Weekly Famitsu - 20180419 Issue CoverThe April 18, 2019 issue of Weekly Famitsu magazine features several a sixteen-page feature for Project Sakura Wars (Shin Sakura Taisen). The report includes details on the game’s main staff members, as well as details on the greater plot and gameplay systems.

We break the details down below.

Staff

New staff members include:

  • Script: Takaaki Suzuki (Girls und Panzer, Strike Witches)
  • Setting and Scenario Summary: Takanobu Terada
  • Development Director: Tetsuya Ootsubo
  • Producer: Tetsu Kitano
  • Character Visual Setting: Masashi Kudou
  • Main Mechanical Designer: Mika Akitaka
  • Executive Producer: Haruki Satomi
  • Original Concept: Ohji Hiroi

Previously, we reported that Bleach creator Tite Kubo is providing the original character designs, while Jiro Ishii (Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, Under the Dog) is in charge of the story structure. Series composer Kohei Tanaka (Sakura Wars franchise, One Piece, Mobile Fighter G Gundam) is scoring the game’s soundtrack.

Plot

Project Sakura Wars will be set twelve years after the events of Sakura Wars 5: So Long, My Love. In this new entry, the Combat Revues, which previously protected nations from evil while working incognito, are well known to all.

Indeed, the Great Combat Reveue World War is more of a global sporting event, in which the Combat Revues from across the globe gather in Japan’s Imperial Capital to compete in a tournament. These disparate groups then compete to determine which country’s kouma-crushing corps reigns supreme. By the time Project Sakura Wars begins, two such events have already taken place, and the nations are gathering in the Imperial capital for the third. What should be a peaceful event, though, suddenly takes a turn for the serious.

According to Famitsu, Takaaki Suzuki offered his expertise in regards to maintaining historical accuracy.

Gameplay

Famitsu reports that Project Sakura Wars will be presented a s fully 3D game. The entire map of the Capital was built from scratch, beginning with the iconic Imperial Theater. Players will be able to wander freely through the map, and explore buildings.

In a first for the series, though, movements, events, and conversations will all occur in the same 3D space. Previous entries in the franchise would feature the protagonist wandering a stylized map of the gameplay in “chibi” form, and conversations would feature 2D animated stills.

The Live Interactive Picture System (LIPS) gameplay systems are confirmed to make a return. Three variants are currently confirmed:

  • Standard LIPS: Branching conversation choices, where user choices are forced by a timer. Failing the timer check forces a “non-answer” of sorts.
  • Touch LIPS: Previously named “Click LIPS”; players can “click” on various parts of a character or setting for additional dialogue.
  • Analog LIPS: Unique scenes and timed actions, which are tied to the analog sticks.

The magazine hints that new mechanics will be introduced into both the Touch and Analog LIPS modes, and specifically notes that the Analog LIPS may be tied to camera controls in at least one prompt.

Shin Sakura Wars Still

Moreover, Famitsu reports that there will be unique endings for each character, and that Sanzigen is producing more than forty minutes of animation for the project. Kohei Tanaka has composed between seventy and eighty songs for the title.

Project Sakura Wars is tentatively slated for a Winter 2019 release in Japan, and a Spring 2020 release worldwide.

Shin Sakura Wars Character Visual

Left to Right: Clarice, Hatsuho Shinonome, Seijuro Kamiyama, Sakura Amamiya, Azami Mochizuki, Anastasia Palma

The confirmed voice cast includes:

  • Clarice: Saori Hayami
  • Hatsuho Shinonome: Maaya Uchida
  • Seijūrō Kamiyama : Yōhei Azakami
  • Sakura Amamiya: Ayane Sakura
  • Azami Mochizuki: Hibiku Yamamura
  • Anastasia Palma: Ayaka Fukuhara

Project Sakura Wars will be set twelve years after the events of Sakura Wars 5: So Long, My Love, in the year 1940 (Taisho 29, in the game’s lore, as the Taisho era only lasted 15 years overall).

Famitsu reports that a cataclysm rocked the globe in Taisho 19, known only as The Great Kouma War. The battles that ensued saw the Teikoku Kagekidan, Paris Combat Revue, and New York Combat Revue brought to ruin. In their wake, cities across the globe built up their own Combat Revues as a means of fighting back. As a result, these Revues began to clash against one another, resulting in a conflict that has since been known as “The Great Combat Revue World War.”

Seijuro Kamiyama must rise up to lead the New Teikoku Kagekidan, as the demonic Kouma reappear in the capital. At the same time, rival Combat Revues begin to appear across the globe, and begin to clash with one another.

Sega’s email communication describes the story as:

The stage is set in a romanticized version of 1940s Imperial Tokyo. 10 years ago, a cataclysm resulted in the devastating loss of the Imperial Combat Revue of Tokyo, the capital’s global defense force operating out of the Imperial Theater. The theater has since fallen on hard times and risks closure. As captain of the new Tokyo revue, it’s up to you to mend the hearts of your troops and restore the Imperial Theater back to its former glory!

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 confirmed to be in the works.

On March 27, all-female theater troupe OSK Revue announced that they will host a new Sakura Wars musical in Kyoto. The production which will be an operatic adaptation of 2001’s Sakura Wars Kayou Show story The Sea God’s Villa.

Sakura Wars is an original project by Sega CS2 R&D (later Overworks) and Red Entertainment. Ohji Hiroi (Moeyo Ken, Far East of Eden), Satoru Akahori (Saber Marionette J, Martian Successor Nadesico), and Kosuke Fujishima (Ah! My Goddess, You’re Under Arrest!) are listed as the original creators of the franchise.

The first title appeared on the Sega Saturn in 1996. The initial entry, while released only in Japan at the time, was estimated to have a 200,000 lifetime sales goal. The title sold 205,270 units in its opening week, which was roughly 57% of the launch shipment. At the time, the title was seen as having the largest debut for a Sega title to date. It would go on to move 359,485 copies throughout the Saturn’s lifespan.

Since then, the title has gone on to spawn:

  • Five main-line titles
  • Fifteen spin-off games
  • An anime TV series by Madhouse
  • Five anime OVA series
  • Seven manga and light novel adaptations
  • Sixteen high-profile live stage shows

The final main-line title in the series, Sakura Wars V: So Long, My Love was released in North America by NIS America. The title is available on Sony’s PlayStation 2, as well as Nintendo Wii console.

Sources:

Gematsu, Weekly Famitsu