Genre: Shoujo / Action / Mecha
2000 Ryutaro Nakamura (director). Madhouse. Triangle Staff. TBS.
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The year is 1919. The world has barely survived the first Demon War and the next is about to begin. Conventional weapons won't cut it, neither will conventional soldiers. Humanity needs the Few, the Proud, the Pure: the Spirit Warriors. Recruited from around the world, these women are beautiful both inside and out, but can they master their steam-powered spirit weapons in time? This is the world of Sakura Wars, an all-new animation epic based on the best selling video game that took Japan by storm.
What funny looking mechas. >>> by firesenshi
AT first I thought the kobu (the term for the robotic suits in this anime) look weird. Especially the pink one. Oh, no. They belong to the lead character. And I love mecha anime. The designs in this one just looked way weird to me. They're like big round metal tanks run on steam -- that was until I realized the setting. It was 1919. The mecha designs seemed totally appropriate, if not too advanced for a time when Japan's greatest technological advancement were the trains that connected its many cities.
Still it seemed quite weird to me, being used to almost humanoid mecha types as Escaflowne or Gundam Wing, that these huge tanks could become so agile enough with so much bulk. Yet, if you see how the legs were constructed, it does make sense. The battle scenes were actually executed very well. Each kobu has its own distinct weapon and each one run by a member of a team of actors called the Hana Gumi. A team of actors? Yeah, you and me both! But hey, Weiss Kreuz has assassins that were florists in the daytime and we like it! This one does seem to work. The comedy scenes during the incognito phase of their lives are funny! Each one differentiated by their own personality, you'll definitely have a character you'll love. Mine was the powerful young girl Iris and the strong, funny Kanna.
The title of this is indeed Sakura Taisen so expect this to be based a lot on the main character Sakura Shinguuji. But don't worry. Although she's the main character and her kobu is pink, she's not always overshadowing all the other characters unlike Usagi in Sailormoon. Once finding out the story of her legacy, you'll see why. The concepts here are even dipping from the occult myths involving demons. The concept of mecha and magic merge very well. The story does start on the first episode even as you witness your first display of kobu prowess and unknown spiritual energy. There are substories on the antagonists and the other characters. It's actually nice! One good thing about this though... it's not always like the OAV where they end up bursting into song.
Individual Rating: Art/Animation 8; Story 7; Characters 8; Sounds 5