Monday, August 15, 2011

Sakura Wars (first OVA)

    Its 1918 in Tokyo, Japan and all hell has broken lose LITERALLY!!! Demons are on the prowl looking for innocence to pounce upon! But have no fear, for with the help of 6 young actress and an ex-soldier now ticket taker, we may just be able to pull through. That is of course if they can work with each other with out fail in there mighty steam powered mecha!

     Sakura Wars is based off a extremely popular game series from japan that has 5 titles to its name, multiple spin-offs, and a horde of merchandise and followers. It is to this date one of the most successful games in Japan and made its creators and actors literally super stars. And then it came here.......sort of. You see the OVA is a prologue to the first game, so once episode 4 is over you play the game to find out how it ends (or one of 6 ways to how it ends since it is a date sim). But we don't have Sakura Taisen (that's the Japanese title FYI) all we have are pretty much every anime under the franchise (except Le Nouveau Paris, a epilogue to Sakura Taisen 3 and NewYork NY, an epilogue to the Sakura Taisen 5 which we have in the states......SO WHY DON'T WE HAVE THE OVA!?!). Now of course this dosn't ruin the ova, the storys fun and enjoyable, the animation is really nice (madhouse, nuff said) and though the anime characters are all your typical archtypes, they still manage to be crisp and fun to watch. But then episode 4 comes, and if you don't know Sakura wars, elements of this ova are going to completely fly over your head. Its like watching End Of Evangelion before watching Neon Genesis Evangelion, it just won't make since. ultimatly it falls under a cursed catogory of viewing, Fanboys only. As much as it pains me to put such a label on an OVA that I personaly find Highly enjoyabale (because I am a fanboy) but it is sadly the truth. Now is it the shows fault for being confusing, NO!!! It's confusing cuz no one had the brain's to say "hey maybe we should bring the game over to the states too, so the people can actually watch this anime and know what the hell is going on!!" So its the man's fault, pure and simple. So thank you man for screwing up the Sakura Wars Franchise for us all!

      Animated by the amazing Madhouse and directed by Takaaki Ishiyama, This peice truly shows its beauty in both animation and direction. And with music conducted by the amazing Kouhei Tanaka (Known for his scores on Angelic layer, all 5 Dirty Pair OVAs, Galaxy Express 999: Eternal Fantasy, Mobile Suit Gundam: The 8th MS Team, All of the music for the One Piece franchise plus Sakura Taisen Franchie,  and Bastard!!) The music is truly one of the greatest highlights of Sakura Wars. That brings me to Chisa Yokoyoma's preformance for the OP song, which shows off Chisa's awsome voice and gives Sakura Taisen a nice epic feel with the battle anthem like Opening. Production get an A+ in my book!

     Oh......yeah....the dub. Well its got some okay preformances, then some not-as-good-as-INSERT-NAME-HERE-preformances, and that leads up to the group of WHY DID THEY GIVE THEM THAT VOICE!?!?! Preformances. the dub is not as bad as Sakura Taisen TV, but its not great. The only thing the dub really did right was give the certain characters the appropriate accents to where the character is from (the french girl sounded french, Russian chick sounded Russian, you get were I'm going with this) My suggestion, if you have the dvds watch it with subtitles.

     Violence and I guess if you hate shows with there are demons in this show.

    none...........except trailers.

     What would have been a great show turned into a confusing one, thanks to our friend marketing.
2 3/4 out of 5 if you dont know the franchise
4 out of 5 if you do ;)

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