#19 : Sakura Wars (Sakura Taisen)

(25 episodes + tons of OAV spin-offs)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of (a series of) videogames, part tactical-RPG, part dating sim. It’s set in an alternate version of 1920s Japan that has gone in a decidedly steampunk route.


Sakura, our protagonist, is a country bumpkin and a new recruit to the Imperial Floral Division, part of the forces defending the capital against… some offscreen “evil” forces we have no real exposure to yet. Sure, she’s clumsy and has trouble following instructions, but she compensates it with overenthusiasm (which often gets her into more trouble). But she’s completely nonplussed when she arrives at the rendezvous point : why do headquarters look like a theatre ? Why are her new teammates performing a play ? (That she proceeds to make a mess out of, of course.)

Said teammates :
– Maria, the taciturn one who thinks the newbie won’t cut it and thus won’t bother talking to her
– Iris, the creepy kid who talks to her teddybear
– Sumire, the “star” who takes personal offense at Sakura’s bumbling (which gets worse as she tries to apologize)
aren’t very welcoming, to be polite. While they may be overreacting, you can see their points.

The brass, on the other hand, are delighted by Sakura’s arrival. Sure, there might be some initial problems, but she’s from a famous and powerful lineage, we need her… Oh dear gods her aura’s so powerful it made the mecha in the basement randomly activate, traumatizing her. (And of course it’s Sumire‘s mecha that gets trashed.)

I think there are more members due to join the team soon, given the OP & ED sequences.

Production Values

This looks quite good indeed : nice animation, and lots of attention to detail to sketch out this past Tokyo with some good verisimilitude.

Overall Impression

Well, I didn’t expect this : a non-standard setting, with a very weird setup that leaves me more intrigued than frustrated by the lack of explanation for it. The characters are sketched enough not to be annoying, and it does have the budget to support its ambition.

I want to know what’s going on here, and to watch more of this. Mission accomplished, then : I’ll pretty sure I’ll come back to this series later this year.

Source: [In Which I Review] Anime series from 2000 – Page 4

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I've been kinda blogging about anime for years... but mostly on forums (such as RPG.net's Tangency) and other sites. This site is an archive for all that stuff, just in case.

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