Sunday, 27 October 2013

News roundup: The last fan club newsletter and other Sengoku Basara 4 gossip

There are only a few minor news items to report today after all of the excitement of the Sengoku Basara 4 DLC costumes last week. Hopefully we'll get some new character announcements in Weekly Famitsu in a few days, though this week Dengeki Playstation is coming out on Thursday as well which might ruin the alternating pattern the two magazines had fallen into.

The final Sengoku Basara Eiyuu No Kai fan club newsletter is released

I don't usually translate content from the newsletters but the amount in this one is so lean that I feel slightly disappointed about how much I paid to get it - so why not? You can see snapshots on this Japanese fan's blog to go with game director Yamamoto Makoto's annotations which I've attempted to transcribe below. Everything in the newsletter is a repeat of existing information other than these tiny comments.

Date Masamune: Masamune is reflected in Katsuie's eye.
Shibata Katsuie: Katsuie reflected in Masamune's eye.
(Note: Isn't that his right eye... or perhaps the newsletter staff accidentally flipped the image?)
Ishida Mitsunari: The theme of this battle is 'katana and teeth'.
(Note: Mitsunari versus Motochika.)
Shima Sakon: Sawayama Castle.
(Note: There's an arrow to indicate that it's in the background of the picture.)
Ii Naotora: Naotora has also studied karate!
Yamanaka Shikanosuke: A temporary loan.
(Note: It's Oyassan lending Shikanosuke the armour.)
Sanada Yukimura: The wager is the six coins!?
(Note: He's added sound effects to show Yukimura's leg is trembling.)
Tokugawa Ieyasu: Tadakatsu isn't working properly.
Honda Tadakatsu: A crash~!
(Note: It's hard to see but it looks as though Tadakatsu has fallen face down with Ieyasu riding on his back.)
Toyotomi Hideyoshi: Split into four.
(Note: It's the split-screen picture which shows Ieyasu, Yoshiteru, Nobunaga and Hideyoshi.)
Takenaka Hanbee: It's reaaally long...
(Note: Obviously this refers to his weapon...)
Oda Nobunaga: Bang bang! Bullets rush forth.
(Note: It's Magoichi confronting Nobunaga.)
Akechi Mitsuhide: Azuchi Castle. Hellish voices cry out in agony.
Takeda Shingen: Oyakata-sama isn't very mature...
(Note: He and Naotora are punching one another.)
Ashikaga Yoshiteru: Turning. The era is turning.
(Note: He's added a spinning sound effect to Yoshiteru's weapon.)

New Butai Sengoku Basara stage play merchandise previewed

With just a week left until the new Butai Sengoku Basara 3 Utage Two: Kyouou Tanjou x Shinen No Utage ('The Birth Of The Dark King x Feast Of The Abyss') stage play debuts, the exclusive merchandise fans can buy at the event has been revealed.

The show's official pamphlet (¥2,000) and a choice of seventeen five-piece sets of photographs (¥1,000).

A mutsugiri photograph (¥1,000). There are three different A4 designs to collect: Mitsunari/Hideyoshi, Kojuurou/Sasuke and Hanbee/Motonari.

T-shirt in S/M/L sizes (¥2,500), two types of A4 clear file (¥600) and three sets of hand towels (¥1,500). Each hand towel set contains two designs with a choice of Mitsunari/Hanbee, Masamune/Yukimura or Kojuurou/Sasuke.

Plastic shopping bag (¥500). If you look really hard it's possible to make out silhouettes and weapons for Masamune, Yukimura, Mitsunari, Sasuke and Kojuurou.

Sengoku Basara 4 rises to 8th place in Famitsu's Most Wanted chart

The one piece of interesting information from last week's Weekly Famitsu magazine is that the game has risen again in the magazine's charts and is now sitting in 8th place.

Fans create an English-subtitled version of the third Sengoku Basara 4 promotional video

Nine Demons Yoshitaka and PSandNintendFreak from the Koei Warriors forums have created a translation of the game's third official promotional video for their fellow fans. There are translated versions of all of the other official videos on the same channel.

The Sengoku Basara 4 limited edition box begins to sell out

If you've been holding back on preordering the Sengoku Basara 4 Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako limited edition, I recommend placing your order soon. Japanese shops have started to sell out of their allocations with both Bic Camera and Tsutaya suspending online reservations in the last few days. Edion is also sold out, though I'm not sure if that's a temporary status since I've never shopped with them.

Update 29/10/2013: Thanks to commenter momotu it seems that Edion's order page now includes a special Mitsunari video.

The Asian edition of Sengoku Basara 4 is now available for order

Many Japanese games receive a cheaper Asian edition intended for distribution in countries such as Taiwan and Hong Kong, and accordingly listings have now appeared for Sengoku Basara 4. The differences are usually minor - there probably won't be any extras with the Asian edition and if there's a character ranking with the new game you probably won't receive a voting card, but in return the price is usually lower and you might receive a translated instruction sheet. The game disc itself is usually identical and your money still goes straight back to Capcom.

I'll be sticking with the Japanese edition and all of the bonus features (especially as I won't benefit from having the instructions translated into Chinese). For the benefit of those on a tighter budget I've spotted listings for the Asian edition on Yesasia (US listing) and Play-Asia so far.

Update: New promotional video released for Katsuie's Amazon preorder DLC costume

The Amazon link is here; unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any way to embed the video.

Today's acquisitions (26th October 2013)

I'm posting a little late as these items actually arrived yesterday. This week's deliveries include the gorgeous Brave 10 limited edition Blu-ray set from NIS America and the Japanese limited edition Blu-ray of the Zettai Karen Children OAV - which was the first press even though it was released back in 2010. I'm guessing it didn't sell very well, sadly. The limited edition of The Unlimited -Hyoubu Kyousuke- volume 6 completes the list of Blu-ray acquisitions.

The two CDs are 30th Anniversary Capcom Music Best: Original & Arrange and Sengoku Basara: Burari, Bushou Futaritabi ~Kyouto-hen~. I also received a free Sharrkan (Magi) keychain from Yesasia which I forgot to include in the photograph.

In the top right corner is the fourth and final newsletter from the old Sengoku Basara Eiyuu No Kai fan club and next to it is my free gift of a Ieyasu/Mitsunari clear file from the Basara shop.

The previous note about the last batch being my final doujinshi purchases until winter Comiket was a lie too, as I seem to have acquired a few more somehow.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Manga review: Gakuen Basara 6

The 164-page Sengoku Basara Series Official Anthology Comic: Gakuen Basara 6 was released on 28th September 2013 priced at ¥1,029. Gakuen Basara 6 can be purchased from all good import bookstores such as Yesasia, Amazon Japan (also available on Kindle) and CD Japan.

Although Yoshimoto, Xavi, Shingen and Kennyo are missing from the character introduction pages they're present in the book itself from the outset; the cast is just so big that they can't fit everyone in at the beginning any more. Everyone from the first game through to Sengoku Basara 3 Utage is included somewhere, even down to Kanetsugu and the Miyoshi Sanninshuu.

As usual, the cover artwork is provided by Nari and it's very colourful, especially on the back of the book where contrasting pastel shades give the picture a stylish feel. The colour illustrations inside were drawn by series regulars Kyuugou and ENU. They're accompanied by the textless version of the cover illustration so that it can be appreciated properly.

The theme of this issue is school tests.

Haran No Makuake (A Turbulent Curtain Rises)
Arai Karo
There's panic in the Gakuen Basara staff room when the latest test results arrive; they're dreadful, and it looks as though both the pupils and the teachers themselves are going to be in a lot of trouble when chairman Oda Nobunaga finds out. That is, if he finds out. Unfortunately, vice principal Matsunaga Hisahide wastes no time in reporting the news to Nobunaga to stir up trouble; it's only thanks to Magoichi-sensei's quick thinking that the school isn't destroyed on the spot, and if the students don't pass the next tests everyone will be punished! This is the usual quick-fire introductory chapter which sets the scene for the rest of the book.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

News roundup: Sengoku Basara 4 store bonuses and launch information

The Sengoku Basara 4 special edition has been unveiled along with more production staff

A few hints were dropped that there was still more to reveal about the special edition version of Sengoku Basara 4 and we've now got a beautiful preview of all of the bonus items on the e-Capcom website.

There's also some news: Capcom have been collaborating with Production I.G. and Studio WIT in their work on Sengoku Basara 4 and there will apparently be some animated content incorporated in the game. Ookubo Tooru was the character designer for the Sengoku Basara anime series and he's handling all of the character design for Sengoku Basara 4 as well as the art direction. The brand new Sengoku Basara 4 characters were created by Ookubo instead of the series' usual designer Tsuchibayashi Makoto.

Storyboarding and animation direction is credited to Sessha Gorou. Event scenes were storyboarded by Oohata Kouichi and production was handled by Anima. In addition, Yamamoto Mika worked with Ookubo on the alternate costume designs and anime director Araki Tetsurou assisted with planning the poses.

Ookubo's designs will be included in the game's special edition book Sengoku Basara 4 Bushou Hiden No Sho (detailed below) along with creator interviews. The members of CLAMP - famous manga artists and self-confessed Sengoku Basara fans - have drawn Masamune, Mitsunari, Sakon and Katsuie for the book as well as their favourite characters.

Capcom announces store-exclusive bonuses for Sengoku Basara 4

Just as promised, Capcom revealed their full range of Sengoku Basara 4 store-exclusive bonus items this morning, allowing buyers to make an informed decision about the best place to pick up their copy. The release date is 23rd January 2013.

As this is going to get confusing otherwise, I'm going to recap every possible known way to buy the Japanese edition of Sengoku Basara 4 in this post even though I've covered it before. The newest information will be placed at the bottom of the list. If you need any help finding the best way to order please leave a comment and I'll try to assist!

Firstly, there are two main versions of the game available for purchase, the standard edition and the Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako special edition. I'll list the places I know which stock the item.


Standard edition (¥6,990)

The standard edition only contains the game. The first press includes a code for the special DLC costume for Date Masamune (hakama/wooden sword).

Yesasia Global
Yesasia USA
Ami Ami - DLC confirmed (also available with a special edition cloth)
CD Japan
e-Capcom (Japan only) - DLC confirmed
Amazon Japan (Japan only) - DLC confirmed
Animate (Japan only)

Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako special edition (¥8,790)

As well as the game itself, this special edition contains a 100-page Sengoku Basara 4 storyboard collection, an 80-page hardcover A4 book about the commanders titled 'Sengoku Basara 4 Bushou Hiden No Sho', a special Masamune jacket (sleeve) for the game and a golden-coloured Masamune custom theme for your PS3, presented in a special box. The first press includes a code for the special DLC costume for Date Masamune (hakama/wooden sword).

Yesasia Global - DLC confirmed
Yesasia USA - DLC confirmed
Play-Asia - DLC confirmed
Ami Ami - DLC confirmed (also available with a special edition cloth)
CD Japan
Nippon Yasan - DLC confirmed
e-Capcom (Japan only) - DLC confirmed
Amazon Japan (Japan only) - DLC confirmed
Animate (Japan only)


Next come the store exclusive bonuses. The store exclusive sets will include the same items listed above, including the DLC code for Date Masamune's special costume (hakama/wooden sword) if you order in time to receive the first press.

e-Capcom store exclusive 'Giga sets' (¥9,990 each)

The official e-Capcom store is selling two special versions of the game. The Ryuuou-Kamewari edition comes with a black leather case based on Masamune and Katsuie while the Saikyou-Chouhan edition comes with a white leather case representing Mitsunari and Sakon.

e-Capcom doesn't accept credit cards issued overseas so fortunately Play-Asia is able to obtain the Giga sets upon request. If Play-Asia stop accepting orders, foreign fans will need to use a deputy service.

Ryuuou-Kamewari edition (Play-Asia link)
Saikyou-Chouhan edition (Play-Asia link)

HMV/Loppi exclusive Ii Naotora DLC

HMV Japan is run by Lawson, so this version is available in HMV stores and also through the special Loppi machines installed in convenience stores all over Japan. Fans who place their Sengoku Basara 4 order through HMV's website or the Loppi system before 17th January 2014 will be eligible to receive a special DLC code for Ii Naotora's wedding outfit and an exclusive Naotora jacket (sleeve) for the game. Unlike the other sleeves, this one has been drawn in the style of the anime.

HMV ship worldwide and have an English-language version of their website. There are listings for both the standard edition and the Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako limited edition. Please note that at this time only the Japanese-language listings show the exclusive Naotora DLC. I have contacted HMV asking them to confirm that they're shipping the exclusive DLC codes to foreign buyers as well, and I've been promised an answer once they've checked with their product specialist.

Edion/Joushin Denki exclusive Ishida Mitsunari DLC

Fans who place their Sengoku Basara 4 order through either Edion (limited edition) or Joushin Denki (limited edition) will receive a special DLC code for Ishida Mitsunari's 'DMC Vergil' outfit and an exclusive Mitsunari jacket (sleeve) for the game.

Update: If you're having trouble ordering from Joushin Denki you can use their store on Rakuten's Global website (standard edition and limited edition). There's an option to use international forwarding if you can't have it shipped to your home address directly.

Game Tsutaya/Bic Camera/Sofmap/Kojima exclusive Shima Sakon DLC

Fans who place their Sengoku Basara 4 order through Game Tsutaya (limited edition), Bic Camera (limited edition), Sofmap (limited edition) or Kojima will receive a special DLC code for Shima Sakon's 'Twin Sword Kung Fu' outfit and an exclusive Sakon jacket (sleeve) for the game.

Please note that this appears to be a reference to Bruce Lee's iconic Game Of Death costume. The Kill Bill costume a lot of people are thinking about is also a reference to Bruce Lee.

Furumoto Ichiba/Amazon Japan exclusive Shibata Katsuie DLC

Fans who place their Sengoku Basara 4 order through either Amazon Japan (limited edition) or Furuhon Ichiba will receive a special DLC code for Shibata Katsuie's 'Absolute Justice' Azai Nagamasa-themed outfit and an exclusive Katsuie jacket (sleeve) for the game.

GEO exclusive Sanada Yukimura DLC

Fans who place their Sengoku Basara 4 order through Japanese entertainment chain GEO will receive a special DLC code for Sanada Yukimura's 'Azure Dragon' Date Masamune-themed outfit and an exclusive Yukimura jacket (sleeve) for the game.

Note: GEO can be a little confusing but you can order through this website (you'll probably need to use a deputy service) to get either Yukimura with the standard edition or Yukimura with the Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako special edition.

Yodobashi Camera/e-Capcom exclusive Tokugawa Ieyasu DLC

Lastly, fans who order through Yodobashi Camera (limited edition) or e-Capcom will receive a special DLC code for Tokugawa Ieyasu's Gakuen Basara school uniform and an exclusive Ieyasu jacket (sleeve) for the game. In the case of e-Capcom, this offer applies to all four versions they sell. The shot of the jacket apparently confirms that Ieyasu's Basara-e artwork depicts a sun (and a tanuki beneath it!?).

For those who aren't familiar with Gakuen Basara, it's an official Capcom manga anthology series which recently published its sixth volume. All of the Sengoku Basara characters are reimagined as disruptive students at a school run by Oda Nobunaga.

The DLC codes apply to either version of the game (or all four in the case of e-Capcom), but quantities are limited to first-come, first-serve. There are plans to make the costume DLC available later on as a paid PSN download.

HMV posted a promotional video showing the wedding dress in action.

Press coverage has also appeared, with articles and pictures on Famitsu, Dengeki Online and 4Gamer. 4Gamer posted another article showing some of last week's new enemy formations as well.

More guests announced for Basara Matsuri 2014 ~Shinshun No Utage~ event

The fan club lottery for tickets begins tomorrow so there's a little more news about January's Basara Matsuri event to get people excited (even though it's going to sell out ridiculously quickly either way). Seiyuu guests Okiayu Ryoutarou (Toyotomi Hideyoshi) and Ikeda Shuuichi (Ashikaga Yoshiteru) will be joining the line-up!

MyCapcom updates with a Sakon play report and some Q&A

Game director Yamamoto Makoto has been answering questions on MyCapcom's Tokusei Kawaraban fan page and there's also a Sakon gameplay report. The pictures are very small and I didn't notice anything new; it uses the same TGS demo version of the game we've seen plenty of times already.

YamamotoD's remarks include a discussion about the gambling theme of Sengoku Basara 4 which was his first solid idea when he was coming up with the game. The colours worn by Katsuie and Sakon are probably meant to recall the black/red of roulette along with Yoshiteru's twirling baton and general casino imagery (it's important to remember here that Katsuie is officially not coloured green but an iridescent hue which shines green in some kinds of light and black in others).

MyCapcom requires a login. I described how to create one with a walkthrough in an earlier post.

Update 24/10/2013 (10:00): Added the Basara Matsuri news, a video and the press links.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

News roundup: Quick headlines before tomorrow's announcements

I'm expecting a great deal of news tomorrow as Capcom have suddenly started hinting that we'll learn more about the game's release at 10:00am via the official Sengoku Basara 4 website, with more details about the Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako special edition, the full range of store-exclusive bonuses and the first announcements of some special launch events.

This information might be in tomorrow's Weekly Famitsu magazine as well. I would usually translate these magazine articles this evening, but as I haven't heard any indication that they contain Sengoku Basara 4 news this week I was thinking of saving my money. If anyone hears otherwise I'll happily buy it and translate the details as usual.

In the meantime, here's a quick summary of the news from the last few days to spread things out.

Sengoku Basara 4 to be playable at Jump Festa in December

Capcom's tour of major industry events will continue on the weekend before Christmas when they pay a visit to the Jump Festa convention at Chiba's Makuhari Messe on the 21st and 22nd December 2013. Their plans include showing off a playable build of Sengoku Basara 4 and giving some kind of stage presentation. It looks as though Geist Crusher will be there too so we can probably look forward to seeing the hot-blooded Sengoku Basara 4 x Geist Crusher promotional video hundreds of times again in any live stream which might occur.

More stage play actors photographed in costume

As the new Butai Sengoku Basara: Kyouou Tanjou x Shinen No Utage ('The Birth Of The Dark King x Feast Of The Abyss') stage play approaches we've been treated to pictures of Houjou Ujimasa (Yamamoto Kenji), Itsuki (Sakai Ran) and Date Masamune (Takigawa Eiji) in costume for the first time courtesy of the official stage play Facebook page. I think they all look great, though I can't wait to see them in action when the DVD edition is released.

The next Sengoku Basara x Kodansha BOX novel will be released in November

Listings have begun to appear for the seventh book in the Kodansha BOX novel series based on Sengoku Basara 3. Details are still sketchy but it appears that Sengoku Basara 3: Sarutobi Sasuke No Shou ('Sarutobi Sasuke Chapter') will be coming out towards the end of November with artwork by Tsutsumi Yoshisada and a story written by Sasahara Shio. The price will be ¥1,470. I hope that we'll get to see the lovely cover artwork soon.

Cover art revealed for Bloody Angel manga volume 6

I mentioned more about the release here but we now have the cover artwork for the next instalment of Itou Ryuu's Sengoku Basara 3 Bloody Angel manga. Mitsunari fans can look forward to its release in just over a fortnight.

Monday, 21 October 2013

DVD review: Musical Roman 'Sengoku Basara' -Sanada Yukimura-hen- (Takarazuka Revue)

Today's live action Sengoku Basara review is a little different to the usual stage plays: it's for Takarazuka's unique musical adaptation of the series complete with an all-female cast!

Musical Roman 'Sengoku Basara' -Sanada Yukimura-hen- was performed by the Takarazuka Revue's Hanagumi between 15th June and 1st July 2013 at Shibuya's Tokyu Theatre Orb. It attracted an enormous amount of media attention and unsurprisingly, the tickets sold out swiftly. Takarazuka fans and Sengoku Basara fans alike were eager to see this unusual collaboration for themselves.

A DVD recording of the 27th June performance eventually followed on 17th September 2013. Priced at ¥8,400, the DVD can be purchased from Amazon Japan, CD Japan, Rakuten, Takurazuka-an, the TCA Online Shop, e-Capcom and Yesasia. I can confirm that the disc is region-free and has a run time of 156 minutes. The pack also contains a survey card, a set of DVD instructions (with a photograph of Yukimura dressed in Takeda Shingen's armour on the back) and a full-colour booklet with information about the songs, chapters and the extended cast.

Suzuki Kei worked on the script and direction under the supervision of Capcom. The main cast is as follows:

Ranju Tomu (Sanada Yukimura )
Ranno Hana (Inori)
Asumi Rio (Uesugi Kenshin)
Hanagata Hikaru (Takeda Shingen)
Harukaze Misato (Date Masamune)
Ousaki Ayaka (Kasuga)
Nozomi Fuuto (Sarutobi Sasuke)
Ootori Mayu (Usami Sadamitsu)
Taiga Rin (Naoe Kanetsugu)
Takashou Mizuki (Yamamoto Kansuke)
Saezuki Runa (Oyamada Nobushige)
Tsukio Kazusa (Sanada Masayuki)
Mebuki Yukina (Yume)
Kotoka Chino (Kosuke)
Haruhi Urara (Sanada Yukimura - young version)

There's also an enormous cast of actresses playing the parts of soldiers, townspeople and backing dancers.

My main review is below and it includes some spoilers for the content of the play written from memory. I've included a few more spoilers than usual because English-language information on this show is so scarce.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Manga review: Mame Sengoku Basara volume 4

The fourth volume of Sumeragi's Mame Sengoku Basara ('Bean Sengoku Basara') manga was released on 27th September 2013 by ASCII Media Works. It includes ten chapters spread over 128 pages priced at ¥780 (¥819 with taxes).

The physical edition is available online from import stores such as Yesasia, Amazon Japan or CD Japan; the Kindle version doesn't seem to have been released yet. It's worth mentioning too that a set of adorable character illustrations is included between the chapters. I don't think they were part of the series' original serialisation in Dengeki Maoh magazine, so they're a nice little bonus for readers of the books.

The first story in this volume of Mame Sengoku Basara is about Mitsunari. It's time to celebrate Tango No Sekku, the Japanese celebration better known today as Children's Day. Gyoubu presents Mitsunari with a huge Hideyoshi-shaped display, and the pair of them then set off on a trip to find a kabuto helmet grand enough to adorn Hideyoshi's head.

Along the way they encounter Kingo busily gobbling his way through traditional Children's Day snacks. Will his kabuto be suitable for Mitsunari's quest..?

Next, Sasuke and Yukimura rush to assist when they hear an anguished cry nearby. It turns out that it's only Kanbee moaning about his wretched fate as always, but that doesn't dampen Yukimura's eagerness to help. Unfortunately, Yukimura's enthusiastic support might be too much for the miserable Kanbee to handle.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

News roundup: Sengoku Basara 4's third promotional video released

As well as the character information I posted about earlier, the official website's update this morning also brought with it the third Sengoku Basara 4 promotional video, which can be viewed on YouTube if Capcom's player is too slow. I've embedded the YouTube version but the one on the official website has SCANDAL's Runners high song instead of the background music so it's worth watching both!

The new video has new footage of Shikanosuke and Matabee as well as a lot of little hints so I'm going to watch it more after work. It looks as though Sasuke's Basara-e Giga Basara artwork is a group of monkeys with the two-character title sarumai ('monkey dance'). I talked about Yukimura's already.

I'm not entirely sure what's going on in the Toyotomi one. Hideyoshi's picture appears to be his usual gourd (which I didn't see at all until Balder mentioned it) and the ink splashing from it resembles a map of Japan. The detail in Hanbee's image on the right is difficult to make out but it must be a reference to Inabayama Castle. Anyway, Hideyoshi's two-character description in the middle of the picture is taikou, one of his real-life titles, while Hanbee's seems to be shichisho ('seven writings') which I believe refers to the seven military classics he was said to have mastered.

The video also shows a new female-only formation: Nadeshiko Gyorin ('Carnation Fish Scales').

Lastly, the official cover art is now confirmed below and the final Sengoku Basara Eiyuu No Kai fan club newsletter is shipping. There's a lot of new information to digest.

Coverage is available from Famitsu, 4Gamer, Dengeki and Gamer.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

News roundup: Motochika, Magoichi, Tsuruhime and Kanbee join the Sengoku Basara 4 cast

The first leaks from tomorrow's issue of Weekly Famitsu (dated 31st October 2013) have now surfaced and it seems that fans of Motonari are going to have to wait a little longer for confirmation. Instead, the new playable characters confirmed for Sengoku Basara 4 are Motochika, Magoichi, Tsuruhime and...Kanbee!

(Note: I've since received my issue so this post has been updated.)

There's a nice new group shot of all of the new characters accompanied by Masamune, Yukimura, Mitsunari and Ieyasu with a caption declaring that the package design is complete and brimming with energy. Presumably this is the artwork we'll see on the standard edition packaging a few months from now.

The game has moved up to 10th place in the upcoming game rankings and we're treated to a full four page article. A footnote advised that a previous issue of Weekly Famitsu had made a mistake with the game's rating: it's CERO rating B (ages 12+), not 15+ as the older issue stated.

Chousokabe Motochika 長曾我部元親
Character image phrase: 天衣無縫 Ten I Muhou ('Flawless Construction')
Seiyuu: Ishino Ryuuzou
Weapon: Ikariyari (anchor-spear)
Playable: Yes
Description: The supreme commander of the Chousokabe forces who rules over the western sea. He's trusted deeply by his men as their big hearted, considerate 'big brother'. As he continues his voyage in the mobile pirate stronghold 'Hyakki Fugaku' Motochika thinks about the oceans of distant lands. At the same time, he's also considering helping his friend Tokugawa Ieyasu in his conquest of the country.

Caption: Although Motochika's skills are slow, he has a long reach and his attacks cover a wide area.

"Wind blowing over the land doesn't matter at all... Waves! Storms! That's what gets me started!"

Saika Magoichi 雑賀孫市
Character image phrase: 煙鳥翔華 Enchou Shouka ('Smoky Bird Soaring Magnificently')
Seiyuu: Oohara Sayaka
Weapon: Guns
Playable: Yes
Description: The third generation leader of the Saika Shuu, a mercenary group equipped with firearms. Instead of using the value of the reward to select their employer, they're proud people who will only enter a contract with a partner who acknowledges their skill and way of life. In the turbulent times they advance across the battlefield to determine whether any force is worthy of a contract. On the battleground Magoichi specialises in long-range attacks using guns.

Caption: Who has Magoichi recognised as her contractor!?

Caption: Magoichi's normal attacks change depending on the unique ability that was used before them. She has different techniques to suit her distance from the enemy!

"The cloud of gunpowder smoke which drifts across the battlefield...we're there, within it."

Tsuruhime 鶴姫
Character image phrase: 純白可憐 Junpaku Karen ('Pure White And Lovely')
Seiyuu: Koshimizu Ami
Weapon: Bow
Playable: Yes
Description: The shrine maiden bound to the Iyokouno forces who possesses the mysterious power of an oracle. Although she was raised in a shrine with the greatest care, there's a risk that she doesn't know when a person shouldn't be trusted. One day, Tsuruhime heard a voice from the heavens calling itself 'Himiko' and set sail in turbulent times in order to bring the battles being waged across the land to an end. Yet on the battlefield, Tsuruhime specialises in long-range attacks with her bow and shows a great deal of energy as she blasts her enemies away.

Caption: Maintaining the ideal distance is critical when fighting with a bow. In addition, one feature of her unique skills is that she can fire a powerful arrow if the button is released at the right time.

"The seeds of this turbulent age are calling forth a storm, so I'm harvesting them before they sprout!"

Kuroda Kanbee 黒田官兵衛
Character image phrase: 機略重鈍 Kiryaku Juudon ('Heavy, Sluggish Manoeuvres')
Seiyuu: Koyama Rikiya
Weapon: Iron ball
Playable: Yes
Description: The supreme commander of the Kuroda forces. Kanbee was originally a commander in the Toyotomi army, however his capabilities were seen as dangerous together with the ambitions he secretly harboured and he was driven away to the southern lands. He wasn't discouraged even after that incredible misfortune; in the turbulent age he embraced his aspirations once more, setting out a network of underground tunnels spanning the whole of Hinomoto.

Caption: Kanbee swings the gigantic iron ball magnificently to fight. While his movement and skills are slow, this can be mitigated by incorporating some evasion.

"What's wrong with having ambition!? Even my humble self - a nobody next to all of these powerful warlords!?"


The bulk of the remainder of the magazine article is dedicated to more 'combined enemy formations'. I talked about these before here but here's a recap of the older ones we've already seen:
  • Juugyorin ('Gun Fish Scales'): Enemies with guns form a pyramid and fire in unison.
  • Ootatetate ('Huge Shield'): 12 enemy soldiers with spears and shields gather up into a wall.
  • Ookurumagakari ('Great Winding Wheel'): The soldiers stack up like totem poles and then roll around together as a spinning wheel.
  • Kakuyoku No Jin ('Crane Wing Formation'): The enemies connect their spears into a pole and spin to form a tornado.
There are now thirteen additional combined enemy formations with small variations on the originals. Here's the list with the magazine's comments (of course, a lot of the names are silly puns).
  • Enyoku No Jin ('Flame Wing Formation'): A tornado of fire approaches! It's a splendid formation of soldiers clad in fire.
  • Tamagakari ('Winding Bullets'): The soldiers who carry bombs on their backs form a wheel and charge. As they move forwards, they drop bombs into the ground. Are they creating a minefield?
  • Daikikin ('Great Famine'): Another soldier sprinkles a mysterious powder above a soldier carrying a rice ball. Eat the poisoned rice ball and...!?
  • Kin Nobori ('Muscle Ascent'): A formation with the soldiers on one another's shoulders. Acting as a ladder, there's a risk that it will sharply increase the enemy's range.
  • Shinobikago ('Ninja Cage'): The ninja use hand seals to create a closed space, like a kekkai. If you're trapped inside this formation, is escape impossible until you destroy the base?
  • Yumigyorin ('Bow Fish Scales'): A combined enemy formation for archers!
  • Kingyorin ('Goldfish Scales'): A gorgeous formation of glittering gold!?
  • Yariuma ('Spear Horse'): Treating the spears as though they're stilts!
  • Tatetate No Kamae ('Shield Stance'): A more compact arrangement than the Ootatetate. (Note: It uses just four shields.)
  • Kusatatetate No Kamae ('Thatched Shield Stance'): A grass pattern has been drawn on the shields to act as camouflage?
  • Kurumagakari ('Winding Wheel'): A three-man formation capable of sharp turns.
  • Atsugakari ('Winding Pressure'): Crushing with giant hammers!
  • Kagyuu ('Fire Cow'): Cannons(?) on both shoulders blast out fire!!
The new formations are accompanied by extra information about the new 'tactician' units. As well as instructing other soldiers to assemble into the formations above, they have some special 'tactician orders' they can issue to make the enemies work together so that they're harder to defeat.
  • Charge in ranks: The enemy soldiers charge together in rows.
  • Surround the base: The enemies move around their base at high speed to keep it safe.
  • Sack: They pounce on the player in a group, pressing down and crushing them (Note: in other words, it's a dog pile - and the picture of it happening to Mitsunari is pretty funny).
A picture of Tsuruhime with Oyassan has been circulating on 2ch and Twitter. More pictures will hopefully appear after the magazine has been released; in any case, the official website should update on Thursday as usual and the gaming press will post screenshots in their coverage.

Extra pictures from Twitter: Magoichi, Motochika/Tsuruhime, Kanbee, shots from the group picture 1, 2, 3, 4


Of course, that's not the only recent Sengoku Basara news.

More Ichiban Kuji prizes officially revealed

We still don't have a firm start date beyond mid-January, but the official Sengoku Basara Ichiban Kuji website has now updated to confirm more details about the list of prizes in the upcoming ¥600 convenience store lottery. In addition they've posted sample pictures of all five exclusive figures that participants can win.

A rank prize: Date Masamune 'Kyun-Chara' figure
B rank prize: Sanada Yukimura 'Kyun-Chara' figure
C rank prize: Maeda Keiji 'Kyun-Chara' figure
D rank prize: Tokugawa Ieyasu 'Kyun-Chara' figure
E rank prize: Ishida Mitsunari 'Kyun-Chara' figure
F rank prize: Hooded blanket
G rank prize: Japanese-style drawstring bag (four different designs)
H rank prize: Clear file (four different designs)
I rank prize: Set of pins (four different designs)
J rank prize: Design strap (four different designs)

There's no mention of the rumoured S-rank prize of a Sengoku Basara 4 multi-cloth, nor of the Last One prize, which is supposedly a Date Masamune 'Kyun-Chara' figure (drawn swords version). We'll have to wait and see.


Update 16/10/2013 23:20: All of the Weekly Famitsu material has now been translated. Let's look forward to the official website update and gaming website reports in a few hours!
Update 17/10/2013 07:40: The official website has now updated the character page so I've decorated this post. The profiles for Motochika, Magoichi, Tsuruhime and Kanbee will open up next Thursday.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

News roundup: Motochika confirmed for Sengoku Basara 4 at Machi★Asobi event

There isn't much to report since it's the weekend, but I think quite a few people have been waiting for news on Aniki following this event so I've gathered everything I've seen into one place.

The Machi★Asobi event has been taking place this weekend in Tokushima, Shikoku. Since it falls right in the middle of the Sengoku Basara 4 promotional period, a large number of Capcom staff went along and set up a variety of attractions to help spread the word about the new game.

There were also two stage presentations hosted by Sengoku Basara series producer Kobayashi Hiroyuki. The first of these took place yesterday and was about the Sengoku Basara 4 x Geist Crusher collaboration so I didn't cover it (I think we all heard more than enough about Geist Crusher in the Tokyo Game Show 2013 streams!). Today's more interesting presentation was themed around Sengoku Basara 4 and included an appearance by Ishino Ryuuzou, the voice actor who plays Chousokabe Motochika in the series.

The reason that Motochika was chosen was because he's associated with the Shikoku area (it helps that his voice actor is a friendly guy who works well on stage). Anyway, here are the key points from the event according to reports from attendees and press articles.
  • Chousokabe Motochika will appear in Sengoku Basara 4.
  • The announcement strongly indicated he would be playable, of course.
  • Motochika has his eye on sailing to foreign lands this time.
  • Thursday's Weekly Famitsu magazine should include his CG artwork and information on some other characters with a relationship to Motochika.
  • At the start of the presentation, Ishino called out to the crowd with "Yarou-domo!" and they responded with "Aniki!", the same way they do at a dedicated Sengoku Basara event.
  • Up until now Ishino had been in a difficult position whenever he was asked whether Motochika would appear in the game. He was relieved now that the need for secrecy was over.
  • Ishino loves playing Motochika. He feels happy whenever he's playing the role, even when he's shouting in a deep voice.
  • Fans should pay close attention to the way Motochika is involved with a large number of characters now that he's setting his sights on sailing overseas.
  • One attendee commented that Motochika had some worries.
  • Ishino described Motochika in Sengoku Basara 4 as having matured to become more like an adult. He's a little different this time around. (Note: the event attendees all seemed overwhelmingly happy so I'm guessing this change isn't a negative thing!)
  • One question KobaP asked Ishino was to name places Motochika liked and disliked. Ishino bluntly said that he personally hated riding on ships, then admitted with a grin that when it came to Motochika there was no alternative but to take a boat.
  • On the new Sengoku Basara 4 characters, Ishino jokingly asked why so many were slender, handsome guys.
  • There was apparently a comical moment where the discussion turned to animals in the game and Oyassan's 'deer language', which Ishino responded to by imitating Aniki's parrot squawking "Motochika!".
As for the 'related characters' in the next magazine reveal, Motonari is practically guaranteed to be one of them. If there will be more than one (the Japanese language is vague in this respect), it will probably be either Tsuruhime and Magoichi or the Xavists. The two ladies have strong ties to Aniki in Sengoku Basara 3 whereas the latter might conceivably have something to do with this storyline about foreign lands.

So far I've seen two reports from the stage presentation online; a short one from Famitsu and a longer one from Dengeki. Famitsu have promised to post a longer one soon. Twitter users @Jon_Jon_Joooon and @_kozu have been tweeting from the event to give decent coverage of the stage show.

An earlier Famitsu report covers the relatively uneventful Saturday presentation, showing off the Masamune statue in its new temporary location and a few other highlights. The version of the game people are playing in the demonstration area is the same cut-down build Capcom used at Tokyo Game Show last month so it's unlikely anyone noticed anything new.


Update 14/10/2013: the Famitsu website has now posted its full report and added a few things.
  • At the start of Motochika's story he has some worries about his future objectives. His subordinates are depicted as scared in a different way.
  • Of the characters announced so far, Motochika has a lot of connections to Ieyasu. As Ieyasu parts from the Toyotomi forces worrying "What am I going to do now?", look out for the kind of conversation Motochika will have with him.
  • Ishino remarked that a guy like Motochika would have a hard time if he had Naotora as a girlfriend.
  • Ishino isn't so good at putting on a deep voice, but he's done his best since the beginning with Motochika under Capcom's instructions. He's continuing the same way in Sengoku Basara 4.
  • In the series there's a big difference between the characters who shout a lot and those who don't. Yukimura is a typical 'shouty' character and when Ishino looks at seiyuu Hoshi Souichirou he wonders if he's really ok. The staff have to schedule the recordings to give the seiyuu time to rest after performing in Sengoku Basara.
  • Ishino prefers to be by himself but thinks Motochika enjoys lively places bustling with people (this was the answer to the question about Motochika's favourite places mentioned before).

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Today's acquisitions (12th October 2013)

This week the bulk of my deliveries were manga-related with Mame Sengoku Basara volume 4 and Gakuen Basara volume 6 on the Japanese side and the English versions of Oooku volume 8, Magi volume 1 and, er, Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Shinji Ikari Detective Diary volume 1. Please don't look at me like that. Blade Of The Immortal volume 27 should have been in the picture as well, except I'd already finished reading it and put it away.

I bought some of the English-language material on my trip to London last week to attend the fifth annual Japan Matsuri in Trafalgar Square. The event was good, though too similar to last year's to warrant a full report.

As well as the manga I picked up volume six of Capbon magazine. It's a special volume to celebrate the Monster Hunter series along with Capcom's 30th anniversary and all of the usual manga samples have been stripped out, leaving it as thin as a regular magazine. The Sengoku Basara 4 news inside is ancient.

The CD is the new Showgeki Basara Talk! Vol. 1 Masamune & Kojuurou No Maki Special-ban which should be fun, and the DVD is the long-awaited recording of the Takarazuka Revue's Musical Roman 'Sengoku Basara' -Sanada Yukimura-hen-. I'm looking forward to getting to watch it in the next few days! For some reason Takarazuka-an also packed a 2007 Takarazuka Graph magazine into my parcel which comes with stickers and a poster.

Last but not least is the sole anime purchase this week: the US edition of AKB0048 season one on Blu-ray. I also picked up a bunch of doujinshi from the Senkou! 3 ~Nagatsuki No Utage~ event held in late September (not pictured).

Friday, 11 October 2013

Streaming: Autumn 2013 anime first impressions

The autumn 2013 anime season had a hugely disappointing start when Crunchyroll's first batches of simulcast announcements had one thing in common: most of them had been picked up with no UK streaming rights.

It wasn't until later that new UK anime distributor Anime Limited played their hand, revealing that they were partnering up with the new France-based media service in order to get more new titles into the hands of eager fans over here directly. While the details aren't entirely clear yet, it at least means that UK fans won't have to miss out on titles such as Kill la Kill and Samurai Flamenco. If Anime Limited are able to distribute through established streaming services like Crunchyroll as well as their new download-to-own experiment they'll earn my respect as a major asset to the UK simulcast market.

On the other end of the customer service scale, Anime On Demand haven't said a word about any new simulcasts for the second season in a row. It seems logical to assume that they've completely deserted the market at this point. Similarly, it would be fun to try out Daisuki's new iPad app - if only they had some content to watch outside the US!

Anyway, that's enough complaining about what I can't watch. Two of my favourite shows from the summer season, Gifuu Doudou!! Kanetsugu And Keiji and Monogatari season 2, are continuing straight on into autumn. Everything else on the list is new.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

News roundup: Setouchi Chronicle manga on the way, Mame Sengoku Basara figures and more merchandise

This has been a relatively quiet week for news if you're an overseas Sengoku Basara fan, at least until tomorrow when the official website will update and open up the character profiles for Hideaki, Tenkai, Keiji, Toshiie and Matsu.

It's another story in Japan, of course. Many fans spent last weekend attending the Oni Kojuurou festival in Shiroishi along with game producer KobaP and Kojuurou's seiyuu Morikawa Toshiyuki, while this weekend Motochika's seiyuu Ishino Ryuuzou will be attending the Machi Asobi event in Tokushima with the Sengoku Basara 4 team.

I'll quickly run through the latest news stories now.

Dengeki Playstation volume 552 contains surprisingly little Sengoku Basara 4 coverage

Weekly Famitsu broke the news of the latest character announcements last week, and now it's Dengeki Playstation's turn to profile the newcomers and add commentary about Sengoku Basara 4...except the usual comments from director Yamamoto Makoto are missing and the game was only given a single page of coverage. Worst still, it was all recycled and only a couple of tiny pictures seemed to be new. They'll be on the official website in a few hours anyway, making it a pretty disappointing issue of the magazine.

On the bright side, Sengoku Basara 4 has reentered the Most Wanted chart in 15th place. Let's hope it can climb higher! It's reportedly moved up to 12th place in the ranking of upcoming titles in Weekly Famitsu.

Sengoku Basara Comic Anthology 'Setouchi Chronicle' revealed

A few new manga solictations have quietly appeared in shop listings over the last couple of days, including volume 6 of Itou Ryuu's Sengoku Basara 3 Bloody Angel manga due for release on 8th November 2013.

That's not all though; there hasn't been any formal announcement yet but fans of Motonari and Motochika will be thrilled to learn that the third anthology manga to be themed around specific characters is on the way, and it's going to be based around the Setouchi area!

Sengoku Basara Comic Anthology 'Setouchi Chronicle' is scheduled for release on 27th November 2013 under the Dengeki Comics EX line, priced at ¥893. I wonder what the cover will look like if it's going to feature more than one army?

The chances of Motonari and Motochika being in one of the next few character announcements just increased further.

Release information for the Mame Sengoku Basara trading figure set

I'd been waiting for this. The colour samples for the new Mame Sengoku Basara trading figures were shown off properly this week, although the matte finish makes me think they're still CG rather than photographs of actual figures. The release date will be 23rd January, just like the new game, and the cost of a box of nine randomly-packed figures will be ¥5,850 (¥6,143 with tax). They're available through all major importers such as Yesasia and AmiAmi.

The characters available are Masamune, Kojuurou, Mitsunari, Ieyasu, Yukimura, Sasuke, Motonari and Motochika with one hidden character. I personally think Keiji will take that spot as he features quite prominently in the spin-off and (in my opinion...) his Mame Sengoku Basara design is the cutest of all.

The rush of new Sengoku Basara 4 merchandise continues!

Capcom is sparing no effort to promote Sengoku Basara 4 with another batch of merchandise revealed on the CafeReo website. The new items are due for release in late November 2013. I'll quickly run through the descriptions.

Firstly, you can now keep your glasses safe with a Sengoku Basara 4 spectacles case and cleaning cloth, available with a choice of Masamune, Yukimura, Mitsunari and Kojuurou designs at ¥1,800 per set.

People who don't wear glasses will have to make do with Sengoku Basara 4 pen cases for ¥800 each. This time, the designs available are Masamune, Mitsunari, Katsuie and Sakon.

A choice of three ¥2,500 cushion covers with designs based on Masamune/Kojuurou, Yukimura/Sasuke and Mitsunari/Sakon is next. Cushions must be purchased separately.

Memo pads costing ¥600 each might be a more affordable option for fans of Mitsunari, Masamune and Yukimura.

Lastly, there's a range of purses for ¥1,800 each decorated with Masamune, Mitsunari, Yukimura and Kojuurou imagery. Each also includes a charm which resembles an old-fashioned Japanese coin. Please note that I mean 'purses' in the English sense, as in a pouch to hold coins - they aren't full-size handbags! The purses will be released a little later than the other items in mid-December 2013.

Recall announced for the Sengoku Basara 4 official calendar

The Sengoku Basara 4 calendar was recently shipped out to customers and a few fans were shocked to discover that Kojuurou's page (July) has a flaw in the form of a black smudge. The full details are buried within the apology posted by the manufacturer.

One of the advantages of buying Japanese products is that companies will generally own up to their mistakes and treat their customers well. If you purchased the calendar as an import, I'd recommend contacting your retailer swiftly to ask them whether they can assist with fixing the faulty page.

Elemental powers for the new Sengoku Basara 4 characters are still uncertain

I've seen quite a few sources claim to know decisively which element the new Sengoku Basara 4 characters are, and I want to bring the topic up here because I don't think it's as clear cut as people are saying. For example, the English-language Sengoku Basara Wiki refers to Shikanosuke, Katsuie and Sakon as having wind elemental powers, with Naotora as fire and Matabee as lightning.

The Japanese demo build, which journalists were able to play at last month's Tokyo Game Show, seems to be the main source of clues about elements. The photographs in this report make it appear as though Naotora is indeed fire, with both Sakon and Katsuie light. Or possibly wind; the icon is new, after all, but it would be strange for there to be three different yellow-coloured elemental graphics.

However, if you look carefully during the TGS Digest footage released by Sony, Sakon is shown with a completely different elemental symbol during the shot of the character select screen. Before it switches to him, the same element is clearly visible in Masamune's profile.

Masamune is very unlikely to have lost his signature lightning theme so this implies that Sakon might be lightning as well. Alternatively - and I feel that this is a more likely explanation - it means the elements for the new characters hadn't yet been decided at the time Capcom put their demo footage together.

Please tread carefully before assuming any of the new characters have had their official elements confirmed yet. If the official sources contradict one another it's impossible for anyone to know which to trust!

Australian television show Good Game covers Sengoku Basara 4 at TGS

Thanks to the delightful @starshapevx on Twitter, I was alerted to a video from an Australian television show Good Game which briefly covers Sengoku Basara 4 during a tour of TGS 2013. I hadn't ever heard of Good Game before but the hosts seemed respectful and they even managed to get a translated introduction to the game straight from director Yamamoto Makoto, helpfully asking him questions and demonstrating that English-speakers can be interested in Sengoku Basara 4 too. The important part starts at the 5:49 mark in the video.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Manga review: Sengoku Basara 3 Utage Comic Anthology

Sengoku Basara 3 Utage Comic Anthology was a 142-page manga anthology released by ASCII Media Works in the Dengeki Comics EX line on 27th January 2012. It costs ¥850 and can be purchased from all good import book stores and manga specialists such as Yesasia, Amazon Japan or CD Japan.

The content inside the book is all themed around the scenarios from the Sengoku Basara 3 Utage game, so characters who didn't appear don't show up here either outside of a few brief cameos. The list of contributors contains names pulled from all over the Sengoku Basara universe, and no less than a third of the pages is composed of 4-panel gag strips. That fits with the theme of the game, I suppose.

The cover illustration depicting the leads from both Sengoku Basara 3 and Sengoku Basara 3 Utage was drawn by Satsuki You. There's additional colour artwork inside from Kyuugou, Yuupon and Katagiri Ikumi. I particularly loved the Yuupon drawing showing Mitsunari and Ieyasu clashing with Hisahide in the background; it was a nice surprise back when I originally bought the book. Here are some very brief summaries of the standalone manga which follow the illustrations.

Inochi ('Life')
Sakura Maro
This manga tells Tenkai's story from the moment Hisahide took away his identity to his original encounter with the crybaby Kingo (via Sourin's unsuccessful attempt at recruitment). Though the story is told in a silly way the themes are still quite serious, so Sakura Maro ends the story with a few pages of 4-koma jokes about the female characters with the heading Oiroke Taiketsu ('Sexy Confrontation') to lighten the mood.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

News roundup: Famitsu magazine welcomes more returning characters to the Sengoku Basara 4 cast

Details from tomorrow's issue of Weekly Famitsu are now being leaked and it seems we have five returning characters appearing in Sengoku Basara 4, though two are said to be NPCs. It's brilliant news for fans of Mitsuhide(!) and Keiji - while fans of the game's strongest couple have had their worst fears realised...

Kobayakawa Hideaki 小早川秀秋
Character image phrase: 無明秋夜 Mumyou Shuuya ('Autumn Night Of Ignorance')
Seiyuu: Fukuyama Jun
Weapon: Nabe pot
Playable: Yes
Description: Hideaki is the supreme commander of the Kobayakawa army. As a lord he's a coward and extremely indecisive, but when it comes to food he's a glutton who gets more fired up and determined than anyone else in the land of Hinomoto. He seems to have built up a strange lord-retainer relationship with Tenkai, the mysterious monk who resides in the Kobayakawa household.

For Kobayakawa, running around and apologising become forms of attack. Contrary to appearances the unique skills which use the pot on his back are very powerful.

Hideaki's true value is in his unique skill 'Mogu Mogu Kingo' ('Munching Kingo'). By eating food, Hideaki's unique skills will be powered up. Try to keep his stomach full!

"Since I'm the 'nabe shogun', I have nothing to do with things like battles..."

Tenkai 天海
Character image phrase: 慈眼傍観 Jigan Boukan ('Spectating Merciful Eye')
Seiyuu: Hayami Shou
Weapon: A pair of 'monk staff' (shakujou) scythes
Playable: Yes
Description: An unidentified Buddhist monk who works with the Kobayakawa army. Due to his skill at advising the indecisive Kobayakawa Hideaki and the way that he can charm people with words, he's earned the admiration of the soldiers. However, nobody knows the background of this person who habours many secrets and often disappears.

By using the unique skill 'Koukotsuteki Kyuushuu' ('Ecstatic Absorption') Tenkai can heal himself and raise his 'ecstasy' level. This increases the efficiency of his normal and unique skills.

"As a reward, I'll tell you! My real name is...! Hehehe...hahahahaha!"

Note: There's a cool picture of Tenkai leaping aggressively towards Nobunaga wielding both of his scythes.

Maeda Keiji 前田慶次
Character image phrase: 絢麗豪壮 Kenrei Gousou ('Gorgeous Splendour')
Seiyuu: Morita Masakazu
Weapon: Choutou-shuyari (Super-sword, scarlet spear)
Playable: Yes
Description: The supreme commander of a reborn Maeda army. While his free-spiritedness as a former vagabond remains, he's starting to gain an awareness of being the head of his clan. Keiji seems to harbour doubts about carrying responsibility for his land on his shoulders, opposing the turbulent era brought about by the 'restoration of power to the heavens'. Meanwhile, as the one who was known as a kabukimono, he can't deny the heated enthusiasm that the people are emitting. On the battlefield he blows numerous enemy soldiers away by brandishing his lengthy 'super-sword'. Keiji's personality can be appreciated for the way it embodies splendid action.

By using Keiji's unique skill 'Koi No Kakehiki' ('Tactics of Love'), his normal skills, unique skills and special moves can be cancelled.

Note: There's a picture of Keiji blocking a frontal attack from Yoshiteru.
Note 2: A kabukimono is a dazzling eccentric.

"For the Maeda clan of Kaga, for those who yearn for love...please take a good look at Maeda Keiji's great eccentricity!"

Maeda Toshiie 前田利家
Character image phrase: 豪放磊落 Gouhou Rairaku ('Open-hearted')
Seiyuu: Tsuboi Tomohiro
Weapon: Three-pronged spear
Playable: No
Description: Maeda Keiji's uncle, and a commander who loves the meals his wife cooks more than anything else. The heroic spear control he demonstrates on the battlefield marks him as 'Mataza of the Spear'. At the same time, he seems very interested in the movements of the lord he used to serve - a certain Oda Nobunaga.

Having handed his role as head of the family over to Keiji, Maeda Toshiie and Matsu battle hard in order to support Keiji. What kind of drama will we see from them?

"With support from Keiji, the strongest couple is even stronger!"

Matsu まつ
Character image phrase: 賢才瞬麗 Kensai Shunrei ('Gifted Sparkle')
Seiyuu: Kaida Yuuko
Weapon: Naginata
Playable: No
Description: The wife of a warrior family who wields her cooking skills in order to support the new Maeda army. She repeats her strict but gentle lectures on a daily basis so that Maeda Keiji will be a respectable head of their clan. On the battlefield, her combination with Toshiie poses a threat.

Whether they're going to a bustling festival or creating a stack of rice, the peaceful atmosphere throughout is one of the Maeda clan's traits. The quips between the married couple of Toshiie and Matsu are a highlight!

"The new Maeda army is full of life, just like fresh vegetables!"


This week's gameplay feature concentrates on some of the elements shown off at the Tokyo Game Show 2013, such as level-ups during battle. It's nothing revolutionary but I'll translate it.
  • You gain experience by defeating enemies and enemy camps, which leads to level-ups taking place during the stage.
  • If the level-up unlocks new a technique, it can be used immediately.
  • A picture shows Masamune levelling up and unlocking Crazy Storm with the input L1+Triangle displayed on the screen.
  • You can switch your special move mid-battle, so you can have multiple special moves equipped at the same time.
  • Caption: Change to adapt to the situation! Masamune is shown freely switching between Hell Dragon and War Dance in an instant.
  • The sword clash ('kengeki') mechanic is back when your attack coincides with an enemy commander's strike. As usual, you have to bash the button quickly to be victorious and stagger the enemy.
  • If you use the left stick while guarding just before an enemy attack lands, you'll trigger the desertion mechanic ('mikiri'). It's the fancy dodge move shown in some of the videos and slows the enemy down for a moment.
Then there's a section on enemy camps.
  • Camps are locations which act as bases for the enemy forces. The camps play a critical role: they're close to the barracks, from which enemy soldiers appear in succession, and gates might not open if you haven't destroyed the camp. Furthemore, inside the camps are special enemy units called camp commanders.
  • By defeating the camp commander, it's possible to claim the camp for your own forces.
  • Camps with up to three levels are created through the enhancing abilities of the strategists (note: this is a particular unit type which was described back when the enemy formations were revealed).
  • If that's the case, it's necessary to defeat the camp commanders on all of the floors before you can take the camp.
  • There's also a system called 'camp destruction' which lets you destroy the individual levels of strong bases with a single blow. If a button icon is displayed on-screen when the camp commander goes to attack, calmly press that button with the right timing.
The game has risen another spot in Weekly Famitsu's ranking. It's now in 14th place. Footnotes about the theme songs confirm a few other details:
  • As with the Naotora wedding outfit I mentioned before, there are plans to make the Masamune hakama/wooden sword DLC costume available separately later on for a fee.
  • Count ZERO (the game's opening theme) will include keywords like 'creation' and 'advance towards the enemy' in the lyrics.
  • Meanwhile, Runners high (the ending theme) contains a message along the lines of 'keep on running, don't stop!'.
I was momentarily excited when I saw that the Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako special edition of the game came with an actual Date Masamune, only to realise it was a misprinted bullet point. Sigh.


So, it seems there'll be no opportunity to ride bears in Sengoku Basara 4 and the deer will have to make up for it. I'm reading a lot of negativity about poor Kingo being included which seems really unfair; it's not as though excluding him would represent an opportunity for one of the Maeda couple to be playable. Surely the developers would have chosen the characters they wanted to include before coming up with the final number of playable characters, not the other way around.

Kingo is popular in the stage plays so I'm interested to know what his story will be this time around. I also want to know whether they'll make Mitsuhide play differently to Tenkai this time to justify him having two different spots on the roster.

Thanks to this week's reveal we're now up to 23/40 characters formally announced, with 5 of them being NPCs. The official website (and major Japanese news sites) are likely to update on Thursday to share the details from the magazine.

Japanese Twitter user escarpment19 has uploaded a photograph of Keiji's page and the Maeda couple, while yuhya63 provides a glimpse of Tenkai/Kingo here.

Bonus: CapcomChannel has posted a higher quality version of the Naotora/Matabee gameplay demonstration and presentation from TGS 2013.

Update (23:30): The whole article is now translated above. By the way, everyone looks the same as they did in Utage (though I like Keiji's new render better, Tenkai's looks awesome and Kingo's isn't very flattering).
Update (Thursday morning). The official website has now been updated so I added the profile pictures.
Update (Thursday noon). Pictures are now all over the Japanese press such as Gamer and 4Gamer.