Complete Collection Review

The Sakura Wars multimedia franchise began in 1996 with a ground-breaking game for the Sega Saturn console, one which integrated dating sim-like character interactions into standard strategy-oriented RPG mechanics, portrayed events in an episodic anime series-like style, and offered multiple possible endings which could be determined by the player's actions rather than the one fixed story path typical of RPGs at the time. The immensely popular game series it spawned first took true anime form in late 1997 with a four-episode OVA series, followed by a six-episode sequel in late 1999. Those proved popular enough to warrant a full 25-episode TV series beginning in the spring of 2000 as well as a later movie and several later OVA spin-offs. ADV originally released the TV series in single volumes over the course of 2003, and now Sentai Filmworks is following up with a second complete-set rerelease. For those too new to fandom to remember this one when it first came out, this economical rerelease offers a chance to experience why this was one of the most popular series in fandom in the early part of the current decade. Whether or not it is actually one of the best series from that time period is another matter entirely.

The Sakura Wars multimedia franchise began in 1996 with a ground-breaking game for the Sega Saturn console, one which integrated dating sim-like character interactions into standard strategy-oriented RPG mechanics, portrayed events in an episodic anime series-like style, and offered multiple possible endings which could be determined by the player's actions rather than the one fixed story path typical of RPGs at the time. The immensely popular game series it spawned first took true anime form in late 1997 with a four-episode OVA series, followed by a six-episode sequel in late 1999. Those proved popular enough to warrant a full 25-episode TV series beginning in the spring of 2000 as well as a later movie and several later OVA spin-offs. ADV originally released the TV series in single volumes over the course of 2003, and now Sentai Filmworks is following up with a second complete-set rerelease. For those too new to fandom to remember this one when it first came out, this economical rerelease offers a chance to experience why this was one of the most popular series in fandom in the early part of the current decade. Whether or not it is actually one of the best series from that time period is another matter entirely.

The plot structure is straightforward and fairly typical. The first few episodes concentrate on systematically assembling a team of mecha pilots that eventually numbers seven, and over the course of the next few episodes they gradually learn to master their powers, machines, and teamwork in order to combat a looming evil threat. Along the way occasional flashbacks reveal the foundation of the situation and some of the more troublesome character backgrounds, and naturally the pilots experience a certain amount of personality friction, too. The series' latter stages reveal a past connection between the unit's commanders and the main bad guy but otherwise focus on battles in earnest in a desperate effort by the heroines to save themselves and the capital from the evil forces, climaxing with the unit finally successfully using their epic Flower Formation attack in battle.

Madhouse Studios has earned a reputation for producing some of the sharpest-looking anime series of the past few years, but this one came along before they fully refined their techniques and learned to truly exploit modern digital coloring methods. As a result, the artistry stands at a transition point between the older-school look of the early-to-mid '90s and the sleekness of more recent productions. This one also either came along before MADHOUSE developed consistent quality control or represents a lapse in such efforts, as while the backgrounds generally look good, the character rendering quality can be erratic and only suffers more as the series progresses. The artistry's strengths lie in its costuming, mecha designs, and inclination to give all its female characters sensible figures and hairdos. Fan service is not a factor in the slightest, although the series does have enough graphic violence content to call into question the TV-PG rating on the case. The animation takes typical fight-scene shortcuts in an overall unremarkable effort.

Sakura Wars TV can be an involving series, and the drawing power it had which made it such a popular title is certainly understandable. It is best enjoyed on a purely fun level, as flaws start showing if any kind of serious analysis is applied to it.


Source Here

Comments

Want to comment on this? First, you must log in to your SideReel account!