Wednesday 29 June 2016

Streaming: Spring 2016 anime final impressions

I have to start this post with a brief rant, unfortunately. I complained in my first impressions that Sakamoto Desu Ga? (Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto) - which happened to be one of the shows I most wanted to see - was unavailable to us in the UK. At the time I blamed Sentai for only picking up US rights even though they serve UK customers on their streaming site, but it turns out the real reason is much more dumb and depressing.

Manga Entertainment are one of the biggest (and oldest) anime companies in the UK. At the MCM Comic Con event at the end of May they formally announced that the rights for Sakamoto Desu Ga? (Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto) lay with them. The head of the company, Jerome Mazandarani, went on Twitter to explain that he had the streaming rights but deliberately refused to make it available here because he wasn't offered enough money to allow the simulcast sites to show it (the amount he indicated was $150 per episode - which actually sounds quite generous given the size of the UK streaming market).

You would think that turning down a free offer of cash of any amount sounds crazy, but it makes sense when you understand that the staff at Manga are furiously conservative and believe that allowing viewers to watch anime legally makes it impossible to sell on home video. This puts them in a weird position where they don't want to allow people on low incomes to have legal access to anime (streaming is much cheaper than buying DVDs) but they also hit out at the companies who support fans by offering premium editions on disc and free simulcasts for those who can't afford the disc releases until prices come down. I personally think that Manga UK's business model is completely unsustainable, but if they want to lose goodwill and the benefits of the advertising potential simulcasting offers then there's nothing I can do to stop them.

However, in one final twist of the knife, footage emerged from the Manga panel at the event which showed Jerome telling the audience how he'd recently watched the latest episode on Crunchyroll (via a VPN or proxy of some kind, because it's not available in the UK thanks to him). He's worried about legal streamers reducing his sales, yet not pirates or those who watch streams from other countries to evade barriers he created?

Screw you, Manga UK. You're the reason I'm not buying your discs, not Crunchyroll.

With that off my chest, here's what I thought of the spring anime season shows that I followed. Funimation Now and Crunchyroll combined to satisfy all of my requirements this season, making it easier than ever before to stay up to date on all of the shows I wanted to watch (other than Sakamoto Desu Ga?). Both services publish a schedule and release episodes punctually with warnings of any service interruptions to allow fans to plan ahead, and for the first time I was able to finish the season when it actually ended because nothing was held back for weeks in this country. I suppose I should be disappointed that Funimation Now delayed the launch of their console apps but I'm honestly so frustrated about Manga and other UK-specific concerns that nothing else seems all that important.

First and foremost, the post-season ranking.

1. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
2. Joker Game
3. Kiznaiver

Hey, my prediction was quite accurate this time! There were a lot of average titles and very few gems, but JoJo, Kiznaver and Joker Game were definitely the most interesting shows I most looked forward to watching each week. JoJo is continuing on into the summer season, thankfully. Morikubo Showtaro has been my favourite thing about the episodes to date.

Fourth place isn't that bad, Atsushi...

Friday 24 June 2016

News roundup: The second Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den live broadcast and other news

My country is in a bit of a mess right now due to storms drenching the capital and one of the biggest political issues of recent memory hanging in the balance for a few more hours. Sounds like a great time to catch up on Sengoku Basara news!

Observations from today's Yukimura-den Nico Nico broadcast

The second episode of the monthly Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den prerelease live streams aired earlier today so I caught up after work. Saaya, KobaP and producer Nonaka started the introductions off and shortly afterwards they were joined by stage play actor Matsumura Ryuunosuke (Sanada Yukimura).

After a few minutes of light chit-chat, the team went straight into a gameplay demonstration on the Odawara Castle stage. Masamune immediately grabbed most viewers' attention with his tremendously British-sounding outburst...

Masamune's new permanent Six Claw mode certainly looks cool and very violent with blades flying around everywhere. I fear for the poor actor who has to hold six katana out like that in some future stage play adaptation. Partway through the stage, Gotou Matabee showed up as a boss who had to be defeated in order to open a gate.

The mystery of the little red indicators above boss health bars was solved when Matabee was defeated and came back to life, apparently stronger than before and with a Basara gauge of his own. The screenshot is blurry but I think it captures the savage atmosphere.

Later on, Sen No Rikyuu blocked the way and had to be beaten too (the Nico Nico commenters liked Masamune remarking that it was 'tea time' in English). Like Matabee, Rikyuu powered up after his first health gauge was depleted and gained a Basara bar. After Rikyuu had been subdued, the focus switched to Yukimura arriving in pursuit of Masamune only to be confronted by Hanbee. The demonstration ended immediately after their meeting, to avoid spoiling too much of the stage.

Although they've been making a big deal about the Tegata Missions which might have intimidated people worried about the language barrier, they seem really straightforward. Masamune's goal was always to head towards Hideyoshi, except when a boss appeared and he had to take care of them in order to progress. Yukimura's section had the goal of chasing after Masamune. The missions look easy enough to figure out over the course of play.

By the way, when you go up a Bushin Level you see this very clear and obvious on-screen pop-up message.

The hosts then took a break from the gameplay to discuss the new stage play before Matsumura left and was replaced by Gatchman, a Nico Nico Douga personality who has helped promote the series before.

This was the cue to start the second gameplay demonstration. We got to see the new Sanada Trials 'survival mode' live for the very first time. They selected Sasuke and kindly started with the very first mission to help me add more content to my reference materials post. Hurrah. We have ten trials with bonus objectives translated already and the game isn't even out yet.

The way the Sanada Trials work is straightforward; you advance through the stages with a countdown timer. When you successfully clear a stage, you receive Monsen Coins and some extra time is added to the countdown. So you have to keep an eye on the time as well as your health bar as you progress.

We got to see soldiers carrying Bushin boosts up close in this mode. The Bushin System really does seem important in this game. Furthermore, the Telepathy Spheres which charge up Bushin Denshin mode can be found in deluxe blue tsuzura chests.

One thing I hadn't noticed before was that your Bushin Level can decay when you take damage (I think). You can even level down and lose the benefit of the passive skills you've earned until you raise it back up again.

Sasuke was eventually overwhelmed by the Takeda cavalry on the sixth stage, and Gatchman's first survival challenge came to an end.

Next up was Kasuga, who started out fully powered up at Bushin Level 6 with all of the 'Balance' Bushin Skills fully maxed out. She had a much easier time tearing through the early trial stages and cleared the cavalry without too many problems, only slowing down when the temptation of trying to master her tricky poledance skill proved too much for Gatchman to resist (he did eventually manage it, but he'd lost an awful lot of time on the countdown clock after all of the failures). I smiled at all of the crazed commenters screaming about how sexy both characters were during the fight against Sakon (lol).

The demonstration came to an end after the ninth Trial mission and it was then time for the latest Sengoku Basara news bulletins.

They're really trying to promote the official Sengoku Basara LINE account these days, and manga artist Itou Ryuu has drawn another special illustration for the fans who follow it. A preview was shown in the stream but anyone who already follows it will have received the picture automatically today.

They also fooled around and demonstrated the feature where you can submit a character's name to the LINE account to receive a picture of them, by using pictures of one another.

The Sweets Paradise tie-in is about to end, so there was one final opportunity to show off those pretty stickers and coasters!

One of the bigger announcements was that the UDX building in Akihabara will be showing the second Yukimura-den trailer on its gigantic open air 4k screen between Friday 24th June and Sunday 26th June 2016. The video will be shown between 14:00 and 17:00 each day at 15 minutes and 45 minutes past the hour.

Lastly, it was announced that the Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den Original Soundtrack will be released on 31st August 2016 for ¥3,500. Good news.

The broadcast wrapped up with a giveaway where viewers had to answer really difficult questions to try to win Sengoku Basara merchandise. The questions weren't very difficult since they were all covered multiple times earlier in the show:

With Date Masamune's new battle style, how many swords does he start out wielding? (6)
How many characters are playable in Sanada Trials mode? (46)
When is the game's release date? (25th August 2016)

The next broadcast isn't until 21st July so we'll have to rely on the weekly magazine releases for more Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den updates in the meantime. The gameplay is looking very slick so I'm feeling happy I preordered!

The Yukimura-den retweet campaign was a success, so everyone gets rewards

A campaign was running on Twitter recently where fans were asked to retweet to spread awareness of the game's release date. A selection of rewards were offered from digital goodies to a lucky dip for physical prizes, and followers managed to smash the original target (24,000 shares) by retweeting the message 36,426 times. This means there are a bunch of official Twitter avatars and smartphone wallpapers now available for fans to download here including a few extras created as a special reward for being so supportive. Some of those wallpapers are reasonably large, so they're worth grabbing if you want relatively clean versions of the promotional artwork!

The Capcom Cafe website reveals its full merchandise and food lineup

For those enjoying the cute Capcom Cafe pictures, since the Sengoku Basara collaboration has officially begun the full menu is now available online (there are separate tabs for food, drinks and desserts). I think my favourite is the Keiji drink because Yumekichi has taken over. Or possibly the Masayuki drink because it looks ridiculous.

The six slices of aubergine being 'wielded' by the little Masamune in the gyuutan (beef tongue) box are a nice touch.

The sweets are great too, with the platter representing five Toyotomi characters being particularly cute. However, the pure insanity of the Devil King Army Choco-Berry Parfait has won my heart, not least because it represents Nouhime with a butterfly cake and Ranmaru with a chocolate banana. The chocolate orange 'scythe' for Mitsuhide confused me until I read the caption.

There's also a phenomenal amount of merchandise in the full list which I'll summarise below. Some of these have already been shown before in previews.

Monday 20 June 2016

News roundup: Lots of Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den gameplay updates

Ok, enough moping. Back to reporting last week's Sengoku Basara news.

I've started working on a Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den Reference Materials post

It's that time again! The link to the master post is here. I'll try to keep it updated with all of the confirmed details and translated information so we can all enjoy the game fully the day it's released.

The official website posted quite a few gameplay updates

As expected, last week's magazine reveals made their way onto the official website a few hours later. A video was also posted highlighting the gameplay during the Sanada Trials.

To save some time (and space), I'll be adding the information straight to the main Reference Materials post linked above instead of writing about the individual details here.

It's worth mentioning that fan sixclawsdragon has kindly produced an English version of the new character relationship chart from the official website in order to help fans keep up with the small shifts in relationship dynamics in this latest game.

Initial details about the Asian releases of Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den

We already knew that the game was getting a Chinese-language edition for the first time and this is now available for preorder. It seems that customers in Asian regions outside Japan will have a choice between the Chinese-translated version of the game and the usual Japanese rerelease, so customers who usually purchase the Asian edition to save a little money should be especially careful to check which version they order. The spoken dialogue will all be in Japanese either way, but the text in any translated material might not match in the Chinese edition for obvious reasons. However, there's an active Chinese-speaking Sengoku Basara fan community out there; if you happen to speak Chinese already this is a great opportunity to get a version of the game with better language support.

Chinese PS4 edition (Chinese text, Japanese voices): Play-Asia, Yesasia Global, Yesasia USA
Asian Japanese PS4 edition (Japanese text and voices): Play-Asia, Yesasia Global, Yesasia USA
Asian Japanese PS3 edition (Japanese text and voices): Play-Asia, Yesasia Global, Yesasia USA

There's no PS3 edition of the Chinese-translated version of the game. The release date is 25th August 2016 no matter which edition you purchase and the game's name is written slightly differently in Chinese: 戰國BASARA 真田幸村傳 for the traditional spelling. All of the Asian editions come with the exact same preorder bonuses no matter which you buy: a Chinese-translated version of the 32-page Genpuku: Sanada Yukimura ('Coming Of Age: Sanada Yukimura') short story, the preorder-exclusive 'White Cross' costume for Yukimura and a reversible fan.

Please remember that Asian DLC can only be redeemed through an Asian PSN account.

Sengoku Basara costume DLC is confirmed for Gyakuten Saiban 6 (Ace Attorney 6)

It was revealed a little earlier than they planned thanks to fans digging through the game's files, but Capcom formally announced the three paid DLC costumes for the newest Gyakuten Saiban game last week. Naruhodo (Phoenix Wright) can dress up as Date Masamune, Odoroki (Apollo Justice) can be Sanada Yukimura, and Kokone (Athena Cykes) has a Tokugawa Ieyasu outfit.

The DLC comes in a Sengoku Basara Costume Pack bundle which will cost ¥143 before tax when it goes on sale on 23rd June 2016. I'm a big fan of both series so this sounds like an awesome crossover idea!

Broadcast schedule for the next Sengoku Basara live streams

I mentioned the second episode before but neglected to add the full details now available about the future broadcasts.

Episode 1 aired on 19th May 2016 (archive link)
Episode 2 airs on 23rd June 2016 (Nico Nico link)
Episode 3 airs on 21st July 2016
Episode 4 airs on 18th August 2016

Each broadcast will commence at 20:00 Japan time and last for one hour.

Additional store-exclusive bonus items for Sanada Yukimura-den preorders

Animate is a major Japanese anime/gaming goods retailer and they've revealed that customers who purchase Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den from them will receive two A3-sized clear posters while stocks last. The Animate product pages for the PS3 and PS4 versions of the game confirm the details. It's a decent extra incentive for those who are able to purchase from the Japan-only website or their local Animate store.

Meanwhile, AmiAmi have created separate listings (PS3, PS4) for an edition with an 'acrylic multi-purpose stand' featuring the Sanada brothers as their exclusive bonus. Please be careful as they have two sets of listings and only one set includes the stand.

And WonderGOO have a Japanese-style Benmaru/Bontenmaru drawstring pouch on offer (PS3, PS4).

The next Sengoku Basara novel rerelease is confirmed

The next Kodansha BOX novels to be repackaged in a two-in-one edition are Sengoku Basara 3: Chousokabe Motochika No Shou/Mouri Motonari No Shou ('Chousokabe Motochika Chapter/Mouri Motonari Chapter'), scheduled for release on 15th July 2016 for ¥1,250 before tax.

Nonaka-P visits the Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den x Sweets Paradise Sanada Cafe

The Sengoku Basara tie-in at Sweets Paradise will be ending in a few days, so a new report has been published showing producer Nonaka (accompanied by staffers Kana and Goiman) visiting the cafe to sample the dishes on offer. A second article in the series will be posted soon.

Preview pictures are now available for the Sengoku Basara tie in at the Capcom Cafe

The Japanese gaming press has revealed the special dishes which are planned for the new collaboration which starts on 24th June 2016, and they're absolutely charming.

Soft drinks based on Tokugawa Ieyasu (¥680) and Sanada Yukimura (¥730).
Heroes of Setouchi Cobb Salad (¥1,080)
Let's Party: Three-way Battle ~fried platter~ (¥1,380)
Spears Reigning Supreme in the Heavens! Sanada Yukimura! Six Coin Summer Vegetables and Blazing Masala Curry (¥1,380)
Oushuu Hittou! Date Masamune! Lightning Hamburg Plate (¥1,380)

Tokugawa Army Tropical Mango Pancake ~Ieyasu & Tadakatsu~ (¥1,280)

Snow Ice Date Masamune Lychee Blue Hawaii (¥880)

Flawless Construction! Chousokabe Motochika! Marine Sandwich ~Shrimp and Avocado Croissant~ (¥1,080)

Wily Strategist! Mouri Motonari! Soft-boiled Egg Basil Cream Carbonara Garnished With Okra (¥1,380)

This looks like a cute collaboration. A lot of thought has been put into the dishes and the cartoony illustrations are a nice bonus.

Sengoku Basara illustrations have been added to the official Capcam app

iOS or Android users who enjoy the comical Capcam app to take pictures with their favourite Capcom characters will be delighted to learn that Sengoku Basara stamps have joined the options on offer. At the moment, the new stamps are quite limited; you can add the cute Ashigaru-kun mascot to your smartphone pictures and decorate them with Sengoku Basara graphics such as the 'FEVER' text and food power-ups from the game. Perhaps more pictures will be added later on.

In addition, the portraits of some of the Sengoku Basara characters available through the official LINE account will be updated on 23rd June 2016. Users should try requesting their favourite portraits again to see the new images; it looks as though everyone who appears in Sanada Yukimura-den will be updated to show their new character selection screen pose.

Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den Reference Materials

This post will be continuously updated with gameplay information and minor translations for Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den, serving as a general reference guide. More detailed explanations of everything in the list can be found on the main blog.

Please note that this is a work in progress; if anything seems to be missing it might be because it was already mentioned in my old Sengoku Basara 4 reference guide or the one for Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi.

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Sengoku Basara: No translation for this week's magazine news, sorry

A few words about today's episode of Capcom TV

I managed to watch today's episode of Capcom TV with coverage of the game and there wasn't much to see. The footage was squeezed in after a massive Biohazard special feature to tie in with the recent E3 news, and the gameplay with producer Nonaka took place on the Tenmokuzan stage like before.

Still, OneSanitarium managed to spot at least one gameplay element which made it across from Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, so it looks as though the additional skill revision moves from that game are long term additions to the characters who received them.

They're releasing an exclusive LINE smartphone wallpaper in each new episode of Capcom TV until the game is released. To grab this week's group shot of the Sanada family, simply send the word カウコンTV to the official Sengoku Basara LINE account. They also showed that you can get a picture of young Ieyasu by sending the word 少年, which isn't new or exciting except that I wasn't sure how to trigger that particular picture.

About the Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den coverage from today's Weekly Famitsu magazine

I can't translate the articles any more because people have been pirating Weekly Famitsu and digital sales are now locked to Japan only.

It was pretty obvious this would happen as long as people outside Japan were buying the digital magazines and sharing the files instantly online instead of everyone buying copies for themselves at the minimal cover price and sharing translations. This is why we can't have nice things. I'm sure other people will provide translations as usual, but the cost and effort involved has made it no longer worth my time; by the time the website updates I'll be asleep due to time zones.

So much for worldwide availability.

News roundup: The first of two posts today - Yukimura-den will feature on Capcom TV

We've had a lot of updates about Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den over the last few days so I'm posting earlier than usual to quickly round the details up. There'll be more information overnight as well.

Capcom TV will feature the game when it airs less than an hour from now

Today's episode of Capcom TV has promised to include some Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den gameplay with producer Nonaka. The episode broadcasts at 20:00 Japan time (i.e. very soon from the time this post goes online) so please check it out if you happen to be around!

Capcom TV can be watched on YouTube Live, Nico Nico Live and Twitch. Highlights are usually posted at a later date on the main Capcom Channel on YouTube.

Details of the second official Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den live presentation

Speaking of live footage, the second official Yukimura-den broadcast is next week on 23rd June 2016 at 20:00 Japan time. The stream link is now live at Nico Nico and you can reserve a Timeshift viewing there if you won't be around when the show airs.

Saaya will be presenting again with KobaP and producer Nonaka there to talk about the game. The special guest will be actor Matsumura Ryuunosuke, who plays Sanada Yukimura in the upcoming stage play. As well as the latest news and gameplay demonstrations we can expect a quiz and giveaways for viewers.

Weekly Famitsu will be announcing more gameplay modes this week

The preview for this week's magazine revealed a few tantalising hints about the new game, with more details to follow tomorrow (and in the usual official website update). As BlackKite has already posted about this, I'll just link to his translation and commentary here.

Fans in Tokyo and Osaka can apply to preview Yukimura-den before release

Famitsu will be hosting a special preview event called Famitsu Presents Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den Summer Early Access Gathering on 2nd July (Tokyo) and 9th July (Osaka). 120 pairs of fans will be invited to hear a presentation about the game then try it out for themselves in the very first hands-on demonstration session. KobaP will attend the Tokyo event while producer Nonaka will be present in Osaka.

Entry is free and applications must be received by 20th June 2016.

Win cute onigiri-eating merchandise in your local (Japanese) arcade this summer

From 23th July 2016, a range of collectible Sengoku Basara prizes from the Kyun Chara Illustrations range will be available in select Japanese amusement arcades. They're oversized decorative 'tags' divided into two sets of twelve designs, representing the Eastern and Western armies, and this time they're fighting over rice balls. Why not? A Twitter campaign will accompany the promotion.

National Sega and Capcom game centres will offer the Eastern Army characters:

While Namco and Capcom locations have the Western Army:

Eagle-eyed fans may notice that Keiji, Motonari and Motochika appear in both armies for the purpose of this promotion. So there are actually fewer than 24 designs in total.

Sengoku Basara costumes will appear in the Ace Attorney series?

Apparently there are signs that there might be some Sengoku Basara DLC in the newest Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney) title! I look forward to future announcements if these plans go ahead.

Thursday 9 June 2016

News roundup: Two brief new videos and a few other updates

Not much today, but there's a pair of new videos which highlight the two bonus items that will be included with first press editions of Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den.

First is the exclusive 'White Cross' costume for Yukimura:

And second is the 32-page Genpuku: Sanada Yukimura ('Coming Of Age: Sanada Yukimura') short story:

Cover artwork for the second reprinted Sengoku Basara 3 novel

Sengoku Basara 3: Date Masamune & Katakura Kojuurou No Shou is due for release on 15th June 2016 for ¥1,100 before tax, and we now have the cover artwork to enjoy.

It's almost time for the Sweets Paradise tie-in to draw to an end

The third and final phase of the Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den x Sweets Paradise Sanada Cafe collaboration has now begun and it will run until 26th June 2016.

Coasters (third set):

Stickers (third set):

Fans looking for an excuse to return to the cafe will also be pleased to see there's a new menu item: Benmaru/Bontenmaru: Childhood Promise, a blend of red strawberry syrup and blue 'cider' (please note that Japanese cider isn't alcoholic and is in fact a completely different drink to what westerners might expect).

Monday 6 June 2016

News roundup: Some mysterious Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den merchandise appears

A new batch of Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den merchandise featuring the game's new renders has arrived on e-Capcom and there might be a little puzzle hidden amongst the listings. Here's what's on the way:

A ten-piece Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den tin badge collection for ¥3,500 before tax. It's scheduled for release on 25th August 2016 and the characters featured are the playable cast of the game along with some of the more popular NPCs.

Four Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den clear files, available as a set for ¥1,400 before tax or separately for ¥350 each (Yukimura, Masamune, Nobuyuki, Masayuki). The release date for the clear files is 25th August 2016.

A set of twelve mini shikishi illustrations for ¥5,400 before tax. They're scheduled for release on 29th September 2016 (if you want to buy them separately, blind-boxed versions should be available from hobby stores in Japan).

One design is unrevealed - apparently not because it's specifically planned as a secret, but simply because they're not publishing the preview shot yet. They have the new illustrations from last Thursday as part of the range and a fairly broad selection of the game's characters.

The illustration boards look like this up close.

Last but not least, there's a set of ten Sengoku Basara Sanada Yukimura-den acrylic key holders for ¥5,000 before tax. They're also due for release on 29th September 2016.

Again, one design is deliberately unrevealed - though there's a hint in the form of a close up of how it looks.

Wednesday 1 June 2016

News roundup: Masamune's Yukimura-den move set information, and a little more

The latest Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den gameplay details from Weekly Famitsu

The 16th June 2016 edition of Weekly Famitsu magazine was released today in Japan and there was some brand new content for Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den fans. The first page of the article featured a new rendered image of Benmaru and Bontenmaru fighting; not bad.

This led into the gameplay details for the adult version of Date Masamune, which had been strangely absent until now.

Masamune's new gameplay mechanic is similar to Bontenmaru's, which was revealed previously; in fact, it's specifically described as being an advanced version of it.

By powering Masamune up using Mad Drive, you can unleash 'Rampaging Dragon' mode. To use Mad Drive, the player has to hold down the button after each attack. This will add a follow-up attack to the move and gradually, as you chain more of these, a blue aura will start to surround Masamune to indicate 'Rampaging Dragon' status. This status significantly increases his attack speed and allows him to attack the enemy without offering them any chance of a counter.

Details of some of Masamune's other regular moves are also listed. The names are already in English which keeps things simple (and Masamune seems to have discovered lowercase).

Ground Dragon: Thrusting his six claws into the ground with force, Masamune releases a thunder dragon which snakes across the ground. Enemies that it hits will be drawn towards Masamune, allowing for further attacks.

Deadly Cross: Masamune makes a cross in the air and launches the enemy upwards. You can hold down the button to activate Rampaging Dragon mode, and also follow up with another attack.

Kill Shake: A chopping attack while Masamune spins quickly in the air. Holding the button down will increase his rotation speed, and consequently the destructive power.

His Basara move: Masamune draws the surrounding spirit energy into his own body and releases it as an azure wave, resembling a dragon. The rampaging wave brings about a massive explosion on the battlefield.


Edit: The official website update a few hours later added a fourth move description for Masamune.

Magnum Dunk: Masamune charges while twirling his six claws, and any enemies caught up in the attack are struck to the ground. With the wide range of this attack it can be used to sweep away enemies standing in a line. Furthermore, by holding down the button you can increase the distance Masamune will cover with his charge.

There are also screenshots showing him with an extra move called Heart Bolt, and we can see the abilities both characters unlock via the Bushin system at Odawara.

JapaneseEnglishLevelCharacterStage seenColour
武心獲得量アップBushin Acquisition Up2 (弐)MasamuneOdawara???
武心伝心延長Extended Bushin Denshin4 (四)MasamuneOdawara???
大将討伐Subdue Generals6 (六)MasamuneOdawara???
武心獲得量アップBushin Acquisition Up2 (弐)YukimuraOdawaraGreen
武心伝心延長Extended Bushin Denshin4 (四)YukimuraOdawaraGreen
大将討伐Subdue Generals6 (六)YukimuraOdawaraBlue

The second half of the article focuses on stages and story details as usual. Masamune, still intent on conquering the land and fully prepared for death, heads to Odawara Castle to face Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Ishida Mitsunari, dressed in his white outfit emblazoned with a crucifix. Another panel shows Matabee and Sen No Rikyuu (Sabisuke) who will both be standing in Masamune's way. Meanwhile, Hanbee and Kojuurou are going to be trying to stop Yukimura as he rushes to see what's happened to Masamune.

Stage: Guide Masamune and Yukimura to the honmaru as they advance against Odawara Castle

Masamune is trying to get to the heart of the castle in order to face Hideyoshi, while Yukimura is desperately trying to stop him; the player will control both characters as they work through the stage. Yukimura is shown with a mission of having to break through the cavalry guarding Odawara Castle before unlocking the gate and continuing. A screenshot shows there are fifteen Date cavalry officers to defeat as part of that mission.

(Raindrops' note: I guess that's why there are so many Toyotomi NPCs confirmed - they want to make the enemy seem overwhelmingly powerful for the sake of the narrative, instead of having all of the factions appear to be similarly tough as they are in the main game series.)

Masamune and Yukimura are also shown in their 'classic' outfits for the first time since this game started its promotion, both as new renders and in-game. It seems that they'll be confronting one another at the Osaka Summer Siege that way, some time after the events at Odawara have played out.


Edit: The official website has since updated and it shows Wabisuke as well as Sabisuke. Masamune's costumes are labelled the Azure and White Cross versions, while Yukimura's are the Hinokaku ('Scarlet Horns'), Crimson and Phoenix versions.

An extra bonus for fans who preorder the new game from e-Capcom

It has been announced today that anyone who preorders their copy of Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den from the official e-Capcom online store before 24th August 2016 will be automatically entered into a prize draw.

The seven winners of the draw will each receive an exclusive bath towel with one of the designs shown above. The chance of winning is relatively low, but what a unique bonus...

The fifth Basa-ranking fan survey is now online

The time, the survey is asking fans to name the game with the characters they were most interested in by the 30th June 2016. This will be the fifth and final Basa-ranking survey as the tenth anniversary festivities wind down, so don't forget to vote!

More details about the BIC Camera in-store event this weekend

I mentioned the plans for an event in Shinjuku's huge BICQLO store a few days ago and we now have a little more information. Unfortunately, it seems that gameplay demonstrations from Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den won't be available but producer Nonaka Daizou will be attending and talking to the audience about the game.

Kofu City's Sengoku Basara-themed stamp rally returns for 2017

History fans who take a trip to Kofu this summer will be able to participate in an updated version of last year's successful stamp rally activity between 23rd July and 30th September 2016. More details should appear at a later date.

Another cute new illustration is revealed for the Capcom Cafe Sengoku Basara tie-in

A tweet from Capcom has added a (very small) picture of a different mini towel available to fans who visit the Capcom Cafe during its Sengoku Basara campaign. This is different to the design which fans who attended the Machi★Asobi event were able to purchase.

The team popularity contest earlier in the year leads to some unusual merchandise

Remember that last Ichiban Kuji event where the 'teams' of characters which sold the most pictures would feature on some merchandise in a future lottery? The details of the followup event Ichiban Kuji MINI Sengoku Basara ~Hisshou Kigan!~ ('Inevitable Victory Prayer!') have now been published. For each ticket you buy you'll win a randomly-drawn prize and a code, which you can enter into a second draw for a chance to win one of twenty sets of 'charamide' pictures of the teams which topped the ranking.

There will be fifteen different omamori mascot charms available as A-rank prizes:

And twenty-one different ema mascot charms as B-rank prizes:

Since the teams which ranked highest included niche characters alongside the popular ones, it's brought about an odd situation where characters like Itsuki, Nouhime, Ranmaru, Kennyo, Musashi and Yoshihiro get to appear on merchandise over some of their substantially more famous counterparts. Cool.

This new lottery will run in hobby stores from 2nd July 2016 and each entry costs ¥500.

Read the new Sengoku Basara manga for free (in Japanese)

If you haven't had a chance to read the new Sengoku Basara: DOKUGAN manga yet and are holding out for a legal way to do so, there's good news since Akita Shoten have published the whole first chapter for free in Japanese on their site. Fans with some basic Japanese reading knowledge can enjoy following the insane story but it's also worth it for the crazy artwork alone (or even if you just really, really like Masamune's thighs).

I'm assuming it's available worldwide, because of all of the countries in the world the UK is probably one of the last that would specifically get access to a random Japanese action manga. Please support it so that they continue to publish the chapters for people who can't afford to import the fortnightly magazine!