Review by Christa Morse
Sakura Taisen is currently available, released by AD Vision. The story is based off of a hit Japanese video game for the Sega Saturn.
The story is quite simple and easy to follow, with a cast of strong heroines. It's set in the beginning of the Taisho era (about 1910) after a huge war against the forces of darkness. Steam-driven machines have brought on a new era of prosperity, but the threat of the darkness still lingers, and the Japanese government has a top secret force keeping the darkness at bay.
Enter Ogami Ichirou, a recent graduate of the Japanese Naval Academy. He gets transferred by the Navy to a theater in the Ginza district of Tokyo, and as you can imagine, he's awfully confused.
Soon enough, Ichirou discovers that the stars of the opera are members of the secret army, and he's now their leader.
That's the premise of Sakura Taisen 1 for the Saturn. This anime series looks into the making of the secret army, concluding with Ichiro's arrival. The series mainly focuses Sakura Shinguuji, the main heroine of the game, but looks into all 8 of the female members. The army gleans the best from the world; you have Sakura Shinguuji and Sumire Kanzaki from Japan, Iris Chadeubrian from France, Li Kouran from China, Kanna Kirishima from Okinawa, and Maria Tachibana from Russia.
Parent's Guide Rating:
green (suitable for family viewing)
Very young children may find some of the sequences with the army of demons on the scary side, but children past the age of 8 shouldn't have too much of a problem handling it. Other than that, there isn't very much a parent would find objectionable: strong, intelligent heroines who have good personalities.
The animation and art quality is also very nice; another thing that tends to please children.
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