Since I won't have the ability to buy Famitsu myself until Friday, this post refers to the scans that have been circulating from Twitter (collected here). Much of the text was missing on the early scans and I'd prefer not to spread unsubstantiated rumours, so please be aware that my summary is incomplete until I add an update at the bottom of the post to say otherwise.
As we already knew from the previous interview, the Sengoku Basara 4 setting is right at the birth of the Sengoku period at the end of a (parallel world) Muromachi era. The dawn of this new era is known as the 'Sengoku Genesis' or 'Sengoku Creation'. Five characters have been confirmed, though one is to be unplayable.
Date Masamune 伊達政宗
Character image phrase: 奥州筆頭 Oushuu Hittou ('Head of Oushuu')
Seiyuu: Nakai Kazuya
Weapon: Katana (one-sword style and six-sword style)
Description: Masamune is said to introduce himself as the Dragon King as the curtain rises on the 'Sengoku Creation'. His goal is to charge around and unify the nation.
"My right eye is exactly as it looks...it became useless a long, long time ago."
Ishida Mitsunari 石田三成
Character image phrase: 君子殉凶 Kunshi Junkyou ('Virtuous Man, Martyr to Misfortune')
Seiyuu: Seki Tomokazu
Description: Mitsunari is described as continuing to dedicate everything he has to his master, Toyotomi Hideyoshi: the man he worships like a god. Mitsunari hasn't been shown acting as Hideyoshi's retainer in the game series yet, so this is an opportunity for something new.
"My soul is one with Hideyoshi-sama...! Therefore...I don't regret a thing...!"
I was initially shocked to see that Sanada Yukimura was not included in this first round of character announcements. The only reason I can think of is that he's getting so much exposure at the moment between the Takarazuka musical, the upcoming Sengoku Basara Magazine feature and the Takeda-themed manga anthology scheduled for release soon that the staff thought it would be better to use Mitsunari for a change. Mitsunari was voted the second most popular character in the last official poll, after all. I hope that Yukimura and Ieyasu will be headlining the next announcements so their fans don't get too worried.
In addition, the two silhouetted characters in the teaser trailer have been revealed! Famitsu refers to them as a pair of young military commanders who have dropped into the Sengoku world. Their youth is remarked upon several times in the article, including a comment by director Yamamoto Makoto that they're both from a younger generation compared to Masamune and Mitsunari.
Shima Sakon 島左近
Character image phrase: 双天来舞 Soutenraibu ('Dance Of The Twin Heavens')
Seiyuu: Nakamura Yuuichi
Weapon: Twin swords, kicks
Description: A young kirikomi taichou (commander who spearheads the attack) in the Toyotomi army, following Ishida Mitsunari. A cheerful youth who enjoys nothing more than a gamble; he's as light on his feet as his looks and behaviour imply. He yearns to show his master Ishida Mitsunari his one-sided loyalty. In combat, Sakon is a warrior who can be relied on to stir up the battlefield with a constantly changing flurry of kicks and slashes.
The young, confident-looking man who seems to be dressed in gold, white and brick red. Sakon decides to follow Mitsunari after the events which triggered the game's story left him uncertain about what was ahead of him. He can switch between his two fighting styles with a button press.
In terms of his fighting style, here are somewhat literal translations of the text over the preview pictures in the magazine.
Swooping at the enemy soldiers with a flying kick like a meteor!
Sakon's weapon is more than the two swords in his hands. He's able to attack the enemy with a range of kick techniques.
Issuing kicks with blinding speed.
It looks like the "Hyakuretsukyaku" move from a certain fighting game?!
The two swords tear through the enemies in front of him!
Score a hit on the enemy with the attacks of the twin swords, which are primarily multi-stage attacks! He fights by switching stances between slashing and kicking.
Even manipulate the enemy soldiers with splendid agility!
Huh, he's able to ride on the enemy's shoulders and manipulate them! What kind of techniques might result from that acrobatic position?
"If the die is cast it'll be either odd or even! Once it's shown, we fight!"
Character image phrase: 破願一望 Hagan Ichibou ('A Vow Destroyed In A Single Sweep')
Seiyuu: Okamoto Nobuhiko
Weapon: Sakabanagi (Reverse-bladed naginata with blades at both ends)
Description: A young soldier in the vanguard of the Oda army. After a rebellion which ended in failure, the skilled Katsuie was left in a weak position. Now, it's as though he's given up and lives for nothing more than following orders from his aloof master Oda Nobunaga. However, once he's on the battlefield he plays an active role, using the full reach of his reverse-bladed naginata and many extravagant techniques.
His dark green and gold design looked a little weak from the tiny picture we had at first; I liked the armour but struggled to see much personality coming through from his face and stance. Another picture shows him without his helmet and reveals that he has a blunt bob-style haircut. After seeing him up close I've come to like his severe expression.
Producer Kobayashi Hiroyuki (KobaP) notes that Katsuie is the polar opposite of Sakon. Even the real life Katsuie was known for being unfortunate. In the game, he's lost all of his feelings to despair and become the kind of person who only does as he has been ordered. Will he be able to clear a path to a future for himself in the 'Sengoku Creation'?
Fans of Nagamasa are already very worried about how similar Katsuie seems to be and whether this means Nagamasa won't appear in the game; the historical Katsuie even married Oichi too, leading to more complexity in the plot if the game decides to go down that route.
The magazine's text for his combat pictures:
By rotating his weapon, Katsuie can temporarily enhance his speed and attack.
Power up normal and special attacks!!
The strength boost from rotating the weapon is proportional and depends on the number of rotations.
An enhanced 'shear plane' mercilessly strikes the enemy soldiers.
Taking full advantage of his reverse-bladed naginata, a guy with no blind spots!
He has a special move which attacks in all directions. As he gets stronger, the range of the 'shear plane' greatly increases.
"If I close my eyes in this way I remember it, whether I want to or not... the error made by my former self, shaped like a mandala..."
Both of the new seiyuu are rather popular at the moment (especially with female fans) so this aspect bodes well.
Lastly, the mysterious voiceover from the teaser trailer has been confirmed as the game's unplayable boss character...
Ashikaga Yoshiteru 足利義輝
Character image phrase: 天政奉還 Tensei Houkan ('Restoration Of Heavenly Rule')
Seiyuu: Ikeda Shuuichi
Weapon: A transforming baton (shaku) which can become a katana, spear, bow etc. The action of spinning the weapon to transform it is known as 'roulette'.
Yoshiteru was the former ruler of the Muromachi shogunate, blessed with all kinds of abilities. Having become the 13th in the Ashikaga line, he was unhappy that the vitality had been lost from the land of the rising sun and wanted to see people breathing with passion again.
He sets his sights on making a world where everyone will gamble on fate and try to seize the nation, consequently returning his shogun title to the heavens - the Restoration of Heavenly Rule. Reverting everything back to zero, he's the one who triggered the 'Sengoku Creation'. The warriors who decide to take the country will have to defeat him first; however, Yoshiteru was also known as the 'Kengou Shougun' ('Sword Saint Shogun'). It won't be possible to overcome him half-heartedly!
Combat picture text:
Yoshiteru's weapon is a shaku. Constructed from two separate plates joined together, blades seem to spring out of it like a Swiss Army knife. What kind of techniques might it lend itself to?
He countered Masamune's six-sword style with one hand!?
To match Masamune's katana, blades spring out of the shaku and the tips of the weapons collide. Is there a way to counter Yoshiteru if he can stop Masamune striking at full power...!?
According to KobaP, if you think of the dawn of the Sengoku era as a casino Yoshiteru would be the dealer; there's a sense that he's saying "Do your best!" to the warriors of Japan. It sounds as though his role will be quite different to that of previous bosses in the games, occupying a position above that of Nobunaga or Hideyoshi.
"I've carried out the 'restoration of heavenly rule'! My friends - what happens next depends on you!"
There are a few more snippets of information buried in the interview and around the images.
A pair of monotone pictures show Masamune and Mitsunari posing as they would just before a boss fight, as well as a screenshot showing a dragon and an eagle in sumi-e (ink painting) style with the text "Dragon King, Western Misfortune Basara-e". The magazine teases that it's necessary to wait for more details to uncover the meaning of this while confirming the screenshot isn't simply a scene from the opening movie.
The dragon is obviously Masamune and likewise the 'Western Misfortune' references Mitsunari. I'm not entirely sure how to read the other part; it is probably a reference to 'Basara-e' (婆娑羅絵), a word for the fantastic illustrations found on traditional Japanese fans and shrine ema. That kind of 'Basara-e' means a 'Basara picture', whereas the way it's written in the screenshot (婆裟羅図) uses a different Japanese character which can be pronounced the same. It could imply more of a 'Basara scene'. Is this a new way to represent special encounters in the story?
Some of the pictures show that enemies will be capable of special formations this time; the examples in the magazine are gunners stacked up on one another's shoulders in a pyramid and spear-wielders forming a big wall of shields. There's also a shot of a mysterious ring of light around one of the enemy soldiers, and another showing Mitsunari and Sakon guarding one another's blind spots, back to back.
KobaP also specifically mentioned that next week's Busho Matsuri event will be revealing the newest information and showing unseen footage from the game, so we shouldn't have long to wait for more news!
Update 04/07/2013 (morning): The official website has now been updated with the new information so I added some small pictures. At first, the website had Masamune's name spelt incorrectly (it was corrected shortly afterwards, but not before fans had turned it into a running gag).
Update 04/07/2013 (evening): Added some more details from the magazine. I'll make one more update tomorrow.
Update 05/07/2013: This post is now complete. Fans at the Koei Warriors forums have already translated the extracts from the game's dialogue used in the article so please take a look over there if you need those.
Update 08/07/2013: Famitsu has now posted some of the content from the article on their website, including pictures and text from the interview.