Sakura Wars The Movie

Sakura Wars The MovieType: Movie
Genre: Sci-Fi / Action / Historical
Vintage: 2001

Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 13 Apr 2007

Grade: B

If it’s Koubu action you seek from the girls of the Imperial Flower Combat Troupe, this is your movie.

Plot Summary
A new girl from America, Lachette, has come to the Imperial Capital to join the Flower Division of the Imperial Combat Troupe. At the same time, there is an effort from the outside to disband the Imperial Combat Troupe, and new enemies have appeared. How will the endangered Flower Division succeed in this difficult time, when the capital’s safety lies in the balance?

The Review
The usual Sakura Wars disclaimers apply for the movie… this is a film meant for fans already familiar with the series in one way or another. If you don’t know the background, you may still enjoy the movie, but miss some of the details or connections.

There is nothing complicated about the Sakura Wars movie. For those who enjoy the battle scenes, you will get your fill here. The film opens with a fantastic musical number by the girls on stage, and wanders a bit before the conflict begins. The Koubu battles take up most of the movie, and are choreographed fairly well. One thing that struck me about them was that it seemed as if the creators couldn’t decide whether to animate the mecha in 3D or 2D. CG use is effective, and stunning at times, but it comes close to being overkill occasionally. Overall, it’s a great showcase of the action-oriented side of the Sakura Wars franchise.

Storywise, there is nothing here that you haven’t seen before, but it’s the characters and execution that will determine how much enjoyment you get out of it. It’s also a standalone story, but the more you know about Sakura Wars already, the less you’ll wonder about some of the characters’ motivations. When everything is said and done, the Sakura Wars movie is an entertaining hour and a half of watching the Flower Division in battle, bookended by a bit of character drama.


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