Project Sakura Wars Gameplay Reveals London Assault Force Characters Designed by Sword Art Online’s Abec
notKirito and notAsuna are in Shin Sakura Taisen, along with a mascot designed by Pokemon's Ken Sugimori. The game's Japanese boxart and a manga adaptation were also revealed.
Sega held the third “Sakura Taisen Imperial Communication Department’s Broadcast” on August 21. The stream had Yohei Azakami (the protagonist’s seiyuu), Producer Tetsu Katano and seiyuu Mami Yamashita as the MC. We got to see new Project Sakura Wars gameplay and brand new characters were introduced. Here’s a summary of everything which happened on the stream, with timestamps for the gameplay sequences.
The first piece of new info revealed was Project Sakura Wars‘ Japanese boxart. One interesting thing is how Sakura Amaiya’s pilot suit has boots which actually like Tabi shoes.
Next, we got to see Hatsuho and Clarice wearing their pilot suits and the mecha they pilot. Unlike previous Sakura Taisen games, each character has pretty different pilot suits in Project Sakura Wars. Director Katano said we’ll see Azami and Anatasia’s pilot suits on the next stream. We also saw the Mugen-type Spirit Particle Fighters piloted by Hatsuho and Clarisse. While they’re the same Mugen-type as the Spirit Particle Fighter piloted by Seijuro, they’re pretty different. Clarisse’s one actually has another book on its back.
Next, we saw gameplay with Hatsuho. She can smash, stagger and blowback enemies with her fiery hammer attacks. Her attacks are pretty powerful but hard to master because she always moves at the same time as attacking.
Next, we saw Clarisse’s gameplay sequence. As we already explained in the past, Clarisse uses “Heavy Magic”, a type of magic which uses books. Her attacks are long-range based and are good anti-airs. Director Katano said you should use her to quickly sweep away lots of weak flying enemies. We also saw her finishing move, “Arbitre D’enfer”, which is totally broken french for “Hell’s Judgment”. You might think this is stupid she’s using french since Clarisse is from Luxembourg, but they do speak french there as well.
Next ,we saw the very first battle in the game, which also serves as a tutorial. Yohei Azakami played it live. Most of the controls were explained, along with mechanics like the Just Evade, evading right before getting attacked to slow down time a bit. All that was already explained in the previous stream.
Next, they announced Project Sakura Wars will be present at Tokyo Game Show 2019 in September. A stage event will be held too, and people who visit the game’s booth will get bromides of the characters. They’ll also sell plenty of goods, like a t-shirt and a parka. Azakami and Yamashita kept fooling around while introducing the goods so it was pretty fun to watch. The t-shirt also has “Kanzaki Heavy Industries” written on it, so they checked if the parka had it too, but Director Katano could only find a “Made in Vietnam” sticker, which made everyone laugh and feel kinda weary from the sudden realism.
Some of the goods also use SD versions of the characters. Director Katano explained these illustrations are used in the game itself. For example, this is how you see characters when using the Smartron’s map function. (The Smartron is the steam-powered smartphone they’re using in the game). He said you can see the SD characters in eye catches too. This confirms Project Sakura Wars has anime-like eye catches like previous games in the series.
Next, they played a game live where Yohei Azakami had to shout his voice at certain dB ranges to try and fill a bingo. He brilliantly managed to do it. Thanks to him, 3 people from the Teikoku Kagekidan Ouengumi will be able to win an exclusive poster of the game.
Next, they announced Project Sakura Wars is getting a manga adaptation. It’s titled “Shin Sakura Taisen The Comic” and is drawn by Koyuri Noguchi, the mangaka of Kenkouki. Katano mentioned what’s interesting is that Sakura Amamiya is the protagonist in the manga, instead of Seijuro. So you’ll see the story from another angle. The manga will be published in Young Jump and the first chapter will be out on September 12. Katano mentioned you’ll get to see some of the story before the game releases.
Next, they introduced a “new” character, which is actually the mascot form of Seijuro. In past Sakura Taisen games, protagonist Ogami was the Imperial Theater’s ticket handler, and now Seijuro is getting a similar role as the theater’s promotion plan director and mascot. It’s supposed to be an elephant. It’s called Gekizou, which is a pun with “elephant” and “acting” in Japanese. Gekizou is basically a machine doll promoting the Imperial Theater, and Seijuro will need to master it if he doesn’t want the Theater to go under. They didn’t say if we’ll actually play as Gekizou, if it’s a minigame or whatnot. It sure gives a Full Metal Panic Fumoffu vibe to the game though.
Gekizou was designed by Ken Sugimori, the very same Sugimori who works as an artist on Pokemon. He mentioned he was really happy to work on Sakura Taisen, and designed Gekizou as a mascot for Sega as a whole. He hopes Gekizou will be loved for decades, similarly to Alex Kidd and Sonic.
More gameplay showing Seijuro in Gekizou form meting Azami was shown too. Basically, Azami thinks it’s some kind of suspicious person, but seeing how naive she is, Seijuro actually manages to convince her that he’s nothing more than a simple elephant doll.
The last piece of new info was, as expected because Katano teased it last stream, the introduction of the London Assault with a new gameplay video
The London Assault Force is made of Lancelot and her captain Arthur. Lancelot ends up meeting with Sakura and suddenly challenges her. The scene cuts to Seijuro, Sakura, Lancelot, and Arthur chatting. Seijuro apologizes to Arthur about Sakura’s behavior, and Arthur says they’re used to fighting anyway so it’s fine. Next, we see Seijuro and Sakura alone chatting about how strong the London Assault Force is, meaning they’ll be interesting opponents at the tournament. Lancelot and Arthur are also seen debriefing, with Lancelot saying she could defeat Sakura in less than 3 minutes if she got serious.
Here are their profiles translated:
Arthur is voiced by Nobunaga Shimazaki.
The London Assault Force is also nicknamed the “Knights of the Round Table”, and Arthur is the leader. He’s 18 years old. Arthur is from a noble family of England. His family’s members have all been knights for ages, and he’s the latest successor, inheriting the Holy Sword Excalibur. Arthur isn’t his real name. It’s the title bestowed to Excalibur’s wielder in his family, passed down from generation to generation. Arthur is a pure British gentleman and popular with women. However, he turns into a completely different, aggressive person when in battle.
Lancelot is voiced by Manami Numakura.
Lancelot is a member of the London Assault Force, also known as the “Knights of the Round Table”. She’s 17 years old. Lancelot is brave, bold and a battle maniac. She’s also the vice-captain of the Assault Force. Lancelot dual-wields swords in battle. Her intense fighting style and preference for black clothing earned her the nickname “Black Knight”. She’s also a cheerful girl, who tends to always acts before thinking. Lancelot is like a wild animal who’d also have a side of innocence.
They didn’t specify it but it’s likely “Lancelot” isn’t her real name but a noble title just like “Arthur”.
Director Katano said that Lancelot is basically an airhead who only thinks about fighting.
Lancelot dual wields and is called the “Black Knight”. This is a reference to Sword Art Online and she’s basically a genderbent Kirito who looks like Asuna.
Just like the Shangai Assault Force, the London Assault Force actually has another girl they purposefully didn’t reveal. Katano said he wanted to show more about Arthur and Lancelot but any more scenes with them contain big spoilers.
Arthur and Lancelot were designed by “Bunbun”, which is the original pen name used by Abec, the illustrator of the Sword Art Online light novels. In his comments, he mentioned he was really excited but also scared when making the designs, seeing Sakura Taisen is such a huge franchise. He hopes both older fans and newcomers will enjoy the game.
Arthur and Lancelot pilot Spirit Particle Fighters named the Prytwen. In the legends of king Arthur, Prytwen is the name of Arthur’s shield and ship. Katano mentioned the Prytwen are black, blue and golden as these are colors often used for royal and knight related things. The London Assault Force’s logo says “KR”, for “Knights of the Round Table”.
Lastly, they announced the next “Sakura Taisen Imperial Communication Department’s Broadcast” streams will be held each day at Tokyo Game Show 2019 from September 12 to September 15. New info will be revealed each day. Sega is putting the promotion for the game in full throttle and is really planning to fully revive Sakura Taisen with it. Bunbun/Abec’s involvement shows this as well as he’s currently one of the most popular illustrators in Japan.
Moreover, Katano revealed the previous stream’s lapsus with “dondon” and “London”, was actually planned, as I was suspecting. The very first “mistake” in the first stream when they “accidentally” said “Shangai” was planned too. They’ve been doing that to tease who they will reveal next. This time they said they couldn’t think of anything clever, so Katano plainly announced which will be the next Assault Force to be revealed: They will introduce the Berlin Assault Force at TGS 2019.
— サクラ大戦公式@SEGA (@Sakura_Taisen) August 21, 2019
The usual shot with everyone who appeared on stream: Mami Yamashita, Yohei Azakami, and Tetsu Katano.
If you’re behind on the game’s info, you can take a look at our previous stories. Most notably comments from the cast, and the unfinished trailer incident, Sakura Taisen creator Oji Hiroi recently spoke about how the franchise influenced Japanese culture in a Famitsu interview.
PS4 exclusive Project Sakura Wars launches in Spring 2020 in the west. Project Sakura Wars is a temporary title. The game is known as Shin Sakura Taisen in Japan and will launch there on December 12.