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Shanghai Alice
November 3rd, 2010, 02:54 PM
It is a well known fact that, deep under the city of Tokyo, there exists a giant reserve filled with a perfect and amazing English translation of every game ever released in Japan.

It is also a well known fact that, in an effort to spite Westerners, the Prime Minister of Japan uses the cartridges and discs as toilet paper (Wow, that's... gotta hurt). And urinal cakes. And place mats. And, just for fun, he launches a few tons into space every once in a while, laughing as it burns up.

However, there is a special section of games that nobody is allowed to touch, as they are considered too amazing, too sought after, for mortal hands.

These games, games like the version of Crimson Echoes that Square secretly completed and left to rot (...IT'S TRUE! I KNOW IT!), games like Fire Emblem...

Even games like Atelier Iris... Even games like Mother and Mother 3.

Sitting there. Going to waste. All to spite us.

And in this section, on a golden pedestal in a quadruple locked safe...

Sits every translation of every port of every Sakura Taisen game ever made.


Where am I going with this rant against the hatred of exports?

Well... One very awesome place...

Sakura Taisen, of course!

Yes.

Sakura Taisen, or "Sakura Wars" as most non-weeaboos call it, is a series with seventeen games (Five main games, seven "intermediate" games, and five spin-offs. The main five have, on average, been ported about three to four times each), six OVAs, a TV series, full-length movie, six light novels, and a manga adaptation.

That's not counting the several plays performed (...16, according to Wikipedia), or the drama discs, or the...

You know what? You get the point. I'm going to move on.

The point is... This is a big series. It's been huge in Japan ever since it came out in '96, and it's really not hard to see why.

The series is a wonderful mix of idealism, cliches, awesomeness, mythology, and all-around lightheartedness. Initially set in 1920s Japan, Sakura Taisen began as a game about a theater troupe in Tokyo who spend their days practicing lines and training for combat against demons.

Yes. Demons.

See, the 1920s is a tad... different. The world went steampunk, and, for reasons which equate to "Because it's cool" with a little back story, Japanese historical figures, aided by trusty manifestations of negativity and evil, wreak havoc on earth.

So, naturally, the world is saved by several cute actresses who pilot giant Gundams Knightmares mechs Kohbus, for love, justice, Japan and it's capital, peace, and joy.

And... that doesn't even scratch the surface of the series as a whole.

Throw in a new commander (Conveniently, the only guy who fights. Also conveniently, your character. Who is wanted by everyone, which is expressed in various ways), a screwball sense of humor, much fluff, and elements of a dating sim, and you have...

The Monstrosity Currently Known as Sakura Wars.


I've prattled on long enough, and I haven't even gotten to the characters...

Come on. This series is/was huge. Am I the only fan?

Oh, and the theme song is beyond awesome. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bVnDlte-ys)