Sakura Taisen TV

Title:Sakura Taisen TV
Sakura Wars TV
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: FUJISHIMA Kosuke
OOJI Hiroi
R1 License - FUNimation
Sakura Shijugi has just arrived in Tokyo. Daughter of a former commander and a skilled swordsman, she comes to the city to serve in the Imperial Flower Troop commanded by her father's commander. Upon arriving (and missing her ride) she wanders around the city meeting some interesting people. She finally arrives at the address listed on her card, the Imperial Flower Acting Company.

Sakura has to deal with a new invasion of powerful demons and her own unstable power as she grows to become a leading actress in the company.
[TV series, 2000, 25 episodes, 24 min; R1 license by Funimation.]
[edit] The ↗Sakura Taisen franchise:
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 6 7 7 6 7 Ggultra2764 [series:509#1552]
(Rent-/ Watch+)

Apparently based on a popular video game franchise in Japan, Sakura Wars focuses on six girls from different nations teaming together to combat demonic threats using their spiritual abilities to pilot mecha. It appears part of the anime's influence comes from a popular all-girl theatrical group in Japan called the Takarazuka Revue, considering the girls occasionally perform drama performances in theatrical plays as a means to hone their spiritual powers. The series offers enough depth on all the girls to explore their personalities and backgrounds, devoting episodes to focus on aspects of each character. While their characters are somewhat cliched, they are still a likeable bunch and undergo differing degrees of growth throughout the show's run such as Sakura learning to gain confidence in her skills, Sumire learning to value Sakura as a teammate and Iris learning to trust use of piloting the mecha. These elements to the series are what just barely give the series a Rent rating for me.

Otherwise, the battle with Aoisatan and his group are too cliched and shallow to get attached to and is the major weakness I found with the series as a whole. The whole thing plays out as a traditional "good vs evil" battle with Aoisatan desiring the destruction of Tokyo for rather shallow reasons when more of his past is revealed and his allies don't get much in the way of fleshing out as their only roles are to serve as obstacles in Sakura and her group's efforts. The series plays out the typical cliches you can expect of this storytelling approach where the team get random power-ups and get conveniently saved in the nick of time in situations where the odds seem dire in their efforts.

In terms of presentation, Sakura Wars is somewhat standard for a early 2000s TV anime, but has its high points. It sports beautifully drawn scenery shots of 1920s Tokyo with character designs looking well designed and pleasing on the eyes with subdued color tones. The series employs a steampunk-like style in depicting the technology and mecha used by Sakura's group which work well with the anime and is a unique style that sticks out from many anime titles of the mecha genre. Animation is a bit subpar with some use of CG animation that is poorly rendered and sticks out like a sore thumb, with action sequences not being too engaging since the choreography plays out in a typical style and occasionally employ shortcuts.

The soundtrack to this series certainly sticks out enough, consisting of musical-style lyrical tracks and traditional insert music playing along to the time period of the series. It works nicely with the historical setting of the series and the theatrical theme that gets employed in some episodes, but there were no particular tracks that stuck out for me to make the series memorable.

Overall, my reception to Sakura Wars is rather mixed. While having some nice fleshing out of characters and the Takarazuka-like premise being a rather unique one for an anime title, it still sticks to conventional territory to a good extent with the mecha anime approach it takes and the good vs evil approach it does with its storytelling. I think I would have liked this anime more if it was more focused on the Takarazuka-like performances and character developments/ bonding than trying to mix it up with the mecha genre.

Last updated Sunday, August 04 2013. Created Sunday, August 04 2013.
Watch Forbin [series:509#1573]
Analysis : All R1 Episodes Watched
  • Drama : Med
  • Action : High
  • Comedy : Med
  • SciFi : High
  • Ecchi : None
Based on the 'SteamPunk' era, I wish someone had invented the battery.

Why did I rate this so low (and it should've been a Forbin high).
  • There are 5 girls and 1 boy and there isn't a harem.
  • The first 4 episodes (before Ohgami shows up) are a frightful mess.
  • The R1 Dub is so HORRIBLE I wanted to run away and scream. All 5 of the primary characters were so badly miscast that I can't believe the ADR director wasn't smacked upon release.
  • The script kept changing directions so many times that it looks like every 5 episodes is a different game.
This could've been a good series. This could've been an ok series. Instead this is a nails on a chalkboard mess.

Last updated Friday, March 23 2007. Created Friday, March 23 2007.
Rent 8 9 8 8 9 Jan-Chan [series:509#967]
Sakura Wars TV 26 episodes. I am reviewing the subtitled release. I will have to admit that this is one of my favorite series, (but for reasons that others might not understand or enjoy.) I have not viewed the Sakura OVAs, (which appear to be highly rated), so I can not make a comparison between the two series.

If the OVA can be reviewed as being too short and full of gaps, then this series can be called too long, with lots of filler, but it is this filler that helps explain what is missing in the OVA. And if one can enjoy the story (and not be bothered by filler) then you might be able to understand why I enjoy this series so much, as one can share time with the different characters and learn about some of their problems in being a team.

Set in Tokyo, during the 1920, a young sword's woman, Sakura, is called upon to help defend the city against an evil invaders. Karuka heavy metal industries has developed a steam-powered robotic suit of armor, which can only be controlled by those with a strong spiritual power. Sakura has been recruited to serve with the "Imperial Floral Assault Unit" (or flower division, for short), those warriors who pilot the KOBU power suits. But she is also surprised to find out that she will also have to join a working theater company, and learn how to act on stage. The director has decided that involvement with a theater company is a good way to develop the spiritual power of the diverse group of six women who are members of the Assault Unit, and he expect everyone to putting their all in plays and musicals, when not engaging the enemy.

When first arriving, Sakura appears to succeed in only disrupting and angering the other members of the unit. So much so, that they refuse to even want to work with her, and she feels compelled to move out and find refuge with a family in the Tokyo slums. And so she has to slowly change their minds and they also have to work to change her mind, and teach her how to be an actor on the theater stage. In each episode, there is an confrontation with the evil Wakaii, whose appearance causes much destruction to the city, but who also seem to have an unknown purpose or agenda.
And at about the mid point of the series, the story line shifts focus, (away from the theater) to the story as to the true nature and goal of the evil that summons and controls the destructive Wakaii. And off the story goes.

With a hazy animation style and lots of pastel colors, (even the KOBU robotic units are pastel yellow, red and blue, sigh), this series tells a, slow moving but, interesting tale of a group of female fighter who are brave enough to fight against a very strange demonic-robotic enemy. This is a story with no fan-service or objectionable content, other than the standard measure of slashing and bashing violence against the evil non-human invaders (which appears to be the acceptable norm now of days.) And in mid-series, it sifts into mecha combat mode, the enemy becomes the main focus of the story and is confronted for real. There is a bit of occult based blood-n-gore at one point, but nothing too overt. With the filler episodes serving to help explain and define the characters in the story, the series does end up in to high gear with a good amount of mondo-mecha action. In any case, I like this series (for both the good and the bad) and think that it is well worth the watch or rent. (and OH!! I was watching an English-subbed version)

Last updated Wednesday, March 25 2009. Created Sunday, April 11 2004.
Watch 6 4 9 8 5 Oogami Taichou [series:509#500]
As a huge fan of all things Sakura Taisen I have to say the TV series was a big let down for me. What could have been a delightfull retelling of the original series(like Macross Do You Remember Love to Macross) ended up being a convaluted mess. This removes all the story elments that made the first game really great to me.
The animation is lackluster and could have been much better(espeially when compared to Sakura Taisen: Goka Kenran which was made around the same time).
One of the later episodes "Tai Kouma Butai" is deffinitly worthwile watching for any Sakura Taisen fan. But over all, if your a Sakura Taisen fan you will be dispointed. Watch but do not buy.

Last updated Thursday, January 23 2003. Created Thursday, January 23 2003.

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