Sunday 27 January 2013

Basara Matsuri 2013 ~Haru No Jin~ speculation

As waiting patiently between news updates is no fun, I want to speculate a little! As previously reported, the two-day Basara Matsuri 2013 ~Haru No Jin~ festival will be taking place in Japan on the last weekend in March this year. What follows is my own imagination running wild, not any kind of actual news.

Here's what we know so far (accompanied by vague commentary).

1. Nishikawa Takanori will be appearing as T.M.Revolution, rather than abingdon boys school who performed the most recent song for the series. This might mean nothing at all, however, it might hint that a new song is on the horizon. And why would T.M.R. be releasing a new Sengoku Basara song..?

2. The Matsuri events tend to involve a preview of the next game which is coming out. At the last Matsuri in 2012, however, there was no new game coming up and instead a new stage play was announced. As 2013 is already fully loaded on the live performance side with both Butai Sengoku Basara 3 Utage and the Takarazuka Sengoku Basara lined up, it seems unlikely that there'll be any more announcements of that nature in the near future.

3. It's not impossible that they could rerelease the PSP game yet again and finally add the rest of the Sengoku Basara 3 characters to the roster. However, the PSP games have always been pitched at a wider audience and come at the same time as a new anime release. There's nothing similarly mainstream announced for 2013 - yet.

4. There are a number of other Sengoku Basara developments due at a similar time, including the new dedicated magazine (which was originally dated for the end of March before being changed to the more vague "spring 2013"). The Sengoku Basara Triple Pack is also coming out at the end of March along with some new novels. The first anniversary of the official fan club falls at a similar time, and the Tsuchiura museum tie-in begins in mid-March too. It might be that the highlight of KobaP's Matsuri announcements ends up being the full details of the magazine, which will in turn carry some information on the next project when it comes out. We already know that Masamune will be the cover star of the first issue so if they end up announcing anything in the magazine, could he be a more central figure again in the story of the next game?

5. The new stage play will probably save some kind of announcement for when it finishes in May. Wouldn't it be perfect if there's a new game on the horizon, so that they can announce that the next stage play adaptation will be Sengoku Basara 4 at that time, matching the new game at the peak of its hype?

6. At events where a new game has recently been announced in the past, we're often treated to previews of some of the dialogue live on stage. The main seiyuu guests announced this time are Keiji, Kojuurou, Yukimura, Hideyoshi and Motochika. Nobunaga, Motonari and Sourin will be joining them on the first day and Hisahide, Ieyasu and Mitsunari on the second. For the most part, the guest list is of limited value as it depends on the availability and willingness of the individual voice actors to some extent. I can think of a few interesting new scenes I'd like to see from the selection of characters available.

7. It's worth noting that there has never been a big game announcement at a Basara Matsuri event before. Of course, Capcom might break with tradition at any time. What would fit the usual pattern best would be an announcement in the gaming press a few weeks before the event. Here's an incomplete, very simple timeline I made showing the game announcements:

2005 July: Sengoku Basara is released.

2006 February: Sengoku Basara 2 is unveiled.
2006 July: Basara Matsuri 2006 ~Natsu No Jin~ previews Sengoku Basara 2.
2006 July: Sengoku Basara 2 is released.

2007 March: Sengoku Basara 2 Eiyuu Gaiden (Heroes) is unveiled.
2007 March: Basara Matsuri 2007 ~Haru No Jin~ gives more details on Sengoku Basara 2 Eiyuu Gaiden (Heroes).
2007 July: Sengoku Basara X is unveiled.
2007 October: Basara Matsuri 2007 ~Fuyu No Jin~ previews Sengoku Basara 2 Eiyuu Gaiden (Heroes).
2007 November: Sengoku Basara 2 Eiyuu Gaiden (Heroes) is released.

2008 April: Sengoku Basara X is released (arcade).
2008 June: Sengoku Basara X is released (console).
2008 September: Sengoku Basara Battle Heroes is unveiled.
2008 October: The anime adaptation of Sengoku Basara is announced.

2009 April: Sengoku Basara Battle Heroes is released (and television anime begins).
2009 May: Basara Matsuri 2009 ~Haru No Jin~ announces the first Butai Sengoku Basara.
2009 June: Sengoku Basara 3 is teased.
2009 July: Sengoku Basara 3 is unveiled.

2010 May: Basara Matsuri 2010 ~Haru No Jin~ previews Sengoku Basara 3.
2010 July: Sengoku Basara 3 is released (and second season of the anime begins).

2011 January: Sengoku Basara Chronicle Heroes is unveiled.
2011 January: Sengoku Basara Fifth Anniversary ~Budoukan No Utage~ event gives more details on Sengoku Basara Chronicle Heroes.
2011 July: Sengoku Basara 3 Utage is unveiled.
2011 July: Basara Matsuri 2011 ~Natsu No Jin~ previews Sengoku Basara Chronicle Heroes.
2011 July: Basara Matsuri 2011 ~Natsu No Jin~ gives more details on Sengoku Basara 3 Utage.
2011 July: Sengoku Basara Chronicle Heroes is released (tie-in with June's anime movie).
2011 November: Sengoku Basara 3 Utage is released.

2012 January: Sengoku Basara HD Collection is unveiled.
2012 August: Basara Matsuri 2012 ~Natsu No Jin~ previews Sengoku Basara HD Collection.
2012 August: Basara Matsuri 2012 ~Natsu No Jin~ announces Butai Sengoku Basara 3 ~Setouchi Kyouran~.
2012 August: Sengoku Basara HD Collection is released.

2013 March: Basara Matsuri 2013 ~Haru No Jin~.

What would I like to see happen in the next two months? First and foremost, the announcement of Sengoku Basara 4 for Playstation 3. I want them to make a huge deal about it and create as many tie-ins as possible. It doesn't matter if it takes a long time before the game is finally available to buy; simply knowing it's coming is enough for the time being.

If not a new game, then a new anime would be wonderful (either a television series, or another movie). Ideally, I'd like it to deal with the characters who haven't yet made their anime debuts. While a full anime would be best, given the current popularity of comedy shorts, an anime adaptation of Mame Sengoku Basara or one of the other manga series seems like a possibility.

The other area where the series is strangely lacking is character songs. I personally own seventy-eight different Sengoku Basara audio CDs and yet there has never been a single character song (that wasn't also a theme song); odd given the popularity of the characters and seiyuu with female fans! Although a lot of stalwart overseas fans would sigh if this ever happened, I'd definitely buy the CDs...

There's a lot of demand for more figurines of the characters as well on the merchandise side. The Sengoku Basara 3 characters don't even have official One Coin trading figures yet to go with the original cast. Another possibility is a second season of the television drama Sengoku Basara -Moonlight Party-, which wouldn't interest me that much (three completely different live action interpretations in the same year?).

Of course, it's very possible that all they'll do at Basara Matsuri 2013 ~Haru No Jin~ is hype the upcoming stage events more and announce some crazy new merchandise tie-ins. We'll have to wait and see!

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