Thursday 26 February 2015

News roundup: Books, books and more books

I kept hoping for something special to headline the latest news article but in the end it's mostly updates about things we already knew. The official Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi website has been very quiet aside from a couple of comical teaser images which were posted for a short period - at the moment it's a shot of Sen No Rikyuu treating Masamune and Yukimura to a 'tea party' of sorts. I guess that's the price of having such an early announcement for the game.

Cover artwork for the next Sengoku Basara Magazine

The e-Capcom website recently updated and added the prerelease details for March's issue of Sengoku Basara Magazine. Most notably, a small preview of the brand new cover illustration by Ookubo Tooru was included.

The description promises a recap of all of the Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi news in the lead article, as well as a 25-page feature about Katsuie with a piece of artwork by Karegishi Roji and an 'Oda Forces Chronicle'. Another new column will celebrate the series' tenth anniversary by going back into the production archives to dig out exclusive content from the time they were first working on Date Masamune's design. Its sounds as though there could be plenty of interesting material for long term fans.

Capcom's official store is currently celebrating Sengoku Basara

The official online e-Capcom store is running a Sengoku Basara Fair from 19th February until 5th March 2015, and leftover items from Basara Matsuri will start shipping out at the end of March - including the coveted bath set and opera glasses. The Basara Matsuri goods are strictly limited in quantity so if there's anything you wanted, I recommend visiting a proxy shopping site without delay!

There are also a number of new fukubukuro 'lucky dip' bags themed around various characters and types of merchandise (badges, clear files, phone stickers). Many of these have already sold out.

Volume two of the Mame Sengoku Basara 4 manga is to be released in April

A preorder listing on the Manga Oh website reveals that Mame Sengoku Basara 4 volume 2 is scheduled for 27th April 2015. No further details have yet been announced, but we should hear more very soon.

The missing Basara Art Works art book goes back up for preorder

After the preorder listings were removed the future of this book seemed uncertain, but Amazon finally relisted it this week with the 15th April 2015 release date and a price of ¥2,138. There's no more news yet about what the book will contain aside from the vague comments included with the original solicitation.

Animate offers a special bonus for buyers of the next volume of Gakuen Basara

The eighth book in the Gakuen Basara series is due for release on 26th March 2015 and Animate have now unveiled a special limited edition bundle exclusive to their store. They don't ship internationally, but it's possible to order from them using a proxy service.

Fans who don't mind paying ¥1,860 before tax (the book is normally priced at ¥980) will receive a Date Masamune strap and replica mini shikishi illustration along with their copy of Sengoku Basara Series Official Anthology Comic: Gakuen Basara: Gakusai Rantou-hen ('School Festival Brawl').

We also now have a small sample of the cover art courtesy of e-Capcom... well as a list of contributors: Nari, Kyuugou, Waganeya Takumi, PECO, Koutake Hiroyoshi, Mikami, Konko Yukime, Sanjou Kiiro, Arareya Kon, Rokuji, Sanorin, Yanagi Batoshirou and Arai Karo. Most of the artists are regulars but there are a few newcomers in there who may be familiar to doujinshi collectors.

Japan's LINE messenger software adds Sengoku Basara stamps

It's been a long time coming but the Sengoku Basara series has finally reached LINE in the form of a set of animated virtual stickers. The stamps are available now in the Japanese LINE store where they cost ¥200 - however, those of us outside the region may have to seek help from a friend or proxy buying service in order to make the purchase.

Saturday 21 February 2015

Manga review: Mame Sengoku Basara 4 volume 1

Sumeragi's confusingly-named Mame Sengoku Basara 4 ('Bean Sengoku Basara 4') manga is the spiritual successor to the five-volume Mame Sengoku Basara series, updating the setting to match the latest game and introducing a few new faces to the enormous character roster.

This volume from ASCII Media Works collects the first batch of chapters from the series' serialisation in Dengeki Maoh magazine, as well as two side stories originally produced for Sengoku Basara Magazine. It was released on 27th September 2014 for ¥780 before tax and contains ten chapters of the manga spread over 130 pages. Mame Sengoku Basara 4 volume 1 can be purchased from import stores such as Amazon Japan (also on Kindle), CD Japan or Apple's iBooks Store.

I'll start my review by briefly summarising each chapter since there still isn't very much information about the book out there.

The first story introduces the setting of the game. The drama of the Battle of Sekigahara from the previous series has been replaced by Ashikaga Yoshiteru renouncing his status as shogun and plunging the country into war. As the news spreads across the land, Masamune, Mitsunari and the other warriors raise their armies and head out to fulfil their various ambitions. Since the purpose of this chapter is to allow Sakon to make his debut, the main theme is the Toyotomi army coming to terms with Ieyasu's departure.

Tuesday 17 February 2015

News roundup: Preorders open for the newest Ieyasu figure

It's been quiet lately! I'm expecting things to improve in a few days once the Ichiban Kuji lottery begins as the series will be back in the headlines, and the next issue of Sengoku Basara Magazine is just a fortnight away. In the meantime, here are a few merchandise updates.

The upcoming 'Chara-Forme' figure of Ieyasu can now be preordered

Preorders opened for empty's 105cm Chara-Forme figure of Ieyasu this morning. International customers can place their reservations at sites such as AmiAmi and Otaku Republic. Ieyasu will cost ¥4,104 when he's released on 30th June 2015.

New merchandise is set to appear in Japanese game centres very soon

Fans in Japan will be able to pick up some exclusive Sengoku Basara merchandise by visiting amusement arcades across the country from late February 2015.

A set of four Sengoku Basara 4 gemstone bracelets (Date Masamune, Ishida Mitsunari, Shibata Katsuie and Shima Sakon):

There will also be a decorative replica of Date Masamune's sword, Kagehide:

NTV announces a set of Sengoku Basara Judge End postcards

The last anime adaptation may have finished but that doesn't mean that the merchandise for it isn't still being released! Containing nine different designs, the Sengoku Basara Judge End postcard collection will be released on 11th April 2015 priced at ¥700 before tax. It can be preordered at AmiAmi, CD Japan and Otaku Republic.

Has the Butai Sengoku Basara stage play series disappeared?!

Japanese fans noticed that the Butai Sengoku Basara website vanished from the Internet a few days ago. The official Dais Shop also closed down in December with a message that it was going to reopen in January, except it never did and now the Dais website is down too. Whether these incidents mean there are problems behind the scenes is anyone's guess, but I hope it's temporary and that they're still working on a DVD version of Butai Sengoku Basara 4...

Wednesday 4 February 2015

News roundup: Capcom is currently running a Sengoku Basara sale on PSN

There's nothing new at all in the latest Weekly Famitsu, possibly due to its extensive coverage of Sengoku Musou 4-II as release day approaches. I wonder whether the official Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi website will update again this week?

The Sengoku Basara games are currently heavily discounted on PSN

Between now and 11th February 2015, several Capcom games are receiving big discounts on the PlayStation Store.

Sengoku Basara
Sale price: ¥412 (50% off)

Sengoku Basara 2
Sale price: ¥412 (50% off)

Sengoku Basara Eiyuu Gaiden (HEROES)
Sale price: ¥412 (50% off)

Sengoku Basara Chronicle Heroes
Sale price: ¥1,000 (50% off)

In addition, Sengoku Basara 4 is receiving a permanent price reduction to ¥3,990 to help gamers catch up ready for the release of Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, and all of the game's DLC is 50% off for the duration of the sale as follows.

NameDescriptionTypeCost (JP ¥)
武将アバターパック(32武将セット)PSN avatars for all 32 playable characters (complete set)PSN avatar412
戦国BASARA4 カスタムテーマパック(32武将セット)Sengoku Basara 4 custom themes for all 32 playable characters (complete set)PS3 theme412
プレイヤー武将全解放Unlock all playable charactersBoost103
戦国スターターパックSengoku Starter Pack (100 pieces of tamahagane steel, 10,000 whetstones, 750,000 ryou in cash and 450,000 xp for your Inrou box)Boost155
創世スターターパックCreation Starter Pack (30 pieces of tamahagane steel, 3,000 whetstones, 250,000 ryou in cash and 150,000 xp for your Inrou box)Boost52
小判(甲)パック・1Money Pack (A) 1-6 (each contains 500,000 ryou in cash)Boost155
強化印籠(甲)パック・1Inrou of Enhancement Pack (A) 1-6 (each contains 300,000 xp for your Inrou box)Boost155
強化印籠(乙)パック・1Inrou of Enhancement Pack (B) 1-6 (each contains 60,000 xp for your Inrou box)Boost52
「極」銘付き&高レアリティ武器パック(32武将セット)Weapons with high Rarity and Extreme Inscriptions for all 32 playable characters (complete set)Boost823
戦国BASARAシリーズ名曲集【 全70曲セット 】コンプリートパックClassic Sengoku Basara series music collection complete set (70 tracks)Music pack772
戦国BASARA -名曲集- 【厳選10曲セット】Classic Sengoku Basara music collection (10 tracks)Music pack206
戦国BASARA2 -名曲集- 【厳選10曲セット】Classic Sengoku Basara 2 music collection (10 tracks)Music pack206
戦国BASARA2 英雄外伝 -名曲集- 【厳選10曲セット】Classic Sengoku Basara 2 Eiyuu Gaiden (Heroes) music collection (10 tracks)Music pack206
戦国BASARA X -名曲集- 【厳選10曲セット】Classic Sengoku Basara X music collection (10 tracks)Music pack206
戦国BASARA BH&CH -名曲集- 【厳選10曲セット】Classic Sengoku Basara Battle Heroes/Chronicle Heroes music collection (10 tracks)Music pack206
戦国BASARA3 -名曲集- 【厳選10曲セット】Classic Sengoku Basara 3 music collection (10 tracks)Music pack206
戦国BASARA3 宴 -名曲集- 【厳選10曲セット】Classic Sengoku Basara 3 Utage music collection (10 tracks)Music pack206
伊達政宗 特別衣装 DMCダンテ Ver.Date Masamune (DMC Dante version)Costume155
伊達政宗 特別衣装 袴&木刀Ver.Date Masamune (hakama/wooden sword version)Costume155
徳川家康 特別衣装 学園バサラ Ver.Tokugawa Ieyasu (Gakuen Basara version)Costume155
井伊直虎 特別衣装 ウエディングVer.Ii Naotora (wedding version)Costume155
島左近 特別衣装 双刀功夫Ver.Shima Sakon (twin sword kung fu version)Costume155
真田幸村 特別衣装 蒼竜Ver.Sanada Yukimura (azure dragon version)Costume155
柴田勝家 特別衣装 絶対正義Ver.Shibata Katsuie (absolute justice version)Costume155
石田三成 特別衣装 DMCバージルVer.Ishida Mitsunari (DMC Vergil version)Costume155
武将追加衣装 7武将セットSet of 7 'former preorder DLC' costumesCostume772

Preorder listings begin to appear for the Basara Matsuri 2015 ~Fuyu No Jin~ DVD

Those who didn't attend last weekend's Basara Matsuri can now place their orders for the recording online at Amazon Japan, Animate and Yesasia, with more stores certain to add preorder listings very soon. The DVD version will be spread across two discs when it's released on 3rd June 2015 priced at ¥6,800 before tax. The content will include footage from both the evening and afternoon performances, with the latter edited into a clip show to reduce repetition. As usual, the T.M.Revolution mini-concert will not be included on the DVD version. The first press bonus is a booklet.

Famitsu has also posted its full report from the event with a bunch of new pictures.

Since this DVD set has been solicited for preorder so quickly, it makes the lack of any listing for a DVD of last year's Butai Sengoku Basara 4 stage play even stranger. I wonder when we'll be able to buy it...

Sengoku Basara Art Works will now be released in April, not February

I mentioned the upcoming book Sengoku Basara Art Works a little while ago and according to my latest order update it seems to have been pushed back from 25th February to 18th April 2015. Both Amazon and CD Japan have closed their listings, while AmiAmi is still accepting orders with a revised delivery date. Perhaps we'll hear more about the mystery book in the next volume of Sengoku Basara Magazine a few weeks from now?

Even more new Gakuen Basara merchandise is on the way

A CafeReo listing has appeared with a set of listings for new Animate-exclusive Gakuen Basara goods due in late March 2015.

Twelve different decorative card sheets priced at ¥450 each (or ¥5,400 for a box):

Ten different Gakuen Basara tin straps priced at ¥400 each (or ¥4,000 for a box):

Thank you to Tatzel for spotting the new items (and creating a parody). It looks as though Otaku Republic will be making both sets available for people who can't order from Animate.

The Union Creative blog posts a preview of the upcoming Ieyasu figure

It won't be long now until Empty's Tokugawa Ieyasu Chara-Forme figure will be available, according to a recent blog post which also showed the first glimpse of the painted figure. Preorders are set to open on 17th February 2015.

Thank you to thebasariankaoru for being the first to mention this news!

Event report: Sengoku Basara 4 x Capcom Challenge Park in Okazaki

During my incredibly short trip to Japan last week, I managed to find time to visit the temporary Sengoku Basara 4 x Capcom Challenge Park exhibition which is running until 30th April 2015. Here's a report with some pictures in case anyone is interested in what the event involved.

The first challenge was getting there, as the Capcom Challenge Park is part of an arcade complex in the Aeon Mall Okazaki in Aichi Prefecture. It takes at least a couple of hours if you want to travel there from Tokyo. Since I didn't have much time I took the Hikari Shinkansen to Toyohashi then a direct train to Okazaki - one of the quicker routes so long as you time it correctly. If you have a less hectic schedule it's far easier to get there via Nagoya, which has some excellent shops and sights of its own.

Monday 2 February 2015

News: The first promotional video for Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi is now online

You can check it out on YouTube here via the official Capcom channel, or watch below.

There's also a version with the new T.M.Revolution music in the background on the official website if you're patient enough to wait for it to load.

About to board my flight so I'm frantically watching it in the airport with a horrible framerate (lol).
  • Ok, Rikyuu thrusts at Hideyoshi with a fan, not a tea whisk - that makes more sense!
  • Masamune's personal inscription is 'Six Claws'.
  • Masamune seems to have a fifth, sixth and seventh costume listed in the medal reward screen. The fifth one looks like his normal outfit but with lighter armour i.e. no helmet.
  • Yep, Shingen is definitely playable.
  • Kasuga and Toshiie are taggable, so playable too. The tag seems to be greyed out when the player is transformed.
  • I didn't see Hideyoshi balancing Ieyasu and Mitsunari on his hands before. Hahaha.
  • Kenshin and Matsu are visible near the end, which makes me think they're likely to be playable or at least involved in the story more prominently this time. That and it's pretty obvious they will be if Kasuga and Toshiie are in the roster.
  • Oh, and they are the characters shown transformed into the enemy bomber and Akatsukimaru. So the other playables are all pretty much confirmed: Toshiie, Matsu, Kenshin, Kasuga and Shingen. Yay! Now we have to pretend to be surprised when they're announced in a magazine later.
Evening edit: A few more observations now I can see the video at its intended resolution...
  • As many people have noticed, Masamune and Katsuie are shown with brand new weapon designs.
  • The observant folks at Koei Warriors have noticed that Shingen has at least two special moves (R2 moves) this time and Matsu has all three. It looks as though the five upgraded NPCs are finally being given the treatment they deserve; I hope they all have a full set of moves available in the final game.
  • The Akatsukimaru transformation lasts for 45 seconds, which is more than I thought it would.
  • Masamune's unlockable Tenka Medal costume names are Light Armour Ver. (fifth), Fake Glasses Ver. (sixth) and Pitch Black Dragon King Ver. (seventh).
  • In Japanese, fake glasses are called 'Date-megane' so the sixth one might be a silly costume...

Sunday 1 February 2015

Event report: Basara Matsuri 2015 ~Fuyu No Jin~

I booked a flight to Japan to attend today's Basara Matsuri 2015 ~Fuyu No Jin~ (hereafter abbreviated to Basara Matsuri) in a moment of madness after way too many months of overtime at work, and that's where I've spent most of the day, soaking up the festival atmosphere and enjoying being around my fellow fans.
It's already been confirmed that there will be a DVD recording released in June so I'll add a second post reviewing everything properly when that happens. This is just a basic event report; please understand that I might have omitted or misremembered a few details since watching the show a few hours ago!

Basara Matsuri 2015 ~Fuyu No Jin~ was held at the colossal Nippon Budoukan in the heart of Tokyo's Kitanomaru park, the same site which hosted the fifth anniversary celebration back in 2011.

There were two performances; one in the afternoon at 14:30 and one in the evening at 18:30. With the venue being so large, obtaining tickets was much easier than usual - even though there were more fans in attendance than at the previous Sengoku Basara event. The evening show was also broadcast live to audiences in cinemas all across Japan to ensure as many people could watch as possible. Tickets cost ¥7,000 for attendees and ¥3,500 for those who saw the show at one of nineteen selected cinemas across Japan; given that I'd estimate that there were around 6,000 people watching each performance live and several thousand more spread out in the cinemas, organising this kind of event was a very big deal.

Naturally, the advertised guest list was suitably impressive.