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Sakura Wars TV: Complete Collection Box Set

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 19 reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
The essential Sakura Wars - watch this before watching the others! Feb. 28 2006
By Joseph A. Admire - Published on
Format: DVD
Anyone interested in Sakura Taisen (Sakura Wars) - whether a fan of the games or just interested in the anime - should definitely watch this 5-disc compilation of the entire 25-episode run of the TV series. Be aware, though, that the story told in the TV series is slightly but significantly different from that told in the OAV (and also from that told in the new manga version, which is now being published in English in the USA). I definitely recommend watching the TV series BEFORE watching "Sakura Wars: The Movie", because otherwise the latter won't make much sense to you at all and the TV series provides a tremendous amount of character development missing from the OVA. (Also, I strongly recommend watching the TV series and the movie both before watching "Sakura Taisen: Ecole de Paris", since that particular anime takes place in the timeframe between the series and the movie.)

Note also: the TV series has a lot of emotional heft to it and can get dark, almost somber in places, but I don't think it's much of a spoiler to say that everything works out in the end. HOW it works out, though, you'll just have to watch to find out! :)

P.S. On further thought, I wanted to put in a word here about the alternate-history background of this anime. Sakura Wars takes place in a timeline where steam appears to have become the dominant method of power generation and propulsion (right down to steam-powered telephones!!) and also where technology in this version of the 1920's is up to at least 1990's levels (computerlike machines and some form of virtual reality simulator are seen being used in several scenes, and there is obviously some kind of video technology as well). Also, socially and politically, the 1920's Japan of Sakura Wars seems to be a very different place from the 1920's Japan of our "real" time line - in fact, according to the new English translation of the manga, the characters for the Imperial era "Taisho" used in this series translate to "Broad Truth" in English, not "Great Truth" as in our actual history. Something to be aware of as you watch the show.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Sorry Sakura Feb. 23 2014
By R. Fletcher - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This just does not live up to the splurge on the back cover "MECHA action." Good luck waiting for that to happen. And wait you will as this thing is slow. Four discs (all stacked together - what moron decided on that arrangement?) with slow pacing and endless flashbacks. You have the supernatural, military, steam-powered armored suits with little girls as the drivers, alternate universe and the worst thing of all - theater! You will have to slog through the first two discs before any real mecha action happens and even then it is only the first two episodes. So if you were hoping for four discs of mecha action you can forget it. Too bad as the spirit suits are a great design. Build a model of one and have way more fun than trying to watch this.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Lovable anime, excellent!! Dec 6 2007
By もりみずめ - Published on
Format: DVD
I agree that before watching other Sakura Wars series collections, you must watch this original TV series first. Fujishima Kousuke sensei's anime is always wonderful and never disappoint anyone. Unlike AH! My Goddess, this story is about some evil spirits invading Japan, particularly in Tokyo, battles are more emphasized in Sakura War. Needless to say, it is exciting. In addition, the story also describes the daily lives of the characters. Humors, fantasy and excitment are combined perfectly.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A must have Anime classic March 9 2013
By Scott Sampson - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I would say Sakura Wars is in a "hybrid" genre. It has a Shōjo aspect in that it takes place at a theatrical school; yet it has a Shōnen element in that the girls end up fighting in giant robots. In this same genre I would put Bubblegum Crisis, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Silent Mobius, Burst Angel, Full Metal Panic!, and Aquarion; just to name a few; as they feature the day-today life of their protagonists more than they show them in battle.

This gives them more of the character driven dramatics of Shōjo rather than the conflict driven action of Shōnen, and thus perhaps their wider appeal than say... Dragon Ball Z, GT, Kai, etc, and Bleach which have battles that last several episodes. I'll take soul searching angst and pithy dialog over flying fists and school-yard insults any day, thank you.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Left Much To Be Desired Jan. 14 2013
By KevinB - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Sakura is the daughter of a war hero. She has arrived in the Imperial Capital to take up the fight against the hoards of demons that seek to destroy it. When she gets there, she is surprised to find out that the elite unit of mecha pilots she is now a part of is also a performing troop. Not only does she have to learn how to pilot her mecha, she has to learn the stage.

The rest of the troop is skeptical of her at best. There are 5 other members of the troop. they are all women, including a 9-year-old child. After a miserable failure, they receive a young male captain to help them with their teamwork and leadership issues. It takes a while, but Sakura begins to blend in and is a vital part of the team. The odds are stacked against them. The demons have a leader that has a pension for death, and a surprising tie to the elite group's past.

I bought this because there were only raving reviews. I was very disappointed. This anime didn't have a lot to offer. While the story was pretty good, and there were some fairly interesting characters, it fell short of anything great. My first complaint is the animation. I realize that this was made in 1999, but the animation is below par even for that era. I was, however, impressed with the attention to detail in the backgrounds. It's kind of strange that the backgrounds were done well, but the character animation was sloppy, colored poorly, and fuzzy at times.

My second complaint is the terrible voice cast. This is one of the worst English dubs I've ever heard. It's up there with the likes of Fantastic Children and Legend of Crystania. The Japanese voice cast is pretty good, but I don't like to read subtitles. A lot is lost in translation, when you're just reading words instead of hearing someone speak you're language.

The story isn't bad, it took me about 13 episodes or so to get into it. There is a lot of fluff. The characters got a little background treatment, but not that much. There were a few twists thrown in there to keep you interested. The battle scenes were okay. I am not a big mecha fan, but this one didn't focus as much on the robots as many other shows do. That's a good thing in my opinion.

Overall, I can't think of one thing that made this series stand out. It's one of those that gets swallowed up on your shelf and only gets noticed every once on a while, but you think to yourself "I think I'll watch something better today." Sakura Wars reminded me a lot of Silent Mobius. If you have seen that, then you know what to expect from Sakura Wars. This anime isn't bad , but there is no way that it is worthy of 5 stars. I see all the 5 star reviews, and I can't believe it. No part of this series is that good. I recommend watching it online or renting it before you buy. I wish I had. Now I've wasted money because of over hyped reviews. This just goes to show you that everyone has different perception and standards for what they call "good anime".