Sakura Wars 2

Genre: Action/Comedy/Drama
Format: 6 OVA
Allegiance: Madhouse
Director: Kudou Susumu
Vintage: 1999-2000
Intelligence Agency Report by: Loner
The Second Demon War has ended, and Lieutenant Ohgami Ichiro is about to depart to Paris after being assigned there for a new mission. As he is packing, memories of various miscellaneous adventures of different girls of the Imperial Troupe Flower Division – the part time theater troupe and part time defender of Teito, come flooding before his eyes like a kaleidoscope. Through Lt. Ohgamis eyes, we see how these girls have struggled and grown during the past 2 years.

Field Agent Report by: Loner
Overall 5.50

In Japan, the Sakura Wars franchise is comparable to the Final Fantasyseries in the gaming industry. It has spawned numerous games, TV and OVA series, manga, merchandise, and even a caf in Akihabara. The anime series from this franchise are notoriously difficult for those who have not played any of the games to comprehend, since their producers tend take for granted that their audience have played all the games already. However, even though I do have some prior knowledge of what is going on in the games, I still find the story incredibly inane and silly.

Sakura Wars 2 is a 6-part OVA based on the second game of the franchise. Instead of having a consistent storyline throughout the series, each episode focuses on a specific flashback of the main character and has a standalone plot. This of course assumes that the viewers are familiar with the setting and characters of the game, so its focus audience is automatically restricted to only the fans of the games. However, this will not have made this a bad anime if these stories are not so downright inane and ridiculous. The plot developments are forced at best and completely illogical at worst. The focus of this OVA series is to develop the characters, yet because these stories are so stupid, the character development is as forced and illogical as the plot itself. While the series real attempts at comedy only manages to coerce a few chuckles from me, I did laugh quite a bit at certain scenes I am sure were not intentionally comedic.

The best way to watch this OVA is to turn your brain off. Hardcore fans of the games will be entertained by the clichd antics of the characters, although disappointingly, there is very little steam mecha action. The technical aspect of the series is rather well done, with crisp colors and animation, and very eye-pleasing character designs. The opening theme song Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan is sung by a different girl from the Flower Division for each episode, and remains as exciting as it is in the games. This franchise features some of the best voice actors in Japan, including Yokoyama Chisa, Tomizawa Michie and Takana Urara. It is unfortunate that their talents are wasted on such silly dialogues.

Even with a restricted audience, Sakura Wars 2 can still be a decent series if the producers have cared about writing more realistic and logical stories instead of letting it fall into such inanity and absurdity. In the end, this short series adds nothing but more eye candy to the franchise.