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REVIEW: Sakura Wars: The Movie BD+DVD




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capalace



Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:48 pm Reply with quote
As a huge Sakura Wars fangirl, I have to 10000% agree with this review. The movie was awful. I got it when it first came out with the other company and was extremely hyped about it. But it was just awful. SO disappointed everytime I even think about this movie.

You don't separate one of the most popular characters of the franchise (Maria) from the other girls for the entire movie. It doesn't work. Rachette's behavior was also borderline psychopathic - and from the games it hints she was a poor leader but not a violent character. And yeah, the scenes were awkward messes - why spend 5 minutes on a train sequence and literally 30 seconds "explaining" (if you can call it that) why Reni and Orihime hate their old leader so much which is VITAL TO THE MOVIE.

And being a Sakura Wars fan, I'm very forgiving of a lot of things, including a villain who's all "I just want to destroy everything in Japan because it's Japan." Very few villains in the SW universe have plausible motivations to destroy everything. Or that weird play sequence at the end. That was so weird, I'm sorry, but it's how SW rolls. A lot of conflict between the women is solved through putting on their plays.

And as a fan in the 90s/early 2000s, this was a double whammy for me. The Sakura Wars TV show was a let down (although the writing was good) and then this came along and was a let down too. The franchise makes RIDICULOUS amounts of money in Japan - they seriously couldn't hire anyone who could make a good movie or good tv show out of it? (Or maybe they thought - lol our fanbase is so huge and dedicated they'll eat anything up.)

Sigh. The only thing I liked about the movie was the New Year's scene in the beginning. Then it goes straight downhill from there.

...I needed to rant. Sorry. :oops:
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TheAnagelic1



Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 177
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:19 pm Reply with quote
Anyone know if the blu ray's region free or not?
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vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 1183
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:47 pm Reply with quote
Cleaning out the closet, I put the old release of this in just yesterday, because I hadn't watched it in over a decade and didn't want to get rid of it if it wasn't as bad as I remembered.

Oh, but it was. Every bit. And so away to the secondhand shop it shall go.
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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 1233
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:28 pm Reply with quote
Are you sure the movie and TV series are in the same universe? I thought the TV series was its own standalone story, and I distinctly remember a later episode explaining about past failed flower troupes with two girls that resembled Orihime and Reni, as a way to include them in the TV series at all. If anything, the movie really shares the same universe with the OVA series, which I think are stories that take place in between games.

With the Japanese/English-speaking scene, I'm glad Funimation thought to put back in the Japanese subtitles to help give it context, because if viewers watched that scene dubbed (I think the dub is better than Theron gives it credit for) it just wouldn't have made any sense, just like it didn't on Pioneer's original release.

This movie was the very first thing of Sakura Wars I've ever seen. I may not have followed everything, but it's what definitely got me into the franchise, and of course I appreciated it that much more after seeing the TV series. I think it's a pretty good film overall for what it is, and that opening musical number is phenomenal to watch and listen to, in my opinion.
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capalace



Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:02 am Reply with quote
pachy_boy wrote:
Are you sure the movie and TV series are in the same universe? I thought the TV series was its own standalone story, and I distinctly remember a later episode explaining about past failed flower troupes with two girls that resembled Orihime and Reni, as a way to include them in the TV series at all. If anything, the movie really shares the same universe with the OVA series, which I think are stories that take place in between games.


The TV show was a new imagining of the franchise, so yes it was its own stand alone story. And that was Orihime and Reni. If you play Sakura Wars: So Long My Love you'll get some of the story behind that.

The movie was basically made to setup 'Sakura Wars 5' aka 'Sakura Wars: So Long My Love.' So you're right about that too - the OVAs take place before/inbetween/within/sometimes after the games (depending which ones you watch). The movie takes place after the third game but before the fourth game.
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ximpalullaorg



Joined: 16 Jan 2007
Posts: 305
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:33 am Reply with quote
I liked the movie, despite the huge issues in the technical department (the Kobu, among others, suffer from a terrible lack of frames). The story isn't particularly good and they don't really do anything with it but I think it's an enjoyable movie.
Their plan to push STV with it failed though since it came out years later (not to mention the failed World Project...).

Also I have to disagree with the first poster: save for the next Mobage game coming (I don't know how the browser game went, and the spinoff for the female audiences as well), the franchise is as good as dead, especially with SEGA's new "pillar" structure that basically ignores anything that isn't Yakuza or Western franchises...
Also, RED is basically a mobile game developer only as well.
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GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 794
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:52 pm Reply with quote
I have the Geneon Sakura Wars Movie DVD release but I honestly have not watched it... It's STILL in the wrapper waiting to be unpacked like so much other stuff.

Had the TV series when it was new but got rid of it pretty quickly. Forgettable junk -- the first two OVA series that ADV licensed were by far the best I've seen of this series. Loved the theme song and opening animation for the original OVA series. That I do have positive memories of.

Yeah, this is one franchise that has a weirdness behind it.
The first few OVA's weren't that bad but the TV series and later OVA's sure didn't help things in the long run.

It's one of those anime series that is just so Japanese and such a different mentality that it should be no big wonder it wasn't very successful outside of Japan.

Never had a desire to pick up any of the SEGA videogame franchise. No appeal whatsoever to me... Not when SEGA had other much more appealing games where I was concerned.

Not surprised that this is something SEGA has let go, too.
There's not much of anything that SEGA made way back when that it hasn't lost a grip of for whatever reasons. That company just hasn't been the same since the Dreamcast days and when their console merchandizing just all dried up. All the lifeblood of creativity and support for its developers just drained away after 2001.
It's too bad SEGA hasn't made a much better go of it as a third party software developer. They just had so many good videogame franchises back in the day and more than a few were actually made into some good anime series, too.
Why Virtua Fighter continues to have game after game made in that series is something I've never understood. It's never been a system seller and at best is an obscure cult title outside of Asia... There are at least a half-dozen other game series launched during the Saturn and Dreamcast days that were just begging for sequels that were never realized... Now I'm afraid that they just waited too long to do anything and it would make no difference if they did launch sequels, period.
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jr240483



Joined: 24 Dec 2005
Posts: 4138
Location: New York City,New York,USA
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:18 am Reply with quote
well i liked the movie though even i admit it would have been better for the movie if they had used the VA from the ADV dub version which was preety good for the TV series. but it doesnt necessarily means its bad. more like a rental at best.
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nhat



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 918
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:43 am Reply with quote
The movie was pretty... bad. I'm pretty tolerant of low quality media but this was so bad that I wanted to give it away because I didn't want it. Never had that feeling with anything else I own.
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