Sakura Wars

Image via Wikipedia

The first Sakura Wars OAVs are part of an extended franchise[1] originating from a computer game that, apparently, combines a tactical wargame with a dating sim[2].  Unsurprisingly the resulting anime is somewhat…odd.

The best things about Sakura Wars are the exuberant earworm of an opening[3], and the surprisingly rich worldbuilding.[4] 

The worst things are the missing chunks of plot which the viewer is expected to be able to fill in from knowledge of the games.

Fortunately the missing plot includes most of the Harem anime plotlines, although the ladies do remain colour coded for your convenience.[5]  It also helps that each of the four episodes can essentially be treated as a standalone.

Sakura Wars is a silly and mostly harmless way to pass an afternoon.  Check your brain at the door, don’t expect too much, and just let the opening carry you through each episode.

Speaking of which:

Hashire kousouku no Teikokukagekidan!
Unare shougeki no Teikokukagekidan!
(Run, Imperial Floral Assault Group, at the speed of light!
Roar, Imperial Floral Assault Group, full of power!)
(Lyrics courtesy of the TV Tropes page header).

[1] Video games, multiple OAV releases, a TV series, a film, novels, manga, merchandise, a cafe, and live performances by the voice actresses.  I said “extended”, I meant extended. J

[2] Success in building relationships makes the characters more powerful…

[3] There are multiple versions on YouTube but not the version I was looking for. L

[4] Demons happened instead of WWI, and everything is powered by STEAM! Possibly the most cheerful steampunk setting ever.

[5] Mostly as signals of personality, status, etc.  Gee, the high ranking noble daughter is in Imperial Purple? There’s a shock.  The sweet girl from the country is in pink? How very not surprising.