Friday, 6 March 2015

Magazine review: Sengoku Basara Magazine issue 8

I can't believe that it's already time for another issue of Sengoku Basara Magazine! Shibata Katsuie graces the cover and exclusive Mame Sengoku Basara rubber strap to mark the winter issue and indeed, it's a highly recommended purchase for his fans. A selection of preview images can be seen in this official blog post.

Sengoku Basara Magazine vol. 8 was released a week later than it's usual month end slot in the schedule, on 2nd March 2015. Priced at ¥2,500, it can be purchased from all good Japanese bookstores which offer international shipping such as Amazon Japan, HMV, Yesasia, CD Japan and Manga Oh. The anime-style cover artwork from character designer Ookubo Tooru seems to have worked its magic once again as the book has reached the top of Amazon's gaming magazine charts several times in the last few days.

The bonus CD is Showgeki Basara Talk! Chousokabe & Mouri No Maki Vol. 2 with seiyuu Ishino Ryuuzou and Nakahara Shigeru. I missed their team antics at Basara Matsuri so it's good to hear from them again.

The pair start off by reading their fan mail (several people submitted questions about Sengoku Basara Judge End) then launch into the newest 'Basara Challenge' skit. The task this time is that Motochika and Motonari have to conduct an interrogation - except that they're too busy arguing and undermining one another to get anything productive done. The bad situation gets even worse when Motonari points out that a pirate isn't really in any position to look down on a criminal and the task is eventually abandoned in favour of a battle between the two warriors.

Lastly comes the 'Bonds Game' where they have to answer weird questions and compare their answers. Ishino and Nakahara seem to have a lot in common!

--

Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi is the biggest news we've had for a while so the first few pages of the magazine are dedicated to introducing the three main characters. The only new content is in the form of a handful of comments from series director Yamamoto Makoto (hereafter YamamotoD) and series producer Kobayashi 'KobaP' Hiroyuki.
  • People can look forward to seeing both serious and comical content in Yoshiteru's story.
  • The conflict between his two personalities gives rise to a serious storyline for Sen No Rikyuu.
  • YamamotoD joked that Rikyuu's unique gimmick of fighting with superpowers is influenced by a certain science fiction film, then later on he said he specifically wanted to try to adapt that style to a game.
  • KobaP is only saying one thing about Maria's story: it's full of people who fall victim to her manipulation.
These snippets immediately lead into a full two-page Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi interview with the pair.
  • Sengoku Basara 4 was all about creating a new world, and in contrast YamamotoD wants to make this game 'maximum ridiculous'.
  • They weren't originally planning on including another new character. Then KobaP wondered about perhaps adding just one more, which resulted in the craziness of their version of Sen No Rikyuu.
  • Shima Sakon and Shibata Katsuie were the leads in Sengoku Basara 4 but this time YamamotoD wanted someone more famous with a general audience, not just history buffs. He racked his brain and did a lot of research before concluding that Sen No Rikyuu was an exceptionally well-known historical figure.
  • While it's true that he's a cultural icon rather than a warrior, the deep connections to both Hideyoshi and Nobunaga added to his appeal.
  • YamamotoD then had to convince KobaP that he'd made the right choice. If he'd made the suggestion at the time Sengoku Basara 4 was being planned it wouldn't have worked out - the main titles apparently have to have proper warriors as their new characters - but since Sumeragi is an expansion it wasn't a problem to use it to introduce Rikyuu.
  • YamamotoD described Rikyuu's dual personality as "an angel and a devil living in the same person's heart". The keywords he kept in mind were 'wabi, sabi' (of course) and also 'Omotesenke, Urasenke' - the names of two different tea ceremony traditions. The 'Omote' and 'Ura' mean 'front' and 'back' respectively, which happened to work well with the imagery of the front and back of a medal they'd chosen to use in Sumeragi.
  • Despite having two 'modes', Rikyuu doesn't play like Sakon at all. Switching between the two personalities is automatic. If Sabisuke might pull an enemy closer with a "Hey, get over here!", Wabisuke would blast them away with a "Keep away, please.".
  • The interviewer asked whether Rikyuu was a highly technical character and KobaP responded that he was actually pretty easy for new players to use despite having depth to his gameplay for the more skilled gamers.
  • YamamotoD chuckled about how funny it looks when he starts a tea ceremony and forces Masamune and Katsuie to sit in a traditional seiza posture.
  • Rikyuu's story begins with him fleeing from the Toyotomi army but it's a serious tale. Fans can look forward to his interactions with Nobunaga and Hisahide.
  • It was YamamotoD who suggested seiyuu Sakurai Takahiro for the role. Since their version of Rikyuu is unusually macho, it was important that he had a steady-sounding voice.
  • The interviewer asked whether they'd been influenced by Takahiro's recent memorable role as Makishima Shougo in the PSYCHO-PASS anime. YamamotoD answered that it wasn't so much that as the need for someone who was capable of capturing both of the character's opposing personalities.
  • Ashikaga Yoshiteru is ludicrously strong. Seriously. Outrageously strong.
  • All of his statistics are powerful, as is his roulette ability.
  • He's like someone who started out as the owner of a gambling parlour before deciding that he wanted to join in and play as well.
  • Although Maria acts like she's fooling around rather than fighting, she has a lot of fun abilities like a hula hoop move and playing pinball with the enemy soldiers.
  • KobaP won't say how many stories the game includes yet. He confirmed that some characters will have multiple routes as with Sengoku Basara 4.
  • There will be news later on about balance adjustments to existing characters.
  • The battle roulette transformations last longer than you'd think and on large maps, you might get as many as ten chances at the roulette before you clear the stage.
  • They confirmed (again) that the plan is for all forty characters to have a 'new' technique as a medal reward.
  • A few of the costumes that haven't yet been shown in screenshots are interesting, such as the 'Date-Megane' (fake glasses) costume for Date Masamune. Some characters have more extra costumes than others.
In the closing messages, YamamotoD revealed that he's now spent half his career in games working on Sengoku Basara. They're both delighted that the series has lasted so long.

--

A brief summary of last month's Basara Matsuri 2015 ~Fuyu No Jin~ event follows the Sumeragi coverage, then it's straight into the Shibata Katsuie feature article. It covers his routes in the game, his relationship with the other members of the Oda army and his rivalries. There's a relationship chart where both Oichi and Nobunaga describe their relationship with Katsuie as "Who?". At least Toshiie is described as caring for him.

There are also a few remarks about Katsuie from director YamamotoD as usual. These contain mild spoilers for the Sengoku Basara 4 stories for Katsuie, Nobunaga and Sakon.
  • If Yoshiteru stands at the pinnacle of the roster, Katsuie and Sakon were designed as new recruits who have only just graduated.
  • In addition, since Hideyoshi and Hanbee had been revived for the Toyotomi army Katsuie was chosen to give the Oda army a boost.
  • When Nobunaga splashes wine over Katsuie at the end of his Creation route, in a way he's showing that he acknowledges his value. This is why Mitsuhide shows signs of jealousy - but Katsuie himself has no idea of the meaning behind Nobunaga's actions.
  • Sakon and Katsuie both have drama routes which begin from a past defeat, and even YamamotoD isn't sure what happens after Masamune says he's leaving. Does Katsuie end up working in the Date army? His future is for him to decide.
  • In Nobunaga's drama route he meets another Nobunaga from an alternate world. The ending of Katsuie's anime route has him yearning for another world, too.
  • While it's ambiguous whether Sakon lives or dies in the ending to his anime route, Katsuie's anime route clearly shows his death.
As with Sakon last issue, it's quite surprising how much rendered CG artwork there is for Katsuie already. I found the note on his Giga Basara ink painting interesting; because the water coming out of the cracked pot looks like a dazzling kaleidoscope, it was suggested that it represents the countless fates that Katsuie can choose from.

The Only YamamotoD Knows!? The Heroes' Inside Stories: Shibata Katsuie Edition column lightens the mood with a selection of absurd Katsuie trivia (which YamamotoD probably made up on the spot).

Q. What kind of child was Katsuie, back when he was a kid?

He was even more inquisitive than Sakon. And a fastidious person. The kind of kid who arranges all of his books in order.

Q. Why does he like ghosts so much?

Long ago, he became fascinated by lectures about youkai. Whether it's the past or the present, youkai are really popular!

(Raindrops' note: The way he said this is so awkward that I wonder whether it's a joke about the current popularity of Youkai Watch...)

Q. How would he react if he met a real life kappa or tengu?

I think he'd smile, for sure.

Q. If Nobunaga was to praise him by thanking him for his efforts, how do you think Katsuie would react?

He'd freeze up. Then, after thinking about it for three days straight, he might do an awful lot of crying.

Q. Would he have gotten along well with Nouhime and Ranmaru?

I think that's to be expected with Nouhime - though as Katsuie became more ambitious, Nouhime and Ranmaru would probably have been keeping a watchful eye on him.

Q. What kind of occupation would suit Katsuie in the modern world?

A wagashi (Japanese sweets) maker? But the real reason is that traditional clothing suits him (haha).

Q. What was he thinking back when he declared himself 'Kaiou' and rebelled?

I think he had a lot of dreams, and without them he was filled with a sense of euphoria.

Q. What kind of life would he lead in the Date army?

I think the soldiers who serve him would overwhelm Katsuie by fussing over him more and more. He'd be baffled at first, but over time he'd become accustomed to it and speak out with a smile. Teehee!

Q. What is his favourite food?

Fish. The meat can be neatly separated from the bones.

Q. What kind of everyday life does he lead?

Peaceful... He simply stays still...

Q. Does he have any hobbies?

I don't think he has any.

Q. Which 'type' of person does he like?

When Katsuie's outlook was more limited, it was 'a stunningly beautiful person', but since he's met Masamune and Sakon perhaps he's become drawn to strength as well.

Q. Then what's his least favourite type of person?

A person who has everything. For example, someone like Azai Nagamasa...

Q. What's Katsuie's most treasured possession?

Wonderful memories. However, he can't remember any right now.

--

A lengthy interview with voice actor Okamoto Nobuhiko fills the next few pages.
  • Katsuie might be the least impassioned character in the roster. When you think of Sengoku Basara you imagine a crowd of dazzling personalities but Katsuie is a real downer. Maybe that gives him a fresh kind of charm? The way that his old self during his 'Kaiou' phase was so different to the way he is now could also be appealing.
  • Okamoto realised that Katsuie was actually rather strong when he played as him in Sengoku Basara 4. He has a lot of useful moves which combo easily.
  • Katsuie is the highest level in his Sengoku Basara 4 game save - and it's not just because he deliberately plays as his own character.
  • His favourite move is the L1+Triangle technique because he enjoys charging it up and sniping enemies from a distance.
  • Okamoto recommends that new players give Katsuie a try since he's so easy to use and they'll feel powerful.
  • He thinks that Katsuie would have been able to beat Nobunaga in his rebellion if he'd been friends with Masamune back then and tag-teamed him. But perhaps they wouldn't have been able to make friends in the first place if Katsuie was still so full of himself.
  • After failing in his rebellion, perhaps it would have been better for Katsuie if he left the Oda army and joined up with Chousokabe Motochika's merry band of pirates instead.
  • As for why he didn't leave the Oda army, Okamoto thinks he was unable to move forward after what happened. He could also have been afraid of Nobunaga. Even if Nobunaga didn't kill him for deserting, he might destroy whichever army took Katsuie in.
  • Things might have been different if Nouhime and Ranmaru were around the way they were in the game's anime ending. It would be fun to see Katsuie working under Ranmaru.
  • If Okamoto had to join one of the factions himself, he'd be tempted to try the Xavists even though it would obviously involve some shifty business. Working in Xavi Land might be fun.
  • The Takeda army would be too exhausting, though the Tokugawa army might be quite relaxing since they have 'The Strongest in the Sengoku Period' Tadakatsu on their side.
  • Rather than an animal sidekick, having a spirit at his back might suit Katsuie. Or perhaps he could call on spirits the same way Matsu summons animals, except Katsuie could have a full procession of apparitions like the hyakki yagyou.
  • The type of mythical creature which suits Katsuie best is a kappa because of his green image colour and 'kappa'-style bobbed hair. It would be interesting to see a move where Katsuie turned into a kappa himself.
  • Besides Katsuie, Okamoto's favourite character is Oyassan. If he has to limit himself to choosing a person it would be Sasuke. A big part of that is because he's voiced by Koyasu Takehito.
  • He also likes Nobunaga for being easy to play and powerful, as well as Gotou Matabee in Sengoku Basara 4. He cited Matabee's fun attack patterns and brutality as the reasons for picking him.
  • If Okamoto had to give Katsuie romantic advice about his relationship with Oichi, he'd tell him that it's better to look for someone else - she's married to Nagamasa!
  • Okamoto's favourite Katsuie story is his drama route.
  • He'd like there to be a Sengoku Basara 4 anime of some kind, whether it's a television series or OAV.
  • He thinks that people who don't understand Katsuie are sure to understand his 'downer appeal' if they play Sengoku Basara 4 thoroughly!
The article finishes with a shorter column about Fujita Ray, the actor who plays Katsuie in the stage play series. He seems to be a big fan of Katsuie's play style in Sengoku Basara 4 too!

(Raindrops' note: It's so cute when the actors get into the game too!)

--

Moving on, the 'Oda Army Chronicle' presents a look at the history of the other Oda-affiliated characters over the course of the entire Sengoku Basara series. YamamotoD is back for another weird Q&A session in the comments.

Q. What's Nobunaga's relationship to the Rokuma No Ou ('King of Six Demons') who lurks at his back?

During a battle in the underworld, the Rokuma No Ou was born from deep within the Dairokuten Maou ('Demon King of the Sixth Heaven') himself.

Q. What do the Oda soldiers think about Nobunaga?

He's 99% terrifying and 1% awesome.

Q. Nouhime and Ranmaru are missing in Sengoku Basara 4. What does Nobunaga think about the situation?

It doesn't really bother him, but that's probably because he believes that he'll see them again one day.

Q. Where does Nouhime pull all of those weapons out from?

Women are full of secrets!

Q. Which type of person does Nouhime prefer?

Her favourite type would be someone with integrity. In contrast, her most hated type is an inattentive person.

Q. Which character from Sengoku Basara 3 or later would Nouhime get along well with?

Ii Naotora. There's a lot she can teach her, hehe.

Q. How did Nobunaga and Ranmaru meet?

They met on a certain battlefield and Ranmaru impulsively decided to follow the cool Nobunaga. To Ranmaru, Nobunaga is strong, stylish and heroic. Check out Ranmaru's opening sequence in Sengoku Basara 2 for the details!

Q. What's Ranmaru's favourite type of person?

Someone who will play with him or be his servant. The kind of person he hates is someone who preaches and nags.

Q. Which character from Sengoku Basara 3 or later would Ranmaru get along well with?

Tachibana Muneshige (the ideal subordinate).

Q. What kind of daily life does Mitsuhide lead?

A double life, together with Tenkai.

Q. What's most important to Mitsuhide?

Maybe 'dreams' (haha)...

Q. Since he associates with the food-obsessed Kingo, what does Mitsuhide most like to eat?

In a way...'people'.

(Raindrops' note: YamamotoD ended his sentence with the sound effects of a stab followed by a heartbeat to imitate Mitsuhide using his drain technique.)

--

A brief interview with the three stars of the upcoming Sengoku Basara Magazine CD: Showgeki Basara Talk! Vol. 4: Chousokabe & Mouri No Maki Special-ban fills the next page. The CD features Ishino Ryuuzou (Motochika), Nakahara Shigeru (Motonari) and Okiayu Ryoutarou (Hideyoshi) - and as Ishino points out, it's kind of weird that three characters who have the worst possible relationships with one another are all together in one place. The article is cute despite being a blatant advertisement for the CD.

There's only one tribute illustration for some reason. Thankfully, it's a fantastic one: Karegishi Roji (Gunslinger Stratos: Gigantomakia) has drawn Katsuie, Sakon and Masamune in a distinctive, vivid style. Karegishi's comment explains that having the opportunity to provide artwork for a project like this is a dream come true for a person who was a fan of the series as a student.

--

The next column is brand new. It's the first in a new series where Capcom staff delve into their production archives and show off some never-before-seen materials as they talk about how they first came up with the character designs.

The topic of the first BASARA Production Notes is the way Date Masamune's design evolved. He was the first character they created. It was critically important that his charisma came across even with his back to the viewer since that's how players usually see the character.

The pictures used in this column are a selection of alternate versions of the famous Tsuchibayashi Makoto illustrations from the original Sengoku Basara accompanied by simple blocky design drawings from the Capcom team.

The very first problem they faced was the shape of his Six Claws, which they wanted to resemble a dragon's fins. They sketched out the way they wanted the swords to hang at Masamune's hips but had trouble deciding how the rest should look from behind. Character designer Tsuchibayashi worked from the staff's ideas.

The second consideration was the shape his swords' scabbards make. In the original Tsuchibayashi design Masamune's jinbaori coat was draped over the top part of the scabbards which concealed their shape. They decided to adapt the design to retain the imagery of the scabbards as the One-Eyed Dragon's gills.

Next, they had to decide on the design for the jinbaori coat. They considered a long skirt-like version which reached Masamune's ankles, then they tried shortening it slightly and giving it a jagged edge for a rougher look. A shorter version of the first design was also tried. In the end, they selected a much shorter version and kept the jagged edge to represent a dragon.

For the back of the coat they used an original shape rather than Masamune's clan crest. It was based on the idea of a tornado. Two of the concepts had the tornado shape viewed from the side as a zig-zag which ran from the full width of Masamune's shoulders down to the small of his back. One of them had lots of jagged lines coming in from all directions while the other experimented with making his collar and sleeves ragged instead (like Kanbee's jinbaori). The third design was closer to the round tornado symbol that was eventually selected, except the shape extended across the whole garment and gave it an alternating light/dark blue colour scheme.

--

An article about last year's Butai Sengoku Basara 4 stage play offers a glimmer of hope by mentioning that Dais will be releasing a DVD in 'spring 2015'. I see that the Dais Shop website is now back online (and heavily under construction). Perhaps the details will be announced in the next few weeks?

The traditional survey results come next in BasaRanking. The questions all come from the previous issue where the theme was Shima Sakon. I still don't understand whether the 'points' represent individual voters or something else; the values are significantly higher than last time but that might be partly because there are fewer potential choices with a newer character.

What's your favourite Sakon scene?

1. His entire anime route (152 points)
2. The ending of his anime route (121 points)
3. His entire drama route (62 points)
4. The ending of his drama route (41 points)
5. His entire creation route (30 points)
6. The scene where he makes Katsuie hold the dice in his drama route (29 points)
7. The ending of his creation route (25 points)
8. The scenes from Sakon's drama route showing his first meeting with Mitsunari (24 points)
9. The drama between Sakon and Katsuie (9 points)
10. Ootani Yoshitsugu's entire creation route (8 points)

Both of the top two choices are closely related and really show how popular that particular story was. The voting was decisive!

Which other character do you want to see involved in Sakon's stories?

1. Ishida Mitsunari (131 points)
2. Maeda Keiji (105 points)
3. Ootani Yoshitsugu (86 points)
4. Chousokabe Motochika (81 points)
5. Shibata Katsuie (65 points)
6. Sanada Yukimura (61 points)
7. Sarutobi Sasuke (60 points)
8. Date Masamune (52 points)
9. Gotou Matabee (44 points)
10. Takenaka Hanbee (40 points)

While Mitsunari is the obvious choice given how important he is to Sakon, the editor was surprised that Keiji ranked so high since they don't have many scenes together. The pair of them are so easygoing that it could make a fun story if they teamed up, right?

Which of Sakon's lines is your favourite?

1. "Heh heh, welcome back... Mitsunari..." (99 points)
2. "Let's turn this into another gamble!" (49 points)
3. "Shima Sakon, here I come!" (47 points)
4. "Wherever you go, I'll follow you." (36 points)
5. "Even when you can't see what the future holds, so long as you can take a step forward it will work out somehow or other, y'know?" (30 points)
6. "This is my... Shima Sakon's final gamble!" (25 points)
6. "The man who's close to the Left Arm of the Toyotomi, Shima Sakon!" (25 points)
8. "How about that... I won...!" (20 points)
9. "Sakon... the man beside the Left Arm... it's Shima Sakon!" (11 points)
10. "The way that you live your life, lemme in on that too!" (5 points)

(Raindrops' note: I'm sorry that I suck at dialogue translations.)

The topic for the next survey will be Shibata Katsuie, of course, and the questions are the same except that the first one has been changed to ask fans what they like about him as a nod to the interview with Okamoto Nobuhiko earlier in the book.

--

Several pages of advertisements for merchandise we already know about follow, then two pages of fan contributions show that plenty of talented people are still taking the time to submit lovely hand-drawn artwork along with their surveys. There's a great deal of variety in the character choices; a picture of Motochika and Ieyasu sharing a moment of friendship over a cup of sake was singled out as the best submission while a 'sexy' drawing of Nouhime had the honour of decorating the top of the page.

--

The conclusion of the experimental two-part 'scenario novel' comes next. Sengoku Basara 4: Sanbee Souran ~Oushuu Ni Teru Hikari~ Kouhen ('Three '-bee' Mayhem ~The Future Which Shines On Oushuu~ Part 2') follows on from the previous story. With Kojuurou having been incapacitated by Matabee, Masamune sets out for revenge - while at the same time, Hanbee drops in on Kanbee and dredges up the past. The stage is soon set for the showdown between an infuriated Masamune and the three notorious '-bee's.

I personally think that Sanbee Souran is a great addition to the magazine. It's billed as being a story that they weren't able to tell in the games, yet with it being written by scenario writer Matsuno Izuru it's as good as canon. Hanbee, Kanbee and Matabee weren't central figures in the plot of Sengoku Basara 4 so this gives fans more time to explore their complicated relationships; whether it's Hanbee mocking Kanbee, Matabee being an unpredictable lunatic or Kanbee getting carried away, there's plenty of entertainment to be found in the way the three of them interact. I also enjoyed seeing Kanbee gushing about Matabee like a proud grandparent or ex-lover. Poor Kanbee.

An an extra surprise, the final page of the story reveals that it is going to be adapted into a drama CD recording! The full details aren't yet available but I can tell it's going to be a real treat to listen to already. I hope that Yokota Mamoru's illustrations make it into the CD booklet too.

--

After an ad for the two Sengoku Basara 4 novels comes KobaP's regular Kobayashi HiroyukiP No Kyou Mo Basara Na Hi diary with a candid picture of him in his shiny Basara Matsuri 2015 ~Fuyu No Jin~ suit. He talks about the event and the series' tenth anniversary as well as the upcoming game but as usual it's hard to find any detailed information in KobaP's cheerful comments! He does mention that they're hoping to surpass the fans' expectations with Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, and hinted that there are still more plans to celebrate the series this year with the special anniversary logo that was unveiled last month.

--

The magazine's serialised manga titles come next. First is chapter five of Yoshihara Motoki's Sengoku Basara 4: Bontenmaru-hen prequel. Following directly on from the climax of the previous issue, a frustrated Bontenmaru is still struggling to deal with his powerlessness, his physical handicap and his obstinate new retainer. After Kojuurou takes Masamune out to the fields to teach him the true meaning of strength, the two of them might finally be reaching an understanding. However, it looks as though everything is about to come crashing down around them when a certain notorious villain sets his sights on Oushuu...

The Bontenmaru-hen manga has become a very powerful story and it must be frustrating for fans who are only just getting into it and missed the first few chapters. Yoshihara has even mentioned that people keep asking the same questions about when the manga will be released in a standalone book. As the response on Twitter makes clear, nothing has been decided yet. Everyone will have to keep waiting for a formal announcement.

--

Tane Jugou's Wan-Nyan Sengoku Basara lightens the mood with its usual silly jokes about the characters reimagined as fluffy animals. Tsuruhime is worried when seven days pass by without a word from 'Himiko' - because as it turns out, Motonari has been lost in Kanbee's underground tunnels for the past week. By the time he runs into Matabee and finds his way back home, he's not in a very good mood. Having to deal with Tsuruhime and Magoichi pushes him far beyond the limits of his patience.

Most of the four-panel gag strips after the main story are about how Katsuie isn't very good at being a cat. Nobody takes him seriously.

--

The latest star of YamamotoD's BASARA Sengoku HERO column is Akechi Mitsuhide; an appropriate choice given the Oda theme earlier in the book. Yamamoto shares his thoughts about the way the Sengoku Basara version of Mitsuhide first came to life.
  • Mitsuhide was created for the first Sengoku Basara as a direct result of Nobunaga. They wanted to strengthen the Oda army and they also wanted to recreate the famous Incident At Honnouji, which made Mitsuhide a prime candidate for inclusion in the game.
  • YamamotoD views the real-life Mitsuhide as a man of extremes. Some say he was a wise man who was forced into a corner by Nobunaga, while others consider him absolutely despicable. He's someone who is represented one way or the other in works based on the Sengoku period.
  • Since Nobunaga is portrayed as a demon king in Sengoku Basara, his subordinates had to be be weird too in order to fit in. Back when they were working on Mitsuhide, he gradually ended up becoming more and more perverted.
  • The interviewer pointed out that Mitsuhide has a lot of hardcore fans. YamamotoD said there was no way they could have anticipated that in advance.
  • He attributes part of the character's enduring popularity to seiyuu Hayami Shou's amazing vocal performance. Hayami works very hard to make his work flawless, even when delivering challenging lines without any pauses.
  • Mitsuhide is absolutely infatuated with Nobunaga. Since he's a freak, he wants to kill Nobunaga with his own hands and watch him suffer.
  • There's a sense that Nobunaga views him as a hanger-on who lives in his home.
  • Mitsuhide often says that he 'wants to become human'. YamamotoD explained that Mitsuhide is well aware of his own strangeness. He used to be fine with that, but ever since Sengoku Basara 3 he's been interested in whether things might feel even more pleasant if he was a decent human being. Those thoughts have become stronger as he spends time with Kingo (Kobayakawa Hideaki).
  • The interviewer remarked on Tenkai's apparent concern for Kingo in Sengoku Basara Judge End. Kingo is weak, helpless and indecisive; in other words, he's extremely human. Back when Katsuie declared himself 'Kaiou' and rebelled against Nobunaga, Mitsuhide was able to revel in the sight of someone who was brimming with self-confidence suffering a terrible defeat.
  • In contrast, he wants to look after Kingo and in return Kingo trusts him without question. Being trusted is probably a brand new experience for Mitsuhide, who is always backstabbing other people. YamamotoD thinks that's why he treats Kingo kindly.
  • YamamotoD would like Mitsuhide to have more interactions with Ashikaga Yoshiteru in future. It would be interesting to see what kind of conversations such incompatible people would have.
  • Even though Mitsuhide has appeared in every game in the series other than Sengoku Basara X (CROSS), YamamotoD finds it difficult to come up with his storylines.
--

The last of the serialised manga is the chapter of Sumeragi's Mame Sengoku Basara 4 (Shucchouban). Katsuie is still in Date territory after misinterpreting Masamune's gibberish as a hint about a new kind of ghost, except lately the only things haunting him are his memories of the past. He thinks back to his time in the Oda army. Back then, all of the other soldiers knew about his one-sided crush on Oichi while she remained oblivious.

A bunch of advertisements fill out the last few pages. The full-page Gakuen Basara: Gakusai Rantou-hen ('School Festival Brawl') ad includes the black and white line art for Nari's gorgeous cover illustration as a treat. There's also a bonus in the form of a sample of Takahashi Yuu's Sengoku Paranoia, a 4-panel gag manga about Mori Nagayoshi which runs in Dengeki Daioh G magazine.

--

The official magazine website has already posted the usual preview of the Spring 2015 issue due in late May. This time it's back to the veterans as Sasuke takes the honour of appearing on the cover, rubber strap and in the feature article. A a huge amount of Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi coverage is promised and the CD will feature the 'rookies' Nakamura Yuuichi (Shima Sakon) and Okamoto Nobuhiko (Shibata Katsuie).


It's disappointing that we're still waiting for more solid information about Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi after it was announced so early, but at least the next issue should be packed full of coverage. Sengoku Basara Magazine vol. 8 is still a great dose of nonstop Sengoku Basara action and Katsuie fans should consider snapping this issue up before it sells out like Sakon's!

13 comments:

  1. Thanks for summarizing another issue.
    I have two things I wonder about.

    Have the creators ever clearly established wtf Mitsuhide is, I assume actually not human (not just psycho) because of his abilities and stories, although weird abilities is standard among SB humans.

    And that’s a nice Katsuie cover, all of these covers so far has been of popular handsome guys haven’t they, do you think they will keep up the magazine even when they run out of that type? *imagines Yoshimoto issue*

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    1. I seem to recall there being a Sengoku Basara magazine that ran for a few issues sometime between SB2 and the anime's release. I wouldn't be shocked if it stopped sometime shortly after Sumeragi's release. Especially since they seem to be highlighting various additional characters in the HERO column... Keiji, Mitsuhide, Kanbee, Magoichi all seem like candidates to be skipped over for magazines. But then again Motochika was featured in Motonari's issue and Motonari in Ieyasu's and Mitsunari in Yukimura's so who knows! It'd be great if every character got an issue, but I wonder if they have enough content for so many characters! On that note, Sasuke being next could mean some background/creation information on Shingen, Kasuga, or Kotaro next issue, besides Sasuke himself, which would be very exciting! Or perhaps some more Yukimura!

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    2. I think the real story behind Mitsuhide is just one of those mysterious things, like Kenshin's gender status and Tadakatsu's... everything. In the older games it seemed as though they were strongly hinting that he was some kind of vampire or something, but I don't think they've ever actually come out and said he's anything more than a twisted freak. Perhaps when the Bontenmaru-hen manga is done they'll shock us all and start telling the stories of more of the characters' pasts :D

      It will be several years before they run out of handsome guys, I think, since there are only four issues each year and they will probably keep adding new characters to the series. A few covers with the handsome ladies wouldn't be a problem either (Magoichi, Oichi and Kasuga are probably popular enough and Maria seems to have a bunch of supporters already too).

      What's possible is that they'll change the pattern later on and start including groups of characters instead of individuals, in the hope that the less popular warriors will be supported by their more popular partners (like Hideyoshi and Hanbee). Or they could be really cheap and do a second issue each for Yukimura and Ieyasu too, since they both missed out on getting unique cover illustrations due to Sengoku Basara 4. It's probably unlikely that we're ever going to get as far as having an Ujimasa/Musashi talk CD...sadly.

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    3. They can't skip Keiji! It would be cute to pair him up with Yoshiteru for the CD. I'm not sure I completely understand the logic behind their choices sometimes since you'd think making Yoshiteru the cover star close to Sumeragi's release would help promote the game, except they'll probably have Kojuurou in the summer issue (not that I'm complaining...) and he's unlikely to even get a story. It will be good to have a proper Takeda Army Chronicle in Sasuke's issue so that Oyakata-sama and the old crew can show up (and like you say, Kasuga is especially likely to get some coverage too since she's important to Sasuke).

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    4. I sincerely hope they don't skip Keiji! D: But you know me, pessimistic. I'd love it if we could get through a bunch of characters, especially given the amount of time between each issue giving ample time for content.... but I always felt this magazine was meant to be a temporary thing. But hey, with luck, maybe it'll last for as long as the series will, however long that may be.

      I'd love if each of the women managed to get an issue too, or at least Mago, Kasuga, and Ichi. ;_; Honestly I think the women (and Kenshin... @_@) are my favorite part of the series besides watching Yukimura and Kingo struggle and succeed, so it's a shame to see them not get as much time as the guys...but I guess that comes from the disparity between genders of the characters, so it's a bit understandable.

      Ujimasa/Musashi talk CD? Interesting choice!

      It does make me wonder, though, if there'd be repeat show ups of some characters. Some characters do come in obvious pairs, like Hideyoshi/Hanbe, Mago/Tsuru, Ieyasu/Mitsunari, etc., but others have multiple bonds of equal import... and just WHO could Matabee end up with? He's a dark horse so if it goes on for a while I could see him being in something but... he kind of works alone.

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    5. Oh I defintely hope Oichi and Magoichi would be popular enough to have issues with nice covers devoted to them. And Keiji. And Hanbei and and...it would take 200 years to go through them all. Yeah, having 2 characters or more would be a good idea. I demand a Mitsuhide/Tenkai cover. High fiving each other or something.

      I’ll just keep on thinking of Mitsuhide as a super special humanoid energy vampire then.
      Tadaktasu is certainly a mystery and uh, everyone else, like Dragon Lord Masamune. Flies in the sky, with or without a horse :)

      Mewshuji, I saw your Kenshin poll and voted ”other”. Could be either really but personally, s/he gives off such a neutral vibe that I think of the character as intersex or something.

      Oh! And the best thing ever would be if they made a cooking issue with Matsu and Kingo. Finding such huge vegetables IRL would be a problem though.

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    6. Oh! Thank you for voting! :D

      Oh my, yes, a cooking issue would be hilarious. x3

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  2. thank you so much for your review ^ ^
    it's perfect
    l'm looking forward until my copy arrive :)
    next one is Sasuke yes *^* but l think it should be kojuro :$

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    1. Thank you for the kind words! I hope your copy arrives soon.

      It seems likely that Kojuurou will come after Sasuke. Both he and Sasuke have featured on the CDs already so if they get to be the stars of the next two magazines it will mean that the characters on future CDs can match the covers :)

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  3. Hmm, I'm glad Yamamoto hasn't forgotten how Nouhime "actually" is. While I did like her in the anime, they did kind of "dumb her down" in that they made her so mean to everyone but Nobunaga and Ranmaru. In the games, she's quite sweet to everyone except Shingen and some of the other unsavory characters outside of the Oda army. It's especially noticeable with Oichi, who she actually tries to get along with in the games while in the anime she just talks down to. In fact, one could say she was great friends with both Itsuki and Kenshin, who are ironically two of the Oda's greatest enemies in terms of ideology! I could definitely see her being friends with Naotora and doting on Katsuie like a mom, I'd love to see potential interactions between her and Sorin, Tsuruhime, or Shikanosuke. After all, if Magoichi is Basara's "big sister" and Matsu the "magical girl housewife", Nouhime is definitely Basara's "mother" or "aunt"!

    Ranmaru being friends with Muneshige would be hilarious. I guess I never realized how high the kid ranked in the Oda forces- I always felt he was Nouhime's subordinate. The idea of him bossing Katsuie or Muneshige around sure is funny.

    Nobunaga pouring wine on people is... a good thing? I suppose it could be Nobunaga's way of "acknowledging" someone's worthiness. Wonder if Oichi, Nouhime, or Ranmaru had to go through that...

    Of course all the info on Katsuie is interesting, especially Nobuhiko's thoughts! It's always great when voice artists actually play the games they're in, even if only a little.

    I'm glad I had some suspicions on Mitsuhide confirmed. He has been trying to make himself less of a psycho-killer as of late and I'm glad to have confirmation he actually cares about Kingo- their endings in SB4 made me doubt it. Makes me appreciate him a whole lot more.

    UGH DANG IT KobaP, just spill the beans! You don't have to number EVERY story, just say whether the returnees from Utage will get new ones! ;; Please? Haha!

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    1. I don't know what "she could learn from her" about Nouhime and Naotora means, probably not that, but personally I think it would be good for Nouhime to be a bit more critical of her own choice of husband ;) Love the Oda though, even if Nobunaga doesn't give a fuck about anyone. Nouhime come back ;_; In fact, I even want the brat Ranmaru to return and hang out with Katsuie.

      Yeah Mitsuhide is doing some serious niceness development as of late. As I was a fan of psycho freak from the start, I'm a bit worried lol. How will this go. He'll end up a farmer in SB5 at this rate.

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  4. Don't know if you already posted them but there are some shots of the (standard) alternate costumes for Mr. Tomoyo, Maria, a better shots of Ieyasu's Roulette Costume and a pic with another costume for Yukimura i guess
    http://www.capcom.co.jp/basara4sumeragi/images/newsimg/news07_01.jpg
    http://www.capcom.co.jp/basara4sumeragi/images/newsimg/news07_02.jpg
    http://www.capcom.co.jp/basara4sumeragi/images/newsimg/news07_03.jpg
    http://www.capcom.co.jp/basara4sumeragi/images/newsimg/news07_04.jpg

    I really hope we'll have plenty new weapons for all the characters (and a super western release too of course sometime in the future)

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    1. Thanks, it's good to see the big versions! I hope we get new weapons too, and if they manage to spread the PS4 version outside Japan to bolster the PS4 library that would be absolutely wonderful!

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