Friday, 13 May 2016

News roundup: Prepare for plenty of updates next week!

Given that KobaP suggested that the next batch of Sanada Yukimura-den news was due mid-month and we had nothing this week, I have a strong suspicion that there'll be a massive update in Thursday's Weekly Famitsu release. To give advance warning, I will just have finished a work all-nighter coupled with a long, long journey when the magazine comes out - but I very much intend to translate it as usual. Please forgive any lateness or errors.

The first Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den live stream event has been announced

Another big hint that next week is going to be important is that an hour-long broadcast has been scheduled for Thursday 19th May at 20:00 (Japan time). Described as the first of what will become monthly Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den broadcasts, the stream will feature series producer Kobayashi 'KobaP' Hiroyuki and the game's producer Nonaka Daizou. Internet personality Shima will be present as a guest - he participated in last year's Nico Nico Relay event to promote Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi. Additional guests have yet to be announced, and the descriptions promise that the show will include the very latest, brand new information along with anecdotes from the development team.

The link to the Nico Nico Live stream is here, and timeshifts can be reserved already.

The cover is revealed for the first of the Sengoku Basara 3 novel reprints

We now have the cover artwork for the new Sengoku Basara 3: Sanada Yukimura & Sarutobi Sasuke No Shou ('Sanada Yukimura & Sarutobi Sasuke Chapter') compilation book which collects Nozaki Masato's Sengoku Basara 3: Sanada Yukimura No Shou ('Sanada Yukimura Chapter') and Sasahara Shio's Sengoku Basara 3: Sarutobi Sasuke No Shou ('Sarutobi Sasuke Chapter') into a single volume.


They've given it a different cover to tempt people like me into buying the same stories again...


And either these are new illustrations, or they're from the Sasuke book which is the one volume I still haven't managed to pick up. Pretty sure they're new though. The artist is Tsutsumi Yoshisada as before.


It looks as though Sengoku Basara 3: Date Masamune & Katakura Kojuurou No Shou will be following in June at ¥1,260 before tax.

Power up your smartphone with Sengoku Basara mobile batteries

Capcom have teamed up with Maxell to create a range of Sengoku Basara branded battery packs for smart phones, emblazoned with various characters from the series and scheduled for release this summer. Each battery pack costs ¥5,000 before tax and there are fifteen different designs - even if Masamune somehow gets to appear on four of them.


Sadly, the batteries are exclusive to the official e-Capcom store which means they can only be shipped to Japanese addresses, so if you do decide to purchase one make sure that your deputy service checks they can handle batteries. Some postal services refuse to carry them.

Ashigaru-kun visits the Sanada Cafe

Heroic mascot Ashigaru-kun stars in an irreverent report about the Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den x Sweets Paradise Sanada Cafe collaboration which is currently running in Shibuya. There will be another report soon with pictures of the desserts!

That controversial Sanada Yukimura-den news from Machi☆Asobi

The Famitsu website posted a report from the Machi☆Asobi event a few days ago which summarised one of the key points which arose during KobaP's talk show about Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den. For those who didn't see the flurry of tweets at the time, it's been stated that there will be no female characters in the game. This point apparently came up in response to fans asking about particular characters during a Q&A session rather than as part of the main presentation. KobaP blurted out that female characters wouldn't be appearing in accordance with documented history, then went on to apologetically suggest that fans should look forward to the masculine cast and their impassioned battles.

The news is obviously disappointing, especially as the girls of Sengoku Basara have often drawn the short straw when it comes to marketing and appearances throughout the history of the series despite being well-liked, beautiful and cool. KobaP has gone on record several times in the past to acknowledge the fans of the female characters, so this feels like a gigantic step backwards after seeing the efforts the team made to include the ladies in the stage plays, not to mention finally getting characters like Kasuga and Matsu polished up properly for Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi.

My personal view is that it's hard to judge the tone of what KobaP said from a handful of tweets and a write-up by a journalist, subsequently interpreted by a native English speaker across languages. I've read a huge number of KobaP interviews and heard him talk over the years, and I don't think he meant it anywhere close to as harshly as it can sound with a brusque translation. He's a fan of the female cast himself!

What seems most likely is that they've trimmed the cast list quite aggressively to keep this experimental spin-off relatively cheap and simple, and that's unfortunately meant that many of the established female fighters have been cut to make space for their more-famous male counterparts in order to maximise the series' ability to cross-promote with major regions and events. That doesn't make it suck any less, but it would have been a lot less shocking if the news had been broken gently instead of coming as a bolt from the blue.

I hope we get a more detailed interview soon so that KobaP (or the game's actual producer Nonaka) can explain the character selection process properly. Speculating about possible female characters for Yukimura to run into was fun, while it lasted, and having the chance swept away so abruptly has dampened my excitement a little. Of course, I'll still be buying Sanada Yukimura-den and enjoying it either way.

(Although the article doesn't mention much else - the Gyakuten Saiban 6 coverage rather dominates the discussion - I did like the note that Sanada Nobuyuki's outlandish hairdo evokes the image of a kabuki-style lion. I had missed that idea entirely before now; it's certainly appropriate for the 'Lion of Shinano'!)

14 comments:

  1. Hmmm... I don't know at what point they won't include female characters.

    But, if this game focuses heavily on Sanada Yukimura's historical life, for me it was natural to expect that many characters won't appear, for example, Shingen, who died when Yukimura was only 1 year old. I don't believe that Motochika and Motonari would appear, although his descendants were very related to Yukimura in Siege of Osaka. On the other hand, I'm very sure that Gotou Matabei will appear... as an ally of Yukimura, and certainly, as an enemy for Masamune, and specially Kojuurou (it was Katakura troops who killed Matabei in Siege of Osaka). As for the women... Well, it's certainly a shock this news (neither Kasuga, because of Kenshin who had a son that was in part Yukimura's mentor too?), but I wouldn't imagine Nohime, Magoichi, Tsuruhime, Maria and Itsuki appearing here, because neither one was related to Yukimura. Even Oichi too. Although I would like to see Yukimura's wife and Nobuyuki's wife, because they were the daughters of Ootani Yoshitsugu and Honda Tadakatsu respectively. Nevertheless, I'm a little worried about Sarutobi Sasuke: although there is not really historical record of his existence, I wouldn't imagine Basara Yukimura without him...

    So, my bets of appearing characters that were related to Yukimura (excluding the ones were announced) in this game are:

    -Honda Tadakatsu.
    -Sarutobi Sasuke.
    -Katakura Kojuurou.
    -Ishida Mitsunari.
    -Ootani Yoshitsugu.
    -Shima Sakon.
    -Naoe Kanetsugu (I know, this could be strange XD XD ).
    -Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
    -Houjou Ujimasa.
    -Gotou Matabei.
    -Kobayakawa Hideaki.
    -Shimazu Yoshihiro.
    -Tachibana Muneshige.

    Probably appear themselves or his descendants:
    -Uesugi Kenshin.
    -Chousokabe Motochika.
    -Mouri Motonari.

    Probably new characters:
    -Kirigakure Saizou (one of Sanada Ten Braves, as famous as Sasuke and his rival)
    -Toyotomi Hideyori (because of him ocurred Siege of Osaka)
    -Tokugawa Hidetada (because of him ocurred Second Battle of Ueda -during Battle of Sekigahara-)
    -Ii Naomasa (adopted son of Naotora and companion of Honda Tadakatsu)
    -Uesugi Kagekatsu (Yukimura's "master" for a while, and Kenshin's adopted son)
    -Oono Harunaga (because of him in part -although being part of West Army-, Toyotomi clan has disadvantage in Siege of Osaka)

    Although was said that they will be no women:
    -Kaihime (Houjou princess)
    -Akihime (Yukimura's wife, Yoshitsugu's daughter)
    -Komatsuhime (Nobuyuki's wife, Tadakatsu's daughter)

    Those are my bets based on Sanada Yukimura's history. What are yours? n_n

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    1. I can't see Kenshin appearing without either Kasuga or Shingen. It'd be incredibly strange-- then again Kenshin is showing up in the upcoming stageplay without either, so what do I know? That being said, an absence of Kenshin when the Uesugi were the Sanada's lords for a decent stretch of time indicates, to me, that Kagekatsu HAS to be a new character. Can't see him not being in.

      Ironically he might be key to me picking up this game. I'm horribly disillusioned by the lack of women not only being playable but not even being in the game at all. But I love the Basara series interpretation of the Uesugi clan and I like the historical Uesugi clan itself. So if Kagekatsu shows up and isn't horribly boring or an antithesis to the SB Uesugi clan, I'll probably still pick the game up.

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    2. Yeah, somehow, someone from the Uesugi clan have to appear in this game, be it Kenshin or Kagekatsu.

      Personally, I want to see Kirigakure Saizou here. In other fiction works, he's a really cool character that pairs well with Sasuke n_n

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    3. I'd love Saizou personally, (especially given the lore about him being pretty, heh) but given how reluctant they are to even put women in, I'm not sure how much of a chance he has here. It'd probably be his only real shot too regrettably. The idea of another ninja in Basara is always one that appeals, especially if he has a relationship to Sasuke and Kasuga.

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  2. I've ranted enough elsewhere about my distaste with KobaP's statements- the fact that first, it's a dumb reason when they're doing a variety of other non-historical things in the game, and second it's not even a historical fact that no women fought-- so I won't go in depth on that here. I just hope that one of the new guys (probably Kagekatsu if he's in) is cool enough to draw me back in. I do hope the apparent brusqueness is a combination of the suddenness of the "announcement" and the rough translations and such. I mean, even if I don't get the game, it's not like I'm not gonna support the series- I have other SB stuff I still need to get I'm interested in. But I do hope I'm convinced otherwise, as I was quite excited for the game until this...

    Also don't worry! You can put off translating/summarizing Famitsu until you're more rested! Work and life is more important than game news, especially news you provide us with at no cost!

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    1. KobaP's "excuse" was disappointing. Pretty sure women have been documented as existing and doing stuff during the Sengoku period X_X (Continues to watch Sanadamaru. Good stuff.)
      And yes Raindrops. It's cool if you translate but take it easy.

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    2. Yeah, there's a bunch of recorded women warriors from the Sengoku era- not anywhere near as many as men, but much more than "none". Given none of them are in Sengoku BASARA yet (besides Naotora and Tsuruhime but they're dead by the time of the game), but if they could stretch the truth with Katsuie and Toshiie being combatants at Tenmokuzan when they should be quarrelling with the Uesugi in Kaga, they could've had Matsu tag along with Toshiie or have Magoichi show up at the Odawara siege or something.

      (I really ought to watch more taiga dramas. They seem right up my alley.)

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    3. Watch it! Sanadamaru is an enjoyable mix of rather goofy characters and intense plotting and alliance shiftings. I have lost count on how many times the Sanada family were forced to change allies just a few episodes in. Also women exists in this.

      I was thinking of the Temmokuzan stage too - AFAIK the real Katsuie, Toshiie, and Yukimura didn’t take part in that battle...

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  3. Just what, KobaP. Am I getting this correctly: There will be no female presence in this game whatsoever?
    If KobaP wants a more historically correct game he would include more women not zero; a world with only men, that’s not realistic.
    I mean I knew my own wishes to see a variety of female characters like some NPC family members and a new playable warrior were unlikely considering how the series has been so far, but I didn’t think it would be this bad.
    Basara has always been focused mostly on the male warriors. However if they can’t even be bothered to throw in some token already existing female character as a boss somewhere,
    then it actually feels a bit insulting - like women aren’t worth including when the cast is trimmed.

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    1. That's pretty much how I feel. It seems like a really weird decision for a really weird reason.

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  4. To be honest, that what i expected so i don't really mind it.

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  5. A shame about lacking women. I love the men and bromance the series highlight, but the women are stellar parts of the series.

    I agree with Raindrops saying it's possibly a budget issue at the very least. Which makes me all the more wary about how much of a game this game will really be then :/

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    1. If it is a budget issue, I have to question why they shelled out the money for Katsuie and Toshiie's seiyuu for no apparent reason. I don't recall Katsuie being that popular, and poor Toshiie is practically dead last in polls of characters still active in the series. I guess it could be an attempt to boost both of their popularities given their relationship in Sumeragi was kind of overlooked by everyone, but this seems a weird game to do it in, given Katsuie dies a year after it starts.

      With the reveal of the kiddos, I guess Shingen has a distinct possibility of showing up in a flashback stage so that makes sense they'd get his seiyuu for the first trailer.

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    2. Indeed Mellusia, it made me think that the game might be stupidly short, just a few stages long...although they’ve made the effort to add new characters and also now added already existing ones at younger ages.

      If this game was marketed as ”Sanada Man Festival pure sweaty XY chromosome homo tension time” it might have been a bit funny at least unlike ”uhhh there won’t be any women because history correctness..."

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