Monday, 30 September 2013

Streaming: Summer 2013 anime final impressions

This summer's anime offerings were a strange bunch. I started out with one of my most packed schedules to date, pushing my DVD/BD backlog even farther down my list of priorities, yet many failed to hold my interest once the first few episodes were out of the way. While it was difficult to rank my top three for the spring 2013 season because I'd enjoyed them all so much, summer 2013 was a little easier:

1. Attack On Titan (Shingeki No Kyojin)
2. FREE!
3. The Eccentric Family (Uchouten Kazoku)

Gatchaman Crowds came close at times, but the sheer quality of Uchouten Kazoku prevailed.

None of the summer shows went on my list of must-have titles, which means I haven't imported a TV show since the winter (though I'll be picking up quite a few when they make it to the US). Having said that, FREE!, Attack On Titan and Monogatari might have been very tempting if the Japanese editions had included English subtitles, and Uchouten Kazoku is still proving difficult to resist.

With Anime On Demand having pulled out of UK streaming without a word, here's my final look back at what Crunchyroll and Daisuki had to offer last season.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Today's acquisitions (28th September 2013)

It feels as though it's been a while since I had some big deliveries. A batch of US anime came in today, as well as the replacement for a Yesasia shipment which went missing in the post. The picture is even worse than usual thanks to the overcast weather providing little natural light.


From the US, I received Lovely Complex (Love☆Com) and Onimusha: Dawn Of Dreams on DVD, as well as Tsuritama, Medaka Box season one, Queen's Blade Rebellion, Hakuouki Reimeiroku and Daily Lives Of High School Boys (Danshi Koukousei No Nichijou) on Blu-ray. From Yesasia, the seventh JoJo's Bizarre Adventure special edition Blu-ray arrived along with the first Attack On Titan (Shingeki No Kyojin) ending, Hikasa Youko's beautiful Utsukushiki Zankoku Na Sekai. A freebie Takao keychain charm accompanied the order to get me in the mood for the upcoming season season of Kuroko No Basuke.

The lack of UK streaming announcements for this Autumn's anime season has been a huge disappointment to me over the last week so I'll probably be enjoying these discs sooner than planned. It seems that my money isn't good enough for the anime industry anymore.

Friday, 27 September 2013

News roundup: Sony's Sengoku Basara 4 trailer appears

The Sony Playstation channel posts the 'missing' TGS 2013 promotional video

I was beginning to think this short clip reel was never going to turn up! It's titled Sengoku Basara 4 Promotional Footage TGS Digest.


The quality is pretty bad unless you switch to 720P mode and even then it's not the greatest at times (direct link to the video).


The clips are mostly recut from scenes we've already been shown, but there are a few new pieces of information to be found. Tosaku has already translated some of the new lines of dialogue so I'll just add the encounters which are briefly listed on the march screen, apparently taking place after the second battle:

(With a blood-spattered background) An outbreak! Abrasion: the beauty of insufficiency.
(With a blood-spattered background) The fires of war spread to Izumo: Shiraga Castle.
The Tokugawa forces crush the Oda forces at Mikawa: Komaki-Nagakute.

I hadn't been paying close attention to the stage selection screen in the trailers previously. Izumo: Shiraga Castle is Shikanosuke's stage, Mikawa: Komaki-Nagakute is Ieyasu's and Tootoumi: Iinoya Castle is Naotora's. The Sakon/Katsuie stage they've shown off in previous videos is Echizen: Kitanoshou Castle.


Sengoku Basara illustration card to be included with T.M.Revolution's latest compilation CD

T.M.Revolution is giving his Geisha Boy -Anime Song Experience- compilation album a wider release in Japan after it first appeared at Otakon earlier this year. Fans around the world can buy the CD on iTunes, but a tweet from the staff has provided a glimpse of the special bonus in the first press limited edition: six original anime art cards featuring Rurouni Kenshin -Meiji Kenkaku Romantan-, Kidou Senshi Gundam Seed/Gundam Seed Destiny, Soul Eater, Sengoku Basara, Bleach and Kakumeiki Valvrave. I think I already have all of the songs on the CD...


It's a week of many Sengoku Basara releases

Even though there's not much news about the new game - aside from all of the trailers, of course - fans in Japan have been out picking up the new volume of Dengeki Maoh with its cute Mame Sengoku Basara clear file (pictured), Capbon magazine, the Capcom 30th Anniversary Best CD set, the Burari, Bushou Futaritabi ~Kyouto Hen~ travel CD, the first Showgeki Basara Talk! CD and the latest manga spin-offs: Mame Sengoku Basara vol. 4 and Gakuen Basara vol. 6. And that's not even including all of the Sengoku Basara 4 merchandise which comes out at the start of next week!

In addition, promotion for the upcoming 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 has been gearing up with the announcement that the final performance will be streamed in selected cinemas in Japan again this time.

Next week, the new official fan club will start accepting applications and we'll hopefully get our next round of character announcements for Sengoku Basara 4. I'm looking forward to a much-needed peaceful weekend in between trying to keep up with all of the recent excitement!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

News roundup: Rumours about the new Ichiban Kuji prizes

I don't think there's anything important being leaked from tomorrow's magazines, so I'll do a mid-week news update instead.

Update 20:00: More news added to the bottom of the post.

Ichiban Kuji lottery prize rumours

The official Sengoku Basara Ichiban Kuji website appeared as promised yesterday and disappointed everyone by revealing nothing at all. Fortunately, some fans have been snooping and they've found what is rumoured to be the final prize list, so here it is. This is completely unconfirmed at present. The lottery will begin in mid-January 2014.

S rank prize: Sengoku Basara 4 multi-cloth
A rank prize: Date Masamune 'Kyun-Chara' figure (pictured)
B rank prize: Sanada Yukimura 'Kyun-Chara' figure (pictured)
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)
Last One prize: Date Masamune 'Kyun-Chara' figure (drawn swords version)

For those unfamiliar with Ichiban Kuji, it's a special merchandise lottery where participating stores sell tickets (they'll cost ¥600 each). Each ticket wins a random prize from a limited selection the store has on display. The prizes are exclusive to the lottery, however there is a healthy trade in unwanted prizes on the used market since a lot of people get things they don't want.


Capcom gives more detail about Machi Asobi event

A news post this morning has explained more about Capcom's participation in the Machi Asobi event held in Tokushima from the 12th to the 14th of October 2013. The wonderful statue of Masamune which was on display at TGS 2013 last week is going to be set up at Tokushima Awa-Odori airport to welcome visitors in style!


In addition, series producer Kobayashi Hiroyuki (KobaP) will be giving a 30-minute Sengoku Basara stage presentation of some kind at 13:00 on 12th October and 14:30 on 13th October. There may be guests at each of the stage presentations too.

More stores list Sengoku Basara 4 preorders

A few more stores have added listings for foreign fans to purchase the e-Capcom exclusive versions of the game. I'm going to keep everything in one place, so please see my previous post for the updated list of stores where you can buy your copy of Sengoku Basara 4.

Tomorrow's Dengeki Playstation magazine contains a little Sengoku Basara 4 coverage

I didn't bother buying Weekly Famitsu since it doesn't seem as though there was anything new to report so instead I picked up volume 551 of Dengeki Playstation. There were only two pages and almost everything was a repeat from last week's Famitsu information. I'll summarise the tiny amount of new content that I could find (some may have been mentioned in online articles at the weekend but if I never covered it here it qualifies as 'new').

If you use a Basara technique when your 'Extreme Style' mode is active, a stronger 'Stylish Basara technique' will be released. This isn't too surprising given previous game mechanics. Furthermore, cherry blossom petals will flutter down across the screen when you attack an enemy in 'Extreme Style' mode.

The magazine also highlighted the stage-specific gimmicks that are introduced in the new game. Two of the three were directly from Famitsu: capturing a gatling gun cannon to fire on enemies and breaking through fusuma screens to make a path through a dead end (pictures here). The third was the 'Daruma-san Ga Koronda' game which can be seen in several of the gameplay videos from TGS. The huge Oyakata-sama statues block the path ahead and attack the player if they approach when the statues are looking at them, accompanied by the cheering of the Takeda soldiers.

Lastly, game director Yamamoto Makoto gave his personal comments on the most recent character announcements as usual.

Tokugawa Ieyasu: prior to championing bonds himself, he suffered greatly too.
  • Sengoku Basara 4's Ieyasu starts out from the moment he took his very first step to break away from the Toyotomi army. Although Ieyasu was pushing forward promoting 'bonds' in Sengoku Basara 3, I think that this time his painful struggle over the course of his decision can be seen. Please take notice of his new relationship with Mitsunari.
Honda Tadakatsu: a promise of flight mode during the march!?
  • The troubled Ieyasu has the support of Tadakatsu at his side. Of course, Ieyasu and Tadakatsu use his flight mode on the march screen (lol). In addition, I think that his relationship with Ii Naotora - who considers men to be her enemies - will be rather unusual.
Sengoku Basara 4 has completely disappeared from the Most Wanted chart this fortnight due to the large number of new entries. Tokyo Game Show week has been hectic!

Cover artwork revealed for this month's Dengeki Maoh

Mame Sengoku Basara is the highlight for the next issue of Dengeki Maoh due for release this week in Japan. As well as the adorable cover artwork, Sumeragi's Mame Sengoku Basara characters will appear on a free clear file included with the magazine. It looks as though the file uses the same picture as the cover. If you want to buy a copy, it's the November 2013 issue (even though it's released in September).


The international Sengoku Basara fan community translates more promotional videos

Tousaku has translated the dialogue from the new TGS 2013 promotional video on Tumblr with commentary, while the team of Nine Demons Yoshitaka and PSandNintendFreak have created a translated English/German version of the video (plus a fully-translated version of the skills video which appeared last week). They're all working really hard to help fans understand why Sengoku Basara 4 is going to be great!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

News roundup: Tokyo Game Show 2013 is over, but Sengoku Basara 4 announcements continue

Sengoku Basara 4 can now be purchased at various import-friendly online stores

The first listings have started to appear for the standard and Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako versions of Sengoku Basara 4 outside of Amazon and e-Capcom. Here's a list of the places I've found selling it so far - you can see a description of all of the versions in detail here but I'll recap to keep it all in one place.

Please note that there are likely to be store-exclusive bonuses which have yet to be revealed. These will likely be very minor things; hopefully Capcom will post more information soon as there's no guarantee they'll be shipped outside Japan.

Note (24/10/2013): I have now posted an updated list so please use that instead for the latest information!

Standard edition (¥6,990)

Contains the game. First press includes Masamune costume DLC (hakama/wooden sword).


e-Capcom (Japan only) - DLC confirmed
Amazon Japan (Japan only) - DLC confirmed
Animate (Japan only)
Yesasia Global
Yesasia USA
Play-Asia
Ami Ami - DLC confirmed
CD Japan
HMV Japan - DLC confirmed (store-exclusive bonus: Ii Naotora wedding costume and decorative game jacket)

Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako special edition (¥8,790)

Contains the game and 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. First press includes Masamune costume DLC (hakama/wooden sword).


e-Capcom (Japan only) - DLC confirmed
Amazon Japan (Japan only) - DLC confirmed
Animate (Japan only)
Yesasia Global - DLC confirmed
Yesasia USA - DLC confirmed
Play-Asia - DLC confirmed
Ami Ami - DLC confirmed
CD Japan (special request)
CD Japan (normal listing)
HMV Japan - DLC confirmed (store-exclusive bonus: Ii Naotora wedding costume and decorative game jacket)

Other versions revealed so far are the e-Capcom exclusive Saikyou-Chouhan and Ryuuou-Kamewari editions, each priced at ¥9,990. Play-Asia seems to be able to get hold of them both (Saikyou-Chouhan, Ryuuou-Kamewari).

Capcom release the new Sengoku Basara 4 promotional video from TGS 2013


Finally! It's amazing!


It looks as though we might have been right about the different stage selection animations as the cut from the beginning implies not everyone rides a horse. Matabee sounds cool in action and Masamune's flight is better than I imagined from the descriptions.


Nagamasa looks so cool cradling Oichi in front of Katsuie. I'm excited, even though we don't know if he will appear in the actual game (rather than just a cutscene) yet.


Keiji's glove and back definitely make appearances too, as does Yoshitsugu's mikoshi.

Capcom have since updated the official website with a 'Count ZERO' version of the video including a preview of T.M.Revolution's new theme song.

New line of merchandise includes Kuroda Kanbee

The cute Sengoku Basara range of gotouchi netsuke ('regional speciality charms') is set to expand with another set being released at the end of October 2013. The new charms cost ¥578 each and rather than sticking strictly to regional dishes, this time there are famous local sites and festivals incorporated in the theme. There's the Tanabata festival for Date Masamune (Touhoku region), Shinshuu soba for Sanada Yukimura (Shinshuu region), Kaminarimon for Tokugawa Ieyasu (Kantou region), Himeji castle for Kuroda Kanbee (Kansai region), Mentaiko (fish roe) for Kuroda Kanbee (Kyuushuu region) and Osaka castle for Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Kansai region).

Strangely, Kanbee appears twice even though he's rarely included on merchandise, which makes me feel we'll be seeing more of him in the near future. The designs are cute, and you can see the older charms in this previous post.


More footage from Tokyo Game Show 2013 surfaces

Play Asia TV uploaded a short video to YouTube which has an English-speaking presenter and a little Naotora gameplay.


And someone seems to have uploaded the Matabee gameplay from the stage presentation.


Meanwhile, one fan has played with the Miku Miku Dance software to create 'The One-Eyed Dragon King flees from Matabee at full power!'...

Friday, 20 September 2013

News roundup: More Sengoku Basara 4 videos and rumours from Tokyo Game Show 2013

I've been pretty useless this TGS since I haven't been able to cover much of the news in real time. Fortunately, Tousaku's blog and the numerous posts from Nine Demons Yoshitaka have kept the English-language Sengoku Basara 4 updates flowing steadily!

At last, though, it's the weekend so I can catch up on the details myself instead of continuously posting mini-updates on Twitter. I'll put the videos at the end under a cut so people on slower computers don't struggle, as well as instructions for watching the weekend live streams.

Firstly, some minor news updates.

Sengoku Basara 4 metal strap collection to be released in December

Presepe listed a brand new piece of Sengoku Basara 4 merchandise this morning and a few other retailers have since added it to their catalogues too. It seems to have been revealed at TGS 2013 except that it went unreported in the media amongst all of the other announcements yesterday. The set of ten 5cm-tall metal straps can be purchased as a complete box for ¥5,250 (discounted to ¥4,790); the characters available are Masamune, Mitsunari, Yukimura, Sasuke, Sakon, Katsuie, Kojuurou, Ieyasu and two secrets. Reservations begin on 15th October with the boxes to begin shipping on 30th December 2013.


Pictures of the new stage play versions of Yukimura and Hanbee are released

Even as TGS continues, the staff behind the upcoming Butai Sengoku Basara 3 Utage Two stage play took to Facebook today to reveal pictures of three cast members in costume. It's the first time I've seen newcomers Kawasumi Bishin (Takenaka Hanbee) and Yoshioka Yuu (Sanada Yukimura) dressed up in character.

Livestream links for Capcom's Saturday and Sunday TGS 2013 presentations

The stage presentations this weekend are going to be streamed for all fans to watch.

On Saturday 21st September, the Sengoku Basara 4 presentation will be at 14:50 Japan time (06:50 in the UK). You can watch it live on Capcom's YouTube channel or try the Nico Nico Live stream in case they pop into the stage area. I've embedded Capcom's stream below just in case that works too.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

News roundup: An explosion of Sengoku Basara 4 news as TGS 2013 opens

Masamune's hakama/wooden sword costume announced as DLC

Masamune's special costume from the BSR48 video was a huge hit when it first debuted, and now it looks as though the casual outfit is making its way to the game series.


I was disappointed for literally seconds about the idea of DLC for the series before it turned into unbridled excitement at how cool Masamune looks. Needless to say I'll be getting this costume and buying any other DLC which ends up coming out later on.

e-Capcom reveals four Sengoku Basara 4 special editions

There will be no less than four special versions of Sengoku Basara 4 available through Capcom's webstore and they've set up a special page to explain the differences.

The Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako edition costs ¥8,790 and its extra features are 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. It's also available through other stores (I just reserved a copy from Amazon Japan). I'll add more store links as soon as the listings are available!

Edit: Now also available from Yesasia Global, Yesasia USA, HMV Japan. HMV has a note on the listing implying it might include an additional bonus.


The Ryuuou-Kamewari version is priced at ¥9,990 and includes a leather case showing the Basara-e artwork for Masamune and Katsuie. This edition is exclusive to e-Capcom.


The Saikyou-Chouhan version is priced at ¥9,990. It's exactly the same except the special leather case has the Basara-e for Mitsunari and Sakon on it. This edition is exclusive to e-Capcom.


Lastly, the standard edition is priced at ¥6,990. It's available at regular stores like Amazon Japan too, of course.

Edit: Also available from Yesasia Global, Yesasia USA, HMV Japan, Play-Asia. Please note that Yesasia and Play-Asia do not list the DLC in their description for this version while HMV Japan does and also appears to have some kind of bonus included.


All four editions will come with the download code for Masamune's special costume as a first press bonus.

Details of the Sengoku Basara 4 theme songs announced

We now have more information about T.M.Revolution's theme song for Sengoku Basara 4. It will be titled 'Count ZERO'. SCANDAL's ending theme is to be called 'Runners high'. Both songs will appear in future promotional videos on the official website and in game stores in Japan.

'Bizarre' Sengoku Basara pendants available for preorder

e-Capcom has also added details of four new Sengoku Basara 4 x Bizarre silver pendants available from the beginning of 2014 and priced at ¥9,450 each, in collaboration with the popular Harajuku 'Bizarre' brand. There are designs representing Masamune (lightning/crescent moon), Yukimura (fire/six coins), Mitsunari (feather/embroidery) and Ieyasu (rope/mitsuba aoi crest).



Betones are releasing a range of Sengoku Basara 4 boxer shorts

Male fans shouldn't feel left out as there's also going to be a Sengoku Basara 4 x Betones collaboration to produce a range of character-themed boxer shorts for men this December. The boxers will cost ¥1,995 for each one-size-fits-all pair and three designs are available: Masamune/Katsuie, Mitsunari/Sakon and Yukimura/Sasuke.


'After talk show' events announced for the Sengoku Basara stage play series

It's been announced that the upcoming November stage play Butai Sengoku Basara 3 Utage Two: Kyouou Tanjou x Shinen No Utage will have some 'after talk' cast talk shows after three of the Nagoya shows (15th November at 18:00, 16th November at 12:00 and 16th November at 17:00). The cast members who will participate are Nakamura Seijirou (Ishida Mitsunari), Yoshida Tomokazu (Katakura Kojuurou) and Murata Youjirou (Sarutobi Sasuke).

Ieyasu and Tadakatsu added to the official Sengoku Basara 4 website

The official website has updated to add placeholders for Ieyasu and Tadakatsu as revealed in today's issue of Weekly Famitsu (see my previous post). Their sections will open on 26th September 2013 to reveal their full artwork, voice samples (well, for Ieyasu at least...) and screenshots.

There's also an explanation of the Stylish Gauge mechanic I talked about yesterday.

Brand new Sengoku Basara fan club announced: Basara Club

The old Eiyuu No Kai fan club is still wrapping up and already a brand new replacement has been announced: Basara Club. Applications for membership will be accepted from 1st October 2014 and club activities will begin on 1st December. Benefits of membership include a membership card, a special item for joining, the fan club newsletter, greetings cards on your birthday and at the new year, access to special fan club merchandise, access to lotteries for event tickets and also to special fan club events. In other words, the rewards are all identical to those of the old fan club...

It costs ¥1,000 to join, then ¥4,000 each year for the actual membership - however, if you sign up between 1st October and 30th November the setup fee will be waived. The official website for the new club is here.

Sengoku Basara 4: Basara Matsuri 2014 ~Shinshun No Utage~ scheduled for January

A game launch wouldn't be complete without a Basara Matsuri event, and sure enough Sengoku Basara 4: Basara Matsuri 2014 ~Shinshun No Utage~ has been scheduled for 19th January 2014, a few days before the game goes on sale on 23rd January. It's going to be held in Tokyo's Nippon Seinenkan Great Hall and there will be two performances on the same day. Seiyuu Nakamura Yuuichi (Shima Sakon) and Okamoto Nobuhiko (Shibata Katsuie) have been announced as the first guests. Members of the new fan club will be given priority in the ticket lottery. The official event website has already been launched. The venue seems quite small by recent Basara Matsuri standards...

Ichiban Kuji lottery announced with Sengoku Basara prizes

I posted about this back in February when it was just a rumour, and finally it's come to fruition! The popular Ichiban Kuji lottery will be running a Sengoku Basara 4 prize campaign in mid-January with tickets costing ¥600. Every tickets wins some kind of prize, but the exclusive 'Kyun-Chara' figures of Masamune (A-rank prize) and Yukimura (B-rank prize) are sure to become sought after. The news bulletin notes that Masamune's helmet can be removed.


There will also be a prize campaign at Japanese amusement arcades which includes these dapper Masamune and Mitsunari wearable hood towels.


The official website for the lottery will be launched on 24th September.

Mame Sengoku Basara trading figures to be released

I'm not entirely sure I find the Ichiban Kuji prize figures all that cute. Fortunately, there will also be a set of Mame Sengoku Basara trading figures released more conventionally in January. Although there's been no formal announcement so far, the unpainted computer-generated mock-ups can be seen in one Twitter user's snapshot (edit: here's another two with samples), clearly revealing that the line will include 'mame' versions of Masamune, Yukimura, Ieyasu, Mitsunari, Kojuurou, Sasuke, Motochika and Motonari with one 'secret' figure to collect. Each blind-boxed trading figure will cost ¥693.

Exclusive TGS2013 cards for Sengoku Basara Card Heroes Matsuri

As well as the 'Dragon King' Masamune card I mentioned before which visitors to Tokyo Game Show 2013 can pick up at Capcom's booth, players of mobile game Sengoku Basara Card Heroes Matsuri can obtain a unique Mitsunari card by logging into the game and participating in the event currently taking place.


Capcom's new Geist Crusher game will feature a Masamune tie-in

I haven't been following Capcom's brand new Geist Crusher title (or possibly Gaist Crusher according to the official website). Apparently, that was a mistake, since they've announced some crossover fun with Sengoku Basara 4.


Date Masamune will appear in the game as 'Jet Masamune'. I'm afraid I have no idea what any of this means in context, but it looks good fun. There's a clip in this video too.


Sengoku Basara to appear at Machi Asobi in October

No details have been revealed yet but there will be some kind of Sengoku Basara content at October's Machi Asobi event. Machi Asobi will run between the 10th and the 12th of October 2013 in Tokushima.

And finally...reports from the Tokyo Game Show venue

It's the first day of TGS so there's a lot going on, and there'll be even more news this weekend after the stage presentations take place. Famitsu has posted first gameplay impressions, an interview and a stage report so far. The venerable Nine Demons Yoshitaka has been able to report some of the reveals in his posts over at the Koei Warriors forums and the booth looks fabulous.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

News: Weekly Famitsu (19th September 2013) announces Ieyasu and Tadakatsu for Sengoku Basara 4

With the Tokyo Game Show 2013 bringing a wealth of new information over the next few days, tomorrow's Weekly Famitsu information is sparser than usual. In spite of this they still managed to squeeze in two 'new' character announcements for Sengoku Basara 4 according to the sources at 2ch who received their copies early!


Tokugawa Ieyasu 徳川家康
Character image phrase: 東照権現 Toushou Gongen ('Avatar Of The Light of the East')
Seiyuu: Ookawa Tooru
Weapon: None
Playable: Yes
Description: The commander of the Tokugawa forces. This game's setting is the 'Sengoku Creation' but Ieyasu appears in the form of a young man. In order to bring about a world of peace through human bonds, Ieyasu left the Toyotomi army, who advanced by dominating through power, and raised his own flag. He stands on the battlefield armed with just his fists so that he can know the people's pain. However, that doesn't change the fact that Ieyasu still wields great power, and he repeatedly questions himself...

One of Ieyasu's special traits is to increase the power and area of effect of his attacks when the button is held down. Put all of your strength into pulverising the enemy!

"The people are the ones who can change this world... I'll prove it with these hands!"


Honda Tadakatsu 本多忠勝
Character image phrase: 戦国最強 Sengoku Saikyou ('Strongest In The Warring States')
Seiyuu: None
Weapon: Mechanical spear
Playable: Yes
Description: There's no such thing as a person who wouldn't be terrified hearing the name 'Sengoku Saikyou'. Serving Tokugawa since before he worked under the Toyotomi forces, Tadakatsu has always been supporting his lord. For the sake of his master he rose up in battle once more as a commander to wield his spear with fresh resolve. One of his traits are his powerful spear attacks.

Tadakatsu goes along with Ieyasu for the sake of bringing peace to the land. He fights taking advantage of the long reach of his normal attacks. A caption confirms that he can use combinations of his various different modes to defeat the enemy, i.e. defensive form, charge form, artillery form and flight form.

"............!!"

--

The old Sengoku Drive/Sengoku Boost gauges from the earlier games have been replaced by a 'Stylish Gauge' which allows you to activate your 'Extreme Style' mode when the bar is blazing blue. It's quite literally a stylish mode that will increase the player's attack power, slow down nearby enemies, make it easier to continue your combos and increase the amount of money and experience you receive.

Whether it's used to decimate a large number of enemy soldiers to earn koban coins and experience or saved for a harder encounter is up to the player. The gauge naturally fills as you attack your foes (so probably through taking damage and landing hits as usual, then).

The war comrade ('senyuu') system we saw in this week's new battle system video is also explained for the benefit of the magazine audience.
  • Shireien ('command circle'): As shown in the videos before, the player can summon a command circle to direct their comrade to attack a particular area. You can adjust the location of the target by holding down the button.
  • Kougeki ('joint attack'): When the player or their comrade attacks an enemy, a portion of the damage received will turn the enemy's life gauge yellow. The 'joint attack' will be a success if the other warrior attacks the same enemy at this point. The number of hits will increase and more coins will be awarded.
  • Senyuu Shikou ('war comrade consideration'): The behaviour of your comrade will change according to the enemy's type and status (e.g. in the air or stunned). They'll become smarter as they level up and automatically make decisions based on the current situation.
A few other scattered pieces of information give more clues about the game. There's an introductory caption of "Who will be the one to conquer the land!?" above pictures of Ieyasu, Yoshiteru, Nobunaga and Hideyoshi.

There will be forty characters in total participating in Sengoku Basara 4, hailed as the biggest number yet for the series. This figure probably includes a healthy amount of non-playable enemy commanders, but since we only have one lady announced so far I'd expect a few of the missing female veterans to make up part of that number. We have eighteen at the moment (three of whom are unplayable) so there should be a large number of these fortnightly character announcements to come.

In another section, the magazine's writers remark on the many gimmicks that we'll see as part of the new stages. Yoshiteru's stage is like a game of roulette itself with areas divided into red and black on the mini-map. It looks as though layers of the room rotate... how on earth does it work? Yoshiteru is right at the heart of the stage!

Elsewhere, it's revealed that the player can take control of an enormous gatling gun-style cannon to blast a mysterious Tokugawa crate being wheeled by enemy soldiers.

Mitsunari and Sakon are shown on an elaborate Honnouji stage with the caption "A fight to the death in a blazing hall". They're fighting both Nobunaga (red) and Mitsuhide (orange) as they in turn battle one another. Another picture shows what looks like the same stage only before the boss fight begins. There are a lot of mysterious dead ends which branch off the main route, according to the maze-like mini-map, and the captions urge the player to force their way through the fusuma screens to look for hidden rooms and passages.

--

We also get a glimpse of Yukimura's Basara-e illustration: it's a tiger with wings and the two-character title 'yokuko' (literally 'winged tiger'). There's actually a saying in Japanese which goes 'tora ni tsubasa' ('wings to a tiger'). It means making something which is already immensely strong even more powerful. It seems to have a very straightforward connection to Yukimura's tiger symbolism and his reputation as a tremendously powerful warrior.

The game has risen one spot to 15th position in Weekly Famitsu's Most Wanted chart. Also, I noticed that the game lists 1-2 players in its information summary now (not that there was any real doubt that the excellent two-player mode would be included again).

Early pictures via Twitter and 2ch: Ieyasu's torso, Tadakatsu, better glimpse of Ieyasu, Yukimura's Giga Basara illustration. In other news, Nine Demons Yoshitaka has diligently translated the new moves from the gameplay videos the other day.

Update 22:20: It seems I spoke too soon about it being a sparse update - it's a full four pages of the magazine even though there are only two character announcements. The summary is now complete. If I've made any dumb mistakes, I apologise. It's impossible to overstate how exhausted I've been from overtime at my job these past few weeks.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

News roundup: Sengoku Basara 4 now has a release date!

I was rather surprised to wake up to a special edition of the Sengoku Basara newsletter this morning which finally revealed the game's release details ahead of this week's Tokyo Game Show 2013. Sengoku Basara 4 is scheduled for release on 23rd January 2014 priced at ¥6,990 and with CERO rating B (ages 12+).

T.M. Revolution will be performing the opening theme song, and the ending will be provided by the girl band SCANDAL. A video at TGS will show off the new music, and the official website has two brand new movies for fans to enjoy already. The first demonstrates the battle mechanics (and reveals Sakon's Basara-e is some dice and hanafuda cards with his two-character title being 'chouhan', a Japanese dice game):


The second is 'part one' of an introduction to the game's characters, demonstrating their individual moves and gimmicks:


I have to wait until tonight to watch the videos properly, but they seem pretty interesting! And the Shimazu flag in the background at one point is more obvious than ever...

Sunday, 15 September 2013

DVD review: Butai Sengoku Basara 3 Utage

It's time for to review the very last Butai Sengoku Basara stage play starring Kubota Yuuki and Hosogai Kei in the roles of Masamune and Yukimura!

Butai Sengoku Basara 3 Utage originally ran for 29 performances between 26th April and 26th May 2013 at venues in Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo. The Osaka shows sold out months ahead of opening night and there was a 'live viewing' event held in 25 cinemas across Japan on the last day to let as many fans as possible watch the grand finale together.

A DVD followed as usual, originally scheduled for September then brought forward to its eventual 31st August 2013 release date. The ¥6,000 standard edition can still be purchased from the Dais Shop, Yesasia and Amazon Japan. Amazon also seems to have a small number of copies of the ¥6,500 special edition left at the time of this post, presumably from cancelled preorders as they had sold out the last time I checked. The special edition DVDs tend to go out of print quickly and then rapidly increase in price; it's best to purchase them as quickly as possible.

The version I'm reviewing today is the special edition. It comes in the usual glossy card box with a thin colour booklet of photographs from the play (and a few candid backstage shots). The 188-minute DVD recording of the performance is inside and there's a bonus disc included with 83 minutes of extra footage.

For some reason the final cover art isn't showing up online yet. I used the official placeholder artwork above but the special edition DVD set actually looks like this:


I'm guessing the standard edition looks the same as the DVD case on the left side of the photograph.

Rather than being a straight adaptation of the jumble of stories in the Sengoku Basara 3 Utage game, this stage play focuses on Hisahide's route - with all of the darkness and suffering it entails. It also introduces Oichi and Nagamasa for the first time. The Azai couple aren't the only new faces in the list of characters; here's the full cast list with the newcomers highlighted in bold:

Friday, 13 September 2013

News roundup: Cover art changes, TGS 2013 information and brand new Sengoku Basara 4 screenshots

Updated twice at 13:00 and 18:30. Please see the bottom of this post for two extra Sengoku Basara 4 news stories!

New cover art revealed for this month's special talk CD

Shop listings are starting to update with brand new artwork for the upcoming Sengoku Basara Magazine CD: Showgeki Basara Talk! Vol. 1: Masamune & Kojuurou No Maki Special-ban previously mentioned in this older post. The new Mame Sengoku Basara-style illustration is cute and related to the content on the disc. I approve!


It looks as though they've also slightly adjusted the 'Special-ban' part of the CD's title, although the pronunciation is exactly the same.

A few new Sengoku Basara 4 screenshots

Most of the pictures come from last week's magazine reveals, but DarkMantisTalon noticed there are a few brand new shots in between in this Playstation Community blog post. I like the image of Matabee scuttling along in the dark.

Special Date Masamune illustration available in Sengoku Basara Card Heroes Matsuri

Mobile game Sengoku Basara Card Heroes Matsuri is running a promotion where you can get a special Date Masamune if you enter a code before 19th September using the Mobage service. You can check this tweet for the code.


New preview video for the Capcom 30th Anniversary Music Best: Original & Arrange CD

This time, it previews the Sengoku Basara rearrangement. You can jump straight to the right part at this link or watch the full video below.


Update: Tokyo Game Show 2013 scheduling information

Capcom have now posted their full Tokyo Game Show 2013 stage schedule. There are special Sengoku Basara 4 presentations at 14:50 on Saturday 21st and at 16:00 on Sunday 22nd September 2013. KobaP and YamamotoD will be attending both stage events to show off the latest news and footage from the game. The Capcom booth will be selling some of the upcoming merchandise as well as two brand new items I hadn't seen before.

A new Sengoku Basara parker (pixel design, S-XL sizes) for ¥5,880.


A Sengoku Basara 4 t-shirt (S-XL sizes) for ¥2,993. I love the hilarious text on the t-shirt: "I'm dragon lord!".


In addition, visitors to the booth will get the chance to take away an exclusive DVD with game footage, a special booklet...


...and a Sengoku Basara 4 bag...


...and a special Date Masamune 'Dragon King' Sengoku Basara Card Heroes Matsuri card unlock code will be up for grabs at the booth to go with the Yukimura one they mentioned before.


Update: My Capcom posts brand new Sengoku Basara 4 screenshots

Today's My Capcom/Tokusei Kawaraban newsletter revealed that they would be taking questions for their Sengoku Basara 4 coverage. They also posted the first of a series of articles about the development of the game which is loaded with brand new screenshots from a demo build ahead of TGS next week.

It's very hard to make out details in the small screenshots but I'll do my best.

The pictures show Masamune teamed up with Katsuie fighting against Yukimura and Takeda Shingen. It looks as though Shingen is the boss on this particular stage and Yukimura is a sub-boss.

It's explained that the L2 button is used to direct your war comrade to the place they should attack (designated with a circle marking on the ground), and L2 with the circle button triggers the Giga Basara special move. The Basara-e illustration in the pair's Giga Basara attack is Masamune's normal dragon plus what looks like a cracked urn for Katsuie. This presumably refers to the famous story about Katsuie's heroic actions destroying his own stock of water during a siege at Choukouji castle.

Katsuie's two-character title in the Basara-e painting is very small and blurry. I think it might be 'Urn splitter', a reference to one of the real Katsuie's nicknames ('Kamewari' Shibata), only written with a less common kanji character. I'm sure we'll see a larger version soon.

There are also pictures of an enormous tiger pinning Mitsunari (with a 'waggle the stick to escape!' prompt) on what must be Naotora's stage with more traditional knot designs in the background, and Yukimura riding a horse on the Oda/Toyotomi stage from Kojuurou's gameplay video. Mitsunari's comrade is Sakon while Yukimura is shown partnered with Naotora.

Signing up to My Capcom is completely free and not region locked, and the screenshots can be seen at this link if you're logged in. I recommend signing up if you can as the Tokusei Kawaraban page is going to post Sengoku Basara 4 news as a regular feature from now on.

That's all the news I have for now. Instructions for setting up a My Capcom account are after the jump.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

News: Sengoku Basara 4 comments from Dengeki Playstation vol. 550 (12th September 2013)

With Tokyo Game Show 2013 just a week away, both of the major Japanese gaming magazines which give coverage to Sengoku Basara 4 have devoted most of their pages to previews of the upcoming event. Tousaku has rounded up the news from tomorrow's Weekly Famitsu where it sounds as though the only Sengoku Basara 4 content was a single picture, which was probably used in the TGS preview rather than being part of a proper article.

There were a few scraps of information in rival magazine Dengeki Playstation, however, since they hadn't had a chance to publish the character profiles from last week's Weekly Famitsu until now. Tousaku has already translated the first impressions offered by some Japanese fans at the link above; now that the magazine has been released I'm going to quickly run through the tiny two-page article. The only real new content is in the handful of comments on the new characters from Sengoku Basara 4 director Yamamoto Makoto, and even then they are quite similar to his remarks at last weekend's event!

YamamotoD's comments are in the bullet points. Everything else was written by the magazine staff.

--

The new female commander is a man-hating wielder of a giant sword! She holds a powerful grudge against the Takeda army...

She manipulates the giant sword which is close to as long as she is tall. Combining strength with dignity, the maiden leaves the enemy soldiers helpless with a single stroke of her blade.

Ii Naotora

Keep an eye out for her lovely outfit with its bridal imagery.
  • Naotora is a female commander who rose up for the sake of the women driven to tears by the disgracefulness of men, after her fiance ran out on her.
  • Her movements in combat have a feminine feel even though she's wielding a huge sword.
  • Her outfit is pretty, too, incorporating the white colour of a bride's shiromuko (a traditional Japanese wedding dress) alongside a wedding veil.
  • Her armour gives off the image of a juubako - the tiered lacquered boxes used to present food on special occasions.
  • In addition, even the cords which hold her shin guards in place resemble the mizuhiki knot on a shuugi-bukuro (a special envelope for holding the money given as a gift at a Japanese wedding).
(Important note: A lot of western gaming websites have been mistakenly calling Naotora 'Li Naotora' rather than 'Ii Naotora'. This is completely incorrect. Please spread the word!)

Sarutobi Sasuke

His usual carefree appearance is as strong as ever.
  • This time around, Sasuke is persuading people to enter the Takeda army. There's a feeling that he's scouting out the youths who will be building the future ahead of the Sengoku Creation.
  • Although he showed a serious 'ninja' side in Sengoku Basara 3 Utage, this time he'll be his usual light-hearted self.

Sanada Yukimura

Devoting himself to embodying the 'Basara' image!?
  • Yukimura is easy to understand even for those who come into contact with him for the first time, and he'll make them want to know more about Basara. He bears a considerable burden on his shoulders.
  • While Yukimura was full of worries due to the situation in Sengoku Basara 3, I think that there's a close resemblance to the very first Basara now.

Takeda Shingen

Even though he appears as an enemy commander, a fist fight is inevitable!?
  • To the knowledge of the man who represents the Takeda army, he became the target of a disproportionate resentment - for reasons he doesn't recall - in a former battle with Naotora, the female steward of the Ii land adjacent to Takeda territory.
  • She even trades blows with Shingen in earnest. It's rather violent.
--

The gameplay comments focus on the Sengoku Creation Mode and the way that other factions take their own actions as you progress. After summarising everything it gives some examples of the simultaneous developments which may occur as your individual 'drama route' story unfolds.

The march begins! Katsuie heads towards battle as the Oda forces' advance guard. What's reflected in this young man's eyes as he looks towards the battlefield?

Shikanosuke travels across the whole country with Oyassan... Accompanied by his chaperone, Oyassan, Shikanosuke searches for his missing lord. What will happen on this one-man, one-animal road trip!?

Matabee quietly starts to move. He's wearing a bold smile. Could it be that he's found Masamune, who is right at the top of the list of grudges in his mark book?

The magazine also remarked on the graph which now appears in the character customisation screen, questioning whether the stats on the graph would change somehow. Incidentally the five stats are attack power, defence, life gauge, gauge increase rate and then something blurry which looks like the word 'hardness' ('koudo'), whatever that means in this context. I forgot to mention that in last week's magazine post.

And that's all. The game is still sitting in 17th place in Dengeki Playstation's Most Wanted chart this fortnight and we can look forward to the voice samples for all four of these characters when the official website updates tomorrow. According to a Capcom producer, there's also a little Sengoku Basara 4 coverage in the Japanese edition of Weekly Shounen Jump with colour pages showing Matabee and Shikanosuke.

Edit 12/09/2013: Ooh, the official website also added a section showing off the characters' moves using Katsuie and Sakon as examples. There are quite a few new screenshots to enjoy split up into normal attacks, unique skills, special moves and Basara techniques. The skill mechanics sound just like those in Sengoku Basara 3 Utage.

Manga review: Sengoku Basara 2 ~Rakka Ryuusui No Shou~

Ever wondered what a romantic shoujo manga version of Sengoku Basara would be like? Me either, but fans in Japan had the chance to find out for themselves when Capcom oversaw the production of this single-volume shoujo story about Azai Nagamasa and his wife Oichi, sister of the terrifying 'Demon King' Oda Nobunaga.

Sengoku Basara 2 ~Rakka Ryuusui No Shou~ ('Sengoku Basara 2 ~Chapter of Falling Blossoms, Flowing Water~') was originally serialised in Kadokawa Shoten's now-defunct Beans Ace magazine between November 2007 and May 2008. Its release coincided with the Sengoku Basara 2 Eiyuu Gaiden (Heroes) game in which the two leads had a starring role.

The manga was subsequently compiled into a single 140-page volume under the Asuka Comics DX label on 26th June 2008. Priced at ¥520, the book can still be purchased today from all good import stores such as Yesasia, HMV Japan or Amazon Japan.

Sengoku Basara 2 ~Rakka Ryuusui No Shou~ was illustrated and written by Ayase Mana with supervision by Capcom and scenario cooperation with Doi Sachiko. Describing itself as being about the 'awkward love between Azai Nagamasa and Oichi', the manga is a classic romance story told over four chapters.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Sengoku Basara 4's Kojuurou gameplay video is now up on Capcom's official site

I'm going to watch it again and again! It's in higher quality than before too. Alternatively you can view it on the official site or on YouTube directly.


I can see a few more NPC names now the quality goes up to 720P without so much pixellation. As well as the guys I listed in my last post, it seems retainers Kawajiri Hidetaka and Ikeda Tsuneoki won't be playable characters in Sengoku Basara 4 either. I wasn't expecting any new Oda/Toyotomi warriors anyway but it seemed like a good excuse to rewatch the video.

Edit 10:51: The Sony pre-TGS conference this morning was recorded and there's a tiny, tiny bit of brand new Sengoku Basara 4 footage to be seen in it just after the 40-minute mark. It shows the enemy formations in motion and the Giga Basara move with Masamune leading Kojuurou this time ('Dragon King Right Dragon'), rather than Kojuurou triggering it with Masamune in the gameplay trailer above. Check this link to get a glimpse.

I just noticed now the quality is higher that it seems to say Right Dragon, not Right Eye...

Saturday, 7 September 2013

News roundup: Sengoku Basara 4 rumours from Kyomaf

Please see the bottom of this post for the newest information.

I was following the rumours on Twitter this (Saturday) morning in bed so I'll round up the highlights I saw. Please remember these are just reports from various complete strangers who happened to win lottery tickets to be at the stage event, so if some parts contradict others we'll have to wait for the official statements to clarify! Morikawa Toshiyuki (Kojuurou's seiyuu) showed up at the Saturday show.

It seems that the main feature of the stage presentation was the debut of a brand new promotional video. Hopefully the rest of us can watch it in the next update to the official Sengoku Basara 4 website.
  • Kojuurou's Sengoku Basara 4 gameplay movie appeared for the first time.
  • It shows Kojuurou's arrival, and then he fights Sakon with Masamune. Kojuurou and Masamune use their Giga Basara technique.
  • The attendee wasn't sure whether the words that the characters shout when they activate their Giga Basara will change depending on the partner. They heard Masamune shout "We're going to show you our power!".
  • The last battle was between Kojuurou and Hanbee; a fateful confrontation between tacticians.
  • (Note: Kojuurou is frequently referred to as a gunshi or war tactician in official materials, including in his Sengoku Basara 4 reveal description. That's his role, even if he doesn't seem like a stereotypical strategist from a western perspective.)
  • The Hanbee/Kojuurou fight was beautiful (as was Hanbee himself). His sword extended and wrapped around Kojuurou, but Kojuurou repelled it with his katana.
  • There is some kind of team-up/alliance between the Date and Takeda forces.
  • (Note: There's no indication of whether this will be a one-time thing or not. In fact, each report I've read described it differently. Since we know Yukimura is going against Masamune's Dragon King plans at some point, the situation might get complicated..?)
  • Someone thought they saw Katou Yoshiaki as a regular non-playable enemy in the crowd - possibly part of Sakon's forces.
  • Kojuurou's Giga Basara ink painting shows a half moon. One person suggested there might be a dragon rising up at the back.
  • (Note: As I thought, it's the one briefly shown at the end of the first promotional video.)
  • Mitsunari's Giga Basara ink painting symbolises falconry and tea, referencing the famous story about his meeting with Hideyoshi.
  • (Note: The 'three cups of tea' story is often told to show how considerately the real-life Mitsunari treated Hideyoshi when they first met.)
  • It was said that there are a large number of combinations of Giga Basara techniques, for example Kojuurou/Yukimura and Kojuurou/Hanbee. 
  • The kanji characters in the centre will change depending on the combination; it was 'Right Eye Dragon King' for Kojuurou and Masamune. (CORRECTION: Now that the videos have been posted it's 'Right Dragon Dragon King'.)
  • The tale of the roots of the 'twin dragons' (Masamune and Kojuurou) will be told in Sengoku Basara 4.
  • The dialogues involving the young Masamune will be set before he becomes the head of his family. His seiyuu (Nakai Kazuya) tried his best with the voice of the young Masamune (Bontenmaru).
  • YamaD said to look out for the sense that they're living in the same household but their master-servant relationship is not yet established.
  • They played an awesome new song when Morikawa came on stage. The witness wasn't sure whether it might be a new piece of music for Kojuurou, and whether other characters might also receive new themes.
  • Morikawa is interested in Oyassan (Shikanosuke's deer). He said "Are you prepared, Shika..!" at one point.
  • Someone joked that they might run into one another after Oyassan digs up Kojuurou's crops while Shikanosuke is travelling around looking for Amago.
  • Morikawa things the battle comrade feature is fun.
  • Morikawa referred to Nakai Kazuya as Nakai-kun. When he plays the game at home he says things like "Hey, wait a sec, Nakai-kun" and "Gee, Nakai-kun...!".
  • That character will be appearing too. (Note: I have no idea who this is.)
  • Another report phrased it 'the character everyone is worried about' will be appearing.
  • Yet others specifically quoted KobaP as saying "I won't say who, but the character everyone is worrying about will appear." or "Please relax when it comes to whether that character will appear." or "People were saying that Kojuurou and Yukimura would probably not show up but there was no way they wouldn't appear! Please relax, everyone. Since they'll appear! But I won't say who!".
  • Fans who were there have suggested Ieyasu, Yoshitsugu, Motochika or Motonari might be that character depending on their personal biases.
  • The Saturday show had YamaD going over the basics. On Sunday he's going to divulge more new information about the game.
  • The Sengoku Basara 4 promotional tofu had sold out when one attendee went to buy some (hehe). It went on sale a second time in the afternoon and sold out almost instantly again.
  • The organisers also ran out of the Date Masamune clear files which were part of the Akai Hane charity drive.
  • The event had various flags on display showing the characters and a lot of posters from the Sengoku Basara anime.
  • Apparently one of the members of CLAMP is a big Yukimura fan. KobaP supposedly had an exchange with one of them which went as follows: "I didn't think Yukimura was going to appear!" "Surely there'd be no way he wouldn't appear..." "I don't believe it! I don't believe Capcom!".
If there are any new rumours tomorrow, I'll just add them to the bottom of this post to keep everything together.

Also, I never mentioned this before but there are a lot of Sengoku Basara 4 posters in the Kyoto and the surrounding areas at the moment. They still don't show a firm release date other than the start of 2014.

--

The Sunday event was apparently broadcast live worldwide on NicoNico, which is very annoying as I didn't know in advance and completely missed all of the announcements about it while I was asleep. It also means there's less information being retweeted since most people just watched it themselves. I'll be able to watch it in a couple of hours but here are the points I pulled off Twitter in the meantime.
  • Someone took pictures of the Masamune/Kojuurou Giga Basara sequence and Hanbee.
  • Hanbee's theme music has been rearranged.
Update at 10:30 on 08/09/2013: Ok, I'm now able to watch the Timeshift version of the stage presentation on Nico Nico at last. I am already a Premium member on the Japanese part of Nico Nico so you might have to pay to see it if you use the English version. The Sengoku Basara 4 stage begins at 3:55:55 and the link is here. I'm still drowsy but I'll try to summarise the key points. There are pictures too.

(I'm putting everything after a jump as this post has become longer than I expected. Please click below to read on.)

Today's acquisitions (7th September 2013)

Since I can't go to Kyomaf this weekend I'm glad the rest of my Comiket loot turned up to help me forget my jealousy. There's quite a lot, but given the amount of BL I'll start with something safer. The Butai Sengoku Basara 3 Utage special edition DVD arrived!


Breaking out from the pretty colours of the last few stage plays, Utage has gone with an ominous crimson and black design. It's going straight into my DVD player as soon as I have a few hours free to devote to watching it properly.

Friday, 6 September 2013

News roundup: The eve of the Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair 2013

Sengoku Basara 4 at the Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair 2013 (Kyomaf)

I've reported all of this before, however the day before the event opens to the public seems like the ideal time for a recap. This weekend, Capcom will be attending the 'Kyomaf' event in Kyoto to promote Sengoku Basara 4 with tofu, pickles, seasonings and other goodies. The big news is that they'll be launching the special travel CD which goes on general sale later this month.

As part of the celebrations, seiyuu Morikawa Toshiyuki (Katakura Kojuurou) is scheduled to participate in a stage event tomorrow at 12:30 with series director Yamamoto Makoto and producer Kobayashi 'KobaP' Hiroyuki. They'll be discussing Sengoku Basara 4 as well as talking about the CD, so it's very likely we'll see some new rumours emerging after the stage event takes place. There will also be a second Sengoku Basara 4 stage presentation at 13:30 on Sunday, this time without Morikawa in attendance. Though it was originally reported that the Saturday stage would only be open to fans who won the right to attend in a special lottery draw, the Kyomaf website seems to have removed all reference to this limitation so I'm not sure it's still the case. The Sunday stage is open to all attendees.

My personal theory is that Morita Masakazu (Maeda Keiji) might appear at one or both of the stage events as a surprise guest - Keiji is the star of the CD, his story has close ties to Kyoto and it would be the perfect way to give the stage event a boost. It feels very likely that we'll get a hint about his role in Sengoku Basara 4 this weekend, but if we don't I'd certainly settle for the unveiling of a new gameplay video to whet peoples' appetites for the playable demonstration at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show. Let's wait and see what Capcom have in store!

Online coverage of this week's Sengoku Basara 4 news

Accompanying yesterday's scheduled update to the official Sengoku Basara 4 website to add the character portraits and open the 'System' section, gaming websites Famitsu, Gamer, 4Gamer and Game Watch have all posted articles to share some of the new pictures from yesterday's magazine reveal.

There's one additional thing I want to mention for the benefit of anyone thinking about importing the new game but intimidated by the language barrier. Nine Demons Yoshitaka has translated the stage select screens on the official website so you can judge whether the Japanese-only interface will be manageable or not.

Gakuen Basara 6 is given a formal release date

I was becoming anxious that the new Gakuen Basara 6 manga anthology might have been delayed after having heard nothing about it since its initial appearance in bookstore catalogues a month ago. Not so - the 164-page anthology now has both cover artwork and a formal release date of 28th September 2013. The theme of the stories this time around will be studying for exams, and there hasn't yet been any formal update to the list of artists that I posted in the previous article. Regular Gakuen Basara contributor Nari has provided the elaborate cover illustration once again.


DVD cover art for the Takarazuka Revue's Sengoku Basara musical revealed

The e-Capcom store has posted the cover art for the highly-anticipated DVD recording of the Takarazuka Revue's musical from earlier in the year, Musical Roman 'Sengoku Basara' -Sanada Yukimura-hen-. The DVD edition is going to be released on 17th September 2013 and since it's relatively easy to buy from overseas it won't be long before foreign fans can finally see what all of the fuss was about.


Cast-Prix magazine will host a special Butai Sengoku Basara article

Fans of the Butai Sengoku Basara series may want to pick up volume 28 of Cast-Prix magazine since it has a huge feature on the upcoming Sengoku Basara stage play due to run this November, Butai Sengoku Basara 3 Utage Two: Kyouou Tanjou x Shinen No Utage. The three main stars take the cover. Issue 28 goes on sale on 13th September 2013.


A message from producer Kobayashi Hiroyuki and director Yamamoto Makoto

As part of the preparations for Tokyo Game Show 2013 which is taking place in a fortnight's time, the pair behind the Sengoku Basara series have posted a video on YouTube. They don't really say much, but perhaps some people reading this blog are curious about what the two of them look and sound like?


Hopefully we'll hear more from KobaP and YamamotoD when TGS begins!