Shin Sakura Taisen The Stage Announced, Kohei Tanaka Comments on the Series OSTs
Sakura Amamiya's character song "Otome Nandesuyo", sung by Ayane Sakura, was also revealed.
Sega held the fourth and final Shin Sakura Taisen stage event on the last day of Tokyo Game Show 2019. The event featured Seijuro’s seiyuu Yohei Azakami, Azami’s seiyuu Hibiku Yamamura, Anastasia’s seiyuu Ayaka Fukuhara, and Kohei Tanaka, the traditional composer of the series (who’s also One Piece and tons of other things’ composer). Producer Tetsu Katano was there as always.
The event started by showing a new gameplay video to reintroduce Azami:
We can hear Azami’s character song during the video.
Kohei Tanaka then started looking back on the series and also explained how he composed the OST for Shin Sakura Taisen. Back when working on the very first Sakura Taisen, he used to discuss a lot with Oji Hiroi on how to make the OST memorable. He remembers in particular how they thought the music industry was leaning more and more towards rhythm songs, while they wanted to go against the trends and do melody songs. What’s even more amazing is that they were already talking about that 2 years before Sakura Taisen 1 released.
Taking this into account, Tanaka always tried to make Sakura Taisen‘s OSTs into universal melodies, rather than making them feel like Showa era or Taisho era. That’s the most important point for him, and it explains why songs like Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan are still popular today.
Next, they introduced the OSTs found in Shin Sakura Taisen‘s Limited Edition, going through the CDs tracklist for each game. These aren’t the full OSTs but a selection of the most famous vocal tracks, most notably the character songs. Tanaka said a collection with the full OSTs of every game would amount to around 400 tracks. He asked the audience if anyone would buy it, and the audience cheered, so he replied: “I’ll ask Avex about it”.
Next, Kohei Tanaka spoke about each game in detail while revealing each CD’s tracklist. (Famitsu published a text version of the tracklist. You should check it for copypasting purposes and see if a song you like is in. It’s handy if you can’t read Japanese. as there’s no way I’m rewriting it all in romaji)
Sakura Taisen 1:
Ai Yue ni, the duo song between Maria and Sakura, is one of the most famous songs of the series. Tanaka actually didn’t spend that much time working on it. Composing it wasn’t particularly complicated. Chisa Yokoyama and Urara Takano did a great job too so the recording was over in a flash.
Sakura Taisen 2:
For Sakura Taisen 1, the character songs focused on introducing the characters. For Sakura Taisen 2, Tanaka made songs which portrayed the characters’ thoughts, actions, and what kind of songs they would like to sing. Tanaka’s favorite song in Sakura Taisen 2 is Yume no Tsuzuki, “the dream’s continuation“. He also believes it’s among the best songs in the franchise, and he inspired himself from it a lot for Shin Sakura Taisen‘s OST. That’s also part of why Hiroi Oji included in the lyrics of the new version of Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan “Yume ga Yomigaeru, ware wa Arata Naru Teikoku Kagekidan/ the dream is continuing, we’re the new Imperial Assault Force”.
Shin Sakura Taisen is the continuation of the dream. Tanaka thanked the fans for loving and supporting the series all these years, making Shin Sakura Taisen a reality. Some people were actually crying in the audience when he said that.
Tanaka also spoke about how there are around a hundred Sakura Taisen songs, from things like the musicals, which were never released on CD. He said that now that the franchise is moving in full swing again, it’s possible they’ll have the opportunity to release them soon.
Sakura Taisen 3:
On Sakura Taisen 3, Tanaka thought he’d just make a “Paris sounding” version of GekiTei for the opening song, but Red Entertainment asked him to make an even better new song, resulting in Mihata no Moto ni. Hibiku Yamamura mentioned how she always loved the song, and how she remembers going to a musical many years ago and being extremely moved by it. They also mentioned how she used to regularly up videos of herself singing and dancing on the song before she even did the audition for Shin Sakura Taisen.
Sakura Taisen 4:
Sakura Taisen 4 is a particular case. The new version of GekiTei used as the opening song, and the ending song, Kimi yo Hana yo, both feature Ogami’s seiyuu Akio Suyama. He’s the main vocalist in the OP, and he’s narrating in the ED. Those were both Hiroi Oji’s ideas, and he actually wanted to make Ogami sing the ED, but Tanaka was against it. Hiroi Oji really wanted to include him though, so Tanaka decided to bet on his talent as a seiyuu and make him speak on the song, and it actually turned out much better than what they imagined.
Tanaka said he sings Kimi yo Hana yo at karaoke with some of of the game’s staff like director Terada. And Terada is always super into it.
Sakura Taisen 5:
Sakura Taisen 5 features another new opening theme, Chijou no Senshi. Tanaka was asked to make a jazz-sounding song. It wasn’t particularly hard to make, but on the composing side, it’s a pretty advanced song, making it hard to sing.
The hardest thing when composing for Sakura Taisen now is to avoid making something similar. All of the series’ songs have always been handled by Hiroi Oji and Kohei Tanaka, so they’re worried people might get tired of it. That’s why they’re trying to do completely new things for each game. That was the case with Sakura Taisen 5′s OST, and it’s the case for Shin Sakura Taisen‘s OST as well.
For example, they teased that Anastasia’s song is different than anything they did so far. Ayaka Fukuhara said they asked her to record it with the lights off. Tanaka mentioned that was the second time they did that. The first time was when Mie Sonozaki was recording Subaru’s character song Kagayaku Seiza in Sakura Taisen 5.
And here’s the tracklist of the Limited Edition’s OST CD for Shin Sakura Taisen. There are 2 songs without titles, listed as “Secret”. Producer Katano said the songs’ names are huge spoilers. The second secret song is sung not only by the Imperial Assault Force Flower Division characters, but also the girls of the other countries’ Assault Force. However, it’s missing Rie Kugimiya/Margaret.
Yui, Lancelot, and Eris, also have their character songs included, but Margaret doesn’t. Either it’s in the game and they purposefully didn’t include it on this CD, either Rie Kugimiya didn’t sing for the game at all, which would be a huge shame. Track 13, titled Ruriran Ginza Roman, is listed as “in development” and doesn’t have singer(s) listed though, so maybe that’ll be a song with Margaret.
It’s worth noting Yasha has a character song too.
Hibiku Yamamura then talked about Azami’s song, saying it shows how cute she is, but it was a bit hard to sing since the pitch is pretty high. She had a really hard time staying in Azami’s voice while singing. At first, they also thought about making Azami recite the 108 laws of her shinobi village in the song, but that would have taken forever. Tanaka also said Azami’s character song is the most “character song” of the lot.
Going back to the second secret song, Tanaka mentioned he arranged it himself as he didn’t want anyone else doing it. He also mentioned it’s a very unique song and how even Nana Mizuki said: “I never did something like it in my career”. Tanaka also mentioned there’s an orchestra of around 60 to 70 people accompanying Nana Mizuki in Eris’ character song.
Next, they revealed the music video for Sakura Amamiya’s character song:
The song’s lyrics were written by scenarist Jiro Ishii. They’re making actual music videos for the songs now, using gameplay from the game. Katano said they’ll slowly reveal some of the other character songs before the game releases. They used short versions of the character songs for the music videos, but each song has a longer version too.
Next, they played Star Tanjou, the new song by Sumire/Michie Tomizawa, Kaoru/Yui Ishikawa, and Komachi/Ryoko Shiraishi:
Kohei Tanaka explained the song’s concept is about how going to the theater and watching musicals is fun. There were similar songs in past games, so it’s in continuation with those. Tanaka also said that at the song’s recording, Michie Tomizawa was so happy to sing a new Sakura Taisen song she started crying.
Tanaka kept talking and talking and ended up revealing things they were supposedly not planning to say yet: They also recorded a “Hanagumi version” of Star Tanjou too for the anime. “Hanagumi version” means it should be Sakura Amamiya and the other new girls singing. He also revealed there’s another new song he made that will be used as the anime’s ending song.
Lastly, they finally revealed Shin Sakura Taisen is getting stage plays too, titled Shin Sakura Taisen The Stage. They explained the stage plays will have different actors, and it won’t be the game’s seiyuu appearing. The performances will start in Spring 2020.
(Timestamp) They introduced Sakura Amamiya’s actress, Yūna Sekine, who joined them on stage. Yuna Sekine was picked for Sakura’s role after an audition of over 150 actresses. Kohei Tanaka was at the audition as well, and they asked each one of them to sing. Every actress was actually really good too, but Tanaka said “Yuna Sekine was shining like a jewel and it really feels like she’s Sakura Amamiya herself”. Sekine said she’s feeling a lot of pressure but will do her best.
When the stage event was about to end, Yohei Azakami asked when will he get to sing as Seijuro. Meaning he doesn’t have a character song. Kohei Tanaka answered that he’ll think about it, this means we could get one later on for the anime or something.
Shin Sakura Taisen getting its own stage plays is pretty iconic, as it’s pretty much the franchise which started that trend. It’s a bit of a shame the seiyuu themselves won’t be acting the characters in musicals like in the past, but I expected that to happen. In any case, all of this really shows how much Sega cares, and I really hope the series will make a successful comeback. Not only in Japan but in the world as well.
— 阿座上(アザカミ)洋平 (@azakami_youhei) September 15, 2019
The usual photo with everyone on stream.
— サクラ大戦公式@SEGA (@Sakura_Taisen) September 15, 2019
They published a fun pic with Yuna Sekine playing the game too.
Sega also announced on twitter the monthly “Sakura Taisen Imperial Communication Department’s Broadcast” streams will be continuing and the next one is coming this October.
As a side note, they revealed the 6th “secret” character who got bromides and goods sold at the TGS booth was Gekizou.
This concludes our coverage of the Shin Sakura Taisen stage events at Tokyo Game Show 2019: The TGS 2019 day 1 stage event had new gameplay and trailers. The TGS 2019 day 2 stage event included the anime’s announcement. The TGS 2019 day 3 stage event revealed more gameplay, the opening animation sequence, and detailed the Limited Edition’s artbook.
You can also read our summaries of the previous Shin Sakura Taisen streams: the first stream, the second stream (part 2) and the third stream. Lastly, you can check the info from the game’s demo event.
If you missed it, you can also check our summary of Famitsu’s interview with the staff, comments from the cast, and the unfinished trailer incident. Sakura Taisen creator Oji Hiroi also spoke about the franchise’s influence.
Shin Sakura Taisen launches on December 12 in Japan and in Spring 2020 in the west, on PS4.