I've written about all of those things already (to the extent that one can write about future events, at least). Let's see what else we have to look forward to…
The Sengoku Basara 4 opening video and fourth promotional movie are on display in shops
While fans around the world continue to wait with bated breath, game shops all over Japan have been attracting customers by playing footage from the game along with the opening video and fourth promotional movie ('PV4'). Capcom producer Kadowaki Aki tweeted a picture of a display at Nipponbashi's prominent Joshin Denki store which offered a small glimpse of the fun.
Fortunately, the fourth PV is now available for viewing on the Capcom Channel:
The opening is still exclusive to stores. I can confirm a little more about it (or at least, with a little more coherence). The action begins with Yoshiteru seated in his throne at the top of a huge castle in space, as we've seen before. He rises and shatters the castle beneath him, and then there are various scenes of the most popular characters battling; most of them in established groupings (e.g. Tsuruhime and Magoichi together, and Masamune clashes with both Yukimura and Mitsunari during the course of it all). Keiji appears towards the end with one of his big shouts. It's really awesome and I want to see it properly as soon as possible.
Capcom reveals details of some in-store events for Sengoku Basara 4
To increase awareness of the game Capcom has chosen ten different game stores across Japan to display Sengoku Basara 4 standees and flags. They should make for some fun photo opportunities for customers who pass by!
Fans who live farther away can enjoy in-store demo events to mark the run up to the game's release. Participants will be able to receive the special bags which have been given away at a few events in the past. Tokyo is conspicuously absent from the list of venues which makes me think that a few launch events are going to be mentioned in the next few days...
More details about the upcoming Ichiban Kuji lottery
It's been confirmed that the Ichiban Kuji lottery will commence on 18th January 2014 with the amusement centre prize campaign following later on 28th January 2014.
Via the posters which have started to appear advertising the lottery in stores, we also have a picture of the Last One prize of a Date Masamune 'Kyun-Chara' figure (drawn sword version).
The Double Chance campaign prize for 100 winners who submit the codes on their lottery tickets is still the Azure-Crimson 'Kyun-Chara' special colour figure set but now we have silhouettes confirming that they'll be simple recolours of the two original prize figures pictured below.
It seems likely that they'll either swap colours or both go with a neutral colour like the white versions of the Revoltech figures, though anything is possible.
New merchandise scheduled for February 2014
We have iPhone 5 decorations, cushion straps, small blankets (with cases), microfibre towels and a mini tote bag on the way in mid-February. Preorders should open up in more stores very soon.
Sumeragi's Mame Sengoku Basara manga is to end this month
I was very sad to read that the preview for March's Dengeki Maoh magazine (to be released on 27th January 2014) had a note that it will include the final serialised chapter of Mame Sengoku Basara. I had no idea that it was ending! It could be making room for the Sengoku Basara 4 manga which also runs in Dengeki Maoh; perhaps the editors didn't want the series taking over the entire magazine for too long?
Whatever the reason, I hope that Sumeragi will be back again soon with another super-deformed take on the Sengoku Basara 4 world. Preorders for the issue containing the final chapter are now appearing on various websites - it comes with special badges for Gotou Matabee, Yamanaka Shikanosuke, Sanada Yukimura and Ishida Mitsunari so it's a must-have if you're a merchandise collector.
Capcom posts a bunch of exciting Sengoku Basara 4 screenshots on Twitter and Facebook
The new videos might not be available online yet, but in the meantime the official Capcom Facebook and Twitter accounts for the series have been posting some interesting pictures for everyone to enjoy.
Naotora showing off her enormous joke weapon.
Sakon beating Katsuie up with his joke weapon.
Matabee in an alternate ronin-style costume (presumed to be his standard alternate costume).
Yumekichi waving a stick at Keiji.
Motonari with his beloved sun.
Oyakata-sama overseeing some scribing in the Takeda Dojo.
Oyassan leaping through a ring of fire.
Kingo brandishing a mushroom.
Ieyasu facing Hideyoshi.
The most exciting of these is obviously Matabee's costume because it looks as though he has a proper sakayaki hairstyle to go with the promised topknot. I am extremely pleased.
I'm putting the final two stories after a jump so they don't appear on the main blog page, to protect people from the mild Sengoku Basara 4 spoilers they may contain.
They're both short manga reviews, so aside from them that's all for now! Don't forget to watch the next episode of the Nico Nico Live broadcasts this Thursday at 10pm Japan time.
Mini manga review: Sengoku Basara 4 ~Shima Sakon Ga Umareta Hi~ ('The Day Shima Sakon Was Born').
The very first things most people will notice is that the Kawahara Kanji artwork for this one-shot is rather quirky. Rather than the manly designs used for the new Sengoku Basara 4 manga (and many of the older series), this is a very cartoony style. The cover doesn't really do it justice; fortunately, Shuueisha published some preview snapshots on the Jump SQ website to dispel the impending dread. As that link won't be staying up forever I'll include a couple of Twitter links for future reference.
The story runs for 47 pages (plus the colour introduction shown above). At the start, Sakon is facing Ieyasu at the Battle of Sekigahara. This triggers a flashback to a time when he was known as Kiyooki, a young man who would get into trouble and gamble without any real aim in life.
Things start to change when Kiyooki meets Maeda Keiji during a gambling session. Keiji's friendly personality has everyone around him moving at his pace - and it's not long before the two men end up locked in a serious battle. During the course of the fight, though, they perform a Giga Basara technique together. Sakon's is exactly as it looks in-game whereas Keiji's title is 花吹 or 'flurry of flowers' and it looks as though his Basara-e picture is a cherry blossom tree.
Afterwards, Keiji gives Kiyooki a lecture with the intention of making him question the way he wastes his skills while the country wallows in chaos, and Keiji's words gradually hit home long after the two of them part ways. After an encounter with Ishida Mitsunari, the troubled Kiyooki finally figures out what he needs to do and takes on the new name: Sakon, the one who is close to the 'Left Arm' of the Toyotomi (Mitsunari).
Back in Kaga, Keiji figures out what must have happened when he hears about someone called 'Shima Sakon' in one of Toshiie's reports about the Ishida forces. He's excited to hear that his old acquaintance will be participating in the battle to unify the country...
In summary, I thought this was a pretty good one-shot and it helps pass the time until the game comes out with the prettier version of Sakon's backstory. It's enjoyable so long as you can accept the fact that this is not the most intelligent spin-off manga that has ever been made.
Mini manga review: Sengoku Basara 4 (from the February 2014 issue of Dengeki Maoh)
The first chapter of the manga adaptation of Sengoku Basara 4 runs for 33 pages, and in that time it features every single character in the game except for Muneshige, Kotarou and Yoshiaki. That's every character including all of the non-playable bosses, too. As you can imagine, all of these character introductions don't leave much time for plot development so instead this chapter functions as a quick-fire introduction to the main cast, setting the scene for the chaos that Ashikaga Yoshiteru has plunged the country into by renouncing his title.
Masamune and Mitsunari both have slightly larger roles than the rest of the warriors, no doubt in preparation for Sakon and Katsuie to take centre stage later on as the plot develops. Sakon's introduction comes straight after a stiff scene with the Toyotomi leaders and it looks as though his breezy attitude is going to get him in trouble with his comrades on more than one occasion.
It's hard to summarise the plot as so far, there isn't one - however, I thought that the manga was very well done. It got me more in the mood for Sengoku Basara 4 (if that was possible) without actively spoiling any of the content. Most of the dialogue comes straight from existing trailers so it's familiar and easy to follow. In addition, Yoshihara's manly, gruff artwork fits the series like a glove. I'm hoping that this manga adaptation continues for a long time to allow it to live up to the ambitious beginning.