Wednesday 12 March 2014

News roundup: Results of the Sengoku Basara 4 survey in Weekly Famitsu magazine

Tomorrow's Weekly Famitsu magazine reports the results of its character ranking survey

Just as promised back in late February, the 27th March 2014 issue of Weekly Famitsu magazine (released 13th March) has published the results of the character ranking survey it ran on its website as part of a feature about Sengoku Basara 4. It was a simple survey with just three questions and the voting was only open for a few days, but it shows some interesting results since it was asking the Weekly Famitsu audience rather than limiting the respondents to buyers of the game.

A total of 'more than 1,200' votes were tallied from a mostly female audience and every participant had to provide reasons for their choices in order to have them counted (a selection of the best were published). In that respect, I suppose it makes sense that it is being treated more like 1,200 fan letters than a small selection of votes - four full pages of the magazine were dedicated to the article. Here are the results.

Q1. Which of the playable characters in Sengoku Basara 4 do you like the most?

1. Ishida Mitsunari (147 votes)
"His earnest, straightforward appearance is cool." (female, early 20s)
"I'm so happy to see him appearing together with Hideyoshi and Hanbee!" (female, late 20s)
"His drama route made me cry." (male, late teens)
"His numerous high-speed moves are thrilling." (female, early 30s)
"His fighting style is pretty cool; playing as him feels exhilarating. And the sexiness of his second costume is nice as well!" (male, early 20s)

2. Date Masamune (121 votes)
"With Sengoku Basara 4, I was moved by how much he had matured since the earlier games." (female, late 20s)
"His six-sword style feels especially exhilarating!" (male, early 20s)
"Whether it's his looks or his voice, everything about him is cool." (male, early 20s)

3. Tokugawa Ieyasu (96 votes)
"Watching him suffer even as he's striving to bring peace to the land makes me want to cheer him on." (female, early 20s)
"His nimble footwork is great." (male, early 30s)
"As an invigorating, sporty type of guy, he has a fresh charm I haven't seen from anyone else." (female, late 20s)
"The tanuki from his Giga Basara technique is cute." (female, early 40s)

4. Sanada Yukimura (94 votes)
"I'm attached to him because I've used him ever since the very first game." (male, late 20s)
"I had a lot of fun seeing the Takeda army acting the way it used to in Sengoku Basara 4" (female, late 20s)
"I love Yukimura so much that I don't even know the reason any more!" (female, early 20s)

5. Gotou Matabee (83 votes)
"It's not just how great he is to control or the sensation of speed from his moves; he stands out and makes an impact!" (male, early 30s)
"In any case, he's unpleasant in a good way!" (female, late 20s)

6. Mouri Motonari (78 votes)
"I like Motonari-sama...both his funny side and his serious side." (female, late teens)

7. Shima Sakon (77 votes)
"It's fun to be able to switch between his kicks and his blades while playing." (female, late 20s)

8. Ootani Yoshitsugu (43 votes)
"I've been brought to tears countless times by the way he always seems to be putting Mitsunari first." (female, late teens)

9. Takenaka Hanbee (41 votes)
"I'm so pleased that he's been revived! His beauty, his strength and even the way it's easy to use him are his charms." (female, early 20s)

10. Azai Nagamasa (40 votes)
"His ultra-flashy actions are like a tokusatsu hero, and somehow refreshing!" (male, early 30s)

The most popular female character was Ii Naotora. She didn't make the top ten but it was noted that she had a lot of support from male fans.

Well, I'm probably not alone in thinking that it would have been difficult to predict this outcome. I feel bad for Masamune and Yukimura yet at the same time, very happy for Ieyasu after his dismal performance back in BSR48. And Matabee - what a dark horse! He's certainly popular online but I wouldn't have expected him to rank so highly in his debut title. He'll probably want to add two more names to his Matabee Enmachou hit list for holding him back from first place.

Q2. Which of the non-playable characters in Sengoku Basara 4 left the greatest impression on you?

1. Ashikaga Yoshiteru (605 votes)
"The feeling that he's an overwhelmingly powerful being. There's no other impression he could give." (male, late 20s)
"He's... strong! And there's the impact of his voice (lol)." (female, late 20s)

2. Kyougoku Maria (273 votes)
"Her interactions with Nagamasa and Oichi were really interesting." (female, early 20s)

3. Kasuga (103 votes)
"Her one-on-one stage was so full of sorrow that it made my heart ache." (female, late 20s)

4. Akechi Mitsuhide (55 votes)
"He was intense in Oda Nobunaga's drama route." (male, early 20s)

5. Takeda Shingen (43 votes)
"It's not Sengoku Basara without Oyakata-sama!" (female, late 20s)

A resounding victory for the shogun. The magazine commented that the newcomers had made a strong impression with Maria's sensual charms apparently captivating many male fans.

I think almost every Kasuga supporter must have said something similar to the woman whose comment they picked (I certainly did). In the end, though, it was probably Shingen's comment which left me feeling most inspired.

Q3. Which military commander would you like to see playable other than those included in Sengoku Basara 4? It can be one of the non-playable characters, a character from an earlier game or a Sengoku-era warrior who hasn't yet appeared in the Sengoku Basara series.

1. Ashikaga Yoshiteru (120 votes)
"I want to use a shaku which can transform into various weapons to beat up the enemies." (male, late teens)
"I want to see Yoshiteru's story." (female, late 30s)

2. Nouhime (116 votes)
"The greatest female warrior in the series. I love her weapons and her moveset as well!" (male, early 20s)

3. Kyougoku Maria (79 votes)
"Her attack animations are interesting! And I'd like to use her as Nagamasa's battle comrade." (male, late teens)

4. Amago Haruhisa (54 votes)
"Now that Shikanosuke has arrived, I want Haru-sama to join the battle too!" (female, early 20s)

5. Itsuki (52 votes)
"She's been taking a break ever since Sengoku Basara 3 but I want to play as an improved Itsuki-chan with Sengoku Basara 4's system." (female, late 20s)

The article commented that there were a lot of voices clamouring for Nouhime's return to the series, and that the battle for fourth place would have been tight if Haruhisa hadn't taken the honours. It sounds as though there were several characters with around 50 votes.

I wish they'd published more of the results for this question in the article even if the number of votes per character might have been quite low. I guess we have to wait for a proper Capcom poll for that.

Cover artwork for Mame Sengoku Basara volume 5 and the next Gakuen Basara

As the release date for Mame Sengoku Basara volume 5 draws closer, a larger version of the cover artwork has appeared. Keiji is as cute as a button.

I believe that this will be the very last compiled volume of classic Mame Sengoku Basara before the transition to the new Mame Sengoku Basara 4 series.

Gakuen Basara volume 7 was originally listed as a 'tentative' title and it's now clear why; it's been renamed to Gakuen Basara: Gakuen Sousei-hen. I'm not sure what the reason is but it could be that the staff are worried that people will think it's an ongoing series and be afraid to pick up new volumes. Giving each book a unique title in future might encourage new readers to try the series out (in case the deer wearing a gakuran cap wasn't enough on its own).

The artists for this volume have been confirmed, too. Nari has drawn the cover as usual with Kyuugou and ENU providing special illustrations. The list of manga artists includes regulars Arai Karo, Sanjou Kiiro, Yanagi Batoshirou, Koutake Hiroyoshi, Mikami, Danbo, Sanorin, Maki and Rokuji along with newcomer Konko Yukime. I'm not familiar with Konko Yukime outside of her doujinshi work so it will be interesting to see her contribution as part of the Gakuen Basara team.

Hopefully Naotora, Yoshiteru and Maria will make it onto the back of the book!

New Sengoku Basara 4 videos are set to debut

It looks as though we can expect five new videos in the next week according to the Coming Soon notices on the official website. They're probably gameplay videos, though we might get some kind of promotional videos for the ongoing social networking campaign that they've been running once they're done (a highlights clip with the most stylish user-submitted gameplay videos would be nice once that contest finishes).

There was also a promotional video showing off Kanbee's Sengoku Creation mode last week which I never mentioned at the time. Poor Kanbee.


  1. Slightly surprised by how highly Haru-sama was voted. I expected to see Ranmaru and at least one of the previously playable NPCs get on there, but hey, at least Itsuki's there. And congrats Matabee! Happy to know they noted that Naotora has her own fans too, she's my favorite SB4 newcomer.

    Kasuga is third most popular NPC behind the two new ones, eh? Capcom take note. Please. Oh please... (Now watch them keep Kenshin unplayable with the excuse that he dies before her story or she thinks he dead but isn't really or something else very silly. :P)

    1. I really hope they will have learnt from 3 so they don't incapacitate another classic warrior with a critical role in their army for an entire game. Kasuga needs Kenshin! I want them both to be happy ;_;

      The Haru-sama fan brigade on Twitter scares me a little. They're impressively devoted.

      I didn't mention it in the article (because I forgot) but for some reason Haru-sama didn't have a profile picture in the article. Instead, he was represented solely by his clan crest. Everyone else had a portrait from one of their appearances, even Itsuki and Nou. Perhaps this is some kind of extremely elaborate hint that he might be redesigned in future - or maybe the Famitsu team couldn't find a good illustration.

  2. Aww. I don't know if I should be sad that Yukimura is still not in the top 3, or happy that he's at least 4th... sigh. I'm glad to see Ieyasu up there, though, and also to see Nagamasa in the top 10. (Nagamasa-sama...!) And wow, Masamune came second, I never thought I'd see the day. Beware, Masamune, beware! (His expression on the Gakuen Basara manga cover... :D I know he's supposed to be looking at Mitsunari, but it comes across as "damn, these newcomers are pushing me back!")

    I'm also a bit sad for Keiji not being in the top 10 (not that I expected him to be), but at least that manga cover is absolutely adorable. :D

    Actually, this reminds me, I wonder what's going on with the animal themed manga...

    /kuromitsu, formerly SHD

    1. Ah! I'm sorry if I forced the name change by switching anonymous comments off. Hello again :)

      There are way too many amazing characters in this series for a top ten to be enough. At least Capcom presumably have access to the full version...maybe they'll be kind enough to share it someday.

      (Now I'm grinning at that Gakuen Basara cover too, even though I'm a huge Masamune fan.)

    2. Heh, no problem. :)

      I'm also curious of the full lists, partly because I wonder how Katsuie ranked. The fandom didn't latch onto him as it did on Sakon so it was expected that he wouldn't become as popular...
      In any case, I agree that a top 10 is just not enough!

      By the way, are you planning to write a review on SB4? I wonder how you liked it. :D A lot, I suppose, but still. (Unfortunately in the meanwhile my PS gave up the spirit so it'll be a long time until I can play it...)

    3. What a shame about your PS3; that must have been a nasty (and expensive) shock.

      I certainly like the game a lot, but I'll try to get around to putting some more detailed impressions together when I find time since you asked so sweetly. My PSP has been distracting me way too much recently.

      On Katsuie, it's hard to say. I think he's the type who grows on people gradually. He's definitely a lot more fun to play than I had anticipated and that might give him a boost from the fans who go for gameplay over personality. Having said that, he doesn't seem to be getting much of a break in English-speaking circles ^^;

      I find his clumsy, doomed feelings for Oichi cute and easy to relate to, personally. A cute shoujo manga spin-off telling their story from the beginning would be a guaranteed purchase... (*'-')

      I get the impression that if I ran a tiny poll based on the people who send me messages through this silly little blog, every single character in the game would get at least one vote and it would be impossible to pick a clear winner - we seem to be a very varied bunch in the Sengoku Basara fandom!

    4. Kuromitsu , I was also surprised to see Mitsunari on first place. I thought Masamune was the eternally untochable king of Basara. It kind of feels wrong even though I personally like Mitsunari more.

      Sorry to hear about your console the same happened to me now, oddly enough - what a shitty coincidence with this game’s release, right? It seems some PS3 models die very easily of old age.

      Raindrops, it’d be interesting to see the results if you made a character poll sometime in the future!

    5. Haha, I'll have to find some really big news to distract people with, then sneakily insert a poll at the end!

      My original PS3 died too, though thankfully not at such a frustrating time. It seems that it stopped cooling itself properly when a fan failed and I didn't notice until it was too late. I felt so sad remembering how much it cost.

    6. >Raindrops
      Yeah, the PS3 was a shock... I got it used, so in retrospect I should've expected something going wrong sooner or later, but still. :/ Sometimes it's like the universe doesn't want me to play SB4. ^^;; (maybe I should listen to it?)

      I kind of hope Katsuie will get more popular, or that he's actually more popular than what he seems like. From the new SB4 characters he and Shika are the ones I like most. Maybe he'll be like adult Ieyasu who is kind of stuck in Mitsunari's shadow, but seems to have a healthy fanbase nevertheless.

      Also, hey - here's your chance for a sneaky little poll! :D

      >Lumi S
      Ouch, you too! Welcome to the Dead PS3 Club. ^^;;

      As for the poll, I thought I'd been prepared for anything after the whole thing with poor Yukimura, but still, seeing Mitsunari winning over Masamune is just... not right. ^^;; (Then again, I feel the same over him becoming Masa's new rival/opposition character and everything. That's just not right, that's Yukimura's role! ^^;; )

    7. Also, Raindrops, thanks for considering doing a review! :D I'm really curious.

    8. Ok, ok, I made a sneaky poll. I guess I'll have to try to plug it now and pray that more than three people submit answers :D

      I'm hoping that the 'Mitsunari wave' will cool off a little soon once the thrill of the Toyotomi revival settles down. It's a wonderful time for his fans, but it's scary seeing both of the original heroes slipping down like this. At least the staff have been taking pains to describe Yukimura as Masamune's 'rival' in most articles and letting Mitsunari fall into a slightly different role (which I'm still not entirely convinced by, but perhaps Ieyasu's boost in popularity will sort the relationships out properly by the time of the next game).

  3. Well, I kinda expected Matabee to perform at top ten somewhere (he's the best entry amongst the new characters in my humble opinion). I'd have vote for him myself if not my hilariously tragic affection for Kanbee. Also it's great to see both Nagamasa (^___^) and Hanbee (not a big fan of the guy but he has my sympathies as a decent character) to be in top ten list as well!

    Mitsuhide being on the list is not surprising as well but Shingen and Maria performing on top of Maeda pair is kinda making me wonder what went wrong. Yoshiteru is all over the place in SB4 so no questions here.

    The results of Q3 are disappointing. Seriously, people with affection to Yoshiteru/Maria had Q2 all around at their disposal. As for the others - I definitely support Haruhisa and Nou. Itsuki... not really. I mean I liked her fighting style but her character/story - not that much.

    1. I fear that Kanbee was probably never likely to break into such a competitive top ten, but it's good that he has devoted fans too! Matabee did really well, so at least his links to Kanbee mean that his old boss might get a boost over time as they interact.

      I think the Maeda pair will always struggle because people end up splitting their votes. For most of the 'pairs' you can tell that voting strategically for one or the other will give them an advantage in the polls, but with the Maeda family Toshiie and Matsu are so perfectly matched that they probably divide their fans.

      It would be interesting to see a poll run one day where they allow people to pick more than one character (perhaps with some kind of weighting system in place to balance it). It's so hard to pick just one favourite in a game with so many wonderful personalities.

    2. Wow i thought that Sakon might became the first but no, he dont.
      His lord take the lead! Well congrats Mitsu!

      Woah can't wait to see the newest mangaka of Gakuen Basara! And can't wait too to see whether Ashikaga will become the principal or not LOL XD

    3. =>I fear that Kanbee was probably never likely to break into such a competitive top ten.
      That's probably because it's kinda impossible for him to get a female fanbase to begin with. I can barely see him popular with the girls. On the surface he seems like a loser and a comic releif (a butt monkey character) so no attention goes to him being an underdog who must work his way up and him having an ambition he's trying to fulfill, not giving up even being in the dumps while acting totally human with flaws, mistakes, envy, etc. Not your usual idol-type character for sure D:. I think this and also him being a tank (slow and clumsy, heavy hitting) character in terms of gameplay.

      Also, to add to other person's comment above I'd like to hear your opinion on the game, characters (plots, changes, everything) as well.
      Even one at a time would be nice ^____^

    4. Kaien Aerknard: Yes, I can't wait for Gakuen Basara to arrive! I hope we get a bigger version of the cover artwork soon to make waiting for the shipping easier.

    5. VegaManX4: Weirdly there are a few doujinshi circles out there who are passionate fans of Kanbee in spite of his rugged looks, but yeah, I agree with you overall. He's very flawed, which makes him great fun to watch. I think all of my friends recognise his despondent "Naze ja~!?" even if they don't speak Japanese because it's such a catchy reaction (lol).

      Hmm, I've never properly tried to review a game before. I'll try to put something together, perhaps with my partner's help to break up all of my glowing, biased statements about how it's the greatest game around. I can't promise that it will be quick, though! There are still a few more stories I haven't completed yet...

  4. Nahh there is only 1,200 participates here, not that much especially if you compare this with BSR48. But yeah this is a decent unofficial popularity indicator anyway. ^^;

    I'm surprised that Mitsunari got first place...But can't say I'm surprised for Matebee's performance here, since he'd get vote from his unique fan base without sharing with other character anyone. That frantically cute dinosaur <3.

    Might be a fan delusional opinion but I still believe that despite of rank at 7th, Sakon is the most popular new entry. Since he has disadvantage for get introduced with Mitsunari. He and his master most likely to share to fanbase together and people who like Mitsunari first inclines to give their vote for Lord of Sawayama. Even I adore Sakon most from the whole new cast, my vote go to Mitsunari ^^;


    1. That's a good point about Sakon; Yoshitsugu clung onto his rank too even though the other (very popular) retainers dropped out of the top ten entirely. The fans of the Toyotomi army have risen up and dominated most of the voting even though there would have been a big temptation to pick Mitsunari strategically to try to topple Masamune like this. Getting the same proportion of voters as the insanely popular Motonari is a very strong debut.

      Even though I personally like Masamune better (and feel bad for the damage to his ego that this loss must have caused), it's really impressive to see the positive reaction to the Toyotomi revival. People have been talking about wanting to see Mitsunari in his 'proper' place next to Hideyoshi and Hanbee for years now, and that wish has finally come true in a big way.

      I like Sakon and the other newcomers too ♡

      It's a shame that it's hard to know how well Katsuie has been received without the full list. I've seen his popularity increasing sharply amongst Japanese fans lately (or perhaps it just feels like it as doujinshi circles are releasing their spring event information ^^;) but he's a lot more introverted than Sakon so he probably has a harder time gathering fans. I hope the positive reaction to all of the developments in the Toyotomi army is a good omen for Ranmaru and Nouhime too...

      (Sorry for rambling, I guess I like talking, hehe...)

    2. I just always believed that Masamune's 1st place is kinda defended by unbreakable wall, but it's seemed I just wrong here. I'm quite curious about Sasuke and Koujurou too, can't believe they didn't make into top ten list.

      About Katsuie popularity, like you said indeed. He just need more time to be appreciated. It's like we accompanied him in his quest for searching the meaning of life. I think a lot of understanding is required, but I really enjoy with his development. But unfortunately, his action in his anime route or Oichi's drama route probably cannot be pleased for everyone. Poor Katsuie...

      Regarding Mitsunari interaction with Hideyoshi and Hanbee, I probably cannot or never express my gratitude to Capcom for the Toyotomi armys story lines enough. It moves me a lot. I'm indeed very happy about that.

      And I agree, it's fandom-vise more interested and possibly easier to lure fan with a team with a bigger cast. Since it would bring more relationship and convenience to expend the dynamic between the cast, aka. the Toyotomi Empire here <3 And if there will be sort of utage for BSR4, I see no reason for not include Nou Hime and Ranmaru in the story. C'mon we see them in Katsuie's Anime route, we just need more explanation story from that point. Maybe not a PC, but just including them is good enough...

      Speak of this coming HaruComi, I will surely break my wallet due to this event, haha. But I will take that financial misery with bless. <3

      (No need to sorry, we all love rumbling xD.)

    3. Yeah, Katsuie's role is a tough one. Getting in the way of one of the most popular official couples hasn't helped his popularity with the Azai fans, especially since Nagamasa only just came back to the series himself. His reputation might improve slowly over time though, like Motonari who just seems to get more and more popular even though he seems mean at first (well ok, Motonari actually is mean, but I like him anyway). The Setouchi fans are really dedicated.

      I'm going to go shopping for some HaruComi books online tomorrow, I think♪ It's already looking expensive and I haven't even checked out my full list of favourite circles yet...

  5. Hi, I used to comment here all the damn time on Sb4 news posts as ”jo”!

    I haven’t been able to play it yet sadly, was super unlucky by first getting ill as hell and then my ps3 died. But eventually…

    Anyway I must comment on the age of the fans who were in the poll, everyone is a grown up basically, see you need maturity and sophistication to appreciate this series ;)

    Keeping my fingers crossed for future playable Nouhime. And the two boss n00bs too.

    1. Jo~~~♪

      I'm sad to hear about your misfortune lately. How come both of the people who used to comment all the time lost their PS3s just in time for this game's release (Kuromitsu above had the same thing happen)? That's really bad luck :(

      I hope that you've recovered from your illness now. Capcom can't possibly overlook the support everyone is showing for Nouhime and the other old characters; I think the fans have sent a very strong message with their votes!

    2. Yes that’s a weird thing to happen to both of us.
      Thank you - I’m not ok but better. I’m like an uncool combo of Hanbei and Kanbei right now. *coughs up blood* (not really) *yells Nazeee jaaaa*

      The SB team have a bit of an unique problem don’t they: Too many awesome characters. It must be troublesome to try to fit everyone in, new and old.

    3. Aww. Get well soon!

      (That reminds me a little of when my co-op partner and I were playing with Hanbee and Gyoubu. He kept insisting that Gyoubu's illness was much worse than Hanbee's and responding to everything I said by lamenting his misfortune. I almost strangled him that evening...)

    4. Lol!
      They both have really crappy diseases. Hanbei will die more quickly but slowly rotting away like Gyoubu is doing can’t be much fun. The Toyotomi is ironically not a very healthy army despite Hideyoshi’s obsession with strenght.

  6. Raindrops, Sengoku Basara 4 anime is announced!
    Apparently Telecom is doing the production instead of Production I.G. this time.

    1. It's so exciting that we finally have news! I hope that they try to hire Sawano again for the music, even if they've changed studios...


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