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Sakura Wars (OVA)
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 12/31/1999

It is the year 1919. Forces of darkness have been terrorizing the people and are aggressively advancing towards Tokyo. A group of young women with psychic skills and special abilities are gathered from different parts of the world to form the Flower Division. They would be piloting steam-powered giant robots to combat the dark legions. And when they're not doing that, they would be staging theater productions to draw out their hidden powers. The problem is, they cannot work as a team and each girl is always going off on her own. Can the newly assigned commander lead the Flower Division to victory? And who's going to star in the next production?
People have told me that in order to appreciate Sakura Wars the anime fully, I would have to have had played the Sega game that it is based on. Well, I still haven't had the chance to get into the game due to the absence of an English version. All I do know (from trying to play the Japanese version) is, Sakura Wars the game is like some sort of dating simulation. Anyways, I'll stop yakking about the game now and go on with the anime review.
First of all, Sakura Wars has a very simple plot. The country needs to be saved from evil forces, and these girls are the ones who will do it. Okaaay. Enter the new guy, Ohgami. He has to organize these girls into a team that can actually win. That's it. Yeah, there's nothing really special with that.
The first two eps start out slow. But things do get better in the 3rd and 4th episodes. What makes Sakura Wars worth checking out is the dazzling art and animation. The characters are gorgeously designed. These are some of the best-looking characters in the anime world. The way they move and use their powers are so eye-poppingly fine. I really loved the last battle where everyone was at their best. The main characters are also portrayed with very distinct personalities, which is a plus since there are several of them and only four episodes. The enemy remains shrouded in mystery up to the end. No development on that side. The ending is not really conclusive, and you would have to watch the Sakura Wars TV series in order to find out what's in store for everybody.
It would've been lots better if they created this not as a supplement to the game but as a real, independent anime feature. Or at least they could release the game in English to enlighten us...

Sakura Wars (OVA)
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Review Title:
Sakura Wars (OVA)
Alternative Titles:
Sakura Taisen: Ouka Kenran
120 Minutes
General Rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Older Children
Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
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