Axel Stone from Streets of Rage, Sakura Shinguji of Sakura Wars and more confirmed for Project X Zone 2


Courtesy of the new issue of Famitsu (and the scans above, provided by @TACK0520 on Twitter), we now know three more characters showing up on the SEGA side of things in the upcoming Project X Zone 2: Brave New World.

Axel Stone of Streets of Rage fame has been confirmed to show up in the game, as have Sakura Shinguji and Gemini Sunrise from the Sakura Taisen series. Whilst both Sakura Taisen characters return from the first game, this is Axel’s first appearance in a seriously long time, and it’s great to see him added to the roster. In addition to these SEGA additions, Capcom’s Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey of their Ace Attorney series are also confirmed to be appearing, as well as characters from God Eater 2 and Summon Night 3. From the looks of things, Axel will be an assist unit, whereas the Taisen characters return in their role from Project X Zone. 

Overall, it’s awesome to see more SEGA love from this game; Axel was definitely near the top of my wanted list, and I’m ecstatic to see him return.

Developer Retrospective: A look back at the games of SEGA’s Overworks


Last week when we kicked off Overworks and WOW Entertainment month, we took a look back at how SEGA organized their many internal development teams over the years. Among those teams were Overworks and WOW Entertainment, two separate teams that released games from 2000 through to 2004 when they were merged and became SEGA WOW. This week, we will be taking a look back at the games released by Overworks. While the Overworks softography is small, especially compared to giants like SEGA AM2, in the span of four years Overworks released some truly classic titles.

Iwakura Productions to Fan Translate Sakura Taisen on PC

Iwakura Productions, known for their work on numerous Japanese fan translated games, has taken charge of translating SEGA and Red’s best selling dating sim/tactical role-playing game, Sakura Taisen (Sakura Wars in the West) to English. The project is currently being worked on by three people and will have a brand new translation with no prior scripts to be used or referenced. So far, the game’s script is 1/12th finished. If anyone would like to volunteer for the translation project, click here and send comment to the project lead. For screenshots of the game in english, be sure to hit the jump!

Round Table: How we would like to see Sakura Taisen localized

As Sakura Taisen week comes to an end, the SEGAbits writers and I look ahead to the future of the franchise. While we’re certain Japanese gamers want a sixth title, here in the West we’re still waiting for localized releases of the first four games. While there are no signs of Sakura Taisen 1-4 seeing a Western release anytime soon, that doesn’t stop us from speculating and sharing our own ideas for how SEGA could give gamers these SEGA classics. And who knows, with the recent developments of SEGA acquiring Atlus’s parent company Index and SEGA surprising us all with the localization of Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F, perhaps there is a future for the franchise in the West. Check out our thoughts after the break!

Segalization and Sakura Taisen Week


Segalization heard that SEGAbits was running a Sakura Taisen-themed week, and we were happy to help commemorate the week by contributing something of our own. Sakura Taisen, or Sakura Wars as it’s known over here, is easily one of the most prominent SEGA franchises to never make it stateside. It is the poster child for what Segalization wants to correct. So please, read on as we go into Sakura Wars’ history, what it means to the Segalization mission and my own personal experience with the only game in the franchise that has been localized.

The SEGA Five: Ways to experience Sakura Taisen


Sakura Taisen has had an interesting history in the West. Though the first four games that make up the core of the franchise were never localized, the series’ anime and manga adaptions were. As a result, Sakura Taisen was able to establish a cult following in the West, one strong enough to spawn continued interest in the franchise from both fans and corporations years later.

Thanks to the efforts of these companies and fans, there are now several ways for western audiences to get a taste of the franchise. Though they are not all complete and they are not all convenient, these are the five ways you can experience the biggest SEGA franchise to never officially make it West.

This is the Westerner’s guide to Sakura Wars.

(Special Note: the information from this list is derived from Kori Maru’s extensive knowledge of the franchise. He was gracious enough to help us out with the research for this article)

SEGA Channel Retro: Sakura Taisen 1-4 streaming marathon

Watch live video from SEGA_Channel_Retro on
Kori-Maru here to bring our readers a live stream today featuring Sakura Taisen 1-4 during Sakura Taisen week running on a SEGA Dreamcast system. The stream will begin at 7:15 AM 9:30 AM Eastern Time. I will be showing off the each game in the main series for fans and newcomers of the series and it’s gameplay features. Be sure to stop by our SEGA Channel Retro Stream Channel and ask us questions during the stream.

SEGA Tunes: Sakura Taisen’s “Kimi Yo Hana Yo (Live)”

As some of you may remember, we’ve covered Sakura Taisen on Tuesday Tunes before, featuring music from both the game itself and its stage show incarnations. As a musical theatre buff myself, I am extremely jealous of Japanese fans for the dozens of Sakura Taisen related stage shows they’ve had over the years. After all, the closest thing us westerners have gotten to a proper SEGA related stage show is that awful Sonic musical from Australia.

A Sakura Taisen stage show is rather fitting though, given that the game itself stars performers who actively sing and dance on stage. The above video is from the 2003 Shichifukujin show, which features all the voice actors from the Sakura Taisen video games and anime reprising their roles on stage. From what I’ve seen of the show it looks pretty cool, and the performers themselves are definitely talented.

The song “Kimi Yo Hana Yo” was originally composed by Kouhei Tanaka for the end credits of Sakura Wars 4. The stage version features all of the games voice actors reprising their roles as members of Flower Division, including Akio Suyama as Captain Ichirou Oogami and Chisa Yokoyama as titular character Sakura Shinguji.

Check below the fold for the version of the song featured in the game!

SEGA Retrospective: Sakura Taisen Week – Imperial Assault Force, Move Out!


Konnichiwa! Kori-Maru here to welcome our readers to Sakura Taisen week.

In commemoration of Valentine’s Day we’ll be providing you with a full week of coverage for SEGA’s popular dating/strategy game. Since its release in Japan on the SEGA Saturn back in 1996, the franchise expanded with sequels, spinoffs, stage shows, animation, and even a motion picture. While Sakura Taisen was a smash hit in Japan, the franchise was never given much exposure in the west due to SEGA’s western branches not believing the series would find an audience.

Luckily, other companies disagreed, and Sakura Taisen’s anime and manga would reach western shores in the early 2000s thanks to companies like ADV films and Tokyopop. Thanks to NIS America, even Sakura Taisen’s latest game, Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, was able to make reach western markets. Most recently, last year’s Project X Zone for the Nintendo 3DS saw a Western release and featured Sakura Taisen characters and locations.

To get you guys prepped for a week of Sakura Taisen, check below for an overview of the series!

Sakura Wars Mobage will feature a costume changing system and sign ups

A few months ago, SEGA and Red Entertainment made a partnership with Mobage to develop a new Sakura Wars game which displeased many fans in Japan.  However, Sakura Wars for Mobage  will feature a original story featuring several characters from the franchise a new gameplay system that involves changing costumes.

Details about how this  will change gameplay have not been announced as of yet. Signups for Sakura Wars for  Mobage start today and if you register early you’ll get an ultra rare  Sakura Shinguji card. Service for the game is scheduled to begin sometime this winter.

Special Thanks to SEGAFAN for the tip!

Sakura Wars CG Motion Manga heading to Japan by TOMOTOON!

SEGA and Red has collabrated with japanese animation studio TOMOTOON! to bring the manga adaptation of Sakura Wars by series creator, Ouji Hiroi, to life with CG motion, which was also translated into english towards the Western manga readers by the manga publishing company, TokyoPop.

The trailer features a few first panels of the manga in full motion CG, almost compared to the Valkyria Chronicles cutscenes. I happen to like motion comics by comic publishers like Marvel and DC Comics for example and pretty stoke to see how this turns out as a fan of the series. What are your thoughts?

Sakura Wars The Movie to be rereleased by Funimation in Blu Ray format

News has it that Funimation has picked up the license rights to rerelease Sakura Wars: The Movie on Blu Ray Disc this morning. A source from Twitter states that the movie will still retain the Geneon Dub with added extra features. The movie was previously released on DVD and PSP UMD by Geneon a few years back. The movie’s plot follows the Imperial Assault Force after Lt. Ogami Ichiro departs to Paris and are later introduced to Star Division’s member Rachete Altair to battle against the upcoming evil that is descending upon the Imperial Capital.

If your a fan of SEGA media, you should check this movie out when it’s rereleased on Blu Ray. Now if only Funimation can obtain the TV series rights for Toonami. Hit the jump to see the Twitter announcements.

SEGA Tunes SEGAbits Staff Spotlight: Kori Maru

“Hello SEGABits readers! I’m Kori-Maru, admin of The Website of the Dead. Some call me one of the more “hardcore” Sega fans out there for my extensive knowledge of Sega’s games and my love for HotD. I would like to share some of my favorite SEGA tunes with you guys and my experiences with them. Let’s start out with…

Sakura Wars So Long My Love seiyuu, Naoya Uchida, to have a live birthday concert


Famous Japanese voice and stage actor Naoya Uchida, who is known as the voice and potrayer of Commander Michael Sunnyside from SEGA/RED’s fifth installment of Sakura Wars, will be turning 60 this year and to celebrate his birthday, there will be a live concert plus special guest, Dandy Dan (potrayed by Mr. Shintaro), will appear on stage. For our SEGABits readers who reside in Japan, the live birthday concert will be held on May 1st at Ebisu Switch Skylight. Hope his birthday goes out with a bang to the rooftops! (SW fans would know this)

Retro Review: Sakura Taisen

Sakura Taisen (Sakura Wars) is a Strategy RPG adventure series that features a unique sim-based story system developed by AM7 Team Shinobi (Overworks) from SEGA along with Red Entertainment. The series first began in 1996 for the Sega Saturn and spawned several sequels, including OVA adaptations, TV anime series, a movie, and other merchandises. While the game was a successful Sega IP in Japan, it never had a release in the West until the release of the fifth game, which was released and published by NIS America. However, the series has had a cult following within the Sega & anime community fan base with english releases of anime videos. Want to know what I think about the game and how awesome it is? Read on to find out.