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Sakura Taisen - Anime For Otaku

About Sakura Taisen

Previous Entry Sakura Taisen Apr. 27th, 2006 @ 12:28 am Next Entry
Concluding the end of one series and passing the torch to another, Sakura Wars, was always a favorite but now the time has come to move on.

INTRO: For years the defense and safety of the Imperial city rested on the shoulders of Sumire Kanzaki of the Flower Division. But this, as with all things, must fade away. As the top star of the Imperial Theatre Company, Sumire was the power and the light from which her comrades drew their own strength and resolve. It was through her that the Flower Division found their courage... and through her that many happy memories were made. Now the curtain rises for one final performance as the star that once shined so brightly begins to grow faint. As the spotlight dims on one legend, another must come center stage.

An unseen evil lurks in the streets of Paris, and unless something is done, the darkness will unleash its destruction and consume all that is good. The City of Love will be lost to her people forever. All hope rests within the hearts of five young ladies. The only problem is, they don’t even know it yet! But will an apprenticed nun, a reserved aristocrat, a hardened criminal, the daughter of a wealthy Japanese Baron, and traveling circus emcee set aside their unique differences and come together as one for the defense of many? The war continues and the Paris Floral Assault Division is born!

CONTENT: The first disc, Sumire was another short disc, of only twenty-five minutes. This stand alone story brings the curtain down on the original franchise as Sumire steps down from the Flower Troops. This is sort of Sega's way of saying good-bye its faithful fans of the series. Disc one had one episode, while disc two had three. The second disc was a three part OAV that introduces a new crew to fight the evil that lurks in Paris.

CHARACTERS: Disc 1, There focus on this story was on Sumire and her leaving the gang. If one is not familiar with the Sakura Wars universe, then this series is kind of going to be a mystery. Though as a fan, I'd've never guessed Kana would have been the saddest person as a result of Sumire's retirement. Disc 2, the cast has a similar feel as the original series. There are friendships and tensions.

AUDIO: All the audio tracks (both) sounded fine on my sad little two speaker 27" TV.

VIDEO: The video appeared to be a clean transfer without any sort of artifacting. Seeing how this was a four year old stand alone title, there is no surprise in the quality.

ANIMATION: The first DVD's animation was not as crisp as the TV series, movie or OAV. The second disc appeared a little more brilliant, and color saturation was a little better than the first disc. The second DVD's animation resembled the rest of the series until the fight scenes with the mechs. These mechs were CG and looked horribly out of place.

MENUS: The menus were simple and basic, straight forward and responded quickly to remote inputs without fail.

EXTRAS: Disc one had extras that ran almost as long as the single episode itself. It was loaded with extras, including interviews with the cast and production crew as well as previews. Disc two did not disappoint either with original trailers and commercials for the PC and PS2 video games, along with interviews and sketches, there's a lot of bonus stuff here.

COVER ART: The cover art was bright and vivid. The white keeper cases gave the art a softer appearance.

ENJOYMENT: I love the franchise so it was no surprise that I would buy this series and love it. 

VALUE: The value for these discs were pretty good. The first disc was nine bucks, while the second was about twenty-five, so I Averaged them out.

VERDICT: While both stories are not directly related, this series is a further extension and yet an end to the series that gamers and otaku alike will continue to love for years to come.

RATINGS:
Content: 7
Characters: 8
Audio: 8
Video: 8
Animation: 7
Menus: 7
Extras: 8
Cover Art: 8
Enjoyment: 8
Value: 8
Overall: 8
Personal: 8

DATA:
Mecha
4 Episodes, 2 DVDs
FUNimation
DVD Region 1
100 Min. total
Dual Language
Sub & Dub
$15.00
Reviewed
04.25.06
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