Wednesday 31 July 2013

News: Weekly Famitsu (1st August 2013) announces more Sengoku Basara 4 characters

This post has now been updated with all of the information from the magazine. If you're planning on buying it yourself, it's the issue dated 29th August 2013 but released on 1st August 2013 (magazine dates are always so confusing). The Sengoku Basara article is four pages long with no interview this time.

Firstly, the biggest news: Famitsu's article has confirmed Yamanaka Shikanosuke for Sengoku Basara 4 as a brand new playable character. Accompanying him will be returning Sengoku Basara 2 favourites Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Takenaka Hanbee.

An early scan of Shikanosuke has been posted on Twitter here (alternate angle).

Yamanaka Shikanosuke 山中鹿之介
Character image phrase: 明察麒麟 Meisatsu Kirin ('Insightful Kirin')
Seiyuu: Irino Miyu
Weapon: Renketsu konbou ('linked cudgels'). It's similar to a set of nunchaku, only crazier.
Playable: Yes
Description: A retainer of the Amago family. Shikanosuke is a boy who is travelling in search of Amago Haruhisa, Unfortunately, his detective skills haven't yet matured and he frequently leaps to the wrong conclusion. He's accompanied by a deer called 'Oyassan' (this is a Japanese way of addressing a middle-aged man).

Upon closer inspection of the additional piece of the magazine highlighting Shikanosuke's abilities, we can see him bowing deeply to Oyassan and riding on his back. Yet in other pictures, the deer is wearing Shikanosuke's armour and using techniques involving tossing him about like a weapon! The pair of them seem to have some more traditional combination attacks too. The Famitsu caption remarks that they seem to be bound by a deep master-student love, and adds that "together they have six legs which they can use to kick their enemies around"!

Shikanosuke's combat style is described as being based around normal attacks - which make full use of his linked cudgel weapons - combined with unique techniques involving Oyassan.

I took a peek back at Sengoku Basara 3 Utage to check Shikanosuke's bodyguard design. It wasn't anywhere near as worthwhile as looking back at Katsuie and Sakon, but I may as well include a picture.

Even as a simple bodyguard character his ties to Amago (and his sand theme) are clear. I noticed that the Sengoku Basara staff picked a different way to spell his name when they upgraded him to being a playable character - this is merely an interesting piece of trivia as there are numerous accepted kanji spellings for 'Shikanosuke'.

(Note: when his profile appeared on the website the quote was slightly different. So I have amended this post to include both.)

"Oyassan, I humbly don your antlers! The child prodigy pays a visit! Yamanaka Shikanosuke...tou~!"
"Oyassan, I humbly don your antlers! Yamanaka Shikanosuke, commencing the investigation!"

Unrelatedly, several Japanese fans are having fun at Shikanosuke's expense by comparing him to Sento-kun, the deer-themed mascot character of Nara.


Two more blurry pictures show the returning characters here and here (alternate, close up).

Toyotomi Hideyoshi 豊臣秀吉
Character image phrase: 裂界武帝 Rekkai Butei ('Military Emperor of a Torn World')
Seiyuu: Okiayu Ryoutarou
Weapon: None
Playable: Yes
Description: The supreme commander of the Toyotomi forces, throwing away the past for the sake of turning the turbulent land of Hinomoto into a mighty country. Able to sweep away a whole army with a single fist, he possesses overwhelming strength. Hideyoshi believes in power, and in that using that power to enrich the country.

"Whether it's in the past or in the future, there's nothing my fists can't take hold of and crush!"

Takenaka Hanbee 竹中半兵衛
Character image phrase: 蒼烈瞬躙 Souretsu Shunrin ('Blue Fury Darting Forwards')
Seiyuu: Ishida Akira
Weapon: Kansetsuken ('jointed sword'). It can be used as either a sword or a whip.
Playable: Yes
Description: Hanbee is the genius tactician who supports the Toyotomi army, and Hideyoshi's close friend. He hides his illness in order to help his friend turn the land of Hinomoto into a strong country during turbulent times - and for the sake of the future of the Toyotomi forces.

"Hah, my training is strict, you know? You'd better prepare yourself."

Hideyoshi and Hanbee are retaining their original fighting styles and voice actors (of course). I'm delighted beyond words to see that both will be playable characters.

This brings the total number of Sengoku Basara 4 characters to eight confirmed (with Kojuurou also announced, but not formally confirmed). And everyone except Yoshiteru is playable.


There are a few pieces of information about the battle system dotted around the magazine article which seem quite interesting. A new skill called a Giga Basara Waza ('Caricature Basara Technique') will be available when both characters have full gauges: the screen changes to monochrome, like an ink painting, and the number of hits greatly increases into uncharted territory. The range is said to be greater than that of a normal Basara technique. The magazine notes that using a Giga Basara Waza creates one of the magnificent Basara-e scenes I mentioned before and confirms that every warrior will have their own unique ink painting that can be used in the combinations. We can see Mitsunari's eagle, Masamune's dragon and what I assume is Kojuurou's moon at the end of the first gameplay trailer.

Indeed, one of the main themes of the article is working together with a comrade. There'll be a new system for fighting with your partner called stylish kyoutou ('team-up') action to let you direct them where to attack. Please note that this is not a confirmation of online play, so please don't think that it is - instead it's some kind of significant tactical enhancement for your bodyguard/ally, where you can direct them with a single button-press.

I mentioned the concept of ikkitousen ('one who can beat a thousand') before in the Dengeki Playstation article, and Famitsu takes it one step farther: "Rather than one who can beat a thousand, two who can beat a thousand!?".

The last piece of news is that Sengoku Basara has risen from 26th place in Famitsu's Most Wanted charts to 21st place. Hurrah!


Update 31/07/2013: KobaP has updated his blog to announce that this second batch of information will come out today (it's already 1st August in Japan) and that fans should check the official website soon. I'm assuming we should have the higher resolution pictures of the three new characters by the end of the week.
Update 01/08/2013: Managed to update earlier than expected.
Update 01/08/2013: Pictures from the magazine can now be viewed on Gamer, Dengeki and 4Gamer. And, as promised, on the official website. That was quick! I've decorated my post accordingly. The next official website update will be on 8th August when they open up the three new character pages.
Update 01/08/2013: A few people have spotted that the characters are fighting characters from Shimazu's forces in some of the screenshots, which bodes well for the return of Yoshihiro later on.


  1. Oyassan is cute, and I'm glad Hideyoshi and Hanbee are back...

    But... .___.

    1. SHD is waiting for news about a certain firey main character whose absence is growing more unsettling with every passing minute.

      I'm certain that his announcement must have been planned for the summer issue of Sengoku Basara Magazine (which was supposed to be out by now, synchronised with the Takeda-gun manga anthology). If it slipping back a month has led to this weird delay, it could have led to the announcements being shuffled around...maybe. We'll find out in a few weeks.

      I'm hoping for a spectacular revival complete with meteors and a fully-playable Oyakata-sama as compensation for teasing the Takeda fans like this.

      On the bright side, I'm a lot more hopeful for Ieyasu and Keiji having interesting stories now that the Toyotomi forces have come back into the spotlight. I was rewatching the Butai Sengoku Basara 2 play the other day and I'm now convinced we need to see a game version of the storyline about grown-up Ieyasu serving Hideyoshi and gradually questioning his choices.

    2. Hehe, yes. ^^;; I don't want to leak negativity all over the place, but while I keep hoping, my actual expectations are nearing an all-time low. To me it doesn't seem like they're trolling, more like simply going in order of importance which means nothing good for Yukimura and the Takeda. And even if he's announced in in the magazine the fact that he's not a main character anymore doesn't change... aah, let's not even go there, chide me, oyakata-samaaaaa!!!!11!1!

      I also hope for good stories for Ieyasu and Keiji, especially the latter. He really deserves it. Hopefully now that Hideyoshi and Hanbee are alive and playable again and all relationships seem to be reset, they can reach a happier end. As for Ieyasu, questioning his choices is good, but I hope he won't give up on his general ambitions. Basara is not famous for being historically accurate but it would be really weird if Ieyasu didn't end up opposing Hideyoshi in one way or another...

    3. There's a reason why I want Magoichi specifically to return.

      If Magoichi gets a story where she works for the Toyotomi Army like she did pre-SB3 and Keiji decides to follow her like usual...then Keiji would essentially be working for Hideyoshi. It'd be amazing to see how things play out if that was the case. Plus Magoichi came 12-13th in the polls, and since popularity = power in SB3, there's no way she's not going to return.

    4. SHD: Have faith, Yukimuraaaaaa!

      On the subject of main characters, I think 3 rather overdid the importance of the leads. Ieyasu and Mitsunari had so much focus with the game being set at a specific point in time that it shoved everyone else into the background, with Yukimura and Masamune clinging on as poster boys. Sengoku Basara 2 felt a lot more balanced. I cannot believe that the adorable deer-riding Basara version of Shikanosuke is going to be more important than the Takeda army who have been a core part of the series from the very beginning. It can't be possible.

      You may already know all of this, but the way that the stage play continuity used Ieyasu (from memory) was that he was working devotedly alongside Mitsunari but gradually started to question the actions of the Toyotomi forces as they swept across the land - each time he had an encounter with another major character he'd think carefully about what he was doing. Because it was the older version of Ieyasu, his internal struggle seemed to have a lot more weight than Takechiyo's worries. Eventually, it culminated in Ieyasu clashing with Hideyoshi and the Sengoku Basara 3 setting turned out like it does in the games. I was happy that the stage plays had the advantage of being able to insert the older Ieyasu back into the Sengoku Basara 2 setting to give him a stronger background story.

      Vibra: The Toyotomi forces will end up dominating the game at this rate (not that I'm complaining!). I'd like to see Keiji's full history with Hideyoshi (and Nene) told since the cutscenes in the new games have a more cinematic feel and there might be some changes to the sequence of events. He definitely needs a few scenes with Magoichi too.

      I didn't like Magoichi's fighting style at first, even though I love her personality. It wasn't until Utage that I became hooked; now I can't wait to (hopefully) play her again!

    5. Hideyoshi and Hanbei's offical pictures are out!

    6. >Raindrops and Daydreams

      I'm clinging to hope until we have official word... ^^;; (what happens after then is a different question x_x)

      As for 3, I can't shake the feeling that Capcom was trying for a "generation change" and that's why Ieyasu and Mitsunari were so prominent. Even some fans were saying that the "Blue & Red Forever" ending was a farewell of sorts to Masamune and Yukimura as MCs. (And as much as I loved that end, if I think about it like that, I can see where the idea came from.) But it didn't work out, as only Mitsunari became popular enough, and thus we have 4 which is for all intents and purposes a reboot. (This is the main reason for my pessimism.)

      Thanks for summarizing Ieyasu's story in the stage plays - this would be interesting to see in the game, at least from a characterization point of view. I'm not familiar at all with the live action plays, mostly because I fixate rather strongly on voices, so I have difficulties connecting to the characters when the voices are all "wrong." ^^;;

    7. SHD: I thought exactly the same thing about the stage plays at first. It must have been seeing the cast at the live events which eventually pulled me over into following Butai Sengoku Basara; some of them do a good job of sounding similar to the seiyuu, but some sound completely different. I tell myself it's a parallel world, so it's ok ^^;

      It bothers me a lot when I read a doujinshi where the writer hasn't quite got the character's speech down correctly. Even though I'm just imagining them talking rather than hearing it, they have to use the correct speech patterns or it breaks my immersion!

  2. But yeah, we need some happiness for Keiji for a change. He's pretty much been going through depression since he was introduced in one way or another. He apparently forgave Hideyoshi come SB3, so maybe that is a sign that they'll be on better terms come this game.

  3. ✩✩✩HANBEI✩✩✩!!!!
    So pleased to see my favourite combo-master from SB2 return.
    It was expected, but it's still so nice to see the Toyotomi return. Hmmm do they looked a little bit different in this game - more like the anime designs?
    I (randomly, sorry) wonder what's going to happen with my other old fave Mitsuhide when he probably is back to not being Tenkai (sadly)and will hang out with the Oda and Katsuie who is a traitor too?

    That deer boy...those screens makes you wonder who really is the one in charge, he or the deer!

    1. It's so exciting to think of Hideyoshi and Hanbee with the Sengoku Basara 3 controls. They were already amazing even with smaller movesets!

      I think you're right; Hideyoshi in particular seems to be more cartoony than before in his official portrait. I'm sure I'll get used to it once he's talking and destroying everything in his path.

      What would Kingo do without Tenkai by his side? I'd sort of like to see him hiding behind Shikanosuke to get away from Motonari. It would be cute :D

    2. Hanbei's hair is flatter than before and it bothers me because I'm silly like that >:O REALLY looking forward to them with new, larger movesets. Yeah!

      And yes, what will happen with Kingo? If he even is in SB4 -do you think he is popular enough? It'd be funny if alternative universe-Kingo turned out to be quite tough and self-reliant...

    3. By the way Raindrops, since you're the owner of this blog...who do you wish to see return the most?

    4. jo: Haha, I'll take Hanbee with floppier hair over no Hanbee at all! I can't stop admiring his new CG render. I might need to book a day off work when they release his voice samples so that I don't get too overexcited.

      If you'd asked the question about who I wanted to return most a week ago, I'd have said the Toyotomi pair - so I'm really happy at the moment.

      Personally, I'm still hoping for Kojuurou but it seems likely he'll both appear (as per the trailer) and be playable (he seems to have a basara-e illustration of his own). I don't think KobaP would be cruel enough to make him unplayable again.

      Out of the others, I think I'd most like to play as Ranmaru with the new game engine. Oh, and Itsuki...

      And I'd love to see Nagamasa come back to participate in a storyline where Katsuie deeply cares for Oichi and has to watch her from afar as he wallows in his self-hatred, before events with Nagamasa take a tragic turn once again and he tries to reach out to her (a little like Ieyasu did in SB3 when she joined up with him). I think it will be good for both of them and a rivalry between Katsuie and Nagamasa would be interesting to watch.

      Sorry, I want every single character back so it's hard to pick just one. I can live without Kennyo, Musashi and Yoshimoto if necessary, I guess.

  4. I want to see Nohime!!! I dont like Magoichi, I realy prefer Nohime. Better gameplay and love more her story, want to see her come back. With hanbei and Hideyoshi return, I have hope to see her , ranmaru and Nagamasa. Time will tell I guess. For Keiji I prefer him when he is not in love with magoichi, he dont have an epic story, when she is there, he is just in love....Want some story with hideyoshi an hanbei.

    1. If we get everyone from the Toyotomi army that we should (Hideyoshi, Hanbee, Kanbee, Mitsunari, Sakon, Yoshitsugu) then they'll make Nobunaga's forces look tiny in comparison, so I'm hoping Capcom will bring back the full Oda roster.

      I really hope Ranmaru gets a chance to come back. I don't usually like young characters but his fighting style was so fun; it's completely different to playing as Tsuruhime. A big Oda army reveal with Nobunaga, Ranmaru, Nouhime, Oichi, Mitsuhide and Nagamasa joining Katsuie would be wonderful. Ok, maybe that would have to be split across two or three separate reveals...

    2. yeah 4 toyotomi are already here, and only 1 oda so I think the next batch should be maybe nagamasa and oichi with another random new or returning character then next batch after that can be nobunaga, nou, ranmaru, and mitsuhide. then after that they can go with a bunch of mixed batches.

    3. yeah that would be nice! But at first Hideyoshi was in Nobunaga forces, I dont know if they want to make it this way. I want to see the maeda clan too. Matsu and Toshie. they need more love.

    4. I'd love to see all the Oda-army people together again. Nouhime is simply a splendid gun-using character and different enough from Magoichi.

      And I want basically everyone else to return to! The thing is, since there are so many characters already, and they're introducing new ones, some old ones must be culled. I wonder who they are going to be...

  5. Wow, people are bringing up some interesting things ._. It might not even be Ieyasu and Yukimura per se. It might actually be Yukimura and Keiji.

    Keiji became a general in Kenshin's army in SB3. If he stays that way in 4, then he might end up being the rival to Yukimura due to him being a general of Shingen's army, especially now since 4 is based on Sengoku Genesis. Manga like Burning Soul kind of depict this as well. And now that Ieyasu is once again a vassal of Hideyoshi (or should be) there's not much of a reason for Yuki-chan to pursue him anymore since he didn't cripple the Takeda army under his own banner this time around. Ieyasu might just end up being the one who's left out...

  6. Reading all of these theories is really fun. Thanks for sharing them, everyone! Keiji and Yukimura are automatically funny whenever they're together, so I'd quite like to see them clash in the new game :D


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