Sakura Wars: Sumire

Sakura Wars: SumireType: OVA
Episode Count: 1
Genre: Drama
Vintage: 2002

Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 27 Dec 2007

Grade: B

It’s farewell to a well-known character (and seiyuu) in this short episode.

Plot Summary
The Flower Division prepares for Sumire’s final performance with the troupe, and Sumire looks back on her time with them.

The Review
In writing, this one-shot OVA doesn’t look like much. Indeed, there are only two groups of people that the Sumire farewell episode will likely interest: Sakura Wars fans and fans of her Japanese voice actress, Michie Tomizawa. That is because this episode is as much of a farewell performance from Sumire as it is from Tomizawa. She – Tomizawa – was retiring from full-time voice acting, and so this special was made to send off her character. The Sumire special is sort of a farewell letter to both; indeed, the events in the episode closely mirror Tomizawa’s own farewell rituals with the cast and crew of Sakura Wars, which is evident when watching the behind-the-scenes footage on the DVD.

As for the events of the episode itself, unless you’re already familiar with the series, chances are they won’t mean much of anything at all. One thing that is notable for fans of the series is that in this episode, we see something from Sumire that is rare: humility. Love her or hate her, this is probably the most expressive performance of Sumire; it helps to soften her image as a stuck up primadonna.

On its own, this lone 25 minute episode isn’t very special… but when you take it into context, it becomes something very special indeed.

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