Earlier today, the ESRB website updated with a listing for Sakura Wars (2019). According to the site, the game has a “T” rating for Blood, Language, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, and Violence.
The site also includes a description of the game, along with a brief explanation of the factors that contributed to the game’s rating. They describe the title as:
This is a relationship simulation/action game, set in a steampunk 1920s version of Tokyo, in which players lead a combat troupe to defeat demons by using giant mech suits. Players use swords and blasters to fight enemy robots and demons in melee-style combat. Battles are frenetic, with impact sounds, colorful lights effects, and large explosions. Cutscenes depict additional acts of violence: a woman slashed across the chest, resulting in blood-splatter effects; a child kidnapped at gunpoint by gangsters; animated sequences of giant mechs in battle. The game also contains some sexual material: dialogue referencing pornography (e.g., “I guarantee you that’s porn”; “Whoa, that’s definitely a nudie magazine.”); minigames in which players can zoom-in on characters’ body parts (e.g., legs, buttocks, breasts), with accompanying dialogue (e.g., “Man, those legs…Just imagining the paradise at the end of them…”; “As far as chest size…The bigger, the better!”); a still-image sequence depicting a character groping a woman’s chest while stating, “But they look so soft! Just one little squeeze…” A handful of bath-house sequences depict partially nude female characters, with breasts slightly obscured by steam. The word “sh*t” appears in the game.
Sakura Wars (2019) launched in Japan on December 12, 2019. The title, which is available on Sony’s PlayStation 4 console, sold through 166,771 as of January 13, according to Famitsu.
The game will be released worldwide in Spring 2020, and has been rated by the Australian Government’s Department of Communication and the Arts. Upcoming anime series Shin Sakura Taisen The Animation will hit Japanese TV in April.
The core voice cast includes:
- Seijūrō Kamiyama : Yōhei Azakami
- Sakura Amamiya: Ayane Sakura
- Hatsuho Shinonome: Maaya Uchida
- Azami Mochizuki: Hibiku Yamamura
- Anastasia Palma: Ayaka Fukuhara
- Claris: Saori Hayami
- Sumire Kanzaki: Michie Tomizawa
- Reiji Shiba: Tomikazu Sugita
- Kaoru Rindou: Yui Ishikawa
- Komachi Ooba: Ryoko Shiraishi
- Yang Shaolong: Yuuichirou Umehara
- Yui Huang: Sumire Uesaka
- Arthur: Nobunaga Shimazaki
- Lancelot: Manami Numakura
- Yasha: Chisa Yokoyama
- Elise: Nana Mizuki
- Margarethe: Rie Kugimiya
Bleach creator Tite Kubo provided the original character designs, while Jiro Ishii (Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, Under the Dog) was in charge of the story structure. Series composer Kohei Tanaka (Sakura Wars franchise, One Piece, Mobile Fighter G Gundam) returned to score the game’s soundtrack.
Other 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
Sakura Wars (2019) is 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 Sakura Wars (2019) 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.
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!
Sakura Wars (2019) 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.”
The Sakura Wars franchise 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:
- Six 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 fifth mainline 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.