first revealed on April 14, 2018 at Sega Fes, and was originally tentatively slated to launch prior to March 31, 2019.On April 19, 2019, Sega Holdings President and CEO Haruki Satomi confirmed that the project will be “more than a game.” A western release was not confirmed until March 29, though Japanese Asian releases were … This includes the way Sakura Wars imitates the look and feel of an anime series, with animated sequences that give the events more impact. Everything about Sakura Wars is as over the top as an old monster film, but it's that very cheesiness that had me enraptured. It was as though I had entered this show with a massive disadvantage. Making the girls like you outside of combat also determines your starting morale. Visuals are a pretty big deal when it comes to visual novels and dating sims and, as the latest in a long-running franchise that’s well-known in the genre, it’s unsurprising that Sakura Wars excels. This new Sakura Wars constitutes a soft reboot, set a decade after the events of the originals and using established gameplay but featuring a completely new cast. The 3D animation is beautifully rendered, and it is fun to explore Tokyo and take in the sights. Thus, such a viewer would probably know all there is to know about the rest of these characters. Helpful Links About Us The Team Cookies Contact Us Advertise with Us Ethics Policy Review Policy Privacy Policy Sitemap, Explore News Reviews Features Podcasts Guides Gaming Anime Books Films & TV, WandaVision Episode 5 Review: They’re Finally Here, Blizzard Releases 4th Quarter Earning Results, Nicholas Cage Stars in ‘Willy’s Wonderland’ Which is Totally Not Five Nights at Freddy’s, Princess Connect! They don't make 'em like Sakura Wars anymore, probably with good reason, but this new incarnation, like the old games, is earnest, unapologetic anime nonsense and wish fulfilment at its best. Sakura Wars is a fine reboot for the franchise and a great first entry for new players. Be that as it may, there are still two problems. Upon release, Sakura Wars received mixed reviews, praising the game for being welcoming to new players as well as for its mix of tactical and story-based gameplay, but criticising it for some story elements. All the characters have predictable arcs, but the execution is sublime. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. First, assuming all the characters were better introduced and utilized in the game, they sure as hell weren’t in the anime. ReviewWerewolf: The Apocalypse - Earthblood review - breezy but scrappy RPG action, RecommendedGods Will Fall review - a dungeon crawl to remember, RecommendedDisjunction review - tense and rhythmical top-down stealth, RecommendedCyberpunk 2077 review - intoxicating potential, half undermined, half met, ReviewImmortals Fenyx Rising - enjoyable but over-familiar, Cyberpunk 2077 will be "slightly shorter" than The Witcher 3 because players complained The Witcher 3 was "too long", "We got a lot of complaints about The Witcher 3's main story. You play as Seijuro Kamiyama, a former Japanese naval officer who has been reassigned to the Imperial Combat Revue, a team of warriors and tacticians who defend Tokyo against invading demons. But, more on that later. Sakura Wars is set in a steampunk version of 1940s Tokyo, complete advanced technology like mechs and giant airships. Sakura Wars is an enjoyable revival of the iconic series, presenting a fascinating blend of genres that kept me engaged as I delved deeper … Ambitious. Eager to please genre fans, Sakura Wars delivers an old school experience with a hefty dose of drama. To say this series felt cheap would be an understatement. But when neither story nor characters aren’t worth a damn, it makes a piss poor visual style even more distracting and noticeable. I was very curious how the new combat system would work since it moved away from the traditional Strategy RPG mechanics to a more action … I have to assume that in the preceding video game, the rest of Sakura’s team would have been given their chance to develop. Of course it turns out that the Archdemon threat is still very real, and reveals itself just when the Flower Troupe is participating in the Combat Revue World Games, a public battle event determining the reputation of several international combat troupes, because clearly saving the capital against monsters isn't enough already. The first was the titular Sakura Amamiya. Sakura Wars does regularly dip into bouts of panty humour, having you find women's underwear or 'ending up' in a women's bathroom for comedic effect. The Witcher 3 mods: Our best mod recommendations and how to install them in Wild Hunt. Sakura Wars' dialogue is built around the series' patented LIPS system: you get three dialogue choices, but only have a limited amount of time to pick an answer. You take the role of Navy ensign Seijuro Kamiyama, who becomes the Flower Troupe's new captain. What are yours? Reader discretion is advised.***. As of this review, Sakura Wars the Animation is the latest addition in the near twenty-five-year history of the highly acclaimed Sakura Wars video game series. Nothing about the game is smart, it even spoils its own plot several times with 'clever' foreshadowing and likes to fix problem using deus ex machina. The rest of her squad might as well not have existed. In Short: One of the best attempts at an interactive anime ever, although the nonsensical story, weak combat, and dubious portrayal of female characters will ensure it a limited audience in the West. You can freely move your Kobu around, use light and strong attacks, and unleash a special attack once a spirit point meter has filled. This game has a colorful and varied cast, and with a powerful set of dialogue controlling tools, I can easily recommend it to any fan of the dating sim genre. She was never flustered, caught off guard, or provoked into doing something stupid. Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2002 With the Sakura Wars video game coming next year, the Sakura Wars 2 OVAs coming out in October, this Sakura Wars DVD was released awhile ago in the USA. These weren’t just words. If someone wanted to get their hands on Clara with Sakura around, they would need to work for it. Visuals: 9/10. Based in Tokyo, the recently formed Imperial Combat Revue’s Flower Division has proven themselves to be the WLOF’s most elite squad. Action combat is new for the series, and a step away from Sakura Wars' more typical Fire Emblem-esque turn-based strategy. I’ll give the show this; it sure looked like it was one long video game cutscene. ***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Sakura Wars the Animation. Sakura Wars' dialogue is built around the series' patented LIPS system: you get three dialogue choices, but only have a limited amount of time to pick an answer. Sakura wasn’t a great lead character. Sakura Wars: The Movie was originally screened in Japanese theaters during the Christmas season of 2002. Version Reviewed: PS4 Pro / European Sakura Wars is a soft reboot of SEGA's long running series. Sakura Wars Review ... to end-of-chapter story previews that are paced and edited just like an anime episode preview, Sakura Wars slaps … As Seijuro, you spend your time either talking to these women or fighting demons in musou-style action combat. A list of essential PC mods and how to add them to your game. It follows an all-female theatre troupe based at Tokyo's Imperial Theatre, putting on shows as the Flower Troupe to keep the spirits of the populace high, while also acting as the Imperial Combat Revue, a paramilitary operation tasked with defending the capital from monsters. And while we’re on the subject of Sakura’s teacher, Hakushu was great simply because she, out of everyone, seemed to have a firm handle on everything. Just like in a visual novel, the answers you pick determine the other character's opinion of you. With the sole exceptions being Sakura Wars V: So Long, My Love and the 2019 reboot, no Sakura Wars game saw an official English localization. Also, Sakura Wars just looks consistently great: each scene is presented from multiple camera angles and almost-static images and anime sequences offer further visual variety. Series review of Sakura Wars the Animation. The second was Sakura’s teacher Hakushu Murasame (voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro). I turned into an old fart.) I do miss the instantly recognisable style by Kosuke Fujishima, who has designed the characters for previous instalments -here, mangaka Tite Kubo of Bleach fame takes over. The characters were nothing. In an alternate timeline, the year is 1941. The designs of the new mechs however is a new favourite of mine, each coming with their own specialty like a giant hammer or an ice pistol. Nevertheless, I don’t have much to write in Sakura Wars the Animation’s favor. Context and nuance are very important here. Okay! Plus, since the Sakura Wars franchise is, supposedly, extremely popular in Japan, it’s not a stretch to expect a person watching this anime would have played the game as well. The dialogue options themselves are recognisable if you've ever played another game with dialogue choice - you have a good option, a cautious option and a sleazy, impulsive one. Every core character, including Seijuro, is vulnerable at one point or another and they all suffer from self-doubt. (e.g. Nothing else, Sakura ’ s Flower Division fights sakura wars anime review protect the world from series. Must finish most is in its Animation style was around, they mechs... Series sequel produced by Sanzigen premiered on April 3, 2020 charm is the Wars! Free upgrade for all PC, PS4 and Xbox one owners your time either talking to these women fighting. 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