Project Sakura Wars Launches This December in Japan; New Characters and Mecha Revealed (Updated)

Project Sakura Wars Director Tetsu Katano revealed new characters and many new details on stream.

July 25, 2019

Sega held the second “Sakura Taisen Imperial Communication Department’s Broadcast” on July 25. Most notably, the battle system was revealed, and the Japanese release date was revealed with a new trailer, found below. Project Sakura Wars launches on December 12 in Japan, exclusively on PS4.

The trailer shows new story elements along with some battle gameplay.  The game’s main characters are also featured, including the new characters from the Shangai Assault Force revealed during the stream. We also got to see multiple new gameplay videos. All the gameplay sequences are linked at the right timestamp on stream.

First, we got to see a new gameplay video introducing two of the main characters, Anastasia and Azami. Hatsuho and Sakura are in awe in front of Anastasia’s acting, while we learned Azami is a skilled but naive kunoichi. Director Tetsu Katano noted how weird it is for Anastasia, a worldwide star, to be transferred to the currently decrepit imperial Theater, hinting it’ll be an important story element.

Next, we got to hear Sakura Amamiya’s Character Song, sung by her seiyuu Ayane Sakura. The song is titled “Otome nandesuyo”.

Next, we were introduced to the Shangai Assault Force, which was already mentioned by accident in the previous stream.

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We have Yan Shanlon, the captain of the Shangai Assault Force. Yan Shanlon is voiced by Yuichiro Umehara. He’s 18 years old. He hates dishonest people and always says what’s on his mind with a smile. He’s a typical hot-blooded man. He has high offensive power, but is also famous as the “flame cook”. He spends his off-duty days cooking.

Then we have Hwan Yui, one of the members of the Shangai Assault Force. Hwan Yui is voiced by Sumire Uesaka. She’s 16 years old. She’s a bright, cheerful and active girl. She’s also a renowned acrobat, and her acrobatic skills are second to none in the Shangai Assault Force. She doesn’t always show it, but she actually loves the Flower Division and the Imperial Assault Force. This actually leads her to be particularly strict towards Seijuro and the other members of the Flower Division though. However, she gets along very well with Sakura Amamiya. She respects Sakura as her senior and admires her unyielding spirit and hard work.

Both Yan Shanlon and Hwan Yui pilot different types of Spirit Particle Fighters called Wanron. The Wanron uses powerful attacks reminiscent of dragons. They use fire and martial arts attacks, reproducing the movements of their pilots. If you wanna learn more about Spirit Particle Fighters and how different they are from Spirit Particle Armor like the Koubu, we’ve translated and explained all the lore about the mecha in Project Sakura Wars in a previous article.

The Shangai Assault Force also has a third member piloting a blue Wanron, as we can see in the gameplay video, but the pilot wasn’t introduced.

Director Katano shared some comments on each character. He mentioned Yan Shanlon is a typical shonen protagonist. He also said that Hwan Yui’s pilot suit is “special” when seen from behind. The best guess is that her back is only covered by the thighs part.

As previously explained, Project Sakura Wars features different Assault Forces from various countries. And they all participate in a tournament held at the Imperial Capital, titled the ” “World Assault Forces Great War”.

Director Tetsu Katano revealed the characters of the various Assault Forces in the game were designed by different artists. The character designer for the Shangai Assault Force is Yukiko Horiguchi, the character designer of multiple famous Kyoto Animation anime, such as Lucky Star and K-ON.

A message from Yukiko Horiguchi was also published. She’s very honored to be participating in a Sakura Taisen project. She mentioned she never played the games in the past but always loved their art styles and would buy the artbooks. She never got to do a lot of China-themed designs in the past, coupled with a fantasy and a steampunk setting no less, so doing it was tons of fun.

Another noteworthy thing is how at some point, Director Tetsu Katano made a lapsus. Instead of saying “Dondon” which means “more and more” in Japanese, he said “London”. There’s a chance a London Assault Force is in Project Sakura Wars. It definitely didn’t seem to be on purpose, but it’s suspicious as it’s the second time now. They unconsciously talked about the Shangai Assault Force in the first stream.

Next, we saw another video from the very beginning of the game. We saw what happens when Seijuro arrives at the capital and a Kouma attack suddenly happens. Seijuro gets his ass kicked by the Kouma but is saved by Shanlon. This confirms the Shangai Assault Force is the “foreign Assault Force handling the Imperial Capital’s defense” which was previously mentioned.

Next, we also saw what happens next in the scene Seijuro realizes he was about to enter the women’s bath. Just like his seiyuu Yohei Azakami had hinted in the previous stream, nothing raunchy actually happens, and Seijuro leaves without entering the bath. However, he ends up being seen by Yui, who immediately thinks he’s a pervert. This is their first meeting.

Next was the battle part, where Toshihiro Nagoshi joined the stream, explaining why Project Sakura Wars has an action battle system. They were then joined by Takayuki Okada, Project Sakura Wars‘ lead battle designer.

Next, Takayuki Okada played a battle live while commenting it. First off, we can switch anytime between the characters of the squad. The other characters are simultaneously fighting on the field. Most of the battles in Shin Sakura Taisen are fought in another dimensional space created with Spirit Energy by the Kouma. The battle shown is the battle in the first chapter of the game which we mentioned in another article. The objective is to defeat the Kouma who erected the dimensional space, in order to get out of it.

Each character has an HP bar and a Spirit Particle Energy bar below it. The mecha can also dash, jump, and do weak or strong attacks. The wall-run action can be easily done simply by dashing towards the wall. There’s a radar to detect enemies. Damage numbers are displayed when we hit enemies. Dodging an attack at the last moment also slowdowns time to be able to do more damage. When enemies are low on HP, you can finish them off in one flashy hit with the triangle button.

When your Spirit Particle energy bar is full, you can use a powerful ultimate attack. The presentation of these attack is identical to previous Sakura Taisen games, with a cutin showing the character and their mecha in a really cool way. You can get back Spirit Energy by picking up enemy drops, or in the field by destroying the purple crystals.

The green bar at the middle left of the screen is the “Bonds Gauge”. It increases as you do certain actions, like finishing off an enemy, evading at the last moment, defeating multiple enemies at the same time, etc. Each time it goes past a level, the attack and defense of the allies increases. When it’s very high, you can even defeat most Kouma with weak attacks, without using strong attacks. There’s an enemy defeated counter at the middle right of the screen.

Next, they showed the new trailer, which is included below, and revealed the release date.

At the end of the stream, more announcements were made. First, Shin Sakura Taisen has a Limited Edition in Japan. It’ll include an OST with tracks from Sakura Taisen 1,2,3,4,5 and Shin Sakura Taisen, over 60 tracks in total. It’ll also have a 72 pages, A4 sized artbook, with illustrations from Shin Sakura Taisen and the rest of the series. First print copies of Shin Sakura Taisen in Japan will also include a free PS4 theme.

Ending the stream, Toshihiro Nagoshi stressed out Sega doesn’t think the game will sell simply because it has “Sakura Taisen” on it. They’re not counting on the series’ past fame and put their soul into making the best game possible. Sakura Taisen is an important IP and they want to make the best out of it. They want the game to be popular with both older fans and people who don’t know the series.

it was also announced that an event will be held in on August 31 where fans will be able to try out Shin Sakura Taisen. The event will be held at Asakusa Hanayashiki. It’ll be reserved for people who are part of the “Teikoku Kagekidan Ouengumi”  You can read how to apply on the official site if you’re in Japan.

The next “Sakura Taisen Imperial Communication Department’s Broadcast” stream with new info and gameplay will be held on August 21.

The usual end of stream shot, with Director Tetsu Katano and stream MC Mami Yamashita.

We’ve covered everything about Project Sakura Wars revealed so far, most notably comments from the cast, the unfinished trailer incidentand the main characters’ profiles. 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, 2019.

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Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane (He/Him) is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. He speaks Japanese, has been watching anime for over 25 years, and plays Genshin Impact mainly for its story. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07.

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