Project Sakura Wars First Gameplay Reveals More Details and Characters Including Sumire

Shin Sakura Taisen's first stream revealed multiple gameplay sequences along with new info and comments from Producer Tetsu Katano.

Sega held today the first “Sakura Taisen Imperial Communication Department’s Broadcast” stream, which was announced last week.

The stream had three main corners. It started by showing the first trailer and recapping everything that was revealed about the game so far along with new information and gameplay sequences. Then we’ve got some jokes with Yohei Azakami using the game’s LISP system for real to pick up choices. Lastly, multiple new gameplay sequences were shown, including one introducing new characters.

The first gameplay sequence starts at 27:52, showing Seijuro and Sakura Amamiya reuniting after ten years. During the conversation, Seijuro can either say that Sakura became beautiful, that he wanna go on a date with her, or ask her what is she doing in front of the theater.

We’ve covered everything they talked about in the recap corner in previous articles here, here, here and here. However, while going through the info, Producer Tetsu Katano mentioned some new details on certain characters:

  • Similar to Ogami back in the days, Seijuro isn’t very well liked by most of the girls at the beginning of the story. The trust system with the girls is back. Depending on your actions each girl’s relationship with Seijuro will better or get worse. Like in previous Sakura Taisen games (and in Skies of Arcadia), there’s a particular SFX notifying the player if they got the right choice or not. Producer Katano funnily mentioned how the girls’ seiyuu would often mention how “Seijuro is a horrible guy” when recording.
  • Hatsuho is pretty popular with kids because she’s extremely nice. She tends to hit Seijuro a lot depending on the player’s choices though.
  • Azami likes wagashi. As we progress through the story, we’ll get to hear many of the “108 codes of the Shinobi” from her village, but not all 108.
  • Anastasia(19) actually being younger than Seijuro(20) is also something that is often brought up.
  • Clarisse isn’t a “nice princess” like you’d imagine as she has a super sharp tongue, depending on your choices.

The next gameplay sequence at 45:57 introduces new characters and officially revealed Sumire appears in Shin Sakura Taisen. Here are the profiles for each character shown:

Sumire Kanzaki, voiced by Michie Tomizawa.

The commander of the New Imperial Combat Revue and the director of the Imperial Theatre. She’s the former top star of the Flower Division. She lost her haughty attitude, but not her imposing aura as the top star, and is a lady respected by everyone. She’s the one who decided to appoint Seijuro as the new captain of the Flower Division. She strives to restore the Imperial Theatre and the Flower Division to their former glory.

Producer Tetsu Katano mentioned how Sumire is rich and loves the Imperial Combat Revue and the theatre more than anyone else, so she was the best person available fit for the job. He also mentioned that Sumire is still single as she’s still in love with Ogami and no one else can ever win her heart. (Ogami is currently missing along with the rest of the older characters).  Lastly, because the Flower Division is powerless at the beginning of the story, the defense of the Imperial Capital is handled by Combat Revues of other countries.

Kaoru Rindou, voiced by Yui Ishikawa.

Kaoru is Sumire’s personal secretary and a member of the Imperial Combat Revue’s Wind Division. She’s extremely smart, can calculate nearly everything in her mind and has an exceptional memory. She also handles Kanzaki Heavy Industries’ affairs, supporting Sumire at all times. She has earned the full trust of Sumire with her achievements.

Producer Tetsu Katano mentioned that Kaoru is pretty strict as Sumire herself is a strict person.

Komachi Ooba, voiced by Ryoko Shiraishi.

Komachi is a merchant from Osaka. She’s an extremely cheerful and talkative girl, to the point of often annoying others. Her catchphrase is “I need to study this!”. She works at the Imperial Theather, manning the different stalls, selling things like newspapers and goods related to the Imperial Combat Revue. She’s also in charge of the Imperial Combat Revue Flower Division’s supplies. She often says she can get them anything in stock, and she does should they ask.

Producer Katano also explained that the belt thing Komachi wears is her wallet. It’s read from right to left and says “Machi”. She made it herself but didn’t write the “ko” part of “Komachi” because she has a complex about her height and the “ko” part can be interpreted as “small” in Japanese. Her apron means “money”.

Ryoko Shiraishi tweeted that Komachi may be small, she’s like everyone’s big sis.

Producer Katano mentioned that when the Flower Division is mobilized, Kaoru and Komachi support commander Sumire in the operation room of the airship Shougeimaru. The airship transports the Flower Division’s units.

At the same moment they were talking about Komachi, they also accidentally revealed that Shin Sakura Taisen will feature new characters from the Shanghai Combat Revue. They didn’t elaborate more, simply saying that they’ll introduce them later. We already knew in the first place that Combat Revues from other countries will appear as there’s a worldwide tournament going on.

Reiji Shiba, voiced by Tomokazu Sugita.

Reiji studied together with Seijuro at the Military Academy. Seijuro followed the military course while Reiji followed the engineering course. They’re rivals and close friends. Reiji is now the Chief Engineer of the Flower Division and handles the development and maintenance of all their armaments. Because of their different fields of expertise and points of view, Reiji and Seijuro often argue with each other. They can be seen arguing loudly at times. Reiji is also the Main Theatre Mechanist of the Imperial Theatre, meaning he’s pivotal to both the Imperial Theatre and the Imperial Combat Revue.

Producer Tetsu Katano mentioned Reiji is a really nice guy and helps the team a lot, to the point that when writing the story, they even wondered if it was okay to have such a nice and useful character as Reiji. Reiji and Seijuro are more friends than rivals and ultimately they get along well. Tetsu Katano and Yohei Azakami also mentioned that Reiji is seen talking about how cute Clarisse is, but he’s more into mecha than women. They added that Reiji is very similar to the 5 girls Seijuro can hook up with, but you can’t actually hook up Seijuro with him. However, Seijuro has many interactions with Reiji as well, with choices using the LISP and Analog LISP systems.

Next at 55:48, gameplay sequences from the beginning of the game were shown. Seijuro comes to the Imperial Capital and mentions how it’s been ten years since his last time at the capital. He also mentions how everything changed and got repaired after what happened ten years ago. Suddenly, a Kouma appears and attacks, and Seijuro confronts it.
The scene cuts to Seijuro getting in front of the imperial theater, making the same misunderstanding as Ogami in the very first game, not knowing the theatre is camouflage and thinking he’s about to become some kind of actor. He ends up reuniting with Sakura there, showing the beginning of the scene they already showed earlier. Next, we see Seijuro meeting with Commander Sumire.

Producer Tetsu Katano officially revealed at that moment that Seijuro and Sakura are childhood friends and how they used to learn swordsmanship together. He also revealed that part of the reason Seijuro was transferred from the captain of a ship in the Imperial Marine to the Imperial Combat Revue is that his ship sunk.

Starting 01:00:12 we see Sakura giving Seijuro a tour of the Imperial Theater, and introducing him to Hatsuho at 1:04:18. Hatsuho teases Sakura for bringing a guy along, and friendly greets Seijuro, saying he can count on her for anything.
As the scene was playing, Misuzu Araki joked how “If it was Boobs Wars instead of Sakura Wars, Sakura would instantly lose”, which made Yohei Azakami burst out laughing uncontrollably. Producer Katano jokingly told her the stream will get taken down if she makes jokes like that. He also mentioned that Hatsuho calls herself “Hatsuho chan”, but gets embarrassed if someone else calls her that.

The next gameplay sequence starts at 1:06:17, with Producer Tetsu Katano and later on Yohei Azakami playing the game live, exploring the Imperial Theater. Seijuro can dash during exploration.  It was also revealed that Shin Sakura Taisen has bromides of the older characters to collect. We’ve seen one with Sakura Shinguji in her pilot suit, and another one with Erika in her black cat costume. Funnily, they weren’t supposed to show the Erika one yet.

Later on, we got to see Clarisse’s introduction scene. Sakura mentions Clarisse gets so concentrated she doesn’t notice anything else happening, so Seijuro gets three different choices to try and surprise Clarisse. One of these choices was “oh no, my hand is moving on its own!” referencing sexual fanservice scenes Ogami could trigger in past games.
Clarisse mentions Seijuro has really bad luck to have become their captain, seeing the Flower Division is finished, with unmotivated members ad no budget. She believes nothing will ever change no matter what they do, unlike a novel’s fictional story, and is pretty pessimistic. She sarcastically wishes Seijuro the best and leaves. Sakura says Clarisse is usually a cute girl. If Seijuro agrees and blatantly says hse’s cute, Sakura gets angry.

Azakami and Misuzu mentioned how Sakura is super cute and how she moves a lot, sometimes as if she’s exaggerating her movements. They added that thinking about it, it’s natural most characters in the game move that way because they’re actresses and used to displaying emotions with their bodies.

They also mention Azami isn’t in the theater at the beginning of the game because she’s currently on a mission guarding someone.

Producer Katano explained that each event takes a different amount of time, and how certain events are time-limited, like in previous games. After a certain amount of time passes, the main story moves along.

He also mentioned the Imperial Theater’s archives room can be accessed in-game, and it has a lexicon with all the game’s lore and terms explained. It gets filled as the terms get introduced in the story (just like a Super Robot Wars game’s lexicon). Hearing this, Yohei Azakami and Misuzu Araki ask to see more of the theater, so they showed more live gameplay with Seijuro exploring.

The next gameplay sequence shows Seijuro lamenting the Flower Division has currently no funds or mecha units, and then suddenly discovering the baths. Realizing it’s probably a women-only bath seeing the Flower Division is women only, Seijuro panics. The scene changes depending on your choices, but we didn’t get to see what happens. ProducerKatano mentioned that no matter what you pick, Seijuro doesn’t get in the bath though. Azakami, who knows what happens as he voiced Seijuro, mentioned that this scene in particular “really doesn’t have any girls in the bath”, hinting that a man was using it instead.

The final gameplay sequence shows Seijuro helping Reiji with tests in the hangar. Producer Katano mentioned Reiji is always in the hangar, below the theater. He also mentioned that Reiji only starts appearing around the second chapter of the game, and this is where that scene is from. Players need to move the output gauge of Seijuro’s unit while following Reiji’s instructions.  At some point, Reiji asks Seijuro to put the output to the max, and then drop it to 10% in less than 2seconds, meaning players need to be quite fast. Producer Katano mentioned he himself fails that one often. He succeeded on stream though.
These sequences are one of the “Analog LIPS” choices, where you don’t select a choice directly but decide through your inputs.
Azakami funnily imitated Sugita’s voice too.

Ending the stream, Producer Katano joked that they’ll get yelled at later because they ended up revealing way more stuff than planned. But that it was worth it to make the viewers and fans happy.

Producer Tetsu Katano said we’ll see Shin Sakura Taisen‘s battle scenes and the battle system “sometime later”. The actual release date will be announced “sometime later” too. They also announced the second “Sakura Taisen Imperial Communication Department’s Broadcast” stream will be in July. Probably in late July because they need to “prepare a lot for it”.

Once the stream ended, the Shin Sakura Taisen official site was updated with the profiles for the new characters, which I’ve translated already above, and screenshots. Japanese only registrations for the “Teikoku Kagekidan Ouengumi” also opened. Those who register will get a newsletter and other benefits such as free PS4 themes once the game releases.

Post stream photo with Misuzu Araki, Yohei Azakami and Tetsu Katano.

Shin Sakura Taisen, temporarily titled Project Sakura Wars in the west, launches next winter in Japan and next spring in the west, exclusively on PS4.

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Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07

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