Forum - View topic
The Mike Toole Show - Sakura Wars: What Is It Good For?


Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
invalidname



Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 500
Location: Grand Rapids, MI

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:03 pm Reply with quote
I was always impressed that Sega decided to put the 8-disc Sakura Taisen Song Box on iTunes for $69.99, which is whopping by iTunes standards, but probably a steal compared to what actually importing an 8-CD boxset from Japan would cost you. Plus, like five different versions of that catchy theme song. Link: https://itunes.apple.com/​us/​album/​sakura-​da-​zhan-​songubokkusu/​id309215135
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dop.L



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 290
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:27 pm Reply with quote
I did have the one that came out on the Wii, but i never finished it.
But I did find Subaru the most interesting character...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mesonoxian Eve



Joined: 10 Jan 2012
Posts: 1858

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:31 pm Reply with quote
Never did finish the series. It was rather boring. I think I managed to get to the scene where they went underground for something, but it's a little hazy, and the mechs crapped out.

Once I fell asleep again, I set the series aside, saving it for the day I'm amped up on 12 coffees.

If this franchise was better in games, something was lost in the translation. I wouldn't know as I've never played the games.

You don't hear much of the series anymore, but the write-up was interesting. To see such appreciation for it was refreshing, though I have to say, it's the first time I've seen such enthusiasm for it.

I do own a few figures. Can't go wrong with a lass wielding a katana and that outfit is really nice, shrine maidens for the win.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lynx Amali



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 731
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:33 pm Reply with quote
I have the PS2 version of V, released by NISA! The LE (with the artbook) at that. Thank god I grabbed it when I did because it's OOP now from their site.

It's kind of a shame it didn't sell well for them. I really loved it. Would've loved to have the originals come at as well but sadly, I doubt that's ever going to happen.

As for the anime and manga, I can't remember which but one of them was actually kinda darker. Didn't enjoy that one as much as I did the games. Was it the anime?
Besides that, the anime was kinda meh to begin with. Did love the movie though.

A revival would be nice but at the same time, I doubt it's possible considering what RED's owned by now. It also suffered the same fate as other franchises: Browser games.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Shenl742
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 11 Feb 2010
Posts: 1257

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:37 pm Reply with quote
I recall the first OAV feeling like something that you literally needed to play the game along side to make any sense of because it just kept time-skipping at random.

I remember one episode ending with Red-Headed Girl suddenly going "I'm gonna go off to avenge my father!"

And the next episode began with...Red-Headed Girl back with the gang and never mentioning what happened with the whole father-avenging thing. Oh, and that guy who spent the last episodes swabbing decks is suddenly their commander now.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Charred Knight



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 3018

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:44 pm Reply with quote
I bought and played Sakura Wars V and its a fantastic game. In particular the writing was quite funny, and its a real shame that it flopped in Japan.

As for my thoughts on the unintentional imperialism of Sakura Wars, I just see it as an alternate earth that just took the uniforms from Imperial Japan. Project X Zone put it best when it called it "a World of steam" its a steampunk franchise set in an alternate version of Japan. I mean I am the guy who talks bad about Summer Wars because of the nationalist bent that film has but Sakura Wars doesn't really play favorites. In Sakura Wars V America is portrayed in an incredibly idealistic manner as well so I just see it as a franchise more along the lines of GaoGaiGar.

I finally bought a 3DS so I could get Project X Zone at launch for the free CD that included some of the better music in the game.

I need to check out the Sakura Wars tv series which I bought at the last Rightstuf Christmas sale. I saw a few episodes from when I bought it but I stopped watching it just when it started to get good.

Shenl742 wrote:
I recall the first OAV feeling like something that you literally needed to play the game along side to make any sense of because it just kept time-skipping at random.

I remember one episode ending with Red-Headed Girl suddenly going "I'm gonna go off to avenge my father!"

And the next episode began with...Red-Headed Girl back with the gang and never mentioning what happened with the whole father-avenging thing. Oh, and that guy who spent the last episodes swabbing decks is suddenly their commander now.


That's the main problem with the OVAs they were meant to be companion pieces to the games and so do absolutely nothing to actually introduce you to the characters. I think they should have done what Namco did for Super Robot Wars and have a tv series based on previous games have come out to hype people for the new game.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 3304
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:52 pm Reply with quote
I have a couple of those figures from Sakura Wars that came with CDs. I never did figure out what they were saying. I also have a couple from Nadesico with the CDs.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 230

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:53 pm Reply with quote
They lost me at "dating sim."

(Not all the Sakura Wars games were dating sims. Some had actual combat... One was a puzzle game along the lines of Tetris/Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo... You get the idea.)

----????

Anyhow, there was no way I was going to get into those games and I imported a LOT of Sega Saturn games in the 1990s. I mainly loved the Capcom fighter ports -- to this day a few of the Saturn ports are still the best way to enjoy the games at home short of owning the arcade hardware -- but there plenty of other great Japanese games that were never localized for the US.

As for the Sakura Wars anime: I liked the first and second OVA series but absolutely hated the TV show. I couldn't get past the first volume; it was just terribly boring and the quality of the animation was far inferior to the OVA's.

(THIS was one of the anime I did barter for exchange dollars when online shops did that. It was one of a very few anime that I got rid of because it was that bad!)

I haven't seen the Funimation releases but I can't imagine they're worse than the TV show was!

The first anime OVA series admittedly has a catchy theme song that stays with you and very nice opening animation, too.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Yuki_Kun45



Joined: 26 May 2008
Posts: 483
Location: U.S.A.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:54 pm Reply with quote
I've seen the Sakura Wars anime series from Mad House and now have been playing Sakura Wars: So Long My Love on PS2. I do enjoy the game and enjoyed the series quite a bit. Good stuff though can't say I was expecting a dating sim. Laughing The TV series was my first exposure and doesn't play up the romance angle at all.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
DavidShallcross



Joined: 19 Feb 2008
Posts: 964

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:00 pm Reply with quote
I have, I think, all of the Sakura Wars anime that was released in the US -- both sets of OVAs, the Ecole de Paris OVA, the Sumire Special, the Movie, and the TV series. I got the Sakura Wars V game that NISA released here, but have left it in my backlog.

I even got the Japanese PSP combined version of the first two games. This was a bit of a stretch, because of the timed response sections. I could go with a walkthrough, but I really don't like doing that. As it is, by the time I figure out what the question was, it is already too late to answer. I suppose I could just go with that, or with random answers, and suffer the consequences.

But, at least, I'd like to hear the music from the game in proper context.
......Teikoku Kageki-Dan
Utai odori butai ga hanete
Kimi ni todoke
Koyoi takanaru sono na......
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 730

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:15 pm Reply with quote
Never played the games, so I can't speak for that.

I for one think the Sakura Wars TV series is a gem in its own right, and not necessarily because it's by the director of Lain. I'm one of those people who doesn't let themselves be distracted by however much better the visuals "should" be (unless they're truly crappy, which the series isn't), and if the story itself gets me hooked I stop noticing right away. The charm of Sakura and all the characters and the world they live in were enough to keep me engaged all throughout and be excited with everything that happens and confronts them. It fits right up there with all my other 90's old-school favorites like You're Under Arrest, Tenchi and Battle Athletes.

I believe it was the movie that was the first thing of Sakura Wars I ever saw. While I agree with Mike that the closing musical number is great, for me it's always been the opening number, 'Miracle Bell', that gives me goose bumps every time. The song itself is beautiful to listen to, making me glad I still own the soundtrack with the full version of that song, and the rotoscoped visual movements of the girls still looks incredible even today. That moment alone I'd love to see how it looks on Blu-ray.

So definitely consider me a fan, even if mostly a casual one.


Last edited by pachy_boy on Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sakura Shinguji



Joined: 09 Feb 2005
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:18 pm Reply with quote
I think my username gives away the fact that I'm a big franchise fan, wouldn't you say?

Anyway, good article as always, Mike. I'd never been aware that you were a Sakura Taisen fan.

If I were to disagree with any of your opinions, it would be that I don't find anything in particular to dislike about the art style in either the TV series or the manga adaptation. Sure, it's not much like the style as seen in the earlier games or earlier OVAs, but I don't find that to be objectionable, whether just because it's a difference or in and of the style itself.

When one remembers that Kosuke Fujishima of Ah! My Goddess fame has always been responsible for the franchise's character artwork then, love it or hate it, those two franchise installments do happen to reflect his evolving artwork style as it was at the time and, for that matter, has not strayed too far from up to this point. See, for example, the cover for the upcoming latest compiled volume of the Ah! My Goddess manga. Or, for a more relevant example (i.e., closer in time to the installments in question), take a look at the Ah! My Goddess movie, which was released in 2000. Or even how the A!MG characters were adapted and represented for the original early '90s OVAs.

Also, for what it's worth, I did bother to import the movie Blu-ray, and while it's not the brand-spanking-new HD telecine with remixed and remastered audio that one might hope for (understandable, given the franchise's slow decline at this point), it still looks to have been sourced from a clean film print and was given an uncompressed version of the existing audio, and the result is quite good. A bit soft overall, picture-wise, but good. As long as FUNimation doesn't accidentally do anything dumb to the materials during their own production process, I'd say the domestic release is worth picking up.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 534

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:26 pm Reply with quote
To me, the first set of OVAs was kind of interesting because it showed only what went on during the heroines' off hours. And I was okay with that; I got that they were fighting monsters or something, and didn't really care about that part anyway. I remember really liking the second OVA series with all its single character stories, but the movie is a haze to me now. I've wondered if the later OVAs managed to keep what was special about the early ones. I never saw the TV series or played any games.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hunter Sopko



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 225

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:31 pm Reply with quote
It's definitely a series I regretted not being able to be/being more diligent with, but at the same time never totally impressed me. Odd dichotomy that.

I picked up the Sakura Wars OVA when it came out on DVD, mostly on the power of the theme song in the preview. Enjoyed it for what it was at the time. It shows that it is supposed to be a companion piece rather than standalone, but there's some enjoyable stuff in there.

Picked up the movie on the cheap a few years ago, enjoyed that too. Good standalone, but like Donny I lacked a frame of reference to the story and was out of my element. Again though, some enjoyable stuff there, but it didn't contain a showstopping, fully animated rendition song and dance number for the original theme song, so I left disappointed. Any of the other stuff feature this, by any chance? (And hey, I may just be forgetting it from the OVA. I did watch it 13 years ago or so at this point).

The theme song... really sticks with me even now. One of the songs I think of when someone says "Anime" to me, and still manages to move me depending on when I listen to it. Full orchestra FTW.

Have the PS2 version of So Long, My Love. It's on the short pile to play at this point (The big pile is 100+ games).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
victor viper



Joined: 18 Jun 2011
Posts: 602
Location: The deep south

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:59 pm Reply with quote
Wow, I wasn't expecting to read an entire article about Sakura Wars today on ANN. Interestingly, I was watching my newly-arrived Haganai DVD's just yesterday, and in the episode when Sena first meets Kobato she makes the comment that "she looks just like Iris!", which I assumed had to be in reference to Iris Chateaubriand.

I think my feelings about the franchise are similar to Mr. Toole's. I saw the OVA when it first came out on DVD; it was one of the first DVD's I ever bought in fact. I agree that the TV show is lacking in comparison to the OVA; the pacing is just way too slow and something about the overall softness of its look never sat right with me. The second OVA seems to have gone largely unnoticed, but I actually like it quite a bit because of its slice-of-life nature. In addition, I liked that the opening theme is slightly different in each episode, as are the closings. Ever since the original OVA, the musical aspect of the series always appealed to me.

The movie didn't do much for me, and neither did Ecole de Paris (I never got around to the Sumire special). In the former, I didn't find the plot very interesting, and in the latter the characters just didn't do anything for me.

I also picked up So Long My Love, and I got about halfway through it on two different playthroughs, but I thought the pace of the battles was just too languid. The battle mechanic was actually pretty well done, but it just seemed to take forever at times to plow through a battle in order to progress the story. Maybe one of these days when I'm between new games, the third time will be the charm.

And to answer the question, my character of choice from the show was Kohran Ri.


Last edited by victor viper on Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:43 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group