Truly, the TeiGeki has come home.

For many Sakura Wars fans, Tokyo’s Ueno Park is a significant landmark. The attraction, which is located in Tokyo’s Taitō ward, is where the franchise begins, and it’s the site of numerous iconic moments.

Ueno Park, in the opening moments of Sakura Wars

On August 11, fans added one more milestone to the list. On that day, an all-new chapter in the long line of Sakura Wars stage musicals made its début.

The event, dubbed the “Sakura Wars Midsummer Festival – Flower Warriors”, was sponsored by the Ueno Tourism Federation as part of the prefecture’s Ueno Sugetsu Music Festival. Chisa Yokoyama, who plays the titular Sakura Shinguji, and Urara Takano, who plays Maria, performed to a crowd at Ueno Park’s outdoor stage near the Ueno Mizukami Music Building.

The show was the first for the Sakura Wars cast, whose last major performance was in 2013, in the very same park. It was a banner day for fans of the franchise as a whole, who hadn’t starred in a show in half a decade, and a video game adventure in twice that long.

Those worries were quickly cast aside, though, when the cast knocked the performance out of the park… so to speak.

From a breezy performance of Shitamachi Rhapsody by Yokoyama, to a jazzy rendition of Tsubasa by Takano, fans were captivated as the cast sang and danced their way through a playful narrative.

In keeping with tradition, one thing led to another, as events escalated to a climactic battle, with Yokoyama wielding Sakura’s signature the Reiken-Arataka sword in a duel against the villainous Tetsu no Aniki. The choreography was tight as ever, and it felt as if the crew hadn’t skipped a beat in the years since the last big performance.

As expected, Sakura and Maria were able to save the day, for the good citizens of Ueno. With peace back in the land, the two led the crowd in performances of signature theme song Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan and new single Hana no Senshi (Flower Warrior).

The show is just one of several major events to rock the Sakura Wars franchise in the past few months. Earlier this year, Sega announced a revitalization effort for the historic franchise. On April 14, Sega Holdings President and CEO Haruki Satomi announced that the franchise would be coming back in a big way. A new game, tentatively titled Shin Sakura Taisen would bring this beloved series back to the forefront, moving from its 1920s trappings to bring fans to the year 1940.

Teaser image for Shin Sakura Wars

At the same time, Sammy eagerly bringing Sakura Wars to older audiences with the new Pachislot game, Pachislot Sakura Wars ~ Atsuki Chishioni. The new machine mixes footage from 2003’s Sakura Taisen ~ Atsuki Chishioni remake with the on-screen action. New art and animation was produced for the machine, including 3D models for the characters and a bevy of brand-new songs from the voice cast.

So, yeah. Things are looking up for this iconic franchise!

Source: Animate Times