Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Streaming: Autumn 2013 anime final impressions

What a roller-coaster of a season - and that's just the industry developments rather than the anime itself!

At the start of the autumn 2013 season the UK was down to just one active streaming service: Crunchyroll. Daisuki had gradually dropped support for the UK from a large portion of its library, Anime On Demand had silently stopped adding new content and things were looking very gloomy indeed.

It wasn't until after the first few episodes had aired that things suddenly started happening. Anime Limited revealed a partnership with French company Wakanim, bringing Samurai Flamenco and Kill la Kill to UK viewers where we'd lost all hope of a license. Then a few weeks later, Animax launched a service in the UK with some of the missing simulcasts and all of the 'lost' Anime On Demand titles! After having used them both, Wakanim's page seems much easier to use than Animax's - which doesn't list episode numbers and titles clearly in most views, making it frustrating to navigate. Anime Limited is upfront about the schedule for their streams, while Animax is disturbingly similar to Anime On Demand in its belief that the viewers will wait patiently with no information as episodes go up on weird days or experience silent delays (at the time I'm writing this, the last episode of Magi went up eight days ago in the US and it's still missing from Animax's site). Animax's video quality for its free simulcasts is also the least impressive of any site I've used, so with no PS3 or iOS app and the quality issues I'm not tempted to splash out on a subscription. It doesn't even let you view in higher quality or disable the advertisements if you pay. The nail in the coffin is that they don't seem all that interested in taking on constructive criticism; customers have to accept their unusual system or have the simulcasts they've licensed withheld entirely.

Furthermore, the streaming models used by these new sites are going to cause me logistical problems next season as I'm going on holiday and will miss the free streaming window for Magi, Kill la Kill and Samurai Flamenco. Although Wakanim will probably let me catch up without any problems, the only way to catch up with Magi will be to take out a subscription to Animax. As much as I love Magi I'm unwilling to risk paying for a subscription to watch one or two missed episodes with an unreliable player so I'll probably end up dropping the show until the Blu-ray release. I really wish that the UK companies would get these shows on Crunchyroll where I can take advantage of my annual subscription to get the most out of them.

Anyway, for the time being I've managed to cope with having my viewing split across two new fledgling streaming sites and Crunchyroll. Here's a ranking of the shows I've been watching; I expect I'll lose a lot of respect right from the start!

1. Diabolik Lovers
2. Kakumeiki Valvrave
3. Nagi No Asukara

I realise that this isn't the classiest selection I could have made, but those three shows were the most addictive and the ones I looked forward to most each week. Surprisingly Kuroko No Basuke didn't quite make it into third place; suffice it to say it was a close fourth.

Monday, 30 December 2013

News roundup: Minor updates just in time for the end of the year

I was hoping for something really interesting to happen to give me a decent leading story for this batch of minor news stories, but it wasn't to be; the combination of Winter Comiket and the impending New Year holiday period have made it unlikely there will be anything new to report for a few days. Here are the latest Sengoku Basara 4 developments and rumours in Japan.

Weekly Famitsu magazine will feature a special article in its next issue

Perhaps more interesting to those who follow the game industry in general than to Sengoku Basara 4 fans, Weekly Famitsu magazine has published details of its next issue (released 9th January 2014) and there will be an interesting special feature. Sengoku Basara 4 producer Kobayashi 'KobaP' Hiroyuki will join Sega's Yokoyama Masayoshi (Ryuu Ga Gotoku: Ishin) in a New Year discussion of some kind. There might be some juicy inside information about both series to be found within the comments from the two producers...

Preview pictures of the e-Capcom exclusive leather pouches appear in the media

A few people asked about the special Sengoku Basara 4 leather pouches, and now gaming websites such as Famitsu and 4gamer have published their previews. The two 'Giga Set' versions of the game which include these pouches can be preordered at the e-Capcom store for a considerable fee.

Importers can pick up the pouches with the Saikyou-Chouhan (Mitsunari/Sakon) and Ryuuou-Kamewari (Masamune/Katsuie) editions of the game at Play-Asia for a limited time. Please note that these editions don't contain all of the physical extras from the Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako sets; just the game, DLC codes (outfits for Masamune and Ieyasu) and the pouch.

Sengoku Basara Magazine vol. 4 is dated for late February 2014

Thanks to some early listings at bookstores such as Manga Oh, the next issue of the magazine has been confirmed for release on 27th February 2014. Coming after the release of Sengoku Basara 4 they're gearing up to include a lot of information about the game along with all of the other content that was promised. Mitsunari will be the cover star as previously reported.

I anticipate that preorders will begin to appear elsewhere over the next few days.

The magazine's website received a few stealth updates recently too. I can't remember whether the PDF advertisement for the next issue had so much detail before now? There's also a much bigger preview for Yoshihara Motoki's new Sengoku Basara 4 manga series.

Previews of the bonus Mame Sengoku Basara pin badges

One of the new links on the official magazine's website is to a preview of the upcoming Sengoku Basara 4: Sengoku Sousei ~Shutsujin No Sho~ guide book which includes samples of the four pin badges it will include.

Masamune, Mitsunari, Katsuie and Sakon are all included with the guide book. Fans who want to collect Yukimura, Ieyasu, Matabee and Shikanosuke will have to look out for the March issue of Dengeki Maoh magazine (released in late January) instead.

Mame Sengoku Basara artist Sumeragi also posted a picture of the badges on Twitter which gives a better look at the illustrations. The Sengoku Basara 4 characters making their debuts in the cute super-deformed mame style look great!

New photographs of the Mame Sengoku Basara trading figures

Speaking of the Mame Sengoku Basara series, more pictures have been posted showing the trading figures being released in January. They're cuter than ever.

There's also a picture of the individual box each figure comes in.

The figures can still be ordered in sets from importer-friendly sites such as Yesasia and Ami Ami. Preorders have closed at some other online stores, so it's advisable to place an order soon!

Fans in Japan can win a copy of Sengoku Basara 4 in return for providing feedback

I'm including this just in case anyone eligible happens to see it! The My Capcom website is running a competition at the moment where thirty lucky fans will be able to win copies of the game as well as the opportunity to provide feedback in the form of special surveys. Please note that you will need a Japanese address to receive the goods, plus enough confidence in Japanese to be able to respond to the questions they will ask later on.

Rerelease due for the Bushou Sticker Collection Box

If anyone missed the Bushou Sticker Collection Box from earlier in the year and has money to burn, it's set to return in February with a restock. As far as I know the specification is exactly the same as before so I'll just post a link to my previous description. The new boxes can be ordered at Ami Ami.

Animate will host a special Sengoku Basara 4 display in January

Major retailer Animate has announced that its Shibuya store will be running a pop-up shop for Sengoku Basara 4 goods between 9th January and 26th January 2014. There will be decorative panels (standees) on display and a screen showing the promotional video(s). Customers who spend more than ¥1,000 on character goods in the store will be eligible to receive an exclusive Sengoku Basara 4 bromide, and later on there will be a special A4 clear file for fans to purchase.

In addition, from 18th January until 9th February 2014 fans in the Kansai region will also get a chance to enjoy the campaign when a pop-up shop will be set up in the Osaka Nipponbashi branch of Animate.


After the weekend I'm going to be slower at keeping up with the news for a while due to being out of town, so I want to take a moment to wish my fellow Sengoku Basara fans a very Happy New Year! It's very exciting to think about how it's only a few weeks now until the new game will come out...

Thank you all for the lovely comments, discussions, ideas and more, and for putting up with my many typos. I look forward to following the continuing conversations on the various fan websites even if I might not be able to participate very often until I get back.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

News roundup: Notes on the second fortnightly Nico Nico live Sengoku Basara 4 broadcast

My second post of the day should be a little shorter than the first one as I quickly go through today's live broadcast (with some additional news which I didn't see in time for the earlier report).

Today's live show was a direct followup to the previous one a fortnight ago. If you have a Nico Nico Douga premium account I believe you can still book a viewing at this link; everyone else will have to wait for someone to upload a recording of the full show. Kanada Satoshi and Nakada Kurumi returned as the main presenters again.

The game series' producer KobaP was swiftly introduced to talk the viewers through Sengoku Creation mode accompanied by footage we've seen before. It was then time for today's special guest seiyuu Okiayu Ryoutarou (Toyotomi Hideyoshi) to make his appearance.

The four of them discussed how big the Toyotomi 'family' had grown and then showed a short new ad "for Okiayu's benefit" with the female characters making sexy noises in the game's onsen stage. I think I speak for everyone viewing the show in saying that the tone of the ad was quite surprising!

At no point were the characters actually shown. It was just their voices and scenes of steam and banners from around the onsen stage.

Well, it's good to have equal opportunity fanservice.

In a strange juxtaposition of sexy onsen scenes and ferocious conquerors, Okiayu then spoke some of Hideyoshi's lines live in the studio.

We were then treated to a live gameplay demonstration featuring Hideyoshi (and Hanbee) on the Osaka: Dragon-Tiger Formation stage against Masamune and Yukimura.

I personally felt that the simple level of gameplay combined with KobaP's instructions and narration made this demonstration exceptionally interesting compared to some other recent efforts. KobaP took great pains to point out various gameplay mechanics such as the three-tier enemy camps and tagging - I've been quite disappointed about the lack of tagging during the recent livestreams and this was addressed today. We also got a reasonably good look at the afterimages of a huge, rampaging Hideyoshi which appeared when Okiayu activated 'extreme style' mode.

KobaP pointed out the way that Hideyoshi's steed turns into his huge warhorse when mounted, which led into Kanada bringing up trivia about the way that the armies used horses during the Sengoku era. I never thought that a young comedian would make such an intelligent presenter; he really did a good job.

The main fight today was a sub-boss battle against Sasuke, who appeared by emerging from Kojuurou's shadow.

Hanbee's Basara technique seemed even better than it was back in the Sengoku Basara 2 era, with a wider range (I think?) and a great camera angles. Hideyoshi and Sasuke later became locked in a kengeki sword clash and provided one of the most devastatingly manly sights I'm likely to see today.

Once Sasuke had fallen, the demonstration ended and the focus switched back to the studio. Okiayu performed a few more of Hideyoshi's lines, then left as KobaP headed over to the challenge area to join Dogma Kazami and Aoki Shiki (Maou).

Before starting they discussed one of the two contests they were running. Okiayu had autographed one of the exclusive clear files from the recent Sengoku Basara 4 x Play.Community premium trial session ~Shinagawa Daigassen~ event as a prize for fans who listened out for a special keyword during the show.

It was then time to start the challenge! The team had to clear the Kai: Takeda Grudge Time stage within fifteen minutes using a Basara technique and a Giga Basara. The characters they used were Gotou Matabee and Kuroda Kanbee.

This would be the second time that poor Sasuke was beaten up live on camera today - this time rather brutally at Matabee's hands. They were running quite close to the time limit by the end but they managed to pull off the challenge without any problems. It was thrilling to watch another gameplay demonstration with Matabee even if it was a stage we've seen before.

Next came the same trial with Ii Naotora and Saika Magoichi on the Aki: Itsukushima stage against Motonari.

Tsuruhime popped up too and stole the show for many of the commenters, firing herself from her own bow and prancing around.

The battle comrade's gauge seems to fill very slowly so tag mode makes it much easier to use Giga Basara techniques - however, the players were struggling right at the end as they hadn't been using Magoichi very much. Right at the end, they managed to perform the move.

Magoichi's Basara-e illustration turned out to be her signature Yatagarasu three-legged crow with the title 誇烏 ('proud crow'). This was the end of the gameplay demonstration.

To bring the show to a close, KobaP ran through the latest news and showed off today's video (as shown in my previous post). The Lawson news drove all of the commenters wild, much as it has been all morning on other websites. They also showed off the actual nengajou greeting cards that will be sent to recipients to celebrate the New Year. If I lived in Japan, I'd be tempted to send a set to myself...

Update: Someone has uploaded a chunk of the footage to Nico Nico Douga in two parts.
Update 2: There's another part here. As well as the 'sexy' advertisement.


The next episode will be broadcast on Nico Nico Live on 9th January 2014, commencing at 22:00 Japan time as usual. The guests haven't yet been announced other than the two presenters and challenge player Dogma Hazami, so we'll have to wait to see who appears!


Finally, I completely forgot to include this in my enormous news roundup this morning but Sony's Play.Community blog has posted another Sengoku Basara 4 article, this time inviting fans to submit questions for KobaP to answer by 5th January. The questions can be about anything from characters to gameplay. There are also two tiny videos compiled from existing footage.

News roundup: More gameplay footage, store exclusives and a Lawson tie-in

I'm finally back home after the traditional Christmas visits to the homes of my various relatives, and it seems that there's a lot of Sengoku Basara 4 news I need to summarise before today's livestream begins! Please excuse the number of pictures in this extra-long holiday news post.

The Christmas Day 'Famitsu Live' broadcast included two Sengoku Basara 4 demonstrations

There wasn't much notice given for yesterday's Famitsu Live presentation, and it's a shame as it included gameplay from Yamanaka Shikanosuke and a glimpse of . Capcom producer Kadowaki Akihito took the audience through the Sengoku Basara 4 introduction this time, explaining everything very clearly. Kadowaki has been working on the Sengoku Basara series for a while and does much of their social media and promotional work.

The first gameplay demonstration had Shikanosuke battling against Shimazu Yoshihiro on the Satsuma: Inner Castle stage. There were 'outbreak' animations played at the start showing Aniki and Magoichi on the Hyakki Fugaku, Masamune and Yukimura teaming up at Osaka Castle and Katsuie marching to Shizugatake.

Shikanosuke's Basara-e illustration was revealed to be a pair of deer, and his title is 鹿々. This literally means 'many deer', though it could be a pun on a word with the same pronunciation which means going forth swiftly, with resolve.

The second part of the gameplay demonstration showed Katsuie on a stage where the Toyotomi and Matsunaga armies are locked in combat, 'Toyotomi Reminiscence Struggle'. Although the selection screen wasn't shown I happen to know from a previous sighting that Hideyoshi is the boss of this stage when it appears as an outbreak battle. It's yet another 'intrusion' fight with Hanbee and Kotarou on the battlefield from the outset. Watching made me very excited thinking about the storylines which might be linked to this fight.

If you missed the original broadcast, you can catch the gameplay segments via the illicit uploads on NicoNico (1, 2) or YouTube (1, 2).

Today's Sengoku Basara 4 website update includes the final voice samples

All forty characters now have profiles and voice samples on the roster page. The four new stages previewed in Weekly Famitsu magazine last week are now on the official website too for everyone to enjoy.

Capcom releases a special Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako preview video

Those who want to see the contents of the Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako special edition of Sengoku Basara 4 can now watch this special video to see little ashigaru sprites explaining each item. Although there's nothing new for those of us who have been following the updates regularly, it's still kind of cute.

Another recent video addition to the Capcom Channel is this Monster Hunter 4 advertisement for Miyagi prefecture. It has nothing to do with Sengoku Basara whatsoever, except that the Date Bushou-tai are the stars of the video. The Date Bushou-tai is one of several groups which regularly performs as famous figures associated with the Date clan to draw tourists to the area and teach people about history.

Convenience store chain Lawson will host a special campaign in January

Lawson is a major chain of convenience stores in Japan and from 7th January until things start to wrap up on 20th January 2014, they'll be running a special Sengoku Basara 4 campaign in their shops, on Twitter and through their Loppi preorder system where people can earn unique merchandise. Date Masamune has customised his outfit like a Lawson uniform to help promote the tie-in.

It's the anime-style Masamune as designed by Ookubo Tooru, interestingly. The range of prizes can be seen on Lawson's microsite, and includes a mini screen panel signed by Nakai Kazuya, an alarm clock with Masamune's voice, a decorative wallscroll, a Masamune rubber strap and a set of three A4 clear files. These prizes are for customers who submit the serial numbers on their Lawson receipts during the campaign period.

In addition, users of the Lawson app can get a rare Ii Naotora card for mobile game Sengoku Basara Card Heroes Matsuri from 7th January until 26th January 2014.

And fans who follow the official 'Lawson Crew Akiko-chan' Twitter account and participate in some retweeting between 7th and 13th January might be selected to win a clear poster with the illustration used on the HMV/Loppi special edition cover. A Japanese address is probably necessary to claim the prize.

There will also be a stamp rally app tie-in and scheduled in-store announcements by Masamune's seiyuu Nakai Kazuya. They're really going all-out with this campaign!

More exclusive merchandise is unveiled for January's Basara Matsuri

Joining the extensive range I posted about earlier is a second wave of event merchandise that fans can pick up at Sengoku Basara 4 Basara Matsuri ~Shinshun No Utage~ on 19th January 2014.

The 36-page full colour A4 pamphlet for ¥2,000. It will contain messages from SCANDAL and T.M.Revolution as well, but there's a note that Seki Tomokazu isn't included inside as his guest announcement came too late.

A fluffy blanket for ¥4,000.

A vinyl tote bag with pass case for ¥3,500. It's large enough to hold the event pamphlet.

A ticket holder for ¥1,000.

Customers who spend more than ¥3,000 will receive one of twenty randomly-packed digital prints showing scenes from the game.

New illustrations appear in the mobile game

A batch of new cards has arrived in mobile game Sengoku Basara Card Heroes Matsuri and with them are a few new illustrations.

Another new Sengoku Basara 4 manga is announced

We're getting two new manga in the next few weeks (with one of them starting tomorrow) and now we have the details for the other! The February issue of Jump SQ released on 4th January 2014 will present a one-shot manga story from artist Kawahara Kanji. The main character will be Sakon and the title will be Sengoku Basara 4 ~Shima Sakon Ga Umareta Hi~ ('The Day Shima Sakon Was Born').

The illustration has been the source of a great deal of amusement so far, with fans questioning the decision to make one of the most attractive new characters look so strange in his manga series. I'm hoping that the monochrome artwork will look less experimental...

Cover artwork for the Sengoku Basara 4 guide book Shutsujin No Sho

The e-Capcom store has updated to show the cover artwork for January's Sengoku Basara 4 Sousei: Shutsujin No Sho guide book. Production I.G. have produced another special illustration showing the characters with their anime designs.

Buys will get 104 pages of Sengoku Basara 4 information along with a clear poster for just ¥1,500. As promised, there are also Mame Sengoku Basara badges for the four main characters.

Capcom finally reveals the last few Sengoku Basara 4 store-exclusive preorder bonuses

Joining all of the DLC packs are a number of physical bonus items that you can get by preordering Sengoku Basara 4 at vendors such as Ami Ami and Karuwaza Online. Capcom decided to list the rest and save everyone from trying to find them all the hard way by publishing a full list of preorder bonuses this week.

Yamada Denki is offering an A4 clear file.

Fammys has an A3 wall scroll.

Futaba Tosho and Doki Doki Boukenjima have an A3 clear poster.

7Net Shopping has a set of two postcards.

Seagull is offering a Quo card.

Imagine has a large poster (approximately A1 size).

Last of all, the Sanyodo chain has a desk calendar (I mentioned this briefly before).

Most of these stores (if not all of them) are Japan-only, so to get these items you'd need to be based in Japan or have a forwarding address and payment method prepared. None come with exclusive sleeves or DLC codes.


And that's all for now! I'll be back in a couple of hours after watching this fortnight's new livestream, which will begin at 22:00 and feature Okiayu Ryoutarou (Toyotomi Hideyoshi) and KobaP as guests.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

News roundup: Jump Festa 2014 takes place in Japan

Today was the first day of Jump Festa 2014, a big event for fans of manga, anime and games held in Makuhari Messe, Chiba. Capcom came along with a booth and held stage events at 12:10 and 15:50 on Saturday, promising gameplay demonstrations for Shikanosuke and Nagamasa along with the latest Sengoku Basara 4 news. Game director Yamamoto Makoto and series producer Kobayashi Hiroyuki were both present to help promote the game.

There was no live stream for the Capcom parts of the event (sadly) so it's necessary to rely on rumours from Twitter, forums and blogs again until the press publish their reports. Here's what I've seen so far following Saturday's show.
  • Nagamasa was shown fighting on Aniki's stage.
  • When YamamotoD was playing as Oyassan, Shikanosuke was left almost defenceless.
  • The elusive PV4 and the game's opening were shown again. Perhaps the rest of us will at least get to see PV4 during the week?
  • People frequently mentioned content from the two videos: Nagamasa embracing Oichi, Oyassan jumping through Motonari's ringblade, Sakon standing on Nagamasa's head, Gyoubu capturing Kanbee with his beads, Hanbee and Mitsunari standing together with Hideyoshi, Ieyasu with his back to the Toyotomi forces, Tenkai confronting Nobunaga, Shikanosuke riding on top of the Xavi head with Sourin.
  • Tsuruhime said "I've been appointed as the 'second generation' Himiko!"
  • The game has a confrontation between Hisahide and Kojuurou.
  • Photos of the booth. Dengeki added some official press coverage. KobaP also tweeted plenty of pictures showing it loaded with merchandise.
  • The full range of Ichiban Kuji lottery prizes was on display.
  • Tomorrow's gameplay presentation is said to feature Hanbee with Gyoubu as his battle comrade, on the Xavi Land stage. It will be held at 9:45.
  • The folks on 2ch have spotted yet another store-exclusive bonus item for Sengoku Basara 4, this time a desk calendar at Sanyodo.
This next comment has nothing to do with Jump Festa, but Balder over at Koei Warriors noticed a very interesting visual cue in the interface which might be useful to importers who have yet to master Japanese. This marker should make it a lot easier to work out which special move you have currently selected in battle without resorting to trial and error!

Update 22/12/2013: We now have some gossip from the Sunday event too. There were two separate presentations again.
  • The first stage had Hanbee at Xavi Land as promised. There's a roller coaster as part of the stage.
  • It was a different version of the stage to the one we've seen in previews as this one didn't include Sunday Mouri. They thought the name was the same, so perhaps the 'normal' and 'outbreak' versions of Xavi Land have different bosses.
  • The fans got to see them performing a Giga Basara but so far I haven't seen any reports confirming Gyoubu's.
  • @eiji_76cla mentioned three Xavists who come out together: Endless Nishida (as explained previously), Yuukingu KBT and Hosomura K. The last two are references to Kobuta Yuuki (Masamune) and Hosogai Kei (Yukimura), the actors who graduated from the stage play earlier this year.
  • The V Jump booth held a demonstration with Sakon and Katsuie. When playing on the Dragon-Tiger version of Osaka Castle, the soldiers bicker about who will be the supreme commander - Masamune or Yukimura.
  • During the second Capcom presentation, a time attack was attempted on a Motonari stage using Hideyoshi as the player character (his battle comrade was Mitsunari). It was tough as they had to beat the boss within three minutes.
  • The stage was said to be a rare one which doesn't appear very often, involving Motonari's stolen version of Aniki's fortress. One person thought the name was 浮遊要塞・天空日輪 (Floating Fortress: Heavenly Sun). It's said to float in the air like a certain castle in a certain Studio Ghibli movie.
  • 'Himiko' apparently sounds like Motonari speaking in a higher pitched voice.
  • YamamotoD cleared Motonari's stage so quickly that he also showed off the tunnel stage (Kanbee's). They ran out of time before finishing, however.
That seems to be all; hopefully we'll get the new PV this week and then on Thursday it will be time for the next live stream. And for once, I'll be at home to watch it at the correct time (I'm so happy!).

Thursday, 19 December 2013

News roundup: The Capcom Channel video broadcast takes place - plus Basara Matsuri goods and another store-exclusive bonus item

Capcom continued their assault on my free time today with a large number of news reports straight after the latest live broadcast. This weekend they'll be demonstrating the game yet again at the Jump Festa event in Japan, then next week we have yet another full broadcast with KobaP and Okiayu Ryoutarou. I'd better catch up on the latest news while I have the chance!

Summary of today's Capcom Intelligence Agency Sengoku Basara 4 broadcast

Today's broadcast was a one-off episode of Capcom's 'Intelligence Agency' show on Capcom Channel. It was mostly dedicated to Sengoku Basara 4 but had a much more general, simplistic focus than the other recent broadcasts. As it wasn't possible for me to watch the live version I'd set up a timeshift viewing on Nico Nico - except it turns out that the show was uploaded onto YouTube's Capcom Channel immediately after it finished, anyway. That's handy!

The stream went live some time before the show began so I recommend skipping past the first half hour of the video. The show's hosts were comic Kosaka Daimaou and Inoue Nana, a novice reporter.

To kick things off, the perky hosts ran through the latest Capcom news - including showing some footage from last weekend's Sengoku Basara 4 x Play.Community premium trial session ~Shinagawa Daigassen~ gathering. It was then time for the main event: a gameplay demonstration with idol Furukawa Mirin of DEMPAGUMI.inc.

The hosts watched the first character gameplay introduction video for a tutorial in the basic controls, then began the demo.

It soon became apparent that the gameplay demonstration was using the stripped-down build from Tokyo Game Show 2013 and Furukawa headed off to the now-familiar Echizen: Kitanoshou Castle stage. She was playing as Naotora with Yukimura set as her battle comrade. Since there's not much more I can say about Naotora's gameplay at low levels I'll comment on a stage detail and say that it's nice to see Katsuie's famous Tsukumo Bridge in the game. Half of the bridge was built from stone, the other half from wood.

Oh, and I don't think I ever posted a picture of Naotora's Basara-e illustration when it was properly revealed the other day. Let's fix that.

The show wrapped up with details of a competition where ten people can win a Sengoku Basara 4 bag signed by Furukawa along with a My Capcom smartphone pouch.

Overall, I personally thought that the broadcast was much less interesting than those with direct input from the game's creative team. On the other hand, the simpler format might do a good job of introducing the series to new players after they see how much fun the hosts had!

Sony's Playstation blog posts new Sengoku Basara 4 screenshots

Once again Sony has a couple of screenshots I haven't seen anywhere else in their latest blog update even though many of them relate to Thursday's Weekly Famitsu article.

Goods lineup announced for January's Basara Matsuri 2014 ~Shinshun No Utage~ event

Fans who don't mind lining up for hours in the freezing cold will have the opportunity to purchase a number of exclusive merchandise items when Basara Matsuri takes place on January 19th 2014, as the organisers have now announced the special goods that will be available.

Six different microfibre cloths featuring Masamune, Mitsunari, Katsuie, Sakon, Matabee and Yoshiteru (¥600 each).

A commemorative tea cup (¥800). This is actually the third of these special vessels; earlier designs were available at the Basara Matsuri 2010 ~Haru No Jin~ and Sengoku Basara Goshuunen ~Budoukan No Utage~ events. The Sengoku Basara 4 design bears the names of Sakon, Katsuie, Matabee, Masamune, Mitsunari, Yukimura, Keiji, Hideyoshi, Motochika and Yoshiteru - in other words, all of the characters whose seiyuu will appear at the event as guests. Any secret guests won't be included on the cup!

This 'sparkling' A4 clear file (¥1,000) is supposedly made of shiny silver plastic to justify its relatively high price. I wonder how many clear files the average Sengoku Basara fan owns...

Four different Sengoku Basara 4 happi coats (¥4,000 each), themed for the four main characters. This should please the people who weren't able to get hold of a happi last March, though Yukimura's bright red design (one of the best colours for a festival happi!) is not going to be available. I hope there's enough stock to satisfy the attendees this time around.

Finally, there are four different oversized uchiwa fans (¥700 each). These 'big' fans are much larger than you'd think from the pictures and have a character's face on one side with their dialogue on the other. Mitsunari's simple message is my favourite: "Hideyoshi-sama, Hideyoshi-samaaaaaaaa!" with extra 'a's stuffed into all of the available space. It doubles up as a cheerful message for Hideyoshi's seiyuu as well.

The merchandise selection is very small because the event is going to be tiny compared to the usual Basara Matsuri gatherings, though people who don't have tickets are allowed to queue for merchandise as well if they come to the venue between 10:00 and 18:30. I bet all of the Sakon items sell out quickly.

Sengoku Basara 4 is to feature in Super Paint Logic magazine

If the Basara Matsuri merchandise disappointed you by being too conventional, the latest collaboration news might be more suitable. Puzzle magazine Super Paint Logic will be including Sengoku Basara 4 content in its February issue released on 19th December 2013. The issue in question costs ¥880.

Mitsunari has never looked more attractive, huh? That's not all; the February issue of Nanpure (Number Play) Magazine is getting in on the puzzling crossover fun as well. It's only ¥480.

Another store-exclusive Sengoku Basara 4 preorder item appears

People who haven't yet placed their orders for Sengoku Basara 4 might be interested to know that Karuwaza Online is offering an exclusive Masamune/Kojuurou 'plastic bottle holder' pouch for their customers. The offer applies to the regular and Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako editions of the game and you can also reserve the game for collection at a CircleK or Sunkus convenience store.

The Karuwaza Online version doesn't include any special sleeve or DLC, just the pouch.

There's another Butai Sengoku Basara stage play reference in the latest Sengoku Basara 4 video

During Yoshiaki's gameplay preview in the newest trailer, he defeats an enemy commander called 'Endless Nishida'. Nishida Daisuke is actually the guy who directs, choreographs and organises the Butai Sengoku Basara stage plays (his theatre troupe is called AND ENDLESS).

I love the way that they incorporate in-jokes like this. Xavi Land seems to have some cool-looking rides...

The Sengoku Basara Tokusei Kawaraban website posts a Shinagawa event report

I'm not sure whether the Shikanosuke and Azai couple images from the game's opening have been shared outside of magazines yet, so if they haven't you can check out the site's report from last weekend's Shinagawa event to take a look! Kita-san chose to play as Yukimura for the demo part of the report so Sanada fans might find a few of the gameplay shots interesting, too.

If you don't have a My Capcom account and you want to gain access, I once wrote a simple guide here which is probably still correct.


The next major event is Jump Festa this weekend. There are a bunch of useless-looking livestreams for other stage events taking place on Nico Nico; I'll try following rumours on Twitter once the party is over each day in case anything new is said.